Successful recruiting in any industry requires a strategic approach that helps a company connect to the skilled professionals that are critical to the company’s success. While social media recruiting strategies help accomplish this, they are still maturing. Most social recruitment today is used to augment what has been a keystone in recruiting for years; the job post.
The video game industry certainly leverages the job post, but they, at times, must pay a hefty premium to post jobs on digital properties believed to be frequented by the targeted talent marketplace. Is the premium worth it? Do game studios and their hiring managers gain an adequate ROI when posting to a game industry property or job board? To answer the question, it is important to understand the metrics that should be employed to evaluate the performance of a job posting.
Standard Job Post Metrics
There are typically five metrics used to evaluate the performance of a job posting.
- Site Traffic: The average number of monthly visitors to the site
- Post Conversion: The percentage of those visitors that actually click into a job post link
- Cost per click: How much each of those clicks costs
- Cost per qualified candidate: The cost to identify one qualified candidate
- Cost per hire: The cost of making a hire.
How Gaming Industry Boards Stack Up
The table below covers the average highest price for a single job post across similar sites. There are four categories:
Major Job Boards: These are the big brand online job boards that set the direction of the market since internet recruiting began.
High-Performing Niche Boards: These online properties narrowly focus on technical talent and skills from mid-level to higher-end positions in ‘traditional’ tech fields (e.g. enterprise IT).
Game Development Industry Boards: These are online properties that offer a job posting or advertising package that is targeted exclusively to technical or creative game development talent.
Healthcare Industry Boards: To provide perspective we’ve included boards that are focused on recruiting certified or degreed professionals exclusively in the healthcare industry. The recruiting process and the talent supply and demand are similar in nature to the acquisition of technical or creative game development talent.
On average, game development industry boards perform better than major job boards from a conversion ratio perspective, but not as well as other comparative niche focused boards. At face value, the premium required across game development focused sites is extraordinarily high, and appears to suggest that return on this talent acquisition investment, if there is any, would be modest at best.
Is this an apples to oranges comparison? Maybe, but it is important to consider that the same job on a major job board would result in a higher number of candidates. We would have paid less for more candidates but the quality of candidates may not be in alignment with what we are looking for in the open position. Therefore, we must determine what the expense is of running the necessary qualification process to sort through the hundreds of applicants from a major board vs. the handful of applicants from a niche board.
Studios and hiring managers looking for technical and creative game development talent must also make an effort to determine, with specificity, the difficulty in connecting with and acquiring the skilled professionals that they require. Is there a large barrier for the studio or its leadership to engage and manage the targeted talent community beyond their current footprint? If it is, then the talent acquisition cost may be worth the investment. First, it helps the hiring manager fill the talent demand, but it also creates new connectivity into the talent community itself. By determining the value of this connectivity, the studio and hiring manager can better evaluate if the cost to achieve the awareness and access is worthwhile.
Ultimately, the evaluation of job board ROI has more to do with the employment brand and the talent acquisition process. If both are strong, the studio is able to make a more educated decision on when they will and will not invest in posting a job at a premium.