Should you split test job adverts?


I am lucky to know some great technical people which allows me to do some clever split testing of copy to see what works for me.  But should recruiters be getting into this level of detail for job adverts?  I think they should.

A brief explanation

Not wanting to assume everyone knows what I mean so basically, I run a long version and a short version of a landing page.  One is pretty much a few bullet points (get this, it's great, here's some reasons why) compared to a full story about why you should sign-up.  Some “experts” say long is best, some say short.  Point is, until you test for YOUR market you don't know.

But, before you start, you will ideally know how well your existing adverts are working.

Job adverts – long or short?

First, I am not talking about having a long job description but this can be part of the test.  Ideally, the job advert should be short and to the point and have a bit of a sales approach but how long?  That's the point.  I can't tell you categorically how long.  I have my opinion which is, not too long.  But I don't really know for your exact market without testing it.

How to split test

I would take your current advert copy/style and do a long and short version.  If you have one of those lovely job description type adverts then use this and create a totally different style.  Then run the same advert in tandem (maybe in two different places) and measure how many applications each version gets and, make note of the quality/type of applicant.  After a week or so you should start to see some trends which will help you move to the next stage of deciding what is working best for you.

An example

If you go to my Social Recruiting 5-day Landing Page you will be able to see how my content changes.  Just refresh the page a few times to see the different types of copy.  Both are similar length but different tone.  Which do you like best?  I also have another test going on for very short copy versus very long copy. Once I have ram these for a while, I will see which works best (hopefully) and then maybe try the change in tone.

I also split test Google Adwords adverts (and others) to constantly try and improve the performance of each.


Split testing is a vital part of ROI; I agree with the “can't measure, can't manage” synopsis.  Any recruiter worth their cost these days should be seriously focused on ROI although, ROI can be measured in many ways.  Be sure you know what it means in your organisation.  Is it cost-per-hire?  Is it performance-per-hire?  Is it a mix of many (of course it is) but if you can't even measure CPH you best start somewhere!

Feel free to leave any questions re split testing in the comments section and I'll answer them for you.

Original post: Hire Strategies UK