Professional recruitment agencies are often strapped for time. Writing job adverts is one of those tasks that take up a significant chunk of that time. But all recruiters think they write brilliant ad copy. So how could AdBuilder prove it could write adverts better than they could and save the business time and money?
Coburg Banks has been around for quite a while. Nearly 20 years in fact. They know a thing or two about recruitment.
They specialise in the recruitment of permanent positions in the IT, Sales, Engineering and Social Care sectors.
Since 2002 they’ve seen the recruitment industry evolve from a pull out section of a newspaper, through to the always-on presence of online job boards.
“In the early days, advertising a job was all about getting the best spots in newspaper jobs sections,” said Mark Wilkinson, one of the company’s founders and current Managing Director.
“We started to see everything shift around 2002. At that time online job boards started to become more prevalent and in truth, everything changed.”
The company’s ability to match the right people to the right roles didn’t change. But their method of attracting those people in the first place had to.
“It required a whole new skillset. Principally the process of writing job adverts was the same, but as time progressed we started to pay attention to optimisation tactics so that we could rank higher than our competitors.”
It became clear that writing a job advert was an artform, and a skill that not many recruiters possessed.
“We expect our consultants to have a lot of different skills: project manager, salesperson, diplomat, counsellor, and marketing copywriter,” said Mark. “In truth, you rarely get someone who can do the lot.
“One of the biggest compromises we saw was in advert copywriting. It didn’t matter how often we’d try and drill home the importance of getting the advert right – ie attracting the best people and giving the business the best ROI – they weren’t that bothered.
“They saw advert writing as a chore. And yet bizarrely still thought their adverts were brilliant. Which they weren’t. Some were even copy and paste efforts of job specifications.”
It was a battle Mark waged for years.
He tried various solutions along the way, including the insistence that his team used complicated MS Word templates to write their job adverts. Yet he continued to encounter the same old problem that his consultants couldn’t or didn’t want to write decent job adverts.
And like most recruitment agency business owners, this was at odds with a constant drive for professionalism, consistency and maximum efficiency.
Mark came across AdBuilder in a Facebook advert, and the timing was spot-on.
“We’d had a meeting that day talking about escalating advertising costs, yet a decline in the numbers of applicants we were receiving and a subsequent drop in filled roles. And we had a couple of relatively new guys working for us who it was proving virtually impossible to train to write a good advert. It wasn’t a good day.”
Mark started a free trial, and instantly saw the benefit that AdBuilder could bring to his agency.
“I’m pretty certain back in the early days that I was cynical that an automated tool could write a job advert better than I could. Until I tried it. I was blown away by the results.
“In fact I took a job specification for a role one of my team was working on, and I used that to answer the AdBuilder questions. The adverts it created were incredible, and I don’t use that word lightly.
“The key moment for me was when I could see that AdBuilder created job adverts that were better, and ranked higher, than the ones my guys created. Some of these had been in recruitment for nearly 10 years.”
On his first attempt it took Mark 12 minutes to create a job advert, versus the usual 44 minutes that (on average) it took one of his team to write one.
Only with this role, he had no prior knowledge and just took the answers for it from a cold job specification.
So he tried it again, this time with a role he knew well. It took him 6 minutes to build the advert.
“Instantly I could see how this could help us being more productive and efficient. It also meant that our adverts would (finally) be consistent and professional, and that we could get junior, inexperienced guys writing adverts of a world-class standard. That was the point when the needle was shifted and the game was changed.”
Mark explored AdBuilder more and knew it was the right move. He particularly loved the support and the ease with which his team could get started.
“The key moment for me was when we could see that AdBuilder created job adverts that were better than the ones my guys created. Some of these had been in recruitment for nearly 10 years. That was the point when the needle was shifted and the game was changed.”
Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director of Coburg Banks
After a few weeks, he measured the impact AdBuilder had (Mark is a man for detailed stats).
“We’ve got 24 consultants working for us which meant to get AdBuilder for everyone cost us £200 per month. It took our guys 8 minutes 18 seconds (on average) to write an advert with AdBuilder. Previously it was 44 minutes 27 seconds. That’s a direct time saving of 36 mins 9 seconds, or 81.3%.
“On average each of our consultants will advertise 8 new vacancies per week. With 24 consultants, that translated into a time saving of 115.68 man hours per week.”
115 hours where Mark’s team could do other tasks. But he went deeper…
“With bonuses, on average we pay our guys around £40,000 per year, which equates to around £19 per hour. So that time saving represented a cost saving of £2,198 per week.
“So a tool which cost us £200 per month, or £2,400 per year, was directly saving us over £114,290 per year. That was massive for us.
“We were also able to fill 18% more roles because our advertising was better, more consistent and ranked higher, and we had more time to work on an increased number of roles. This led to an increase in revenue of nearly £629,000, which for a £3.5m business isn’t bad going.
“That in turn meant that the overall positive financial impact of AdBuilder on our business was over £740,000, all for a cost of £2,400.
“As you can imagine, we were very pleased.”
Freeing up your consultants to do key recruitment tasks does a lot for a recruitment agency. It allows them to deepen their relationships with their clients and candidates and, in the end, earns more revenue for the business and saves cost.
It allows an agency to be ruthlessly efficient in areas that it previously couldn’t be.
Coburg Banks has only been with AdBuilder for 14 months and as discussed above has already seen the following huge wins:
– The amount of time it took their consultants to write an advert was reduced by 81.3% to 8 minutes 18 seconds
– That translated to a saving of 115.68 man hours per week, saving the business £114,290 per year in labour cost
– AdBuilder also helped the business improve the quality and consistency of their job adverts, and freed up more time for their consultants to work on other roles, which in turn meant that they filled 18% more vacancies, generating the business an additional £629,000 in recruitment fees
The relationship between Coburg Banks and AdBuilder is off to an awesome beginning. With the help of the app, the recruitment pioneer has been able to significantly save time and money, and generate more revenues.
They’re already getting noticed for their top-ranking, uber-professional and consistent job adverts by their peers, but what’s next?
“AdBuilder has allowed us to fundamentally review how we grow the business. It means that copywriting is no longer an essential skill and potentially opens up a new talent pool to help us grow the business.
“One consideration right now is to have a more systemised approach to our job advertising which would allow junior consultants with zero experience to quickly make a positive contribution. In time, that should help reduce costs even further.
“All in all, finding AdBuilder has been a godsend for us.”
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