Pay-per-what!? The advantages and disadvantages of the different vacancy models

Pay-Per-Click, Pay-Per-Apply Start, or Pay-Per-Apply Finish… Nowadays, terms like these are everywhere in online recruitment. What’s the best choice for your company? To clarify, Emilie de Haes, Marketplace Manager at Monster, outlines the advantages and disadvantages of these options for you.

Paying for duration

This is the oldest option, familiar to many. It dates back to the days of placing ads in newspapers, hoping for responses. This method is sometimes referred to as ‘post and pray.’

When job boards emerged, this model persisted, but in an online format. The vacancy remains online longer than in a newspaper, but you still only pay for the duration, not the results. Essentially, you have a fixed budget for your campaign regardless of its effectiveness.

This method is suitable for occasional job postings when you lack the time or resources to optimize the search for the ideal candidate. For instance, a hospitality company needing occasional staff and wanting to quickly post a vacancy without much hassle.

Companies with more regular hiring needs and a desire to pay based on results should consider the following three options.

Suitable for: Companies with occasional vacancies and no in-house recruitment department

Paying per job view (pay per click)

Companies seeking visibility for their vacancies may opt to pay per job view. This is also known as ‘pay per click.’ A click means that a job seeker selects your vacancy from the search results on a job board, viewing the entire listing.

With pay per job view, the job board aims to display your vacancy to as many users as possible. At the end of the month, you’ll know how many times your vacancy was viewed and the cost per click.

Companies prioritizing visibility for their vacancies and/or brand awareness often choose this model. It provides more assurance that their vacancy will be seen, although it doesn’t guarantee actual applications. The next two models offer better prospects in that regard.

Suitable for: Companies looking for brand visibility and vacancy exposure

Paying per application start (pay per apply start)

For companies wanting more control over results, choosing pay-per-apply-start is advisable. You only pay for instances where someone clicks the application button in your vacancy, indicating genuine interest. These candidates then land on the application form on your website.

The advantage is that traffic flows through your own funnel, benefiting your employer branding. Also, since you collect data through your own form, you have complete control.

You can set pre-screening questions to refine the selection process, retarget candidates, or even redirect them to another position if they’re better suited elsewhere. This way, you build your own pool of suitable candidates, tracking their origin through the right tools.

It’s no surprise that many large companies opt for this option nowadays, as it offers maximum control and results.

Suitable for: Companies wanting maximum control over applicants

Paying per completed application (pay per apply finish)

Companies can opt for pay per apply finish, simplifying the process further. You only pay for completed applications that land directly in your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or inbox.

This is particularly suitable for companies unwilling or unable to handle processing with their own forms and data management. They simply want a list of applications they can directly approach.

While they have fewer options to pre-screen candidates via their own form, they only pay for completed applications.

Suitable for: Companies aiming to minimize dropouts in the application funnel and seeking convenience in getting applicants directly into their ATS

Duration packaged as result

Paying per result is the ideal solution for many companies facing recruitment challenges in today’s market. Especially when recruiting in a tight market, you don’t want to pay a fixed amount for just posting a job, with uncertain outcomes.

However, be cautious, as nowadays there are providers claiming to charge per result, but it’s essentially a disguised form of ‘duration’. You can easily identify this: if you’re paying a fixed amount for the campaign, regardless of the provider’s results, then it is essentially duration based.

If that aligns with your recruitment strategy, that’s fine. But if you seek more control over your budgets and certainty about the outcomes, I’d suggest scrutinizing the agreements more critically.

Collaboration is the key to success

Especially with paying per job application start and per completed application, companies gain a lot of certainty because it progresses further down the funnel toward actual applications. At Monsterboard, we agree with the company on the price per result and the monthly budget available. This certainty provides recruiters with peace of mind and clarity.

We reinforce this by meeting bi-weekly with clients to review performance. Where can we adjust, what can be improved? This also includes the flexibility to scale campaigns during seasonal peaks and scale down during relative quiet periods.

Recruitment is bespoke, as every position and therefore every campaign is different. You want to trust that the results you’re getting are truly the best results. At the right price.

What’s your experience?

Which of these options do you use and are you satisfied with them? Or do you see new options that might better suit your recruitment needs? Monster is happy to answer any questions about the different options.