Print media versus online recruitment, is the QR code the missing link

printmediavsonlineWe notice that there are 2 groups when it comes to the choice for media when looking for new employees. Many profit organisations opt for online recruitment compared to not-for-profit organisations, government entities and public institutions. The latter depart much more from the idea that print media offer the ideal means to fill vacancies.

They are convinced that candidates still use newspapers and magazines in their quest for a new challenge. The discussion about the deployment of online and offline media is therefore still very up to date. Measuring means knowing and that is why we gave it a try and we launched the same job advertisement both online and in print. It regards a financial profile.


Offline versus Online recruitment

For the vacancy an advertisement is posted on eight websites for about € 2,500. It is also posted in a national newspaper for the same budget. In three weeks’ time a total of ninety candidates have applied for the position. Ten per cent of the candidates applied via the advertisement in the newspaper. Ninety per cent of the applications originate from online media. Mostly from websites that focus on financial vacancies or with articles on financial subject matters. On the basis hereof it was decided to release more budget for online advertisements.


During the campaign from the example measuring took place by including a unique web address in the online and offline advertisements. The technique for the measuring of an advertisement in a newspaper has improved considerably. In this respect recruiters can still learn a lot from marketers who advertise products. These marketers often use QR codes to refer the target group directly to a website. The QR code is the link between the offline and the online campaign. Almost all advertisements in magazines and journals include a QR code that refers to the website of the product. This is a big difference with staff advertisements where up to date QR codes were barely used. In recent years much has been said about the difference in the effect in terms of advertising in online and offline channels for recruitment purposes. This appears to be an out-dated subject matter. Nothing is further away from the truth. Namely, by making use of QR codes the results of both types of campaigns can be measured well and online and offline recruitment merge smoothly.

Measuring campaigns

The majority of the recruiters in the business community opts for advertising via online channels because the effect of the campaign can be measured. Candidates who apply online can be traced. It can be determined accurately how many candidates have applied or have visited the jobsite. With regard to companies that balance print advertising against online advertising it was often a feeling that was at the basis of the choice for the channel. This choice is much easier if we can measure both channels and can deduce in black and white what is the most efficient. By using the QR code in a print advertisement and a unique web address we can now also measure the reactions via print media.

A QR code: What is it?

A QR code (QR stands for ‘Quick Response’) is a two-dimensional barcode, you must have seen them: They are square and look like a maze in advertisements, on billboards and on posters. You can scan them with a smartphone. After you have directed the camera of your phone to the code the software converts this code into an URL after which the web browser of the phone shows the relevant web page. Thus you no longer need to enter a web address in your smartphone and you are shown the vacancy of interest within the wink of an eye.

Advantages of a QR code in a recruitment campaign

Since the development of the QR code the recruitment via print media has been in the foreground again. A potential candidate notices an interesting vacancy (in a newspaper, on a poster, on a car passing by, …) and can immediately react to it. Where before he / she had to enter an often complicated link, he / she can now dispose of all required information with one click on the button and react immediately. On the train, in the waiting room of the doctor, at the traffic lights on a busy road, wherever he / she is. You reach much more latent candidates who are, perhaps, not actively looking when they see your vacancy, but who are stimulated by your vacancy and are incited to take action. 

Qiwie gives you a few examples of the use of a QR code in your print media campaigns.
• The average smartphone user is never more than a few metres away from his / her device that is always at the ready. Whenever, a potential candidate can react to your vacancy in the turn of a hand.
• Each and every smartphone, and therefore the majority of your target group, has a QR reader: A QR reader has been preinstalled on most of the devices. For the devices where this is not the case there are applications available that can be downloaded free of charge.
• A QR code saves room and advertising costs: You post an attractive, stimulating vacancy and for the practical details you refer to the website. A QR code replaces more than 1,000 words. The use of a QR code gives your employer brand a boost: Your company leaves an innovating impression with your target audience .
• QR codes render a print advertisement measureable.
• A QR code can be distributed via all your forms of print communication: business cards, header of your stationery, envelopes, etc.
• A QR code is indispensable in case of a recruitment action amongst school leavers; as a target group students are particularly dependent on their mobile phone.
• Creating a QR code is free.


Potential applications of QR codes in a recruitment campaign

There are dozens of ways how these codes can be used for the recruitment of candidates. We already enumerate some of them: 

• Advertisements in newspapers or magazines: To offer follow-up information that is not appropriate in the advertisement.
• Wall posters or stickers: These can be placed on billboards and can also be placed on cars.
• Career fairs and college events: They offer an interested candidate information without having to wait or ask questions.
•In SMS messages: They can be linked to SMS messages as an image or they can be used to send text messages.
• Direct mail: In a wink they refer candidates from a paper letter to the internet.
•In a presentation: They can refer candidates to more detailed information about the presentation via the QR codes in the slides.
•Invitations: They can be deployed to invite people for talent communities or to participate in competitions or events.

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