In the 2016 election, the Koch brothers made waves when they gave $125 million to American’s for Prosperity (AFP). Then something even bigger happened. The AFP hired 1,200 activists looking for non profit jobs, canvasser jobs, or campaign jobs across 36 states who knocked on the doors of 5 million Republican voters that might have stayed home on Election Day. Some of the best get out the vote campaigns I’ve seen have resulted in a 1-2% bump in turnout. That was the difference in the presidential race in Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
This year is a new beginning. Canvassers are essential in motivating people to get out and vote and raising the funds that power our efforts. This requires recruiting a strong, dedicated team of canvassers at a scale to outflank the AFP and the Koch Brothers’ armies. They say there are two kinds of power: people and money. We can’t match the Kochs in money. And what’s worse, it costs money to recruit people. To win, we’ll need to be more strategic at recruiting top talent at a lower cost.
Recruiting staff for canvasing jobs is the second largest expense of canvass operations after payroll. One organization we’ve worked with spent $500,000 annually just on Craigslist advertisements to hire people for canvasser jobs. And that was when recruitment for non profit jobs was less expensive. Now posting advertisements on Craigslist or Indeed can cost upwards of $10 per applicant.
The simple fact is that many groups spend money on what works less every day and hope for results. Are you getting the results you want?
Membership Drive has run a series of tests to help progressives scale more quickly.
Using SEO to Generate Free Applicants for Non Profit Jobs
If you’re not targeting the right job seekers online using free search engines like Google, you’re missing out. Most organizations fail to optimize their job descriptions for search. In a world of siloed organizations, web teams rarely help HR teams with search engine optimization (SEO).
Put simply, SEO positions your job in front of people looking for the position you’re offering. For those who may not know, search engine optimization (or SEO) is the process of influencing where your website or web page appears in a web search engine’s unpaid results. With the right keywords, link structure in your site, site speed, and people linking to your page, you can propel your job description to page one. Below is an image of our campaign-jobs.com site ranking third for the term “campaign job" in Google, just below the DCCC and above Indeed.
The graphic below compares Memberships Drive’s SEO to that of the Fund for the Public Interest (The Fund), the largest non-profit canvass operation in the United States (and where this author first canvassed as a high school student). Despite our campaign-jobs.com website’s relatively new web presence, our SEO efforts generate a larger percent of our web traffic from search compared The Fund. By maximizing web traffic we have increased the number of applications without paying more for job ads. This is welcome news to our non-profit partners that have limited budgets to promote their non profit jobs.
Understanding SEO for Indeed Job Advertisements
Indeed functions like a search engine specializing in jobs. Indeed job posts are among the highest rated in Google. Your keyword strategy for your Indeed job posts must therefore take into account the number of searches for your keywords on Indeed and on Google to maximize the traffic to your post. Membership Drive tests increased applicants to Indeed job postings by 67% at no additional cost.
Timing Matters to Attract Candidates for Canvasser Jobs
Be strategic about when you post canvasser jobs and non profit jobs. For example, posting jobs on public holidays can drastically increase the number of applicants. Holidays give people free time to peruse job sites while staff who post employment ads at other organizations aren’t working. Greater traffic to job sites and less competition is a powerful combination. Membership Drive data shows that good ads on Craigslist on public holidays cuts the cost per applicant by 50-75%, from around $10 per applicant to as low as $2.50. Membership Drive data has pinpointed time periods of nearly every day where the cost per applicant dips to under $3.00. Our Recruitment Drive toolset automates posting to Craigslist and Indeed, and measures the cost per applicant by ad title, posting time, and other variables to enable you to evaluate and automate your marketing strategy. You can learn more here.
Generating Canvasser Jobs Applications in the Field
Many of the most supportive cities for fundraising canvasses are the hardest for staff recruitment. Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, have very low unemployment and therefore higher recruitment costs. Our partner, Working Washington, offered staff a $35 bonus for recruiting new team members who worked their first day. Every staff member carried the Membership Drive recruitment app (below) on their tablet. In team meetings, the office director reminded staff of the bonus and the impact Working Washington could make with more team members. This combination of the right tools, motivation, and pay structure increased Working Washington’s applicants by 30%.
How Recruitment Drive Can Help You
For more information about how Membership Drive’s Recruitment Drive software fully automates all your canvasser recruiting processes, you can contact us here. For more information about campaign jobs with our partners, click here.