Published on
April 30, 2023

5 creative ways to target recruitment ads for quality candidates

The perfect candidates are out there - if you know where to look. Here are 5 approaches to boost recruitment with targeted social ads.

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Social advertising is a key part of a recruitment marketing strategy as it allows you to reach a far wider audience than just people actively hunting for jobs (who make up only a quarter of job seekers).

Once you’ve got the hang of turning your job descriptions into great social ads, the next step is figuring out how to get those ads in front of the right people – or targeting.

Targeting on job titles and industry is, of course, a very powerful way to set up your advertising campaigns, but some amazing candidates are still to be found outside those boundaries. Targeting is a key component of Talent Attraction. Here are 5 ways to use targeting to expand your pool of quality applicants.

1. Use geofencing to reach more local talent

When Kentucky Fried Chicken needed to quickly staff up a newly opened restaurant in the Netherlands, they set up a campaign that advertised within 5 kilometers of the new restaurant and hired 75 people and a General Restaurant Manager in just 4 weeks.

Geofencing, or setting a radius around a location where your ads will run, can also be used for industry events that are packed with specialized candidates.

Facebook even offers the option for “people traveling in this location”, useful for these types of events that expect a lot of out-of-towners.

  • Google Adwords / Search: Radius around a pin, 0.6 to 60 km  
  • Facebook / Instagram: Radius around a pin, ~1.6 – 80 km (In the US, radius minimum for employment ads is 15 miles)
  • LinkedIn: Radius around a pin, 200 – 1000 m

2. Borrow an audience

If the candidates you’re looking for influence any purchasing decisions in a company, the heavy lifting about how to reach them has already been done by the vendors and suppliers selling to them.

Ask the hiring manager what technology or equipment this role would be dealing with weekly, or head over to Capterra or G2 to find which software companies are advertising to the same group of people you’re trying to reach.

For instance, industry specific tools for banking or performance review software for manager level positions.

Make a list of the companies most likely to be selling to your perfect candidate and run their website URLs through Similarweb and SpyFu (both have freemium options) to see what keywords they are using to reach their audience.

Also check what the “referring sites” can tell you about where your candidates are hanging out online.

  • Google Adwords / Search: Add related URLs, keywords to create Custom Segments
  • Facebook / Instagram: Search companies and keywords in “detailed targeting” section for suggestions to create Interest-based Targeting
  • LinkedIn: Target to 1st degree connections of the vendors and suppliers with Company Connections

3. Highlight the right perks

Use interest-based targeting to speak to what matters most to each candidate. Include your generous holiday policy to people interested in travel and outdoor recreation.

Add a line about the company wellness program for those interested in mediation and fitness. Include a picture of the last company volunteer day for those interested in community issues and charity causes, or a picture of the office dog for pet lovers.

Interest-based targeting allows you to show off some of the more unique perks of your company that might not be a game changer for everyone, but for a select group can make all the difference.

4. Capture the career-changers

The pandemic has caused a lot of people to evaluate their career paths and, as some of them switch fields entirely, there are likely highly qualified candidates that simply don’t have the typical title and industry background.

One way to widen your candidate pools beyond the typical criteria is to look at what people like to do outside of work.

Look on LinkedIn to find 10-20 people who hold a similar position to the one you’re looking to fill and head to the bottom of their profile to find their “Interests”.

List out the influencers, companies, and groups these candidates are interested in and see if there are some commonalities beyond industry-specific categories. Maybe they tend to be news junkies, support similar nonprofits, or follow the same authors.

From these shared traits you can start exploring interests and keywords that you can use to expand your reach to people that might not have the typical career path but could be a great fit.

  • Google Adwords / Search: Add keywords and URLs for Custom Segments, and interests for Affinity Segments
  • Facebook / Instagram: Interest-based Targeting (here’s a helpful guide on categories available)
  • LinkedIn: Advertise directly to those who are a part of the same LinkedIn Interests Groups

5. Retargeting

Retargeting lets you show ads to people who have previously interacted with your ads, such as liking, swiping an image carousel, or clicking a link, and it’s commonly added as an audience category to campaigns.

Often retargeting just shows the same ad to people every time (think of that one ad that seems to follow you around the internet), but retargeting offers a great opportunity to give more extensive job information to people who are already interested.

For example, retargeting ads could include more information on role responsibilities, unique perks, or a link to a “day in the life” article – helping to pull people further along your recruitment pipeline.

  • Google Adwords / Search: yes
  • Facebook / Instagram: yes
  • LinkedIn: yes

Unlock efficient targeting with wonderkind

Wonderkind gives you the tools and templates to create recruitment ad campaigns across multiple social platforms with just a few clicks. With the central dashboard, you can see which campaigns are performing well to help you experiment with and tweak your targeting efforts.

With Wonderkind you also have access to a deep database of job title synonyms. When you add a target title into a campaign, Wonderkind can automatically fill out a variety of related job titles (including in other languages) that can expand the reach of your ad to quality candidates.

If you’re interested to learn more, we’d be happy to take you on a tour of Wonderkind.

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