Uses of Media (Display Advertising) for Recruitment Marketing

Adam FudalaBy Adam Fudala
March 1st, 2022 • 3 Minutes

Recruitment teams know that marketing is beneficial to reaching the right talent, but how do you know where to distribute your recruitment advertising budget?

Different types of recruitment ads help you achieve different goals. While they are each measured differently and perform various functions, when used all together, recruitment advertising tactics build on each other to reach your ideal candidates. 

Let’s look at each recruitment advertising tactic to see how they might work together to support your hiring strategy:

Job Postings

At the base of the pyramid are job postings. These are the most straightforward places to get your open positions in front of active job seekers. Whether you use job boards or job aggregators, the goal is the same: to drive applications. If you’re only going to invest in one recruitment advertising tactic, make it job postings.

Paid Search

The next thing to add to your recruitment media mix should be paid search. This tactic targets job seekers on the active end of the spectrum because you’re tapping into people who are searching for the keywords that you’re bidding on. Depending on your goals, you may want to consider bidding on non-job keywords but concepts you know your audience cares about – things like “best companies for software engineers” or “what perks do software engineers get.”

These types of searches typically represent a candidate who may be a bit more passive, but still a highly relevant audience! One thing to remember – if you’re going to bid on non-job keywords, you need to have content on your site that supports the search query. If someone is searching for the “best companies for software engineers” and you drive that candidate to a set of software engineering jobs, you’re not providing the information the candidate is seeking at that moment. Pairing paid search together with job posting will expand your reach into more active, and some passive job seekers.  

Social Media Advertising

After paid search starts to reach the point of diminishing return, the next tactic to add should be social media advertising. As we build the pyramid, not all layers of the marketing mix are designed to drive applications. Social media is where our KPIs begin to shift to creating awareness of and consideration for your employer brand. 

Here, you can communicate a message and deliver people to an experience that further articulates that message. This message might focus on your employee value proposition, your diversity initiatives, or even a specific job function within your company. 

But the goal here is to get passive job seekers more familiar with the opportunities and your organization rather than expecting them to apply just yet. Therefore, you should pair your paid social media with paid search and job postings. Passive talent can become more familiar with your brand on social media, and then when they see your postings, be more likely to click “apply.”

Display Ads

Another tactic targeting passive talent is the display ad. These ads are one of the more expensive marketing tactics that can improve brand awareness and increase consideration. Given that they’re higher up on the pyramid, they require a more extended time to be truly effective. 

If your goal is to communicate part of your employer brand story to passive talent, you can use display ads to showcase imagery or messaging. And as each tactic builds on each other, down the pyramid, these ads will eventually influence applications. 

Display ads also need to run in the market for much longer than other tactics to influence your audience’s decisions. They need time to learn about the behaviors of your target audience from pixel data. Plus, you need to serve a certain amount of impressions at a frequency level that will make an impact. Therefore, you should not invest in display for short-term campaigns or if you need an immediate return on investment. 

Unsurprisingly, display ads tend to be used by larger enterprise organizations that have larger budgets.

Measuring Your Success

When you put all of these recruitment advertising tactics together, your marketing speaks to talent throughout their candidate journey. They likely encounter your brand awareness media first and then are prepared to take action when they find your application drivers.

You don’t need to use all of these tactics to find successful hires, but if you use them effectively and pay careful attention to the audience and the dynamics in that labor market, they can help you target the most qualified candidates for your open roles. 

If you’re still not hitting your goals with a diversified media mix, that doesn’t mean you need to invest more budget. Instead, it might be beneficial to switch from attracting new candidates to converting talent who has previously expressed interest.

It’s a lot more efficient to try to move someone further along in their candidate journey who you’ve already spent the money acquiring than it is to attract somebody new. In a traditional marketing world, we’d call this retention. But in recruitment marketing, this is the cohort of individuals who’s information you’ve captured as a lead, applicant, or even a previous hire. Reaching out to these cohorts via email or text (be careful you have consent) is a great option because there’s no media cost – just time and tools. 

What paid tactics do you use in your recruitment advertising strategy? Let us know!

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