February 24, 2020

How Digital Advertising is Helping HR Departments Hire Better Candidates

As I’m writing this post, the unemployment rate in the markets we serve is low. In Maryland it’s 3.6%, in Virginia it’s 2.6%, and in North Carolina it’s 4%. The economy is booming, and the labor market is the tightest we’ve seen in decades. 

While this is great news for many businesses, it’s creating a new problem for them as well. They are growing and they have a healthy pipeline of work, but they can’t find enough good people to do the work.

Why recruiters are frustrated with Indeed advertising

To put it simply – platforms like Indeed are getting more expensive, and producing fewer results. 

In a tight job market, finding good people is difficult. That’s because that perfect candidate for your opening isn’t cruising Indeed 4 hours a day, going to job fairs, and networking on LinkedIn. They’re at a job they may not love, but they’re employed. They’d be open to a conversation, and may be a great fit for your company, but they need a little push. They need to know that there is a better opportunity out there, and that you’re actively looking for a candidate just like them. 

I’m not saying abandon job boards like Indeed completely – only that putting all of your eggs in one basket, a basket that is highly competitive, very expensive, and reaches only those people actively searching for a job, is going to produce limited results.

Why you should diversify your recruitment advertising dollars

Let’s start by looking at a hypothetical recruitment scenario. Whether you’re hiring for an engineer, salesperson, or project manager, let’s call your perfect prospect “Terry”. 

Terry gets up at 6 a.m. and is usually at his job by 8:30 a.m. Between 6 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., Terry checks his email using his iPhone; he checks Facebook and clicks on a few articles, one about a snowstorm on the way from the local NBC station, and another from an industry publication he follows that’s offering a new certification he’s interested in. He opens LinkedIn to respond to an invitation to connect from a colleague from his last job. Before leaving the house, he opens his Weather Channel app on his phone to get more info on the weather. On his way to work, he listens to Spotify or Pandora in his car streaming from his iPhone. 

By the time Terry gets to work, he’s ready to start his day. He hasn’t gone to Indeed, or opened the email they sent him because honestly he’s just tired of getting an email from them everyday with a list of jobs that may or may not have anything to do with his career. 

How We Could Have Reached Terry

In just those few short hours of the morning, we had the opportunity to get in front of Terry in the following ways:

  • Video ad on Facebook or LinkedIn
  • Video ad shown prior to the Weather report Terry watched on demand
  • Display ad on Facebook, LinkedIn, or The Weather Channel App
  • Display ad on Pandora or Spotify
  • :30 “radio” (audio) ad on Pandora or Spotify

The easiest way to explain this shift in targeting your ad dollars is like this: Instead of just waiting for the right people to start looking for a job and then showing them your opening in a competitive and cluttered landscape, we’re going to jump start the conversation early, creating initial interest from qualified candidates by advertising and reaching them wherever they are, on whatever apps, devices and websites they use on a daily basis. 

By taking action and reaching out to possible candidates where they are now, it puts you in the driver’s seat. You’ll have more candidates to choose from, lower your overall cost of attracting those candidates, and be able to find the perfect candidates to help you reach your hiring and retention goals.

Getting started

Setting up a recruitment advertising campaign isn’t hard, it just takes a little research, a little planning, and the right messaging. 

    1. Creating a Custom Audience. We start by building custom audiences based on your current job openings, and what we know a qualified candidate would like and act like (online). 
    2. Settling on an Ad Budget. Based on the size of that audience, their location and the location of the position, and the number of openings you have, we create an advertising plan. 
    3. Strategy, Messaging and Creative. Since we’re starting the conversation with these candidates where they are, the initial messaging has to be stronger than just the job title. We tap into the wants, needs, desires and pain points of your target audience to create ads that catch their attention and drive interest.
    4. Prepping your Careers Page to convert. Once we’re reached a candidate, gotten their attention, and driven them to take the next step, our landing page needs to not drop the ball. We’ll work with you to make sure you have the content you need on your careers page or landing page to convince them to apply. We’ve designed entire careers microsites, created video content, directed photo shoots, or simply re-written the content clients currently have to match the language we used in our ads.
    5. Measuring the Results and Continuous Improvement.  We also ensure proper analytics, tracking and retargeting campaigns are all set up to continue to market to candidates that reach that point in their search.  We want higher quality, and high quantity candidates so you can choose the best of the best. We track each aspect of our campaigns to continuously improve the messaging, the placement, and the timing of our ads to make them work better over time and consistently lower the costs associated with reaching your hiring goals.