There are several kinds of candidates in the world. There are active candidates, the ones your recruiters are connecting with everyday.
There are true passive candidates. The ones that don’t reply to your recruiters.
And then there are past or pipelined candidates. These are ones you’ve communicated with in the past. Some may have interviewed with your company. They may have replied to a recruiter saying they weren’t interested at the time, but asked to stay in touch.
It’s probably safe to say that 90% of recruiters are only tapping into one of these candidate groups – the active candidates. This also happens to be the same group your competitors are targeting as well.
The other two candidate pools take time to nurture and time is something recruiters don’t have much of. Hiring managers have even less.
So how can you tap into the truly passive candidates and re-engage past applicants?
Do you want to get in front of people on Facebook without getting too personal or crossing the line with your outreach?
Do you want to stay top of mind over an extended period of time? Doing this in a way that doesn’t affect your current recruiting efforts?
Do you want to nurture these candidates and build trust in your brand (especially if you’re a startup)?
Would you like to essentially make the competition irrelevant when targeting these passive candidates?
A lot of questions and one answer: Advertising
By advertising, I’m not talking about posting a job on LinkedIn or having Indeed scrape your career site. I’m talking about something companies spend billions on each year. Something they use to build their brand, to market and sell their products and services.
A proven and effective mode of outreach and engagement that recruiting organizations rarely use.
How can that be?
When I speak with Recruiting Managers, they know job postings well. But when it comes to using digital advertising for recruiting, it’s a brand new world for most.
That’s why I’ve decided to write this article and shed some light on this mysterious (and not so new) topic.
If you consider yourself a progressive Recruiting Manager, then you should know that through digital advertising you can…
Reach new candidates
Isn’t this the goal of every recruiter? As soon as a recruiter gets a new req, off they go to find “new” candidates. Typically searching the same places every other company is searching. I have yet to know a recruiter that hasn’t used LinkedIn to source candidates.
Did you know that only 36% of active job seekers are active on LinkedIn? Conversely, 83% are active on Facebook. That seems a little counterintuitive, doesn’t it? But yet, more recruiters and organizations focus most of their attention (and budget) on LinkedIn.
What if you took your message to websites and places they visit everyday? What about Facebook or a site like the Wall Street Journal?
Did you know there were 1.01 billion daily active users on Facebook in September 2015? That’s a billion, with a ‘b’. Compare that to a total of 400 million on LinkedIn with only 107 million in the U.S.?
Looking for finance people? I guarantee they’re on the Wall Street Journal’s website every day. Why not create a display ad using Google that only shows up on wsj.com? You can. It may be a little more expensive to target a high-traffic site like that, but could be well worth it.
Looking for software engineers? Using Facebook, you can create an ad that targets people with specific interests (like Star Trek). You can target behaviors, meaning other websites they visit outside of Facebook.
Looking for people that went to specific schools? What about people with a specific degree? Yep. You can target that too.
One of my favorite audiences to build in the Facebook Ad platform is a “lookalike” audience. They’re pretty easy to create and can be a huge competitive advantage when it comes to reaching passive candidates.
Here’s an example of how you would do this. Let’s say you want to reach software engineers in Seattle. First, create a CSV file with the email addresses engineers you’ve spoken with in the past. You would then import this list into the Facebook Ad platform, select the option to create a Lookalike Audience and boom. In about an hour, you’ll have a brand new audience of people just like those in the list you imported. When creating an ad, you can also narrow the geographic focus to Seattle.
I’m not exactly sure how it works, but it does. Hats off to the brilliant engineers and algorithm whizzes that Facebook has hired.
Stay connected to your pipeline
Your recruiters have worked hard over the years, contacting tons and tons of candidates. They’ve built pipelines of great candidates and prospective candidates. Now it’s time to take those pipelines to the next level.
By importing their email addresses into Facebook, you can now serve targeted ads to them. That is, if the email address you have is also tied to their Facebook account. Since most people use personal email addresses on their resumes, the hit rate is through the roof. Much better than it would be if you were importing a list of B2B prospects.
Remarket to people viewing your career site or specific job descriptions
Remarketing, also called retargeting, is another one of my favorite advertising strategies. Chances are, we’ve all experienced remarketing at some point of our online existence. It happens when you are looking at one item on a website and then served ads for that exact item or company when visiting another, unrelated site.
When it comes to recruiting, you can do the same thing using Google, Bing and Facebook.
So here’s how it works. You or a recruiter at your company sends out an email to several prospective candidates. Or maybe a candidate finds your job listed on Indeed or LinkedIn and visits your career site. Either way, they look at the job description on your career page but don’t apply.
You can now serve ads to that person in an attempt to stay top of mind and encourage them to come back and apply.
Your remarketing ad targeting can be as granular or broad as you like. It could be specific to the job they viewed or something more general, like promoting your company’s benefits or culture.
Promote your company culture, benefits or big news
Does your company have a unique culture? Do you offer a great maternity or paternity leave benefit? What about a great 401k matching program?
Did your company hit a big milestone this week? Did they make it to a “top” list of local or national places to work?
You can create ads designed to educate your target candidate about your company. Giving you a chance to sell your company without having to pick up the phone.
Create a unique competitive advantage
What’s the one thing we all have in our applicant tracking systems? Yep. LOTS of email addresses. That’s where that pipelining thing comes in handy. As mentioned earlier, Google and Facebook offer the ability to create custom audiences targeting peoples’ email addresses. That data is a gold mine and is only available to you.
Take advantage of the gold mine that is your ATS. Use these email addresses to re-engage and re-build interest through Google and Facebook.
Reach more candidates on mobile
There’s a lot of talk about trying to “win” mobile when it comes to recruiting, but it’s a difficult thing to do. Texting candidates you’ve never spoken with is taboo – at least to recruiters with a soul. Not to mention, reaching out to candidates via Facebook, in my opinion, is crossing the line.
From the candidate side, searching for jobs from a mobile phone isn’t all that easy.
But, through ads, you can reach both audiences in a softer, less-intrusive way.
Additionally, Facebook ads served on mobile devices are cheaper (per click and impression) than those served on desktops. They also reach a larger audience. Approximately 88% of Facebook users access their newsfeed from a mobile device. In fact, some of my clients have seen as many as 90% of their Facebook ad impressions come from mobile devices.
So, if you’re looking for a way to “win” the day on mobile devices and get in front of people on Facebook, ads are the ticket.
Make your recruiters “household names”
This is best done using Facebook ads, since they lend themselves to being more personable and “fun”.
Using ads that identify your recruiters by name will make it easier for candidates to know who to reach out to when they’re interested in one of your open roles. It also helps to associate a name with your company. This can be very helpful if you’re a large, mostly faceless, corporation.
You can also use these ads to promote blog posts written by or featuring your recruiters.
Do you have upcoming recruiting events? Will you be at an industry event where your target candidates will be?
Facebook ads are great for promoting events and generating attendees. Creating an organic post and ‘boosting’ it to a general audience would work well in this instance. But, using the ad manager would enable more specific targeting to the audience you want to reach.
Promote referral programs
Do you have a referral program that extends beyond your employee referral program? Create an ad to promote that. This is a great way to boost your employee referral program and build awareness for future referrals.
Grow your Facebook community
This one seems like an obvious one, but it can sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Almost as a side-affect, you will notice an increase to your Facebook community when you use ads. There are also specific campaigns you can create to focus specifically on building your community.
There you have it. If you made it to the bottom of this post and are still interested in learning more, use the form below to contact me and I’d be happy to answer your questions. I can even schedule a demo to show you how it all works “under the hood.”
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