Should you invest in PPC for recruitment advertising?

by in Digital, Recruitment Marketing, Talent Attraction

Recruitment agencies spend a lot of their time and budget advertising jobs on various job boards and quite often overlook other forms of investing in recruitment advertising. There are various reasons behind this behaviour, from budget limitations to a lack of knowledge on how to run paid campaigns or even limited awareness of the benefits PPC can bring the recruitment industry.

So, what is PPC advertising and how can your recruitment agency use it within its recruitment marketing strategy?

PPC advertising

Let’s focus on two of the most popular options for digital advertising – PPC campaigns on Google and social media.

PPC stands for Pay Per Click, which means that you will pay a set amount of money every time someone clicks on your advert. The price per click varies depending on the platform you decide to use, your targeted audience, or even the time of day or day of the week, amongst many other factors. You can usually get the estimated costs beforehand making it easier for you to set up your plan and control your overall budget.

Target the right people

Recruiters don’t usually consider PPC for recruitment advertising, missing an effective opportunity to reach new candidates. With a PPC campaign you can select a set of keywords to bid on, how much you want to spend on the campaign and even which geographical location the job advert is going to be displayed. This is a very effective method as you can decide when and where your ad is going to be displayed. You have better control of who can see your job offer which will give you better conversions and interactions from the users that see your advert.

Job adverts on Google

Some recruiters might think that it’s too expensive and competitive to advertise their jobs on Google and that there is no chance of winning against the big job boards. However, when we did our own keyword research to find out how expensive it can be, we found that what most recruiters fear it’s not usually the case. As an example, if we take the keywords ‘accounting jobs’ or ‘engineering jobs’ the cost is £0.37 and £0.47 respectively, which is not a bad price considering that these are very generic phrases. In some of our campaigns we achieved a conversion rate of 8%-23%, driving the right candidates to the website, who in turn are keen to apply for jobs, subscribe to job alerts or just browse the services on your website.

Invest in PPC Recruitment Advertising

How can recruiters use PPC?

If you are a recruitment agency that specialises in a niche market, your keyword competitiveness and cost might be even lower than you expect. With many jobseekers starting their job search on Google this is the right platform to reach more candidates.

By using Google adverts you can also retarget users that visit your website, redirecting them back to it or to specific job description pages. For example, you can send a ‘Software Developer Job’ advert to users who performed searches on your website related to this job.

Job adverts on social media

Another good platform to get more candidates is social media. Most people have a social account on more than one platform nowadays. According to Statista there are 2.62 billion social network users around the globe with dominating 2,234 million active Facebook users (April 2018, Statista). Similarly, to Google, these platforms collect all kinds of data about their users, allowing you to target people with specific interests and skills.

Advertising on LinkedIn

The biggest social platform used in recruitment is LinkedIn. It offers a separate feature for recruiters where you can both post job offers, search for candidates and then send them direct messages. If you are a recruiter there is a high chance you are already using this. However, there is a different way you can display job adverts to LinkedIn users by using sponsored content. With this type of PPC advert you can also target candidates with specific skills or experience and drive them to your job description page. Although effective, this form of advertising can also be quite expensive.

Advertising on Facebook

From previous experience and campaign analysis, we identified that Facebook PPC is a very effective platform for reaching jobseekers. In a recent campaign we ran to attract more candidates to a job search website, we paid £0.20 per click with a 5.6% conversion. It means that nearly 6% of users who clicked on the advert, took a desired action on our career website.

Recruitment advertising to source candidates

Where advertising on job boards is a very good strategy to attract active job seekers, PPC for recruitment advertising on social media or retargeting Google ads allow you to reach passive candidates. These candidates might not necessarily search for new job opportunities every day but might be willing to send their CV if they spot a good job opportunity.

Useful tips for your PPC recruitment advertising

  • If you want to advertise on Google you will need a Google Account;
  • Before you start creating your PPC recruitment campaign, do some research about the audience size and type you want to reach;
  • If you advertise on Google check specific keywords popularity and their competitiveness;
  • Try to target users who search for longer key phrases, for example ‘software developer jobs London’;
  • When you drive people to your landing page make sure the content is relevant to your advert. It will increase the chances of further interactions from users who will apply for a job or register;
  • Add monetary value to your conversions in Google Analytics, this will make it easier to analyse your ROI.

Targeting searches and people with specific skills maximises the chances of receiving job applications from the right candidates. This is a good method to not only get more applications to your jobs but also as a way to increase your brand awareness.