Add LinkedIn PPC to Your Sourcing Toolbox


Publishing your job openings as pay-per-click (PPC) ads on LinkedIn offers an extensive reach to a career-centric audience (earlier this year, its user-base reached the 150 million mark). As opposed to other popular PPC ad host sites like Google and Facebook, LinkedIn’s members are more likely to list their professional background and qualifications. This is crucial in the sourcer’s version of the PPC game, because the more relevant information at your disposal, the better you can target passive candidates.

LinkedIn allows you to produce multiple ad campaigns, and up to 15 variations of any given one. This enables you to engage in split-testing, also known as A/B testing, to determine which set of headlines, call-to-actions or image leads to the best click-through-rate (CTR).

Target your Ad Campaign

To set up an ad, sign into LinkedIn, hover over the “Home” tab, click on “Ads” and then “New ad campaign” on the upper right side.


Create an ad name that easily recalls the content, and add a landing page, an external webpage which directly relates to the message in your ad (i.e. not your homepage). Getting people to click is half the battle – you also need to improve your conversion rate, and ensure that they either apply or register for your online talent community. Next, work your creative magic and compose a headline (25 letters maximum) and a description (up to 75 letters), and upload a relevant image.

Once you’ve got the actual ad ready to go, it’s time to choose your audience.


The three primary categories that you can determine include everything job-related, such as a member’s job description/job title/industry/function/current employer.  You do not need to limit yourself to one selection, but can choose many to be sure that you cover all of your bases (for example, if you are looking for a Java developer, you can also include ‘software developer,’ ‘Web developer,’ Senior Java developer,’ etc.). Be aware that the ad will appear only to those who are currently working as whatever job title you select. And don’t be afraid to target those who work for your competitors!

You can also choose certain locations, depending on if the vacancy is in a specific city, or if there is a remote work option. And you can focus on people in LinkedIn groups, like the ‘Java Developers of Albuquerque’ (note: not an actual group name).

Make Every Penny Count

With the Daily Budget feature, LinkedIn automatically stops posting your ads once your prearranged budget for the day is reached.


Your headline and call-to-action message should be clear and compelling, with a high CTR. This is your chance to reel in your audience – be sure to include a relevant image that is not too busy, but which attracts attention. Keep in mind that your ad is facing off with other ads on the same webpage, potentially those of your competitors. Differentiate yourself from them, and spell out YOUR qualities.

Also, consider marketing something other than job openings, with more of a focus on general employer branding. Remember, the best candidates are, for the most part, passive candidates who are already employed. While you want to draw attention to your career opportunities, they might not be interested in hearing about specific vacancies at this point – so find a different way to grab their attention. Advertise general employee perks, fun workplace environment, a spectacular industry achievement of one of your employees – basically, anything that speaks wonders of your employer brand, and makes it clear why your organization is a great place to work. This will pique their interest, and drive them to apply to your talent community.

As we explained above, the great part about using PPC ads on LinkedIn is that since it is a social network specifically for a professional audience, people are sure to publicize their qualifications and experience, making the targeting an easier and efficient way to focus on particular talent pools.

Measure the conversion ratios by clicking on the ‘Ad Campaigns,’ and getting a fuller picture of your PPC history, including number of leads, CTR numbers and percentages, and total money spent. Don’t be afraid to change text, images or times of day the ads is displayed in order to maximize your budget AND reach your target audience.

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