Using Pay-Per-Click Advertising as a Tool to Attract Passive Candidates

While online sourcing brings definite benefits to recruitment campaigns, the sheer vastness of the World Wide Web means that sometimes it can be difficult to direct your focus and find the holy grail of top-tier candidates.


Have you ever considered pay-per-click advertising? Think of it this way.  Suppose someone searches Youtube for your company’s latest viral video or catchy commercial ad. While they originally searched for your videos because they were looking for some laughs and entertainment, they happen to see one of your pay-per-click ads on the side of the webpage promoting your hiring campaign. Now, this person may not be actively looking for a job, but they are clearly piqued to your company on a certain level, so they click on the ad…just out of curiosity. And voila, as a recruiter, you just caught the attention of a potential passive candidate simply because he or she expressed an interest in your company and then stumbled upon your ad.


Or take look at Facebook.  People love to broadcast themselves. They list their interests, their education, their jobs, and their favorites.  With PPC’s, you can tailor your job ads to target individuals whose profiles match the criteria you are seeking in a potential candidate.


Isn’t Pay-Per-Click for the Marketing Department?

Pay-per-click (PPC) is not limited to marketing and selling products – it can also open recruiting doors.  The same system that your own company may use to target relevant online consumers can also be used to help you source passive candidates.  Marketers use PPC because they can customize ad placements based on age demographics, geo-location, and search keywords – in other words, PPC allows them to concentrate their ads towards their actual target groups.  Well, if it’s all about reaching out to most likely consumers, then shouldn’t you be using it to find your most likely candidates?


By automatically filtering out browsers who don’t fit your criteria – for example, those who live out of town, don’t have the necessary academic or work backgrounds, or whose search keywords indicate that they are active candidates (such as “job, immediately, temporary”) – PPC technology can analytically narrow the number of prospective viewers to include only your ideal candidates. And because you pay for each of those clicks, you don’t want to waste your money on those who fall outside the scope of your target audience.


Effective sourcing means reeling in the best contenders.  Your efforts can be bogged down if you first have to waste your time plodding through a field of unqualified aspirants.   PPC is designed to lead you to an already pre-determined audience.


How does PPC work for Recruiters?

As recruiters, you already know who your target audience is – the challenge is where (and how) to find them. PPC advertising gives you the tools you need to easily and cost-effectively conduct comprehensive searches to find prospective applicants. It provides you with a short-cut, making sure that from the very beginning, your ads are only directed towards a relevant audience.  The system automatically analyzes each individual browser’s Internet activity, and matches it with your criteria; the ad impression appears only to this targeted group.  Your pre-screened audience can then click on the ad and arrive at the landing page, the webpage which directly correlates to your message – and where connections with the potential candidates are formed.


Your goal is to put your best foot forward to attract as many members of this audience as possible.  Using PPC, you can take advantage of the two interplaying elements of the ad and the landing page to increase your click-through-rates (CTR) – that is, the number of times people click on ad impressions – and ultimately, to maximize your conversion ratio.  The customizable features of PPC technology give you the flexibility to find the winning combination which will grab the attention of those sought-after candidates.


PPC ads are ROI-friendly, too.  Precisely because the ads are targeted, the majority of people who click on them are relevant candidates.  That means that even if they aren’t necessarily suitable or interested in your current job openings, you’ve at least registered on their radar screens – and they can sign up for your online talent community.  Consider the pennies you forked out for their click as a long-term investment.  You are that much closer to building a relationship with a top candidate, a connection that would not have been made were it not for your PPC ad. 



Whether you want to advertise a particular job or draw in new prospective applicants to your talent community, PPC technology can help you reach out to those passive potential applicants.  That’s because the system doesn’t target people who are necessarily looking for jobs; instead, it brings your ads directly to your ideal candidates.      


Instead of publishing your online ad in a general forum where it is not directed towards anybody in particular and can get lost in the constant internet noise, PPC advertising enables you to accurately concentrate your sourcing operations towards the specific group of people who meet your candidate requirements.   By beginning the sourcing process with a pre-screened potential candidate inventory, you have a better chance of getting browsers to click on your ads. 


Check out the next article in our PPC series where we discuss where you can publish your PPC ads, and what you need to know to make your ad succeed. 

Views: 741

Comment by Noel Cocca on October 9, 2011 at 1:10pm
Nice post Dana, I look forward to hearing more about this.
Comment by Ivan Stojanovic on October 11, 2011 at 6:23am

Hi Dana,

A very nice post! I would agree 100% with all. But…
since there always is a ‘but’. Two largest PPC channels – and I will not
mention them here since your next article is a about that both function as an
auction. So as long as you are in a niche industry and / or geography (or even finer
segmentation on the FB) you are likely to have a very few competitors to outbid
you. And that is fantastic. This is where ROI works well for you.

 The ‘But’ element comes into play when a few of you, and a
few is all it takes, drive the Price per Click up. Then you can forget your ROI.
Start searching where you can place your ads where there is less or no competition.


I presume you will reflect upon it in your next article





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