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How to Use Paid Advertising to Attract Great Talent

PPC has a big role to play in winning the war for talent.

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BY Bryan Adams - 12 Jul 2018

How to Use Paid Advertising to Attract Great Talent

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Finding great people to join your business isn't getting easier. So it's important to explore all available strategies when needing to attract talent to your business. One of those strategies, in my opinion, gets overlooked all too often. And that's Pay Per Click advertising, or PPC.

I recently sat down with Marc Spear, head of inbound at my employer brand agency here in the UK, to discuss why PPC needs to be higher on the agenda when businesses are looking to recruit.

"When people think of paid advertising in the world of talent attraction, their minds jump straight to online job boards or digital recruitment agencies," he says. "But PPC is much more effective and exciting than these more traditional channels."

"Brands spend millions on job boards each year, with the average cost-per-hire in the UK around 2,000 ($2600) in 2017. Paid advertising offers the ultimate alternative to job boards with its great targeting methods and a variety of platforms. It isn't just paying to drive traffic to your careers site."

Paid advertising puts relevant content in the form of ads in front of both the active and passive candidates that are most likely to convert into an applicant. By running a well-built PPC campaign you can bypass traditional job boards and put your job ads in front of your ideal candidate, whether they're searching for jobs on Google, using social media or browsing the internet, and even when they aren't actively looking for jobs.

There are four basic types of PPC to consider, and here's why you should be using them next time you need to recruit.

1. Paid Search

For many, search engines are the first stop when it comes to looking for a new job. A well-managed paid search campaign will get your available roles right in front of high-quality candidates.

Paid search involves targeting ads by bidding on keywords that your candidates will be searching with. Using the right targeting, bid, and relevant advert creative, your roles appear in front of them. To ensure this happens, create a search campaign based on keyword research around your roles. Create engaging search ads that will drive traffic to your site.

2. Paid Social

Social media channels are the perfect way to interact with and attract passive candidates to your website. The average person spends up to two hours a day on social media and nearly 30% of their time online is spent on the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. If you're not reaching people across social channels, then you're missing out.

Use social ads to reach your ideal candidates. Social ad platforms offer their own targeting criteria, so use them to place engaging ads in front of them based on characteristics and demographics such as their age, location and interests.

3. Display Advertising

Display ads are the classic creative banner ads you see on websites when you're browsing the internet, and if you want to reach your candidates on a large scale, then display advertising is the ideal tool for this.

You can target display ads through the Google display network. With this platform offering the chance to target by the type of content the audience view, their behaviours, their demographics or even whether they're actively currently looking for a job, you can be really precise with the types of candidates you are looking for. The more information you have from your candidate personas, the better this targeting becomes.

4. Retargeting

Retargeting is a must. With attention spans shorter than ever, whether you're hiring one candidate or one thousand, the need to recapture a candidate's attention has never been more important.

Through audience segmentation, you can show ads to candidates that visit the specific pages of your career site but don't go on to apply with persuasive advertising creative designed to encourage them back to complete their application.

Whilst PPC is long-established as a technique to help grow a consumer base, make sure you're taking advantage of what it can offer when you're seeking to recruit.

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