Target Job Ads to the Right Candidates – Think Like an Online Marketer

By Jenn Steele - Sep. 18, 2014
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If you’ve got open positions in your company, start thinking like a marketer. Your job ads are just that — advertisements. If you place your ads right, you’ll get the people you want, and you won’t have to do it all over again in two months. If not, you might waste your time with candidates who just aren’t right for the job. In order to find those perfect candidates, you have to start thinking like an online marketer. Do the same stuff marketers do, and your ads will bring the right candidates to you.

1. Who’s Your Ideal Candidate?

Start by thinking about the perfect candidates for the job. What do you like so much about them? Do they come to work early? Leave late? Are they willing to make the coffee for everyone else? Whatever it is, write those traits down, because you’re going to need them. Your ideal candidate is the person you’re talking to in every job ad.

Now that you know something about the candidate of your dreams, you need to think about the nightmare candidate. That’s the person who you absolutely do not want in your office under any circumstances. It’s important to figure out what you can’t stand about this person so you can write your ad in a way that repels him or her.

2. Choose Your Keywords

Once you know who you want and who you’re trying to scare away, it’s time to write the ad. Choose keywords that will appeal to the people they’re supposed to appeal to. You might also want to check Google’s free Keyword Planner so you can see what people are looking for. That way, you can put your keywords in the right places so your listing gets near the top of Google’s search results.

3. Places to Advertise

Speaking of Google, a good number of people — over 100 million — start their job search by looking on Google. That’s why your keyword placement is so important. Make sure you put your keyword in the title and first and last paragraphs of your ad. Mix it up a little by putting similar keywords in the body of the ad, but don’t overdo it. If more than about 2 percent of your ad is keywords, Google won’t like you very much and won’t put your ad listing anywhere where people can find it.

Google also offers a paid option for people who really want to have their advertisements at the top of search results. It’s called Sponsored Links, and it’s worth looking into if you want to recruit top candidates. Just sign up with Google AdWords to take advantage of this program. Basically, you pay for sponsored links, and Google puts them on top of search results for relevant keywords.

Similarly, some of the big job boards let you sponsor listings. This is even better than using Google because people who are on a job board are actively looking for a job, so when they see your listing first, they’re likely to check it out. These job boards offer sponsored listings:

  • Simply Hired: One of the biggest job boards, with over 30 million job seekers.
  • Indeed: This board is used by over half the job seekers in the United States. and do not offer sponsored listings.

4. List Jobs on Social Media

You may find a large market for your recruitment efforts on social media. LinkedIn can be especially good for this because it’s a social media site for businesses. In some ways, it’s like a giant job board. People connect with company owners and network to get jobs via LinkedIn all the time.

LinkedIn also offers a sponsored content program called Sponsored Jobs. When you pay for sponsored jobs on LinkedIn, candidates who meet your specifications will see your job listing in their news feeds. Some people are turned off by sponsored listings; hopefully, your nightmare candidates are among them, and your dream candidates are delighted to see your advertisements in their feeds.

Facebook and Twitter also have sponsored post options. Depending on your market, you might consider these. If you’re looking for younger, more tech-savvy recruits, any of the three social media platforms may do, depending on where your target candidates hang out online.

The bottom line is that you have to figure out who you want to work with, what sites they visit, and what interests them, then write and post ads they’re going to see. If you do it right, you’ll attract your dream candidates, repel your nightmare ones, and get the right person for the job every time.


Jenn Steele

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