We’ll be honest: running a recruitment ad campaign isn’t rocket science. Then how is it that so many of these campaigns fail to hit their target? That can happen for a number of different reasons, but a lot of it just comes down to skipping steps and not following up once your campaign is running. That’s why we thought it would be good to take you through 10 tips that can improve your recruitment ad campaign… and maybe recommend some secret ingredients that will take it to the next level. Let’s begin!
1. Map your target
First things first: who do you want to show this to? Mapping your target seems like an obvious step for any operation, but it’s important to map this early on, and define it clearly. Do you know your candidate and what they are looking for? Stepping into their shoes will help you decide on how every step of the process should look.
One thing that can help is to set up a persona. This is always a good starting point as it will force you to describe the base factors that constitute your target. This will help shape your campaign and determine where you’ll need to run it. Based on the persona, make an outline of where your target is likely to be found and set up a channel mix. Will social media be effective? Or do you need to be on Google Ads and target search advertising instead?
Leave no room for doubt or interpretation here if you want your campaign to be as effective as possible. After all, your description will determine everything about your campaign, from images to text and even the design of your corresponding web pages.
2. Write spectacular ad copy
Language is everything! Break your message down to its bare bones and make sure every word strikes the right nerve.
- The first two sentences are the most important ones: use these for your “sizzle statement”, the lines that describe why your company is different. Don’t say: “Company X is a trucking firm that made 100M in revenue last year.”, but make it: “We at Company X send out 150 trucks daily to deliver up to 1M tons of goods to our clients every month.”. This hooks your reader and gets them to read on.
- Fine-tune your message and pick a few words that you think are essential. We’d go for the job title, perhaps the salary, or a unique part of the task description. Make sure these come back in all of the variations you write. A tip: “Work remotely from Tahiti” always does the trick. We’re only half kidding by the way, remote work is an excellent point to include in your copy!
- Humor and twists can be used as a weapon in copy. Not taking yourself too seriously can attract attention. If you’re open to using humor, make sure you test it on actual people to see if your jokes actually work.
- Beware the character limits… no use doing all this work if your text gets cut off.
Take the time to get this right, maybe even hire a pro to do it. Because after all, first impressions are forever, especially when it comes to recruitment.
3. Work company culture into it
Boring ads will get you boring candidates… so why not work some company culture into it? An ad can have some character!
- Show them people working at your company and the reality of working there,
- Share your message externally in the same way that you would share it internally,
- Include particularities that make your company unique to let the vibe shine through.
There are countless ways to do this, and many of them are neither right nor wrong. If it feels good to you and faithful to your company spirit, just go for it.
4. Use relevant graphics
Please don’t keep reusing that one picture you have that includes a colleague who left 5 years ago. And please make sure it’s not the old font on top of it, or the old brand colors. This goes for all of your channels and all of your advertising products: make sure that all of your external graphics are uniform, current, and relevant to the person seeing them.
- No unrealistic situations: if your company rarely has meetings of more than 4 people, don’t show a full meeting room in job ads.
- Stay up to date on the news: if your branch of industry suddenly needs to wear mouth masks, then limit using visuals that don’t have them.
- Try to avoid using stock photography. It usually doesn’t transmit much feeling and character and tells people nothing extra about your company. If you have some budget for a photo or video shoot (see next point), go for it.
- Hire a designer or have all materials made by the same person consistently. This ensures a uniform style!
There are many more things to look out for, but these are the most important points.
5. Be aware of the power of video
Back to that video shoot we just mentioned. Video ads have a positive ROI in a whopping 86% of cases, and that’s just one of many incredible numbers associated with moving images. Why? Because video is a relatively new thing for online advertising, and most people’s advertising radar hasn’t caught up yet. As a result it’s still possible to capture the attention and draw people in, a feat that is becoming increasingly harder to pull off with still images. Creating a set of branded videos may be just the thing your job campaign is missing! And they’re not even expensive or hard to produce.
6. Hashtags aren’t just decorative
Why are we still seeing hashtags everywhere? Because they work, of course! A unique and relevant hashtag can really add something extra to your campaign, here are some examples. One thing to keep in mind is that “running” a hashtag requires your involvement. You have to look around, listen and reply to the conversation when people are using your hashtag. Once people notice that using the hashtag has an actual effect, its use will spread.
An example: get all your employees to add #WorkAtXXX to their social media posts when it has anything to do with work. This will create a living directory in which prospective candidates can see what life at the company is like. And with social media being social media, of course chances are it will be a positive story.
7. Repetition works
Even when you think people have heard your message a thousand times, someone somewhere will still be hearing it for the first time. And others who are hearing it for the tenth time will probably never forget about it. Repetition can feel counterintuitive as you’re the one who’s seeing all these pieces of content one by one and placing yourself in the position of your audience, thinking you’d get bored.
But honestly, there’s a reason why big companies like Nike or Coca-Cola never change slogans. “Just do it” and repeat your message over and over! We’re not saying you should never, ever change it up, but make sure you give every message proper time to be absorbed and internalized by your target.
8. Make sure ad and landing pages are well aligned
This feels small, but it’s a big one in your advertising flow. What the ad sells is what people expect to see when they click it. If you click on an advertisement for a UX designer job, and land on the “about” page of the company, then you’ll feel cheated. And you’ll realize that this company really does need a good UX designer.
Lots of little details contribute to this: if you use a picture of a person on a horse, horse enthusiasts will click it thinking the ad is relevant to their interests. If they don’t see anything about horses or horse riding on your website, they’ll leave and (probably) never come back. What you see should be what you are getting!
9. Collect data and optimize accordingly
Once your campaign is up and running, the real work starts. Dive into the data and go through your ad metrics to find out how your ads are performing. The most important ad metrics to look at are:
- Click-through rate (CTR); the percentage of people that click on your ad.
- Clicks; the number of clicks is not the same as the CTR: it tells you in absolute numbers how many people clicked.
- Impressions; how many people actually see your ad
- Number of conversions; the number of people that actually apply after seeing or clicking the ad. To track conversions, you’ll need to set up a so-called “tracking pixel” that can follow a user’s actions on your website. A custom landing page after submitting an application is a second option that will show you how many visitors converted.
Once you have these numbers, you can start figuring out which parts of your campaign are working, and perhaps discontinue the ones that aren’t. You can compare visuals of top-performing content and see if they have anything in common. You can compare copy, locations where ads are shown, time of day, … everything. In time you’ll get a picture of what works for you, and what doesn’t.
10. Automate where possible
The last point on this list but one that is too often forgotten about: automation. Please, please, please: do yourself a favor and automate part of your job advertising campaigns. These things can be done by computers now. In fact, Wonderkind’s Talent Attraction Technology has been built specifically for the purpose of social media job advertising. It automatically builds targeted ads that will get you up to 5 times as many qualified candidates. All of the data from your ad campaigns is collected automatically and presented to you in an easy-to-use dashboard full of reports. Again, no sweat there.
This technology is so advanced that it will even deliver you the illusive passive candidate, the one who isn’t looking for a new job. Stop worrying about your recruitment campaigns and contact us today!