Have you considered using PPC (pay-per-click) advertising?

Dominating Google* search results pages, PPC adverts are splashed across the top and bottom of our screens. Now just imagine if some of those ads were promoting your organisation’s jobs.

  1. Piggyback off relevant events

You can use PPC recruitment advertising seasonally, or for one-off campaigns. Let’s say you’re recruiting software developers – arguably one of the most competitive fields for talent.

In this example, there’s a major industry conference taking place; we’ll call it ‘The UX Design & Development Event’. Ahead of this event, there are going to be a significant number of searches for these keywords – and many of them will be undertaken by the very tech talent that you want to source for your organisation.

Identify the keywords people would be using to search for the event, and set up a PPC recruitment advertising campaign around them. If you don’t have the skills in-house, there are many agencies who can support you and optimise your campaign for the best results.**

Once you’ve got your campaign set up, imagine the scene. Developers will be searching for ‘The Design & Development Event’ – and alongside ads promoting the conference, could also be this:

Bring your design & development skills to life at Company Inc
AD      www.company-inc.com/careers/tech
We’re looking for UX design & development specialists to join our team.

Opportunity for progression and competitive salary & benefits.
Search vacancies . About us . Contact . Apply now

As an added bonus, a campaign based around a particular event, is going to have a limited shelf life – and that means a more limited budget spent on PPC.

2. Bespoke keywords

In every industry, jargon abounds that no-one other than your colleagues can understand. From the technical terms that might as well be Klingon to abbreviations you couldn’t hazard a guess at, the roles for which you’re recruiting will come with their own unique vocabulary.

Now, we’re not advocates of slinging jargon around needlessly – and it’s never a good idea to stuff a job description full of gobbledygook that might put off potential candidates.

But, in a PPC recruitment advertising context, less common search terms can be a really good thing. Why?

Well, less people will be searching for them – which doesn’t necessarily sound like a positive. But when you then add in that less searches equals a lower spend and a lower competitor presence, it starts to make a little more sense.

And the beauty of niche keywords is that although a large number of people won’t be searching for these terms, those that are may be relevant potential candidates.

  1. Own brand advertising

It is sensible to allocate some PPC budget to own brand advertising – so when people search for your organisation’s name, an advert for your website will pop up as well as your organic search listing.

This is important because it protects you from silly search errors. For example, let’s say your company name is ‘Company Inc’. You’d also want to make sure you showed up in searches for ‘Company Ink’. Or perhaps someone’s fingers have slipped on the keyboard, and they’ve ended up searching for ‘Companu Inc’.

Bidding on a few miss-spelt or alternative versions of your company name can help to maximise your exposure and ensure even more candidates find your careers site.

But you must be mobile!

The rate of mobile searches is continuing to grow. As such, it’s vital that your careers site is mobile optimised. No matter how compelling your PPC ad’s Call to Action, nor how prominent its position, if a potential candidate lands on a poorly optimised site, the drop-off rate is likely to be high.

Don’t risk losing potential candidates; invest in your careers site before you invest in a PPC recruitment advertising campaign.

Find out more

3 ways to measure recruitment software ROI

How to reduce your recruitment advertising spend

How an ATS can improve your screening process


*Other search engines are, of course, available; this is not an endorsement of Google       **We cannot recommend any particular agencies

About the author

Tristan Potter

Tristan has a decade's worth of experience writing content and copy for organisations across Bristol and the Southwest of England. He has written on a diverse range of topics, including technology, philosophy, politics, and recruitment. His writing has appeared in The Drum, HR Grapevine, and The Guardian, among other publications. He joined Hireserve in March 2022.