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Have you used LinkedIn Ads to recruit employees? You mean it’s not just for B2B marketing? Yeah, we’re talking about white collar recruitment on this week’s episode of the LinkedIn Ads Show.

Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Here’s your host, AJ Wilcox.

Hey there LinkedIn Ads fanatics. So Thomas Veraar, who is one of our loyal listeners, he’s also a LinkedIn rep out of Bulgaria, he reached out and suggested we talk about this topic. And it’s a really important topic, because it’s one that gets overlooked regularly. LinkedIn themselves in their marketing have gone all in on B2B. So these alternate cases where it’s technically B2C, they don’t really get much attention. Well, that changes today. We’re gonna go over recruiting and hiring. We’ll cover why it’s great to do on LinkedIn Ads, and exactly how to execute campaigns like this. First up, we have the news. Our last episode was all about the ad rotation settings and we had a listener, Laura Seery​, who’s the Senior Social Media Strategist out of the Marketing Practice in Seattle, Washington, she reached out and said, “I use rotate ads evenly for a week or so when adding new creatives to an existing campaign to give them a fair shake up against the top performing ads that were already there and let the algorithm learn about these new ads. Not sure how effective the strategy is, but it’s what I’ve always done.” And, Laura, I want to thank you, that’s a really cool use of even ad rotation. As you know, one of the biggest problems with the LinkedIn ad auction is that existing ad creatives are weighted much heavier in the auction, because their performance is already known to LinkedIn. And it’s less risky to keep showing ads that you’ve already shown before. So your usage here is actually really smart. It allows you to keep running existing creatives that have performed well and test something new into them. That said, I generally recommend against this, because when you launch new ad creatives, if there’s anything detracting from them, you won’t get data as fast. So my personal recommendation would always be to pause previous creatives when you launch new ones. But if you don’t want to do that, yours is actually the perfect approach. And as a reminder to everyone, please reach out to us I share the email address all the time on here, and I want you to use it. Reach out, let us know what you’re thinking about episodes. Let me know if there’s anything I missed. I also want to congratulate LinkedIn and their employees. Many of you may not know but May 5th this year, LinkedIn celebrated 20 years in business. So so cool. And Eric from our team, noticed that there was a layout change in the campaign creation process. As you go to select an objective, there are prettier buttons and icons that kind of draw your attention to what objective you’re going to care about most. And then when you get down to the ad formats, where you get to choose those, the buttons and icons are prettier there, too. So very cool, doesn’t change the functionality at all. But hopefully, it’s going to be a lot easier to draw our attention to the objective and the ad format that we want. drewva left a review on Apple podcast that says, “New to B2B marketing. I run a services firm that’s beginning our journey into the B2B Digital Marketing. AJs podcast has been a great source of learning and ideas. My entire marketing team is listening and using his techniques. We really appreciate the knowledge and value he is sharing. Thank you, AJ.” Well, Drew, I absolutely appreciate you sharing it with your team, the tips and tricks and secrets that I’m sharing. I absolutely love it when you share it with others. So thank you for the awesome review. And thanks for sharing it with your team and getting everyone listening. And everyone else I want to feature you here on the podcast as well. So leave us a review on Apple podcasts and I’d love to shout you out. Alright, with that being said, let’s hit it.

We’re talking about why LinkedIn Ads is actually good for recruiting? Well, first of all, LinkedIn really is at the core, a hiring platform. And I tend to fight against this concept a bit, because it’s a great platform to spend time and to learn and to grow professionally. But I can’t argue that it really started out as a job platform. In fact, up until 2013, when the newsfeed rolled out, it was only then that in my mind it legitimately became a place that you could actually spend time and interact socially. That was really when it actually became a social media platform in my mind. I recently had a friend reach out who was part of a reduction in force. He was let go from his company. And I got a chance to give him some advice for things that he could do on LinkedIn to help him find his next gig. And I couldn’t stop thinking about how much more effective it would have been for him to be active on LinkedIn already. And then it’s so much easier to find the right gig when you have a strong network and following. One of my favorite podcasters out there, Jordan Harbinger, he runs the Jordan Harbinger show. In every episode, he says, “Dig that well before you get thirsty” and I think this is a great analogy. Be active on LinkedIn. Build a personal and social brand so that when you need it, it’s there. It’s a lot harder to after the fact and say, oops, now’s the time when I need a job, I better go start getting active on LinkedIn. And there are some great hiring platforms out there and we’ve had the opportunity to work with many of them as clients. But none of them are as much of a no brainer to go to as LinkedIn when you’re looking to hire. This may not surprise many of you, but LinkedIn has a whole recruiter side of their business and it actually makes up the biggest part of LinkedIn is revenue. Before Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn, I used to listen to the quarterly earnings calls. And it stayed pretty steady, where LinkedIn revenue was made up about 60% by their recruiter side of the business. And then the ads business made up about 20 to 22%. And then 20%, more for Sales Navigator side of the business. So early days, that means that recruiter got a lot of LinkedIn’s attention. And it got the majority of the development and new features and all of that. So what is LinkedIn recruiter? Many of us may not know. Well, it’s an upgraded profile that recruiters can use to reach out and find people and ask if they’d be interested in exploring an employment opportunity. And as part of some of those LinkedIn recruiter packages, you also get some advertising spend, and ads management as part of it. And if you’re curious, this is actually where dynamic ads came from. They used to be an ad format that were specifically for recruiter and you may have seen some of them They put your picture in the ad, and they say, picture yourself at x company. And then Marketing Solutions got a hold of the ad format so now we can use them as spotlight ads and company follower ads. And we’ve gotten to see many of these campaigns. And if I’m being honest, they’re really not great. Usually, they select all the defaults, which we talk about regularly not being a good idea. And I get the feeling that the employees who actually build these campaigns don’t have a lot of real advertising experience on the platform. It makes sense if they spend most of their time in recruiter, they’re probably not ads people. Too many times to count, we’ve built competing campaigns to aid in recruiting and ours have always outperformed. So I feel pretty confident in saying that you as a marketer, you’re probably going to outperform your internal recruiters and your HR department by following the tips that I’m giving you today. Those of you who are recruiter users, you’ll notice that there’s some additional functionality for you in campaign manager now, like you have a whole objective called job applicants that we don’t really get to use. There are some other things in there as well, but we won’t get into it.

So let’s talk specifically about recruiter and why it’s good. One big plus that you have with recruiter is that the focus is on reaching those who are actively looking for a job. We call these active job seekers. And this makes sense. These are existing people who want what it is that you’re advertising, and you’re giving it to them, and they convert, pretty cool. I will say though, one of my favorite parts about using LinkedIn Ads is we can actually reach people who aren’t the active job seekers. And let me explain. The ones who aren’t active we call them passive candidates and passive candidates are gold. With active candidates, there’s always this question about why they’re currently unemployed. Is it possible that they’re difficult to work with or unproductive, or really any of those fears, and please don’t misunderstand me saying that active candidates are bad, and they’re not worth considering. They’re definitely not. There’s absolute gold there. It’s just that with these passive candidates, we get around a lot of these potential concerns, because we know that someone is already gainfully employed, and they’re passively considering their next gig. So if you go and make an offer to a passive candidate, lots of times, you’re the only one that they’re considering, and you don’t have to be bidding against anyone. As opposed to active job seekers, if they’ve been searching for a while, they probably have many other irons in the fire, so to speak. So you’ll be competing with a lot of other potential employers when you give them an offer. And if you do actually want to reach active candidates, you can do that, too. There’s a trait inside of LinkedIn Ads that allows you to reach those who are active job seekers. So you really can get the best of both worlds. Some campaigns targeting just passive and others targeting just active candidates. So there’s some awesome stuff about LinkedIn Ads. Native to the targeting, it allows us to target those who already have the right skills that would make them the perfect candidate for the job that we’re recruiting for. And you can also target the geography they have to be in this certain metro area. Plus, we can even target past job titles and past companies they’ve worked with, it really is ideal. Plus, the dirty little secret here is that recruiting is really a bottom of funnel kind of offer so it shouldn’t work well to cold audiences. But because the outcome is a step up in someone’s career, people actually respond really well. All, we tend to see high conversion rates, along with higher candidate quality that you just can’t get with other platforms. So that’s why I love using LinkedIn Ads for recruiting so much. Alright, here’s a quick sponsor break, and then we’ll dive into exactly how to execute hiring campaigns on LinkedIn.

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Alright, let’s jump into exactly how to go and execute these hiring campaigns. Execution here can be really simple. You just create a campaign that is targeting those with the skills and experience that you would require in a candidate. And your messaging can be pretty simple, too. The message could say something as simple as, “Hey, you look qualified for this position do you want to apply?” You can lead them to a job posting and collect resumes there, but we can go into more detail here about the options you have.

First off in targeting, this depends a lot on how many applicants that you need, and how widespread the skills are that you’re looking for. You can even consider how wide is this talent pool. So you can decide if you want to target very tight or a lot more broad. For instance, if I were looking for a highly technical role in my home state of Utah, and I can tell you that there are only like 2,000 people who fit that criteria, I’m probably going to target tightly around that specific technical skill set. And I’ll know because the audience is small, I’m probably only going to get a handful of applicants for it. Or maybe I’m looking for something like a marketing manager who can work remotely, I can then broaden my targeting to 10s, or hundreds of 1000s, maybe even millions. And I might be able to expect a flood of applicants, and I won’t have to bid as high to fill my budget there, too. I can also do a slow drip out to my ideal potential employees and get a slow and steady stream of applicants. This is really helpful for those companies who are always hiring, they’re always looking for good talent, you can just have the steady drip going on, that keeps bringing you great candidates. When I’m targeting wide, I like to use job function plus seniority, plus, obviously geography. If that’s too broad, you can tighten this up a little bit by layering on a skill, or groups, or interests. You may even want to layer on years of experience here. If however, you want to start doing some tight targeting, I really like to use job title plus geo. And you can even get that one tighter by requiring specific past employers or past job titles. And you can always use years of experience here as well. Did I miss any targeting tricks? Reach out to us at With how you actually message this, it can really be simple it can be whatever you want to say. I’d suggest messaging and an ad format that makes the job feel special and makes the candidate feel special that you’d be considering them as well. Initially, I’m thinking probably single image ads probably make the most sense. But I’ve seen a lot of recruiting also happen with text ads. So really, you can’t go wrong with whichever ad format you choose.

Let’s talk about the landing page experience. Because this is probably the most important part. If you send a potential candidate to your normal job requisition page that has a bunch of fine print that’s legally required, like must be able to lift 10 pounds and work in a dimly lit environment, then you’ve probably ruined the whole experience. It looks the same as everyone else’s position and now you’re being considered just like they would consider everyone else’s positions. Instead, consider this, you can definitely send to a page that has the traditional upload your cover letter and upload your resume. But that won’t perform as well as a page that makes the position feel special. And if you’re treating it more like lead generation than as a job application, it’s really going to stand out. Think maybe something like a page that has a video showcasing cool elements of your company culture. And maybe the hiring manager talking about the impact that this position is going to have. That kind of approach is really going to make your job stand out. And you could even use native lead gen forms to make the application process a little bit more simple, a little bit less friction prone. Maybe something like submit your name and email and we’ll get back to you to schedule a conversation. I wanted to share a really cool example of recruiting campaigns on LinkedIn to really show you what’s possible on the platform. We’ve gotten to implement this approach at real scale and we’ve spent over $30 million hiring on the platform. So I hope you’ll geek out with me for a minute to see what’s possible. We helped a particular hiring platform acquire candidates a few years back. They were specifically hiring software engineers. But there are so many different kinds of engineers out there. There’s Python, there’s Backend, there’s Front end, C++, Java, etc. So we built out a campaign for each programming specialty. Let’s say there’s 20 of those, but then we have three different ways that we can reach each of those developers. We can reach them by their job title, like Ruby Developer, we can reach them by something like a skill, like a Ruby on Rails skill. And we can also reach those who are in Ruby development groups. So now you do the multiplication and now we have 60 campaigns. But then we also had different geographies that we can target these top 10 cities that were mostly hiring these developers. So we broke all that out. So now we have 600 campaigns, but it didn’t stop there. Then we had different ad formats that we wanted to be able to use, we had text ads, we had sponsored content, dynamic ads, and sponsored messaging. So we built each one of these campaigns inside of each one of those ad formats. So now, if you do the math, there’s 2400 campaigns. And in the process of this, we found that the limit that campaign manager allows in an account was a bit over 1200 campaigns. The way we decided to do it was one account per ad format. So it was a lot of campaigns to manage. It was definitely a lot of ads, especially when we had to refresh ad creative once a month. But what this allowed us to do was to make micro adjustments at real scale. And it gave us incredible control over the account and the efficiency metrics. If the client all of a sudden came to us and said that database developers are not in demand right now, no problem, we just shut all of the campaigns off that we’re going after database people. If they came to us and said that demand for C++ developers was higher this week than it was last, we could go in and raise budgets, maybe 10% for each of the campaigns that were targeting C++ developers, and we can raise our bids a bit on them, too. At any time, we could go and pull data from LinkedIn and see based on click through rates, which programming discipline was most in demand that week, we could also determine quickly what level of competition was required to reach each of these specialties by looking at the CPCs. Or even looking at the floor bids for each of them. All of this is very quickly done with a pivot table in Excel. And if you’re curious about that, go check out episode 69. That was all about reporting outside of campaign managers platform.

So this wouldn’t be complete without telling you what to avoid and what not to do. First off, your position still has to be an interesting and competitive and alluring proposition. Don’t think that just because you’re advertising it on LinkedIn, that you can include a position with fewer benefits and noncompetitive pay, and somehow candidates are still going to come out of the woodwork. Advertising is always pouring fuel on a fire. And if there’s no fire to begin with, adding fuel just creates a flammable puddle on the ground. A big thanks to Dennis Yu for this analogy that I still think of and use all the time. But when the fire is already burning hot, pouring more fuel on, it just is going to make it a lot more impressive. We’ve covered this already, but don’t send traffic to a boring job rack, try to make the position feel special. And as always don’t use audience expansion. It’s just going to extend your reach to those who wouldn’t actually make great candidates. Make sure you’re bidding properly. Go back to Episode 89 all about bidding. The same exact approach is going to work here in recruiting as it does on B2B advertising. And really don’t do the stuff that I would normally tell you not to do all advertising on LinkedIn because it is so similar. All right, I’ve got the episode resources for you coming right up. So stick around

Thank you for listening to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Hungry for more? AJ Wilcox, take it away.

All right, here’s your resources. For this episode. We have the reporting episode ahat was episode 69. You’ll see that in the show notes as well. We also just mentioned the bidding episode that was episode 89. Just a few back but if you or anyone you know is looking to learn more about LinkedIn Ads, have them check out the course that I did on LinkedIn Learning with LinkedIn. It’s by far the lowest cost and the highest quality course out there at the moment. If this is your first time listening, welcome! We’re excited to have you here! If you like what you heard, hit that subscribe button. But if this is not your first time listening, if you are already a subscriber, please do me the honor of going out and reviewing us, especially on Apple podcasts. But I have heard some people reviewing us on Spotify as well. And I’d love to shout you out for doing that. With any questions, suggestions, or corrections on anything that I’ve purported to have said, reach out to us at And with that being said, we’ll see you back here next week. Cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.