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Social Media Advertising for Talent Acquisition

A Comparative Report 📈 on what results to expect when using Facebook advertising for recruiting

One of the biggest trends in recruitment during past couple of years has been the use of Facebook and other social media platforms to attract talent. Today companies across the globe are exploring creative ways to showcase their brand in front of millions of potential candidates.

 

Talkpush works with some of the leading companies in the world and we have been regularly partnering with them on maximizing social media souring across different geographies like North America, LatAm, APAC and EMEA. With this unique access to the advertising data across multiple geographies, we wanted to share the results from different advertising strategies & objectives that would benefit the broader talent acquisition community.

The analysis that we present in this report is derived from 995 Facebook ad campaigns that were carried out during the period 2018–2019 with total spend exceeding $250K!

Below is a summary of our key findings:

Advertising Objective: (If you are a Facebook ads newbie, Ad Objectives are set up when you begin the process of creating a new ad campaign. There are quite a few options to choose from and each “objective”, as the term suggests, translates to the outcome expected from the ad campaign. Read more about Ad Objectives here)

As the chart shows, the most commonly used Objective in our Talent Acquisition advertising campaigns is Lead Generation. This objective particularly popular because it allows advertisers to collect personal information like name, phone number and email of your audiences, plus any other info you want to capture. Since recruitment sourcing teams constantly look for ways to grow their talent pool, this type of ad is a no-brainer for recruitment. It offers a direct ROI to your ad budget - You spend X, you get Y leads! Since these are leads that you can qualify based on info you collected, it also helps to know which all respondents are likely to convert.

Pro Tip: Keep the Lead Ad form simple and short — i.e. apart from Name, Email, Phone and Location, any custom questions should be used to collect “minimum” qualification criteria only.

A typical Lead Ad form set up for recruitment

Costs per Result & Cost per Lead:

Of course for any advertiser (and especially in the recruitment marketing game), you want to keep track of how your investments are yielding the leads. These cost metrics often depend on a variety of factors from ad objectives to the quality of the ad. Lets take a closer look:

a. Geography: Probably the biggest factor when it comes to CPL calculation is the geography you are operating in. At each end of the chart below, you have the US (highest at more than $15 per lead) and APAC (below $1 per lead) - a 20x cost difference!

Facebook says that CPL (Cost per Lead) calculation is usually based on the number of advertisers within the market and their willingness to pay more, indicating the differing baseline spends in each geographies.

But apart from the geography, there are other factors affecting Cost per Lead as well:
b. Industry: Considering the supply-demand relationship, industries with higher demand of hires with lower supply of talents may lead to a costly lead OR vice versa. So, if you are trying to source for candidates for a highly skilled job, chances are your cost per lead will be significantly high.

c. Advertising Objective: As you can understand each ad objective focuses on generating different results — some ads drive clicks, likes & shares to your page, or some (lead ads) generate tangible leads. So, while Cost per Result (CPR) is interchangeable with Cost per Lead (CPL) for a lead ad, it isn’t that straightforward for others.

These other Ad Objectives are measure either by # of clicks, # of views, etc. — which means even if you have a call-to-action embedded in the ad (and even if the ad is getting all the clicks in the world meaning great CPR), in reality only 10% of those clicks (often less) will actually convert into a tangible “lead” (a Lead here is a person you can contact later), so not so great CPL ☹

d. Ad Quality: Another no-brainer; the more interesting your ad is (i.e. viral element of your ad), it will start getting a wider reach & reaction for a way low spend of money than another ad (a crappy one) that you really have to spend a fortune to put in front of people.

e. Ad Experience: Better leads are generated when the audience experience is seamless and native. That is why Lead ad is the top pick in the market. Completing a Sign Up form “within” Facebook (with an uninterrupted Facebook Browsing experience) is more convenient for the user than being redirected to a web page “outside” of Facebook. Similarly, a FB Messenger or WhatsApp Ad that takes the candidate into a conversation with the brand (and of course the ad should set this expectation before the candidate clicks the call-to-action button) tends to get a continued interaction in next hours and days from the initial interaction.

But, let’s be straight. Having a lower CPL doesn’t mean that your ads achieved a great ROI for your business. You might get a solid 1000 leads for $1000 but ending up with 0 eventual conversions. Apart from this, you may also notice some of your ads eating up all the budget while others are not even spending the specified budgets. This is why there is a need for a closer look on Ad Targeting.

According to Facebook, a target audience that’s too narrow may reduce your chances of spending your budget. A high-quality audience that has less targeting constraints may help increase spend and reduce the cost per optimization event. (If you are a Facebook Advertising newbie, here’s an infographic showing all the ad targeting options)

Improving the quality of your target audience makes it easier for Facebook to find the right results and increases the relevancy of your ads. This not only increases your change for a better reach, but also helps you compete in auctions (when your bids compete with other players). Read more here on what you can do to improve the quality of your ad targeting here

 

Facebook Advertising vs. Facebook Boosted Posts:
In the course of our social media efforts, we have also come across countless customers who tend to confuse Boosted Posts with Facebook Advertising. We’d often hear customers say, “Yes I am doing advertising on Facebook — I boost posts!”.

Well, both are NOT the same😏 — there are some fundamental differences between the two, and we wrote about them in one of our older posts. But since this notion is still very much alive, let’s go over them once more:

Boosted post is the “basic advertising” you can do on Facebook. While it contains some aspects of the extended advertising model, it is limited in terms of audience targeting and CTA (call to action). The objective of a Boosted Post is to increase Brand Awareness and Reach for an EXISTING POST. It’s an easy process to “Boost” an existing post — all that needs to be done is to click a button, select the audience, specify the budget and submit. And once Facebook approves this request, the post starts to get visible to a larger audience. Boosted posts are typically used when the goal is to achieve audience engagement for a POST such as post likes, shares and comments.

Now, while boosting a post may be stretched as an ad, Facebook Ads are created through Ads Manager and offer more advanced customization solutions — in other words, Facebook Ad is the “improved” way of advertising. It is more detailed and targets ads to audiences based on their location, demographic and online information. Unlike boosted posts, several CTA can be used in Facebook Ads which will guide the audience on what would be their next step after seeing the post. Mostly used CTAs for job posts are “Apply Now” and “Sign Up”!

Equally important is the freedom to choose from different objectives to focus on, to reach various business goals and to customize the audiences that are likely to convert. The said objectives help to (1) encourage interested people to purchase or use the product or service, (2) generate interest on the product or service, or (3) get people to start thinking about the business and look for more information about it.

In short, Facebook ads has so much more in store for online marketers! Contrary to Boosted Posts, Facebook Ads can only be created inside the Ads Manager account. It helps advertisers to coalesce Facebook marketing efforts across different businesses. This platform has the capability to publish and monitor ads and manage assets such as Facebook Page, image/video library, etc..

Still unclear?Take a look at our quick comparison on key differences between a Boosted Post and a Facebook Ad:

Battle Royale: Facebook Boosted Posts vs. Facebook Ads!

So, what’s the ideal advertising strategy?
If the goal is to reach a larger number of people to advertise an existing post, “Awareness ads” could be used (that’s more likes, comments and shares). However, if the you want some immediate tangible leads, “Lead ads” would be the best option.

 

Also, for long-term goals there is NO one objective and in those cases, you have to combine different objectives. You need to have your own distributed strategy on what / how you will publish your ads. For context, some companies invest 70% of their budget on lead generation ads and 30% on brand awareness, while some others may do the complete opposite.

 

Key Takeaways:
a. This study focuses on using Facebook Ads for Talent Acquisition efforts. These results / stats might differ widely for other verticals.
b. Invest in some trial and error to determine what your best social media advertising strategy is.
c. CPL depends on how many advertisers are there in the market and how much money you are willing to spend
d. Boosted posts =/= (not equal to) Facebook Ads. If you have been just doing boosted post, its time you shifted to real Facebook Ads!

Facebook Advertising can often become quite complex and overwhelming. Let us know if you need a consultation within one of our Social Media Experts.


Talkpush is the new way employers and candidates connect all over the world. We believe hiring is about starting conversations; and are on a mission to level up the recruitment experience.

If you like what you read, share using #Letthetalenttalk or #levelup and don’t be shy with your 👏👏👏 If you’d like to know more about this new feature or our products in general, you can schedule a demo here.

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