The Society of Women Engineers, the National Black MBA Association, the Society for Human Resource Management, the American Accounting Association. What do all these and similar groups have in common?
They put on annual conferences or other types of gatherings for their members. In addition to these orgs’ large national events, there are thousands of other regional and local meetings that take place all over the country in many different industries. What’s more, each event has a concentrated number of highly qualified professionals. In one room. At one time.
What if you could take advantage of these turnouts of high-value potential candidates?
Have you ever reviewed the locations you’ve visited on your smartphone? It’s amazing, and maybe a little scary, how much our phones know about where we’ve been and what we’ve done. Discomfort aside, a location beacon has long enabled marketers to send ads to our phones.
Recruiters, too, can use this tactic to connect with specialized talent. For example, an accounting firm seeking to recruit CPAs can target attendees of relevant conferences, expos, trade shows, etc. People who go to such events are especially desirable candidates since their presence suggests that they like to keep up with industry trends.
You can extend this same practice to general and specialized job fairs, or even sporting games, community fairs, car shows, and other social and entertainment events — basically, anywhere that the talent you want will be present.
Seeking a younger, diverse audience? Target professional soccer games. Want to reach college grads? Target graduation ceremonies.
Article Continues Below
OK, but how can you ensure that event-targeting ad campaigns work effectively?
With the same basic principles you would use with any marketing campaign:
- Have a compelling message.
- Have strong creative that leverages your brand, or better, your people.
- A/B test different messages; don’t be afraid to present a non-traditional recruitment message alongside a traditional one.
To measure ROI — aside from counting the number of job applications you receive during the campaign and in the several weeks or even months after – review your site analytics for:
- Overall traffic/visits to your career page. Compare your average monthly traffic (unique and total visits) before and during the campaign. Also compare year-over-year traffic to get an even broader picture.
- Search traffic. Compare how much of your website traffic came from searches of your company name paired with job/career-related terms.
Meanwhile, it’s important to recognize that, like any other advertising, there is no guarantee of results. Your message/brand might not be strong enough to interest passive candidates, especially if they are relatively happy where they are. Or, it may be very difficult to measure campaign results, since you may not know whether your campaign was the first point of contact for your applicants. Additionally, candidates may not make a move until many months after seeing your campaign. But at least they are making a move!