Finding Candidates with Facebook’s Ad Targeting

I have to admit, when I first dipped my toes into the recruitment marketing space, I was unsure of how my employee value prop would be put to good use. At the time I was an entry-level marketing employee with something not many others on that level have: a deep, working knowledge of social media advertising. As ahead-of-the-pack this experience put me, I still had my limits.

All of my knowledge was built on the foundation of marketing tangible goods to consumers. Most of the practice I had in placing ads prior to entering recruitment marketing were for clients who were in the pizza business, marketing to the small communities that they served. From my perspective at the time, Facebook‚Äôs ad manager was primarily built for B2C marketers. Maybe it‚Äôs this very belief that has held your company back from trying out social media advertising in the recruitment space.

But here’s the thing—I was wrong and so are you.

Facebook‚Äôs ad targeting is broken down into three categories: basic info (location, age, gender, language); connections (people who are 1-2 degrees connected to you via your page or app); and then detailed targeting.

Let’s focus on the detailed targeting.

Detailed targeting is the grouping name that Facebook gives to four categories: demographics, interests, behaviors, and more.

When I first began working in the Facebook ad manager, I primarily used interests. What‚Äôs a good way to market pizza to consumers? Starting by targeting those who like the Facebook pages of major pizza organizations. You can access all Facebook users who like those types of pages via the interests category.

Interests itself contains nine different categories. If you‚Äôre having trouble keeping up, we‚Äôre now three levels of categories in (detailed targeting -> interests -> interest subcategories).

This may seem overwhelming, but the subcategories Facebook gives you are actually helpful. If you‚Äôre not exactly sure who you‚Äôre looking to target, or if you‚Äôre just looking for inspiration, you can search through these subcategories and rather than having to come up with the interests out of thin air, they give them to you in further subcategories.

Interests are super helpful if you‚Äôre targeting consumers of a tangible product. But what about targeting candidates of a job? Let‚Äôs switch over to the demographics category.

Demographics was a category that I rarely used in my B2C ads I first gained my experience in, and it was the key I needed to unlock recruitment marketing with Facebook ads. It’s a goldmine of targeting for B2B purposes or if you’re trying to find the perfect candidate.

There are 10 subcategories in demographics: Education, Ethnic Affinity, Financial, Generation, Home, Life Events, Parents, Politics, Relationship, Work.

You can probably guess which ones will be most helpful to you as you search for the perfect candidates: Education and Work.

Within education you can target a couple different ways, but the most helpful ways are education level (from some high school up to doctorate) and field of study. In field of study you can search through just about any degree that pops into your head.

With work you‚Äôre looking at even more apropos targeting options: employers, industries, job titles, and office type. These targeting options mean you can find a candidate who has worked in a small business, in the construction industry, with the job title of excavator. If you‚Äôre trying to reach candidates who might be with a certain employer, you can add those on top.

The best part about all of these categories? You‚Äôre able to add as many as you want to expand your search. As you add categories to your targeting you‚Äôll be shown how many Facebook users fall within your targeting.

Targeting options on Facebook are vast and niche‚Äîa recipe for success when looking for candidates. Don‚Äôt get stuck in the thought-trap that only product marketing should be using Facebook advertising to hit Facebook users. There‚Äôs an old proverb that I‚Äôm sort of making up that says recruiters should go to where the candidates are. Almost every candidate is going to be on Facebook, so go there and easily find them using the ad manager while you‚Äôre at it.

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