What Are LinkedIn Ads For Recruitment Agencies?

There is no doubt that LinkedIn continues to be an essential resource for recruiters and recruitment agencies to publish job ads, content, and promote brand awareness, as well connecting with potential candidates and professional networking.

Over the past number of years LinkedIn has developed its product range by releasing new offerings to the market, one of these in particular being LinkedIn Ads. With 2018 on the horizon and budgets being reviewed, in this blog we’ll explain what the LinkedIn Ads product is and how it works, so you can decide if it is the right social marketing product for your recruitment agency.

What Are LinkedIn Ads?

The LinkedIn Ads product is a form of paid social advertising which appears in the news feed or sidebar to promote your agency’s updates and content to targeted audiences. LinkedIn Ads are used to reach a larger audience and gain more attention than a native post, and are particularly useful to recruiters and recruitment agencies due to the ability to target specific types of LinkedIn users.

LinkedIn Ads: What Are Your Options?

There are three different types of ad you can use in LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager – Sponsored Content, Text Ads, and Sponsored InMail – all with varying purposes.

Sponsored Content allows you to extend the reach of a particular piece of content on both desktop and mobile versions of LinkedIn. It looks like a regular update in the feed. There is also the option of using their Lead Generation Forms, which, for example, pre-populates forms so that potential candidates can instantly send you their information without having to fill anything out themselves.

Example of Sponsored Content by Adobe Software
Text Ads will only show up on the desktop version of LinkedIn, and are comprised of just a headline and a link to your company page or resource. They usually show up in the ‘Ads You May Be Interested In’ section, and are a quick and easy way to get started with Linkedin Advertising.

Example of a LinkedIn text ad by HubSpot

Sponsored InMail lets you send targeted messages to specific users via LinkedIn Messenger, which is useful if you’re looking for a more personal approach. Plus, they will only appear in the user’s inbox at a time when they are actually active, to help ensure that the message doesn’t get missed.

LinkedIn Sponsored InMail example

How Do LinkedIn Ads Work?

LinkedIn ads are sold through an auction process. When you run ads, you compete with other advertisers who want to reach a similar target audience.

  • Set up a total budget, so your spend will never exceed that amount for as long as the ad is running.
  • Set a daily budget, so you can only spend a certain amount a day.
  • Create a maximum bid, so that you won’t go over a certain price when competing with other agencies targeting the same audience.

There are also three different ways that you can pay for ads, which will depend on the kind of content you are promoting and what your marketing goals are.

  • CPC (Cost Per Click) – pay each time someone clicks on your ad.
  • CPM (Cost Per Impressions) – pay each time someone sees your ad.
  • CPS (Cost Per Send) – pay each time a Sponsored InMail is delivered.

Due to the ability to target specific candidates and clients with promoted content, recruitment agencies can certainly benefit from LinkedIn ads. However, a drawback is that it is more expensive than other types of social advertising.

LinkedIn Ads Best Practices

If you are considering investing in LinkedIn Ads, or even testing to see how effective they are, here are 5 best practices that should ensure you are optimising your ad spend.

  • BUDGET. Decide what your maximum ad spend will be. LinkedIn ads tend to be more expensive than other social media ads, but arguably, for recruitment agencies, it is the most lucrative platform.
  • TARGET THE RIGHT AUDIENCE. Spend some time really analysing what kind of candidates or clients you want to attract with you ad campaign. You want to be specific enough to attract high quality traffic but also keep the net wide enough to attract enough attention.
  • WRITE EXCELLENT COPY. As with any ad campaign, you can put all the money behind it in the world but people are only going to engage if you can give them a compelling reason to do so.
  • A/B TEST. This is a form of testing which allows you to try out different versions of an ad, so you can try out the efficacy of different colours, copy, images etc. You can A/B test within the Campaign Manager. By discovering what’s working and what isn’t, going forward you will only spend money on the kinds of ads that you know resonate with your ideal candidates.
  • MEASURE ROI. The LinkedIn Campaign Manager allows you to track performance by monitoring impressions, clicks, and costs, giving you the power to ascertain whether it is a worthwhile investment.

To discover how inbound marketing can support your wider marketing and branding strategy, download our free eBook today.

The Ultimate Guide To Inbound Marketing For Recruitment Agencies

4 Inspirational Recruitment Marketing Campaigns

Today, candidates are inundates by job board and LinkedIn jobs alerts, recommended jobs in social feeds or recruiter emails but are these methods still making a impact? In order to get candidates attention, we have seen great success from recruitment agencies and internal staffing functions that have introduced inbound marketing and recruitment marketing campaigns as part of their overall candidate sourcing strategy. 

Generally speaking, internal staffing functions invest in the power of recruitment marketing campaigns to attract talent and/or build brand awareness to fill their internal vacancies. But can recruiters and recruitment agencies apply the same approach to fill their jobs?

To assist with your research, here are 4 inspirational recruitment marketing campaigns, spanning a variety of sectors, and what lessons you can learn.

The Hull And East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust: Remarkable People, Extraordinary Place

The express goal for this recruitment marketing campaign was to attract more applications and retain existing staff. By creating simple designs that involve the stories of staff members, connecting with the emotion of working for the NHS, they more than doubled the applications from the previous year. In addition to this, they received 6,936 website visits in the first month and reached over 92,000 people in social media.

NHS Hull Recruitment Marketing Campaign - Remarkable Place, Extraordinary People - Sarah Taylor NHS Hull Recruitment Marketing Campaign - Remarkable Place, Extraordinay People: Dan Harman

What Can We Learn?
As the Trust in a lesser known region of the UK, it is more difficult for them to attract the right calibre of candidates to fill their vacancies. This recruitment marketing campaign focused on using real staff to provide a snapshot of their work or experience, which evoked the emotion of potential candidates, resulting in more applications and brand awareness on social media. These shareable images and supporting video worked perfectly on social media and demonstrated in just a few seconds what it’s like to work for the NHS in Hull.

AXA: The Great Global Adventure Game

Creating a buzz amongst graduates is a tough task for any insurance firm. To reach these tech savvy millennials, AXA created an online game that could be played on all devices with grand prizes including a 12-month all expenses paid world trip, two internships and a place on an AXA volunteering project. The campaign was a huge success gaining 220,000 visits, nearly 6000 hours of gaming time and over 54,000 Facebook likes.

AXA Recruitment Marketing - The Great Global Adventure

What Can We Learn?
Recruitment marketing campaigns don’t always have to about jobs, culture and the company itself. Knowing your audience and creating content that they will enjoy, take part in and share with their friends is a very effective marketing tactic to grow brand awareness within a new audience.

CISCO Systems: #MayThe4th Be With You!

The Campaign
The #MayThe4th campaign which ran earlier this year, 2017, was an chance for Cisco employees to show off their geeky side and apply to become a Jedi Knight and join the Cisco Order. At its core, it represented Cisco’s values and culture, showing the company’s authenticity and enthusiasm to champion individuality. Led by their employees, created a lot of attention, particularly on social media.

CISCO Recruitment Marketing - #MayThe4th

What Can We Learn?
Cisco’s Talent Brand Team is focused on employee generated content (EGC) including blogs, social media, videos and podcasts. They believe by showing their authentic culture, candidates get to know exactly what it is like to work at Cisco. The lesson being, recruitment marketing does not always need to be about particular roles, by showcasing your company culture, you can create campaigns that resonate with your audience, attract media attention and more engaged candidates.


As a creative agency, to impress other creatives, it helps if your recruitment marketing campaign is unique. BJL identified the Rose Creative Awards night as a venue that would be full of their target candidates. To get their attention on a low budget, they set up their own free WiFi service called #JoinBJL. This wifi login took you to a landing page which advertised that BJL were hiring. Not only was everyone blown away by this innovative approach, it gained immediate social media attention, including an article in The Drum and hundreds of applications from high quality candidates.

What Can We Learn?
You don’t need the marketing budget of companies like AXA to create brand awareness and attract the right candidates. By really identifying where you target audience is and using some innovative ideas, you can easily grab the attention of your intended audience.

Recruitment marketing campaigns can be a risk and the majority of them can take considerable time and effort. To mitigate the risk, as we have seen, you need to identify exactly who you are aiming at and create content that they will enjoy, share or find useful. Whether you have a small or large budget, your recruitment marketing can cut through the noise and make a significant impact to your brand awareness and make it easier to source high quality candidates.

To discover how inbound marketing can help your recruitment agency, download our free eBook today.

The Ultimate Guide To Inbound Marketing For Recruitment Agencies