At 1.49 billion, Facebook has more monthly active users than WhatsApp (500 million), Twitter (284 million) and Instagram (200 million) combined. Those users are spending an average of 20 minutes per day sifting through 510 comments, 293,000 statuses and 136,000 photos that flashes before their eyes every 60 seconds. With 16 million local business pages created since 2013, that’s a lot of content to compete with to have your posts show up in relevant news feeds and mobile devices.

What if I said there was an easier way to cut through all the organic posts and reach your potential candidate? I’ve outlined three Facebook advertising strategies for talent acquisition using the tools Facebook has had on the market for years. Here are three Facebook advertising strategies for talent acquisition you can start using today.

Custom Audience

If you have done any Facebook advertising lately, you already know about the targeting options they have to offer. Job title, industry, interests and behaviors are just some of the demographic options available to pinpoint your target audience. When Facebook launched custom audience targeting in 2013, this opened up another door of focused targeting that allows you to reach out to a very specific group of people. Here’s how it works.

Let’s say you have a large list of emails or phone numbers from your ATS database, talent network or MailChimp account. Log into your Facebook Business Page and upload that list (using the correct formatting, of course), and Facebook will match those emails and phone numbers (or Facebook user IDs) to existing Facebook profiles. This process may take up to 24 hours but when it is complete, Facebook will provide you with an approximate size of your new custom audience.

Note: Custom audience targeting is data protective and specifically designed so that Facebook doesn’t share the private information people put on Facebook without their consent.

Here’s the catch. Most people tend to use their personal email and phone number when setting up their online accounts, and this is what Facebook is matching against when you create a custom audience. So, if you have a list of company phone numbers and emails, the match up rate on Facebook would be much lower than if you were using a list of mobile numbers and Gmail, Hotmail or AOL email addresses. Keep that in mind when uploading your data files and note that the more emails and phone numbers in your data list, the more opportunities Facebook has to match them.

How to Use Facebook Custom Audience for Talent Acquisition:

  • Target people who opened your email blast. This list of emails is easily obtained using an online mailing program such as MailChimp to easily download a list of email addresses and then upload to Facebook. You can then create a custom audience and target people who show an interest in your last correspondence.
  • Target people who never opened your email blast. Again, using a mailing program, you can segment out a list of people who might have missed the first opportunity and upload it to Facebook.
  • Use your ATS to filter those who did not complete an application. Create a custom audience that focuses on letting people know they need to come back and finish their applications.
  • Use your ATS to filter those who completed an application and exclude this audience from receiving further Facebook ads. Why waste money on people who already completed the application process?

Lookalike Audience

A week after launching the custom audience, Facebook advertising introduced Lookalike Audiences. Facebook examines demographic similarities like age segment, gender, and location as well as precise interests and broad categories (information like marital status, children, job title, etc.). An algorithm within Facebook matches these demographic details with existing Facebook users and finds the best possible match for your next ad.

Let’s say you were targeting bilingual customer service agents in the Lafayette, CA area who are similar to your current employees. If you were to download your list of current employees who were bilingual and create a custom audience, you could then ask Facebook to create a lookalike audience that matches those types of employees. Note that you must have a minimum size of 100 people in your custom audience in order for Facebook to create the lookalike.

How to Use Facebook Lookalike Audience for Talent Acquisition:

  • Use your ATS to filter hires. These are current employees that you have hired in the last year or in the last month, however you would like to segment. Upload this list to Facebook and create a lookalike audience. This is a group of people who look just like your current employees. Then target by location, age, or any of the current targeting options on Facebook to fine-tune your targeted audience. Beware: Many people on this list may not have heard about your company before so keep the call to action subtle, such as “Learn More” to pique their interests.
  • Use your ATS to filter those who completed an application and create a lookalike audience to target a larger sized audience of people similar to those who already filled out your application.

Website Custom Audience

If you haven’t placed a Facebook Pixel (a snippet of code) on your website yet, you are missing out on opportunities to gain audience insights about your website visitors. Whenever the pixel is triggered (by someone visiting your website), that information is sent back to Facebook. You can then use this information to create rules based on the pages they explored and how recently they visited your site.

Once the pixel is in place, you have the following options to create website custom audiences:

  • Anyone who visits your website
  • People who visit specific web pages
  • People visiting specific web pages but not others
  • People who haven’t visited in a certain amount of time
  • Custom combination

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You can also decide on the duration of when your audience visited your page. This can be anywhere between one and 180 days – the larger the duration, the larger the audience will be.

How to Use Website Custom Audience for Talent Acquisition:

  • Create a retargeting, also called remarketing, campaign to target people who have visited your website in the last 30 days. This group already has an idea about your company, so create an ad that reminds them who you are and to come back for a second look and possibly fill out an application!
  • Create a website custom audience for people who have visited certain pages. Enter the URL(s) you want to include and anyone who visits those pages will be added to your audience. For example, if you had “financial advisors” in your URL, you could build a campaign that focuses on your open positions in the financial industry vs. a campaign for your open “sales” positions.
  • Create a custom website audience for people who visit certain website pages, but not others. This is a great opportunity to target people who may have dropped off during the application process and did not reach the “Thank you” page. You would be able to target this audience with a message such as, “Don’t forget to complete your application!”
  • Exclude website custom audiences by creating an audience that have already visited your “Thank you” page and completed the application process. Similar to the custom audience you created using your ATS, you can exclude this group of people from receiving any further Facebook ads regarding open job positions.

Facebook advertising offers many more combinations that you can create using website custom audiences and even more opportunities for targeting using the Advanced Website Custom Audience targeting, which include rules by events.

There is no doubt that social media is here to stay, and Facebook is the front runner to that medium. This is the place people go to share, chat and find out information about a company or product. Due to Facebook advertising’s extensive targeting options, recruiters are able to reach potential candidates using tools they already possess. ATS and email lists can be uploaded to create custom and lookalike audiences, while placing a Facebook pixel on your website would allow you to create retargeting or remarketing campaigns focused on potential hires. Developing these Facebook advertising strategies for talent acquisition is a great way to reach your potential candidates and get your message to the right people at the right time.

Have you tried Facebook advertising for talent acquisition? Let us know how it worked for you in the comments!