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Are you leveraging Google as part of your recruitment strategy?

If you’re an employer, have you considered how Google can help you to get your advert in front of candidates when it’s time to hire? Google now processes in excess of 40,000 search queries a second. We use it every day for travel, shopping and entertainment, but it may come as a surprise to learn that it’s now also a handy tool in a job seeker’s arsenal. Think convenience, speed and relevance – just some of the attributes demanded by today’s busy professionals.

Let’s look a bit closer at how you might be able to leverage this as an SME or not-for-profit employer.


The role of media as a ‘destination’ has been evolving. For those of you old enough to remember newspaper classifieds, you might have depended on a certain publication or website to find things: for example, ‘Situations Vacant’ on a Saturday was the go-to for job hunters once upon a time.  However, as smart phone usage has evolved, a new trend has emerged in how people find what they are looking for and it’s not just an explosion of mobile-friendly apps and websites. It’s ‘on demand’ searching.

Statistics suggest that as many as 70% of job searches now start at Google, with a phrase along the lines of: ‘XYZ jobs near me’. In addition, 41% of adults now use voice search every day; we are all adapting to tech that makes things faster and easier and job seekers are no exception. When it comes to getting a really quick pin drop on what we’re looking for, asking Google to take us straight to the answers is fast becoming the norm. And that means job seeker loyalty to a certain job board as a ‘must visit’ destination to find their next job is no longer a given.    


There’s a multi-billion-dollar advertising industry around Google and employment is no exception. Whilst candidates really just want to connect quickly with employers, if you try to Google your ideal job in your ideal location, you are likely to find that all of the page one search results will be driving you to one of the big job boards or job aggregators.    

Surprised? Why does a job board need a media budget to drive candidate traffic to their platform? The answer may surprise you. Whilst the big players generate revenue selling employers ad space, that’s only half the story. They too want applications. You may have noticed that many job boards will force job seekers to create profiles on their site before they can apply. Put simply, this means they gather data from candidates applying to your job, to potentially sell on to other organisations looking for similar talent. They invest to rank highly on page one of Google themselves because they want job seekers applying via their site.

Ultimately what you want, as an employer, is for the job seeker to come directly to you to apply to the job they want. Aside from being a smoother candidate experience, if you are creating a talent pool, you want candidates registering with you, not a third party.   


For the majority of SMEs, though, it makes sense to keep one or two of the main players in your media mix for now. After all, they are probably spending more on Google than you can afford to! However, you do have a choice, and our recommendation is to choose a media that allows you to receive your applications your way.


You need to make sure that the search words your ideal candidate is using when they ask Google to show them options are in your advert.

This gives you the best possible chance of being found on page one of the job board/aggregator site once the job seeker has clicked through from Google. Although your daily budget will ultimately determine how often your advert is shown, key words are your second-best weapon.

Having the right title is important, but don’t forget to sprinkle key words throughout the advert. Your Big Splash Ad Consultant can help you with specifics, but in general, phrases like ‘work from home, part-time, flexible’ are popular right now, so should be used if applicable to help you stand out from the competition.


If you are thinking like a marketer, you have a careers page, and you want to drive traffic straight to your site, it is possible to bypass the job boards. You will need a big budget to beat the big boys when it comes to job title search, but display advertising is an alternative option and can work well for specific, ongoing roles where you need to reach passive candidates. If you don’t have a digital marketing specialist as part of your HR team, Big Splash can help you.


The Google model of your daily budgets determining where you rank on the page amongst other advertisers is fast becoming the norm in job advertising as well. You will need to take advice on the minimum acceptable budget for the role you are trying to fill, which varies depending on location, scarcity, etc. For employers who are used to the ‘$300 for 30 days’ model, the evolving price landscape is whole new approach to get your head around. If you need assistance working out the best bang for your recruitment advertising buck, call us or check out our latest media report.

Are you leveraging Google as part of your recruitment strategy?