Social Geotargeting Is Your New Recruiting Secret Sauce

By Jessica Miller-Merrell Jul 21, 2017
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​Jessica Miller-Merrell, founder of Workology.

Social geotargeting can be the special secret sauce that elevates your recruiting efforts.

In this competitive marketplace, your job listing or posting is just a job. And that cold call or PM from a recruiter is just a boring and awkward reach out that more times than not doesn't move the candidate to return the call or reply to your online message.

Your sauce is the secret to elevating your meal or dish because without it your chicken would be just chicken, boring and flavorless and your eggs benedict would just be poached eggs with a biscuit. Add in the sauce and you've changed the game.

Aggressive Recruiting Doesn't Have to Be So in Your Face

As recruiters and talent acquisition leaders we spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to develop, create and curate great content and candidate messaging. We work with a LinkedIn consultant to help us update and design the best LinkedIn profiles while also perfecting the best and accurate employment brand we want to communicate to our prospective candidates. Your team monitors the ever-growing list of employee review sites even taking the time to carefully craft and respond to reviews and messages. We develop countless processes and post on a seemingly endless number of job boards looking for creative ways to reach and entice qualified candidates to apply. Unfortunately, all this work tends to get lost in a sea of sameness unless a small yet specific group of candidates are looking for that information. And sometimes it feels like we are getting nowhere. The best candidates are in demand. They have lots of options, and because of that are bombarded with choices, messages and requests to engage talent acquisition leaders. And so we get more aggressive which means posting more jobs and messaging more candidates. When what we really need to do is take a step back, start over and get strategic.

Sometimes a good sauce subtly makes the dish. It doesn't have to be yelling and begging the job seeker to send referrals or to schedule an interview. Aggressive or strategic recruiting doesn't have to be in your face. It can be subtle, offering a gentle yet subliminal nudge in the right direction. It's relatively easy when you've laid the recruiting ground work.

Geotargeting Is Your Recruiting Secret Sauce

Maybe you have spent all this time, work and effort crafting, developing and building this amazing brand or this killer job posting or landing page that isn't getting the traffic or conversions you want. The reason might not be your content at all, although I might suggest that you take a look at your SEO optimization. What you really need if you have a killer landing page and your aggressive candidate messaging and email campaigns aren't working. is to focus on geotargeting.

Geotargeting is the practice of delivering content to a user based on his or her geographic location. This can be done on the city or zip code level via IP address or device ID, or on a more granular level through GPS signals, geofencing, and more. Marketing effectively uses geotargeting strategies to reach potential buyers that fit certain geographic profiles. It's the reason you tend to see products or events and often sponsored posts in your social streams that are meant for you or someone like you that lives in a specific city or surrounding area.

Geotargeting can be used a number of different ways. For example, maybe a conference is happening where a group of targeted candidates will be arriving in a location. You can target those candidates or individuals on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram to see your specific targeted advertisements on social. You, as the marketer or recruiter will need to create a list of rules or requirements that a site like Facebook will look for, set a budget and let the social site do the targeting.

I used this strategy effectively at the SHRM Annual Conference in New Orleans, where I created an Instagram ad that was only visible to HR professionals who were traveling to New Orleans. I created an ad, set my parameters and my ad price—which was $25 a day for a period of four days—inviting my audience to complete a certain action, whether it was texting a number or clicking to view a landing page.

The results were positive, and I was able to target a very focused and strategic group of individuals. I knew that because they were traveling to a conference or an event, they would be more likely to rely on their phones which was why I focused my ads on mobile targeting specifically. With geotargeting you can get as broad or even as specific as you wish. As recruiters, we can even create a geofence which only allows a social advertisement or filter in the case of Snapchat to be visible in a specific geoarea like a building, block or multiple buildings or offices such as a data scientist meetup in Mountain View, Calif., or a co-working space where creatives hang out. You might even geofence a company's offices or the bar nearby during certain lunch or after work hours to reach your competition's employees using this type of specific social ad targeting. You might use this opportunity to highlight a recent video or your Glassdoor rating and highlight some of the negatives of your competition's flexible scheduling or career development opportunities.

Subliminal Messaging or Recruiting Calls to Action

Like any ad, whether it's a link contained within a job seeker e-mail blast, a recruiter messaging a candidate via InMail or a mobile ad on Facebook, these strategies will not only subtly elevate your employer brand and recruiting efforts but also entice those curious and passive job seekers to click on your link or engage someone from their network who either has a relationship or knows someone at the company. It's a great way to control your recruiting spend while focusing your efforts on a small yet focused community of job seekers. The key to any secret sauce is practice, patience—and in our recruiting case—metrics and measurements in order to determine the impact your geotargeting efforts are having in finding the perfect hire.

Jessica Miller-Merrell is a recognized thought leader in human resources and talent acquisition. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer, she's the founder of Workology, formerly Blogging4Jobs. © 2017 Workology. All rights reserved. Reposted with permission.

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