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How to use Google Adwords for Recruitment Marketing

Supercharge your recruitment ads

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Many, many years ago, recruitment advertising was relatively simple. Choose the right magazine or newspaper, write some words, bang it over to the publication and voila: a stream of quality applications.

Nowadays the internet has jiggered up this simple life. True, advertising jobs on the web offers many advantages, but it also throws in a lot of extra complication. But how can you make your advert stand out amongst the hundreds of thousands available? How will your perfect candidate find that advert?

One of the best answers is pay per click (PPC). As the name suggests, this is a form of internet marketing where you’re only charged when someone clicks on your ad. This is often done via social media or search engine advertising.

The most popular PPC advertising system in the world is Google Ads. The Google Ads platform enables businesses to create ads that appear on Google’s search engine and other Google properties. It works via auction, in which advertisers bid on keywords and pay for each click on their advertisements. Every time a search is initiated, Google selects the most appropriate advert and chooses which one to display. While there will always be some expensive keywords (if you want to bid on ‘play live blackjack’ it’s £148.51 per click), generally you can get a click from £1 – £5.

It’s important to note that it isn’t just the highest bidder that wins the ad auction. It’s a mix of bids and what Google calls a ‘quality score’. This is based on how well the ad relates to your keywords and landing page.

Why Google Ads is important to recruitment

Incomparable reach

People conduct more than 100 billion Google searches each month and 90% of people use Google to search for a product or service. Google Ads complements your wider marketing campaign with 30% of Google searches being based around employment.

Pay per click

Unlike print, TV and radio advertising (where you hope that potential customers are viewing or listening), you only pay for people actively engaging with your ad.

Flexible budgets you control

You can cap your daily spend, ensuring you never go over budget and your money lasts throughout the month. Not only that but you can change your budget and bids at any time. If you see a certain job type is doing well, simply raise the budget for that group and maximise the return you receive for your money.


You can make Google Ads highly targeted to ensure your ads get to the right people. You can focus on location, time of day, even which device they are using. Another useful tool is remarketing. If a potential applicant starts filling in an application form, but never quite finishes, you can make sure they keep seeing your ads, reminding them to complete it.

SEO support

PPC should always be used in conjunction with SEO. When a new website is created, it can take a while for SEO to take effect with Google’s algorithms. PPC works straight away and you can track results after only 24 hours. You will then be able to see which combination of keywords and adverts are working particularly well, and use this to focus your SEO.

While SEO is incredibly important, on a Google results page, if all the ad slots are being used, organic search results often only take up 14% of the page above the fold. On a smartphone, paid ads take up the full screen, so it’s unsurprising that 60% of clicks come from sponsored ads.

Measurement and reporting

Things you can measure include:

  • Impressions – how many people saw your ad
  • Clicks
  • Cost per click
  • Performance of individual ads
  • Performance of individual keywords
  • The search terms people typed in before clicking on your ads
  • The amount of applications or sign ups you received (conversions)
  • Average cost per conversion
  • Average position of your ads

Not only this, but you can report on demographics. What genders and ages are applying? Where and when are they applying? What device are they using? All these questions and more can be answered, which again will feed into the rest of your recruitment campaign.

Is there a downside? Google Ads does need time and focus. It requires daily management to ensure you are not spending money on the wrong keywords. It only addresses the active audience and needs to sit within a multi-channel attraction strategy. However, the rewards easily make up for the downsides.

If you’d like to know more, then Creed offers a variety of PPC packages to get you started. Contact us today, or visit our media optimisation page to find out more.