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Facebook’s Special Ad Category Hamstrings Recruitment Marketers

Until now, Facebook has been a good recruitment marketing channel. It didn’t offer the cost-efficiency of job board sponsored posts, but it was a good secondary platform to increase your recruitment marketing activity—particularly for lower-level positions.

However, Facebook has now classified recruitment marketing campaigns as belonging to a “Special Ad Category”. Along with campaigns offering credit and housing opportunities, Facebook recruitment marketing has been stripped of pretty much all of the core interest and demographics targeting categories that make advertising on the platform worthwhile.

I Mean, Good Targeting is Form of Discrimination

According to Facebook, the move was made to prevent discrimination. I guess they equate targeting qualified candidates with discriminating against unqualified candidates.

Whatever the reason for the change, the result is that targeting by age, zip code, interest categories, behavior categories, demographics categories, and pretty much everything else that makes Facebook advertising worthwhile is now, as the British would say, “right out”.

What Special Ad Categories Mean for Facebook Recruitment Marketing

What does this mean for Facebook recruiting? Well, let’s say you’re trying to hire a security guard.

Before, you could target people who have “Security Guard” in their job title, as well as in their interests. Now, you can only target “Security” as a general interest. If you want to get ambitious, you can narrow your audience by specifying that users must also have “Employment” as an additional interest.

That’s a wide net to throw. Security could apply to computer security, security technology, or the intended position—security guard. Moreover, who lists “Employment” as an interest anyway? Probably someone who can’t find a job. If they can’t find a job for a long period of time, they’re probably unqualified, and not the kind of candidate you want to hire. If that’s being discriminatory, then any recruitment marketer worth their salt is engaging in discrimination.

Alternatives To Facebook For Recruiting

If you’re ready to move your dollars to a more targeted platform, I can only offer some suggestions depending on the size of your organization.

For small organizations, the Google Display Network offers similar targeting capabilities to Facebook for recruitment marketing. It is just as scalable and works on a pay-per-click basis. The ads are also visual and offer even lower CPMs than Facebook.

Another option for these marketers is geofencing. I won’t go into full detail on the tactic, but geofencing offers you the capability of targeting specific buildings with in-app advertisements.

For larger organizations, or companies looking for more highly educated candidates, you could look into partnerships with professional organizations. These partnerships are expensive, but they’re active over long periods of time. They offer visibility at hiring events, the placement of your company’s logo on their website, and in other areas that are viewed by members who are looking for jobs. Partnerships like these offer a lot of credibility to your organization. As long as you have good feedback on platforms like Glassdoor.com, then your company will be positioned as a quality employer.

It’s Just a Feeling

Ben Stiller Tropic Thunder Bad Feeling QuoteAdmittedly, I could be jumping the gun a little bit here. The change just went into effect, and I haven’t had time to analyze the application rates of Facebook users before and after the change. At the very least, it’s time to start looking into replacement options for your Facebook recruitment marketing campaign.

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