How to Effectively Use Facebook to Recruit

Learn how to attract passive candidates via social media.

When asking clients if they have tried Facebook advertising as part of their recruitment strategy, we are given the same response each time – “I tried it in the past and it didn’t work”.

Each time we delve deeper to discover more about these failed campaigns. We look at aspects such as the type of campaign used, targeting, advert copy and advert creative to discover what went wrong. Without fail, all investigations have shown that the campaigns were never set-up effectively from the outset.

Our experience of Facebook advertising for recruitment been extremely positive. With a well-executed set-up and a small daily budget, click through rates of 6% are highly attainable along with a stream of passive candidate applications.

We have put together a short guide to ensure that your Facebook advertising campaigns are given the attention they need to succeed.

Choosing the Right Campaign Objective

If you have set-up an advertising campaign in the past, I’m sure you will remember the daunting first step in the process: Choosing your marketing objective.

Our recommendation for a successful recruitment campaign is to use the Lead Generation objective. This type of objective will direct anyone who clicks ‘Apply Now’ on your advert to a simple lead form. You are able to choose the questions you would like to ask on this form at a later stage.

This type of objective is particularly effective in recruitment campaigns as you do not disrupt the users Facebook experience. Candidates are able to submit their interest for a role by completing a simple lead form within the Facebook interface.

We have tried and tested other types of campaign objectives, but the results were incomparable.

That being said, if you have a larger budget and are looking to use Facebook as a significant player in your recruitment strategy, the Messaging objective would be most suited to you. In order for this type of campaign to be successful a chatbot is required to pre-screen your candidates. For the purposes of this guide we will focus on Lead Generation.


The general misconception with Facebook advertising is in relation to it’s targeting capabilities. Most people believe that Facebook can only be used to target people relating to their likes and interests.

In fact, that is only one way in which targeting can be achieved.  So, what other audiences can you target?

  • Those who have been on your website in the last 30 days;
  • Candidates in your CRM system;
  • Candidates who like your Facebook page;
  • Those who have engaged with your previous posts.

All of the above audiences can easily be targeted within your Facebook advertising campaign using Custom Audiences.

Selecting Your Media

Your choice of media for your adverts is crucial. Your aim is to disrupt a user’s Facebook experience enough to make them want to click on your advert and give you their details.

Think about your own personal experience with Facebook adverts. Even better, open your phone right now and scroll through Facebook for one minute.

Which adverts do you find most engaging? Which make you want to click and find out more?

Whatever your answer to the above questions are, those types of media will be a good start for your next campaign. However, we can predict that over 90% of people will answer the above questions with one word: Video!

If you do choose to proceed with video as your advert media, ensure your video is short and sweet. You may only have a couple of seconds to persuade someone to click before they continue scrolling.

One final note about selecting your media – please ensure you have optimised your media for all placement types. For example, the media you have used for Facebook News Feed will need to be formatted differently to the media for Instagram Stories.

Writing Your Copy

Whilst advert media is undoubtably the most important visual tool for your adverts, don’t ignore the advert copy and media headline.

Your media headline allows you to summarise in a few words what your advert is about. This can only strengthen your media and should be carefully used to maximise its power.

As well as a headline, you also have the opportunity to write copy above your advert. When someone is scrolling on Facebook, they will be able to see the first two lines of copy above your media. Make sure these two lines are engaging enough to encourage users to find out more.

If a user resonates with your media, headline and first two lines of copy, they may click to read the remainder of the copy to find out more. Here make sure you have included any additional information which you consider important for what you are promoting. Never be afraid to incorporate emojis to break up your text.

We hope our above guide gives you an insight into the capabilities of Facebook advertising and how successful it can be at attracting passive candidates.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything related to Facebook adverts with our team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Ready to find out more?

Contact our team to see for yourself how powerful video for recruitment can be.