Recruitment Ads Get Contextual

Sites like and Yahoo’s HotJobs may be no-brainers if you’re trying to reach an audience of job seekers, but what about all those potential job candidates that aren’t looking yet? In hopes of reaching those folks, recruitment software firm Webhire is turning to paid search and contextual ads.

Ellen Madonia, VP of marketing at Webhire, estimates that 85 percent of people aren’t currently looking for a job. “Those [people] tend to be the holy grail of recruiting,” she said. “They’re people that companies are trying to access and get interested in their company.”

So Webhire has taken a page from the search engine marketing playbook and developed a service codenamed PassPort. Through PassPort, Webhire’s clients — which include Miller Brewing, Amgen, Nestle and Mattel — can begin recruiting via paid search ads and contextual ads.

“What we’re trying to do with our clients is help them apply a marketing mindset to the recruitment process and use some of the tools that marketers use,” said Madonia.

Webhire works with the client to come up with a list of keywords and creative for the text ads. It also develops a job-specific landing page that offers visitors information both about the opportunity and about the company as a whole. Currently, Webhire is placing ads only on Google, but it expects to begin using Yahoo, as well. Ads are often targeted geographically, because companies are seeking candidates only in a certain area. To start, Webhire is performing these tasks manually, but it hopes to eventually build them into its software if they turn out to be popular.

The company has been working with two of its clients — G&K Services and Detroit Medical Center — in a pilot of the service. It’s served 50,000 impressions and experienced a 0.07 percent click-through rate. Once people arrive on the landing page, 16 percent click through on the links that appear there.

Webhire charges companies a flat fee of $495 for each posting and around $600 to create the microsite.

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