Brad Bialy: Matt, Facebook is up to their usual ways, making more changes to their advertising platform. While we’re constantly monitoring Facebook ads at Haley Marketing Group, this one is important. This one directly impacts us and the industry. Tell us what’s going on.
Matt Lozar: Facebook has changed the targeting options for employment ads along with housing and credit ads. It’s a result of how companies, not just staffing agencies, any companies, were targeting their Facebook job advertisements in the past few years. They weren’t following the traditional employment law, that nondiscrimination law that we think about when we post job advertisements or job postings for jobs not online like it’s a newspaper or just posting it in your office or somewhere in a public forum. I don’t want to get into HR compliance too much but that was the reasoning for these changes was Facebook saw discrimination on its pages. Actually, it was brought to them through a number of different lawsuits, and they decided to make changes to restrict how these ads could be displayed.
Brad Bialy: So Facebook at one time was allowing individuals to target, let’s say based on age.
Matt Lozar: Yes.
Brad Bialy: Not intentionally. That’s just how Facebook’s advertising platform was operating.
Matt Lozar: Correct.
Brad Bialy: So they’ve recently made changes where if you’re promoting a job in Buffalo, New York, you no longer have the option to promote based on age.
Matt Lozar: Yeah. There’s a number of changes. The first one is when you create the advertisement, you have to literally check a box that says this is a special ad category. When you do that, the interface so on your screen with Facebook changes. It literally makes adjustments right in front of you. Then there are all these different areas that get adjusted or restricted on how you can target the job advertisement.
Brad Bialy: At Haley Marketing Group, we’ve seen a ton of success from promoting jobs, from promoting employment opportunities directly on Facebook, through Social Pro, our fully-managed, social media marketing solution designed specifically for Staffing and Recruiting. Matt, this is a kind of concern. Are we now nervous to promote these jobs and boost these jobs or is it just something to be mindful of for the listeners right now?
Should we be nervous about advertising jobs on Facebook?
Matt Lozar: I don’t know about nervous. That’s a pretty strong word a little bit because our options are just restricted and I think being transparent and just saying this is what’s available. What’s really changed is you can’t… The location targeting is now a 15-mile radius, used to be able to target by zip codes. So the minimum is 15 miles and you can’t exclude areas. So there’s actually a client in Northwest Ohio, Southeast Michigan. They like to exclude Canada just because all of the different employment statuses is they didn’t want to hire Canadians or have their advertisements seen in Canada. You can’t do that anymore. You can’t target based on age and gender physically goes away and then the interests or what I think is going to be really the hardest part of this in that, the interests that are available aren’t as diverse and wide as they were previously.
Brad Bialy: So essentially all Facebook’s doing here is making sure that their advertising platform is compliant with typical hiring. You wouldn’t discriminate against age, location, gender if you’re hiring somebody to face to face. Facebook had this advertising platform that wasn’t really right for employment. They weren’t really ready for job listings. They’ve understood, hey, we might’ve got this one wrong. We got this one mixed up a little bit. Hand up, that’s on us. We made some changes here to make sure it’s more efficient for you and is also compliant with what you’re doing in the day to day.
Matt Lozar: Yeah, you’re exactly right. It’s taking that responsibility essentially off of Facebook and it’s just taking away from everyone. In the past, I mean, you were letting people break the law, which is that Facebook’s fault or is that the person actually targeting in a discriminatory fashion and Facebook decided we’re not going to let people do that. There’s a pretty good argument there for either side of it, but now you have to really work within the confines of these restrictions. I think the one really important area I think can work very well is to target a list that you upload into Facebook.
How can you target an ATS list on Facebook?
Matt Lozar: So when you’re in your candidate database software, in your applicant tracking system, you can export a list of previous candidates that you have applied for your company. You are looking to reengage them or to reactivate them, maybe they haven’t reached out to you in the past two years, five years. So you export that list as an Excel spreadsheet, really just need their email addresses and then you upload it into Facebook. So if Matt Lozar or Brad Bialy’s email address is in your database and it’s also a Facebook profile, that’s called a match, and you’re matched audience is the list of people that are in your applicant tracking system that are also on Facebook with that exact same email address.
Brad Bialy: For me, hearing that out loud, that seems like the best place to get started. If you have a database of 10,000 candidates, why not upload that to Facebook see if those individuals have a Facebook account? Facebook will do all the work for you behind the scenes and then you can start to serve ads to individuals who already know who your brand is and already know who you are. So the likelihood that they’re going to click on that ad or click on that post or click on that job is higher because they already know who you are. There’s already some brand awareness built around your logo and built around that brand.
Matt Lozar: Yeah, it’s challenging to get anyone new to not only get familiar with their brand but also to then convert to apply for a job with you. So if you already have someone that has brand awareness of your company, that’s you’re… Part of the battle has already been completed there to where they know about your staffing. You see they’ve applied for a job with you previously. Maybe they’ve had a positive experience, but just their next assignment went somewhere else. So if you can reactivate them to keep your company top of mind with their job application activities and their career development, then you should really focus on that. That’s I think one of the most effective tactics that Facebook has still allowed in its job advertisement platform and can really help you to find that hard to find talent right now in this very challenging recruitment environment.
Brad Bialy: All right, Matt, so wrap up this segment for us. One final takeaway, what do you think the listeners should know most about Facebook ads? Should they be concerned about this new change to the advertising platform? If not, what should we be doing next?
Matt Lozar: Concern probably a little bit just because your targeting options aren’t as strong I think in that interest category like you literally can’t target anyone in health care. So it’s thinking about the best ways to build your audiences and it’s just using Facebook in the best way possible, best capacity possible. Because Facebook is still very popular, still very popular, especially in that a little bit older of a demographic, but serve the ads to everybody and Facebook’s going to show the ads to people that engage with them. Facebook is still a very good tool for recruitment in the right industry, so I wouldn’t go away from Facebook and look at other areas. I would just use it as part of your recruitment strategy to continue to find candidates for your open job orders.