Blog Candidate Quality How to Use Google Ads for Recruiting
Google Adwords written on a desk representing google ads for recruiting


Are you interested in running Google Ads for recruiting? Do you know which steps to take? The aim of this article is to provide some answers to these questions.


First of all, you need to ensure that your ads will reach your target job seekers. You can achieve this by drafting high-quality posts that are relevant to your candidates.


What is Google Ads and how does it work?

Google Ads is the search engine’s leading advertising platform, giving you the opportunity to place sponsored job posts across the entire Google network.

So, how do you create an ad?


First, you need to:

  • Search for and choose the keywords that will help you achieve your recruitment goals
  • Set a budget, including the amount you are willing to ‘bid’ for every click


When a potential candidate searches for one of your keywords, Google will select an ad or two to display at the top of the search results. This selection is based on several criteria, such as bids and relevance scores.


The ads are similar to the ordinary search results but they are labelled as ‘sponsored ads’.


You may think that people will not click on these ads, but you would be mistaken. Anyone who is looking for a job is more likely to click on the sponsored results rather than the organic ones. This is why it’s so useful to use Google Ads for recruiting.


Choose the right keywords for your Google Ads

Your target candidates will use search terms to find the jobs they want. As a recruiter, you need to identify these keywords. This will depend on your target audience and whether you are looking for active or passive candidates.


Active candidates are more likely to use search terms that include a specific job and location. For instance, they may type something like ‘nursing jobs London’. Meanwhile, passive candidates will probably search for something that could resolve their medical query.


It is easier for your ads to reach active candidates. By contrast, engaging passive candidates may take some doing. Nevertheless, your ads may be able to persuade them to click on a link if they include educational content, such as a blog.

Keyword research drawing representing google ads for recruiting


How can you use Google Ads for recruiting?


1. Keep costs down by matching your keywords to the right searchers

Google uses an auction system to determine which ads are shown to your target audience. This is where your keywords will play a crucial role.


For instance, if you use the term ‘retail recruiter’, you may end up bidding for several keywords, such as:

  • Retail recruiting
  • Retail clothing shop
  • Retail shop


If you don’t correct this mismatch, you may find yourself paying more than is necessary when using Google Ads for recruiting. Fortunately, there is a way to overcome this problem. If you place the keywords in square brackets [retail recruiter], this will inform Google that it should only display the ads to people who clearly typed the term ‘retail recruiter’.


2. Maintain a high-quality score

Being the highest bidder in a Google Ads auction does not guarantee automatic placement.


Google will want to ensure that:

  • The ads are relevant to the user
  • The user experience is of high quality


Furthermore, the search engine will assign a quality score to your keywords ranging from 1 to 10. If your keywords have a better quality score than your competition, Google can show them even if you have made a lower bid.


Now you understand that quality scores can affect your ad campaign, how can you obtain a favourable score?


Well, the first thing you should do is optimise the click-through rate and landing page experience. This is one of the essential SEO for recruiters tips you need to implement in your Google Ads recruitment campaigns.


3. Increase your click-through rate

Your click-through rate goes up every time a job seeker clicks on your ad. However, if they see the ad and ignore it, your rate goes down.


For Google, a high click-through rate means that your ad is beneficial to your audience, namely your target candidates. Now, before you can identify ways to increase your click-through rate, you need to understand the ‘search query to ad text’ match.

Hand clicking on a mouse on a desk

When a job seeker sees their search query in your ad, they will probably consider it helpful and click on it. In addition, Google will highlight the search term once it appears in your ad text.


With this information, it’s best to customise your ads to your candidates’ search queries.


When it comes to placing the keywords on your landing page, it is advisable to use specific locations such as the page title or the URL.


4. Ensure candidates have a pleasant landing page experience

Once a candidate clicks on your ad, it should lead them to your landing page. Even if they visit your site after leaving Google, the search engine will still want to know whether they enjoyed a high-quality user experience.


To ensure your landing page does provide a pleasant experience, consider the following guidance:


  • Instead of directing candidates to your home page, use your ads to lead them to a page that caters to their needs. Use strong call-to-actions, such as ‘click here to find out more about the job’.


  • Ensure the text on your landing page matches your keywords. Google will check to see whether the landing page and ads share the same relevant keywords. For instance, if you bid on the search term ‘finance accountant recruiter’, then you need to ensure that both your ad and the landing page have this exact phrase in at least one section.


  • If possible, the landing page should incorporate the exact phrases used in your ads. If the candidate clicks on the ads and sees the identical ad text on the landing page, it will assure them that they have reached the right place. It will also improve their user experience and encourage them to stay longer and explore.


Landing page drawing representing google ads for recruiting


Check and monitor your Google Ads results

Google Ads will enable you to monitor all your keyword performances through bidding and conversions. For instance, once a candidate completes a form on your landing page, Google Ads can inform you of the keywords that drove them to your site. Although this can take time, you will be able to build a significant database of your most effective keywords.



Using Google Ads for recruiting is an effective marketing tool that can engage candidates and new clients. However, your ads will be useless if they don’t contain the right keywords to attract your target audience.


Whilst Google uses an auction or bidding system, high-quality scores can result in your ads being placed even with a lower bid. To improve your score, make sure your ads generate a high click-through rate and the landing pages provide an excellent user experience. Again, using identical relevant text on your ads and landing page can help reassure your audience that they will find valuable and helpful information.


Want to improve your recruitment process?

Using Google Ads is just one way you can vitally improve your recruitment process. Learn how to enhance your process from start to finish by reading our eBook 10 Ways to Maximise the Recruitment Process.'
Emma Carter

July 14, 2021

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