With Google claiming over 92% of the search engine market share worldwide, keyword advertising is a fundamental way to reach potential candidates across all levels of intent and whether they are active or passive candidates. Google is often the first place that candidates will start their job search, so it’s an important channel to consider in your recruitment marketing strategy. Google Ads can be run though a refined search for industry related or specific job titles, location-based searches suited to the candidate needs such as ‘flexible jobs near me’ or even recognised when candidates are searching for competitor pages.

Beyond this, there are strategic solutions for reaching candidates beyond the obvious that you may not consider. As we love a challenge at HainesAttract, we can recommend more innovative ways to use this to be seen at the right time, in the right place, by the right people at the right time.


Keyword targeting across Google runs as a programmatic strategy, so factors around the keywords we are bidding on need to be taken into account when you’re looking at budgets – along with the who, what, where and how you’re wanting to reach potential candidates will all depend on the recommended cost of a campaign. We can use more unique keywords for roles with more specialised responsibilities and skills, which also ensures you are reaching an engaged audience who are more likely to convert to an application.

When it comes to how your advert appears following a candidate searching their keywords, you need to consider whether this is going to be channelled through text-based adverts or display, which all depends on your campaign goals. The two strategies are described as a ‘push vs. pull’ approach, with the key difference being that display ads use a push approach, whereas search ads use a pull approach. In other words, those who come across your search ads are already actively searching for jobs, while people seeing ads through the display network are generally targeted after watching a related video, reading an email or browsing the web with wider intentions. As 74% of the candidate market aren’t actively looking for jobs it can be beneficial to run these cohesively rather than exclusively, using the push approach to create the pull.


Whilst SEEK adverts are becoming increasingly advanced with targeting through their AI and candidate profiles, adverts can still become saturated and on such a competitive platform advertising a job advert to reach both the quality and quantity of applications on this channel can be restrictive. When looking at how you can optimise this channel, keyword targeting is a primary way to increase your exposure. With half of candidates using keywords to search on SEEK this can power up your applications in conjunction with your standard or premium adverts. This handy tool by SEEK can be used to consider what keywords to be incorporating when writing your ads to organically increase your chance of appearing to candidates on this platform: Top Search Terms


Trade Me advised that simple works best when it comes to keywords, put yourself in the candidates shoes to establish what they would be searching. Trade Me key word campaigns can stretch beyond the jobs platform, allowing a much wider scope for targeting passive candidates.


Indeed is the number one job site in the world with over 250 million unique visitors every month worldwide giving you access to candidates on a global scale. As a result, it’s always near the top in search results when potential candidates are looking for roles through Google – with its unique selling point of combining the benefits of a search engine with a job board. All roles are aggregated to Indeed and can get lost amongst the thousands of listings on there, with sponsored ads you can promote your job and receive 5x more clicks through greater visibility. Like Google Ads, this is a pay-for-performance model, so you only pay for results.

When looking at performance on this channel across New Zealand, the largest industries searched for are customer service, construction, administration, and healthcare (specifically nurses). Search traffic not surprisingly follows populations, with bulk of interest on the North Island, specifically Auckland, followed by Christchurch and Wellington. Starting at $300 per region, sponsored ads can be a highly cost effective platform to advertise your roles for active candidates.

The team at HainesAttract