A

t Hired.com jobs apply to you. This company flipped the recruitment industry on its head, making it so companies apply to hire top talent, rather than the other way around. To facilitate this role reversal, they leaned heavily on the objectively measurable market of software developers, where coding quizzes and AI-based matching could help find the best candidates. Their traction helped them raise $132m over 6 funding rounds, and according to SimilarWeb they get over a million monthly web visitors. Their ads have been featured previously in several blog posts, though I haven't seen anything recently, so I decided to check them out.

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If you’d like to download all of the ads featured in this post, we’ve made them available in this google drive folder, as part of our Facebook ads library resource. All ad examples come from the Facebook ads library tool.

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What did we learn?

Hired don’t seem to be doing as much Facebook advertising as they used to—I only found 16 live ads in the account, with only 2 of them launched in the month of September. The ads they do have are following best practice, with one major flaw in a campaign promoting one of their clients. They take time to promote diversity issues and their ads targeting recruiters are solid, reliable templates that all B2B companies can (and should) repurpose.

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If you’re interested in Facebook ads (if you’re reading this article, I presume you are!) then you might want to take a look at Spotlight. It uses machine learning to see what’s IN your images and text, then automatically show you what’s driving performance.

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Engaging Code Quizzes

Just like we saw with Casper, puzzles in ads can really generate a tonne of engagement. Hired was famous for their coding quizzes from the very beginning, as they used them to differentiate between the quality of candidates, and match their skills to the companies that are hiring.

In this case if you are a programmer, it’s a pretty simple puzzle to solve. This probably maximizes engagement with the ad and helps performance, though I wonder if it brings the best quality candidates? Disappointingly I only saw this one code quiz ad—no testing of different quiz questions, copy, formats, assets, nothing. This is such a rich vein for creative testing ideas, that’s completely passing them by.

Campaigns on Behalf of Clients

The main thing Hired are doing on Facebook, most of their ad variations are promoting a single company, Checkr. I guess this company must have done some big deal with them for hiring, or they’re having trouble filling quota. Advertising on behalf of clients can be a great way to balance demand and fill the equivalent of ‘unsold inventory’—it’s a common practice in the travel or restaurant businesses, for example.

The ad itself is pretty decent. It goes with the angle of engineering a cool product and making a difference at the same time—which is a pretty good motivator for most engineers. According to Stack Overflow’s annual developer survey, 23.5% of developers rated “How widely used or impactful my work output would be” as a motivator. However 54.1% rated “Languages, frameworks, and other technologies I'd be working with” as a motivator, so they should experiment with talking about the tech stack Checkr uses.

They are testing multiple versions of these ads, a couple of copy variations and image variations. In this example it looks like they’re split testing or using dynamic ads to try two different image sizes, the wide one shown, and the same image but longer and square. These office shots tend to work really well, so I can’t fault them on the creative front.

However the only weird thing is… that none of these ads lead to a Checkr-specific page. Why go to the effort to promote Checkr when there’s nothing on the page or URL that indicates these people are any more likely to get matched to them. Not only is this a poor user experience which will hurt conversion, Checkr is a well funded but not particularly well known startup, so I don’t think this would make sense as a tactic to feed off their name recognition.

Equal Pay Day

On a nicer note, they did a promotion for equal pay day where they interviewed seven women about the wage gap. This is a great example of a company making a difference in an area they can actually leverage their brand to make an impact, because it’s core to their business (unlike the random charities Casper is promoting).

Hired is a big believer in hiring assessments which they state on their website helps reduce hiring bias — if someone does objectively well on the test it can combat the subjective prejudices hiring managers might have. Putting money behind an ad like this is admirable and should be commended, as should their efforts to reduce hiring bias through their core business model (which is arguably a more sustainable impact).

Campaigns to Reach Recruiters

The final ads Hired are doing are recruiter ads. I only saw a handful of these, but they were well done and follow best practices for the industry. Highlighting time wasted on sending emails with no response should get every recruiter interested in the product—it’s an enormous problem. Any platform or service that claims to solve it will definitely stoke curiosity. 

Using a statistic overlayed on an image of a person that could be in the job role you’re targeting, is a particularly high-performing tactic I’ve used many times in the past. In this case candidate response rate is a core metric and the 95% figure is so shockingly high that the Hired service becomes instantly compelling (I’m even considering trying it out!).

Sending InMails into the abyss is a brilliant hook that grabs attention by referencing a pain that only the target audience has. It instantly makes recruiters feel like they’re in on the joke, they get the industry and more importantly they get why your job is hard. They want to help you solve it. Other great features of this ad are the use of the word “vetted” (a trigger word that communicates a lot in a short space), the testing of different images to see what people resonate, and the use of a ‘book now’ call to action for scheduling demos.

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If you’d like to download all of the ads in this post, they’re located in this google drive folder for this blog post, in our Facebook ads library, categorized by section. All ad examples come from the Facebook ads library tool.

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Now that you’ve finished reading, I’m sure you’ll be inspired to run more tests of your own. When you’re testing at least 3-5 ads per week, you need a tool like Spotlight to help you get insights into the plus or minus factors driving creative performance. 

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Posted 
Sep 4, 2019
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