4 Ways to Use Mobile Geo Fencing for Recruitment

If you aren’t familiar with geo fencing, it is a tactic that allows you to deliver digital display ads to websites and apps accessed by mobile phones based on the location of the device. That is, you set up a “fence” — a small geographic radius — in which your ads will appear. (See below for more explanation).

Here are four ways you can use mobile geo fencing for recruitment:

  • College recruiting. Target colleges, or other schools, and deliver recruitment ad campaigns to smart phones on/around the desired campus or campuses.
  • Targeting your competition. Focus your geo fencing campaign at/around the location(s) of your competitors. This works best when there is a large workforce to target — examples include a Fortune 500 campus, a hospital, an operations center, a university, or a construction worksite.
  • Diversity or veterans recruiting. Target diverse neighborhoods to reach desired populations or deliver your message on military bases.
  • Layoffs/closings/moving. When layoffs, a workplace closure, or company move are announced, begin geo fencing to attract those laid off, or might not want to stick around to see if they are next, or those who do not want a longer commute in the event of a move.

There are similarities with IP targeting but it’s not the same thing. Geo fencing happens in real time with no data collecting and no future retargeting. Also, geo fencing is strictly a mobile tactic while IP targeting refers to desktops as well.

Anyhow, more on mobile advertising and geo fencing:

Visit any notable content website on your mobile phone — news sites, sports sites, entertainment sites, etc. — and you will see display ads marketing all kinds of products and services. Additionally, many game apps also serve display ads. Marketers have long been buying this “space” to deliver their messages. While most mobile ads are not hyper geo targeted (i.e. geo fencing), in some cases, it makes sense to do so.

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Say you are a spa or restaurant and you want to invite your neighbors to visit you. You could geo fence around your location to reach people in close proximity to your store who are using their smart phone. Or, you might be an auto dealership on a stretch of road containing other, competing, dealers. A geo fencing campaign could place your ad in front of customers who are shopping at your competitors’ stores and attract them to you.

Employers can often see how this could work for them. It’s a way to get your message to locations that are rich in your target audience — colleges, workplaces, neighborhoods. With a compelling message and creative, you will attract candidates, and, with one click, they can be delivered to your careers page, ATS, landing page, social media sites, form fill, or other destination.

With the right partner and platform, you can geo fence anywhere in the country, running your campaign across thousands of top websites.

Jeff Perry is an advertising executive at Star Tribune Media Company in Minneapolis. Star Tribune is the largest media company in the Upper Midwest, with the fifth-largest Sunday print circulation in the U.S. and a comScore Top 1,000 website that receives 7 million unique visitors per month. He is a also a professional musician who has attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and has a B.A. in Music from the American Conservatory in Chicago. Contact jeff.perry@startribune.com.


5 Comments on “4 Ways to Use Mobile Geo Fencing for Recruitment

  1. How can you measure the ROI on such a plan?. We have discussed doing this for large trade shows where the people we want to hire will be but cannot figure out how to measure success. jrowan@aegion.com

    1. For measuring success, first, any vendor should be able to provide the basics: Reach (how many phones received the ads); Frequency (average number of times a prospect was served the ad); Number of clicks on the ad; and Click thru rate. Understand that there is ROI in these metrics in and of themselves. Each reach is someone who knows more about your brand, each click is a prospect sent to your careers (or other) page. Measuring beyond the basics takes a little work but it can be done.

      One of your options is to build a unique landing page that you host. Assuming you have Google, or another analytics program, you can then get specific campaign data on those that land there including time spent on the page, what actions they take, and even demographic insight. On this page you provide an Apply now button and track how many clicks it gets. You could also provide a form fill so people can quickly send you their contact information if they are interested in hearing more but not in a position to apply at them moment. Some vendors can build and host such a page for you if you have limited resources in this area.

      To track hires goes another level deeper. If you have your own ATS, this should be fairly straight forward. Most employers however don’t. So if you are working with a third party ATS it gets tricky to track applies. Ask your vendor if they can provide you with a unique code (UTM) that can be used with your mobile campaign and allow you to follow applicants to hire. Or, ask if they can redirect applicants to a thank you page that you host. This can allow you to tie the completed application to the mobile campaign.

        1. Gretchen – you could reach out to some of the larger media companies in your area (newspaper, TV) to see if they offer the service. Some ad agencies work in the space as well if you have relationships there. We at Star Tribune have years of experience under out belt running these campaigns and we have a national platform that reaches about 90% of the U.S. internet audience. We can just as easily run campaigns for you in your area as we can in Minneapolis, so please consider us. Feel free to see our media kit at: http://mediakit.startribunecompany.com/

  2. Addendum: while in some cases a straight geo fencing campaign may be the best tactic, it is usually recommended that this be one of several tactics to reach and attract the talent you seek. A comprehensive recruiting effort should also include some or all of these: audience targeted display ads (programmatic), targeted email, native/content marketing, search, print, etc.

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