LinkedIn advertising for recruitment - a beginner's guide

In today's jobs market, it's smart to use LinkedIn for recruiting staff. It’s quick and easy to set up an advertising campaign using your LinkedIn account. You can even create a dummy campaign in order to get an idea of advertising costs and the potential reach.

Log in to LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager at and choose the “I want to drive targeted leads across multiple LinkedIn pages with Text Ads” option.

campaign manager
Fig.1: LinkedIn Campaign Manager

Choose the Campaign Name, your language, and the currency you want to be billed in.

Next, create your ad. The screen grabs below show the results for an ad campaign with the Volute website as the destination:

linkedIn ad
Fig.2: A Volute LinkedIn Ad

You can create up to 15 ad variations to see which combination of text and image is most compelling to your target audience. It's a good idea to have at least 2-3 ad variations running at the same time so you can compare performance. Once a true winner surfaces (it'll have the highest click-through rate), deactivate the lower performing ads. Each time you find a leader, try to outdo it with another variation to get even better results. Have fun with it!

Talking of target audience, you specify that audience in the next step.

Fig.3: Audience and potential reach

With Nottingham specified as the target audience location, the potential reach is over 214,000. The reach can be lowered by adding variables into the mix, such as Company Size:

Fig.4: Audience and potential reach, with Company Size variables selected

Note that whilst the potential reach figure has dropped, the targeting is more focussed and you are less likely to get spurious clicks which cost you money but don’t convert.

LinkedIn specify the recommended bid range and daily budget, which is always a minimum of £8 per day. To reach the most potential viewers in Nottingham, LinkedIn set the bid level at £1.93.

Fig.5: Example Advertising Costs and Daily Budget

In the above example, the PPC (pay per click) cost every time someone clicks on the ad was set to £2.10. The minimum amount it is possible to bid is £1.80.

The daily budget was set to the minimum amount possible, which is £8. Actual daily spend may be up to 20% higher, so approaching £10. This PPC bid and daily budget setting would allow for 4-5 clicks a day, at a cost of £40-£50 per week. Total monthly spend would be around the £164-£220 mark.

Start with a small budget and refine the ad copy over a period of days to convert clicks to sales. Putting the location in the ad body reduces low-quality clicks, as does mentioning the target market by name.

Industry type as well as company size can be added to narrow the ad reach focus, but I think it wise to adopt a broad-based approach for an initial period of time in order to gauge performance.

The bid and budget cost and potential reach figures are exactly the same whether you specify linking the ad to your website or to your LinkedIn company profile page. My recommendation would be to link the ad to your website to generate actual sales leads, rather than people who merely want to follow and connect with you on LinkedIn as an individual and do the same with your company employees.

It is extremely quick and easy to set up a LinkedIn advert and get all of the prerequisites in place, and the total time it takes to set up a Campaign overall is dependent on the number of ad variants – obviously, the more ads to be created then the longer it takes. Allow five minutes per ad.

A small LinkedIn Ad Campaign could be managed by an individual in-house, but an agency such as Volute can set it up and manage it for you, but obviously there will also be a further cost associated with admin and account management.

campaign manager

Fig.6: LinkedIn Campaign Manager

Performance can be measured from within LinkedIn, using their Campaign Manager functionality.

It’s fairly obvious, but you should also remember to join lots of LinkedIn Groups where your potential customers might be members. This will amplify your marketing message.

How can we help?

If you would like help in putting your LinkedIn campaign together, we can help. Call 0115 914 5839 or email

This blog was correct at the time of writing (August 2015)

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