Survey: Do Swiss Recruiters Use Paid Ads?

by Etienne Besson on 7 March 2012

in Recruitment

The other day I asked some of my LinkedIn contacts if they had ever used paid ads for recruitment. I admit that I expected most to say “no”.

The method was very simple. I sent a message to as many contacts as possible (50 is the maximum for LinkedIn messages). The criteria was: they recruit themselves (corporate HR or agency recruiters) and I discriminated positively towards those working in Switzerland.

I used Google Forms to create a quick survey and made it anonymous in order to encourage participation.

The Questions

I asked my contacts how they were involved in recruitment (External Recruiter or Corporate HR) and in which country they were based. Somebody replied “Bern”, but although it’s the capital of Switzerland, it still doesn’t qualify as a country 😉

The next question was the really interesting one:

Have you ever used paid online ads for a job search?

And to make sure that nobody mistook “paid online ads” for “job ads”, I specified:

Not job ads. Paid ads can be Google AdWords, Facebook or LinkedIn ads, etc. These are the things that you usually pay per click (PPC, CPM, etc.).

The Response Rate

I was very happy and grateful when I realized that 21 people had replied (42%). Even though they are “my contacts”, I consider this a great response rate.

13 were in Corporate HR (62%) while 8 were External Recruiters (38%).
14 were based on Switzerland (67%) while 7 people (33%) were from France, Hungary, the Netherlands and the UK.

How Many Use Paid Ads?

Out of the 21 people who replied 6 said that they use paid ads for recruitment (29%).

Somebody from France said that they didn’t advertize a specific job but used paid ads to promote a recruitment event.

Results From Switzerland

I received 14 replies from colleagues based in Switzerland and 5 of them (36%) said that they use paid ads. 4 were Corporate HR and 1 was an External Recruiter.

Somebody said that they’re using mainly Facebook ads and another person plans on testing Google ads.

@SwissRecGuy mentioned on Twitter that they’re successfully using Linked ads in Switzerland.

What This Means

From a statistical point of view these results mean absolutely nothing. The initial population was my LinkedIn contacts who are mostly people I worked with or met personally (online or offline). And the sample was very small and anything but random.

But I did achieve my goal. My friend @sliah couldn’t believe that I don’t know anybody in Switzerland who uses paid ads for recruitment.

Now I have to revise my statement since I obviously know such people, but never talked to them about paid ads. And of course I also regret that the survey was anonymous 😉

Swiss Re Is Using Paid Ads

The other day Vincenzo Migliore from LinkedIn mentioned in a comment:

Swiss Re use LinkedIn advertising on their own employee profile pages driving referrals/traffic. Here’s the link to their page, just click on an employee profile to see an example.

Here’s how it works: go to the Swiss Re company page on LinkedIn and click on any employee listed. On the employee’s profile you will see this paid ad on the right:

The ad says:

We’re always looking for new opportunities…
… and people to help us create them.
Take a risk worth taking. Take your career forward at

When you click on the ad you are redirected to the careers tab on the LinkedIn company page. Interestingly it’s not the corporate career page mentioned in the ad. And although Swiss Re are not the first company to use this tactic, I’m very happy to have found a Swiss company who is doing it as well.

Other Swiss Companies

In an upcoming article I will present other companies who use paid ads for recruitment and discuss the advantages of such methods.

In the meantime, please leave a comment or contact me if you know of other Swiss companies who use paid ads. I would love to include them in the article.


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