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How to Use Geofencing for Recruiting

Updated: Oct 6, 2022

As seen on Hearst Bay

A recent headline in the Chicago Times read “Milestone for U.S. job market: More openings than unemployed.”

Around the same time, Reuters reported that the U.S. job “quits rate” had hit a 17-year high, “showing that workers have high confidence in a strong job market.

This may be good news for American workers, but companies seeking qualified applicants are starting to look for innovative ways to attract new talent without resorting to tactics that put the bottom line at risk should the next recession prove closer than anticipated.

While wages are likely to go up simply because of the current demand excess (if the economy slows down, demand will decrease to something nearer the supply available in the labor force), new tactics are necessary for businesses that want to stay competitive, particularly those with time and budgetary limitations.

How Can Geofencing Work for Recruiting?

Enter geofencing.

Companies that can identify a specific region or geographical location can benefit from applying widely available technological advances to their hiring practices.

For example, a firm that wants to attract students from MIT, but doesn’t have the budget to send recruiters to campus, can put a digital geofence around the MIT campus, or the larger Cambridge area, and run ad campaigns that will only be seen by people in that targeted region.

Or recruiters at a construction company looking to woo local skilled trades workers from other organizations can show ads within a set mile radius of their job sites and attract staff who won’t need to relocate or adjust to local regulations.

What Is Geofencing?

So what is geofencing? Simply put, it’s the practice of providing specific content to individuals based on their physical location, as determined by either their IP address or a function of their mobile device, such as RFID.

Location can be as specific as an organization, or as broad as a zip code, state, or country. How broad you set the parameters depends on your particular goals, and where research shows your target demographic is located.

Anyone who has tried streaming a movie or tv show that is free in another country, but blocked in their own has felt the invisible hand of geofencing. As has anyone who keeps seeing ads for local businesses in their newsfeed. (Just today, I was streaming music and heard an ad from a local politician: Geofencing).

Or if you’ve ever been to a website where you had to choose the country you live in, and saw different options depending on what you chose—that’s also geofencing, even though it is user-defined.

Setting up a geofence (choosing an area to target with your ads) is only the first part of an effective recruiting campaign seeking qualified applicants.

With the right technology, you can elect to do things like continue to show ads to someone who has entered your geofence for 30 days. If you chose to target an industry conference like Dreamforce in San Francisco, where highly qualified applicants would be in attendance, your ads would continue to show on their computers and mobile devices for a month after the conference ended!

Or if you held a hiring fair at a business school, you could promote the event with geofencing, using ads like “Looking for a marketing job? Come see us in the plaza Thursday from 1-4pm.”

But a conversation about geofencing wouldn’t be complete without mentioning geotargeting…

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