Recently, Google announced they will be introducing a new personalized advertising policy that will prohibit employers or recruitment marketers from targeting or excluding ads based on gender, age, parental status, marital status, or ZIP Code.

This is in addition to their policies prohibiting ad personalization and targeting based race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, disability, and sexual orientation.

This update will be rolled out in the U.S. and Canada “as soon as possible, and in any event, by the end of this year.”

Why is this important?

Google and Facebook together account for more than half of all digital ad sales globally, making these policy actions especially influential in the recruitment marketing industry.

The newest update by Google will go a long way in realizing the vision of “equal employment opportunities for all.”

Facebook introduced similar policies over a year ago, when they removed age, gender, and zip code targeting for employment ads.

What does this policy update mean for recruitment media planning and job advertising?

  • Recruitment marketers using gender, age, parental status, marital status, or ZIP Code to target job seekers will be significantly impacted by Google’s policy update.
  • It will prevent employers from targeting job ads based on common demographics, which are often used to discriminate.
  • It will also prevent ZIP code targeting from being used as a proxy to reach out to candidates of similar racial backgrounds that may live together in certain neighbourhoods.
  • Those looking to evolve this portion of their media planning  will need to rethink ad targeting.

Why this is a great step in the right direction

Discrimination on the basis of gender, age, parental status, marital status, race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and other cultural factors, has been a longstanding systemic issue. Talent Acquisition and recruitment marketing are not immune to bias and may not be aware of the subtle and overt ways discrimination occurs.

What you should do next

  1. Explore Affinity Audiences: Placing ads based on job seeker habits and interests – “book lovers,” “fitness enthusiasts,” “passionate about the environment,” etc. These passions, habits, and interests can be determined by interviewing employees that are successful in roles you are hiring for.
  2. Thoughtfully Use Location: Job seekers are more likely to consider a job if they live closer to the job location. You can still use location-based targeting based on the city or a certain mile radius.
  3. Use Gender Neutral and Diverse Language: Job titles and descriptions with gender neutral and diverse language should go hand in hand with your placement strategy. Choosing words and phrasing that are inclusive will serve to amplify your placement.

Take things to the next level

  1. Mitigate Bias with Data: Understanding (or confirming) what is actually working. What sources are providing the correct mix of qualified, diversity aligned candidates? Does each phase of the funnel from the media sources to hire, represent an appropriate candidate mix?
  2. Compare Apples to Apples: It is often difficult to tell how well individual paid, organic, and social media channels are performing and contributing to your recruitment funnel. Aligning all these different outlets into a single, comprehensive media buying and management platform with normalized insights, removes the variation and helps directly with implementing data-driven solutions.
  3. Lookalike audiences: Identifying your past diverse hires and making a lookalike  audience. This might be difficult to do alone. Think about how many pieces of information you have. Each of these might be helpful in making an actionable correlation. Consider using machine learning to establish meaningful placement criteria.

If you are looking to understand how Google’s new advertising policy update will specifically impact your recruitment marketing initiatives – and how you can adapt your ad targeting strategies – let’s chat. You can reach out to us here.

Editor’s Note: At Joveo, not only do we condemn any and all forms of discrimination, but we celebrate diversity and inclusion. All equally qualified job seekers, regardless of gender, age, parental status, marital status, race, religion, ethnicity, disability, and sexual orientation, should have the same shot at applying to and landing the job. We, therefore, wholeheartedly welcome this move by Google.