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3 Ways to Upgrade Your Paid Advertising from Rally Award Winners

3 Ways to Upgrade Your Paid Advertising from Rally Award Winners
Profile photo of Natasha Makovora
Written by Natasha Makovora

Get expert advice to improve your paid ad strategy from the three 2021 Rally Award winners for Best Use of Paid Social Media in Recruitment Marketing: UBS, Nestlé USA, and Sitel Group®.

3 Ways to Upgrade Your Paid Advertising from Rally Award Winners
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If your paid advertising campaigns are not delivering the results you’ve hoped for, you’re not alone. Using paid advertising in Recruitment Marketing can be complicated. But a successful paid strategy can likely be boiled down to 3 areas:

  1. the ad format you’re choosing
  2. how well you’re staying up-to-date on the latest technology and
  3. how aligned the contents of your ads are with the wants and desires of your target audience.

To help you optimize your paid ad strategy, we’re showcasing the incredible work of the winners of the Best Use of Paid Social Media in Recruitment Marketing category from the 2021 Rally Awards: UBS, Nestlé USA and Sitel Group®. In hearing their success stories, we hope you can walk away with proven tactics to optimize your paid ads for Recruitment Marketing success. 

Meet the winners


As the largest private bank in the world, UBS Group AG is a Swiss multinational investment bank and financial services company with over 71,000 employees.

As the winner of the Best Use of Paid Social Media in Recruitment Marketing, UBS used paid video ads to make their target talent market aware of their largely unknown GIC division and to support short-term hiring during the pandemic. The campaign was the most successful UBS Recruitment Marketing campaign according to all marketing metrics and hires! 

Nestlé USA

Nestlé is the world’s largest food and beverage company. In the United States, Nestlé is home to more than 150 U.S. locations in 31 states, which includes manufacturing, R&D and supply chain facilities and corporate offices. They employ more than 30,000 people. 

As the second place winner of the Best Use of Paid Social Media in Recruitment Marketing, Nestlé used a media story they were featured in to promote a key value of their employer brand: empowering employees to be innovative on a day-to-day basis. 

Sitel Group®

Sitel Group is a privately owned leading global provider of customer experience (CX) products and solutions that connects brands with their customers more than 4.5 million times per day. With more than 100,000 employees, they provide customer service, technical support and other business processes for their customers and generate $2.1 billion in annual revenue.

Sharing second place with Nestlé, Sitel Group used a combination of Facebook Live, traditional social media boosting and augmented reality (AR) to highlight their associate experience, create connections with potential candidates and drive traffic to their virtual job fair

Here are our top 3 takeaways from these Rally winners on how to upgrade your paid advertising campaigns in your Recruitment Marketing. 

1. Lead with video

The rising popularity of video continues to prove that this content type is the preferred format by job seekers. In fact, social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.

UBS has been among the leading pack of companies championing video in their paid advertising; through their “Consulting, but different” video campaign, they reached over 120,000 people, produced over 400 qualified interviews and over 200 hires — all for less than $20,000 through LinkedIn ads. These results surpassed their goals of increasing awareness in their target talent market and supporting short-term hiring. 

Driving this success was a series of video ads that had been tested with existing consultants at UBS and validated using external qualitative and quantitative research to make sure the concepts resonated with UBS’s target audience. 

UBS: Make a change — consulting but different!

A video ad from UBS’s “Consulting, but different” campaign. 

The LinkedIn video ads were adapted to each stage of the recruitment funnel, for audiences that were in the awareness stage, consideration stage and then at the point of applying for a job.

While the concepts changed from video to video, they all followed a similar format: they got the attention of management consultants, quickly addressed the issues commonly found in big-name consulting companies and presented working in-house at UBS as a superior alternative.

Rally note: To learn more about how UBS used video to achieve their hiring goals, be sure to read Great Recruitment Marketing Videos: 4 Winning Examples to Elevate Your Strategy.

2. Experiment with new ways to connect with your target audience

Beyond video, all sorts of new ways to interact and engage candidates are emerging, including chatbots, texting and even virtual/augmented reality. AR has proved especially useful during the pandemic, as it allows companies to bridge the gap between remote and in-person. Sitel Group even managed to incorporate AR into their paid hiring efforts. 

As social distancing took effect and demand for remote customer support skyrocketed, Sitel Group had a dramatic increase in customer contacts with fewer customer service agents available. In other words, they needed to hire — and fast. 

But being in the people business, they didn’t want to do a regular social media ad campaign and further contribute to the lack of human touch that people were feeling as the pandemic took hold. With human touch as their priority, they instead settled on hosting a 6-hour Facebook Live and in their social media ads drove all traffic to their virtual job fair. 

Sitel Group used AR technology to simulate an in-person experience, allowing attendees to interact with and learn from Sitel Group team members like they would at an on-site event. The technology even allowed interested attendees to interview and get hired on the spot. 

They promoted the event through social media ads in the communities in which they were hiring (before the event and in real time as the event was streaming) and directed viewers of their Facebook Live to their Virtual National Hiring Day event. 

The event turned out to be a major success, as Sitel Group far surpassed their original goal of hiring 400 people in less than 24 hours. Ultimately, the event produced the following: 

  • 77,000 people reached
  • 1,197 comments (all-time, best-performing Sitel Group social post)
  • 2,174 visits to the virtual fair from the live
  • 33% of visits from social media (14% from the live)
  • 5,400 applicants
  • 623 hires

The creative approach Sitel Group used goes to show that you don’t have to have large pockets to get results. In fact, Sitel Group spent only $500 ($0.22 per visit) to drive people to register for the virtual event! 

Through their live event, and social media boosting to support registration, they highlighted their associate experience, maintained their people-centric focus and walked away from their virtual job fair with hundreds of quality hires. 

3. Showcase  your employees front and center

This year’s CareerArc Future of Recruitment Study reported that over half of job seekers cited poor or diminishing employer brand and reputation as one of the reasons for leaving a previous job.

Your company values need to come through in your ads more than anything else; not just in the form of catchy headlines and bright visuals, but also through your people and what their everyday looks like.

As a company who is dedicated to staying aligned with the tastes of their customers, innovation is at the core of everything that they do. They use an internal crowdsourcing platform called Open Channel to allow workers to weigh in on various challenges and new product ideas being considered by the company. Employees who have upvoted suggestions have the chance to pitch their ideas to Nestlé’s executive leadership team. Selected employees then receive the time and support they need to develop their idea into something real and actionable.

This directly speaks to Nestlé’s commitment to empower their employees to be innovative, and these stories became the focus of their recruitment social media advertising strategy. It put employees first and showed what innovation actually looks like in practice in their workplace culture.

The Open Channel initiative quickly led Nestlé to be featured on Fast Company’s list of Best Workplaces for Innovators. The Nestlé team then used paid ads to promote this article on their social media channels, increasing their credibility and building their brand as a top innovative workplace. 

Nestlé social ad

A social ad promoting Nestlé’s feature as one of Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators.

This serves as a good example of the kind of advertising materials that shows candidates how your people work and how to source these stories the right way: by empowering your employees to live out your company values on a day to day basis. 


We hope that you can follow in the footsteps of the award winners above and close out 2021 with your most successful paid advertising campaigns yet.

To learn more about creating an award-winning paid advertising strategy, be sure to read our article breaking down How to Solve the Toughest Social Media Ad Challenges.

3 Ways to Upgrade Your Paid Advertising from Rally Award Winners
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About the Author

Profile photo of Natasha Makovora

Natasha Makovora

Natasha Makovora is a Rally Content Contributor and Employer Brand and Recruitment Marketing Specialist at The Employer Brand Shop.

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