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Want to Recruit People Affected by Mergers and Layoffs? Try This Simple Approach

By James Aiken

James Aiken

Mergers and acquisitions in the building materials industry ultimately lead to changes in the employment market, with merged companies announcing layoffs and competitors launching efforts to recruits. Many competitors are interested in staying aware of who may have been laid off as well as who is unhappy with the new management.

There are plenty of manual ways to identify prospects, but I have found one of the simplest and most automated ways of making this happen is by using LinkedIn’s advertising platform.* It’s free to sign up, and then you decide with each campaign how much you want to spend.

Here’s a quick step-by-step on how to do that:

  1. Go to your campaign manager on LinkedIn and select or create your main account. (

  2. Click “Create Campaign Group” in the top left corner of the page.

  3. Type in your Campaign Group Name. For these purposes, let’s call it “Merger Recruiting.”

  4. Select “Run Continuously From Start Date.”

  5. You should return to the main page. Click the campaign group you created: “Merger Recruiting.”

  6. Click “Create campaign” in the top left.

  7. Click “Next” on the “Campaign Group” page that comes up.

  8. Select “Brand Awareness” as the objective. (Note: You also can use “Website Visits,” “Lead Generation,” or “Job Applicants” if you have an active posting with LinkedIn. But we suggest using Brand Awareness, as it optimizes your spend to show as many people as possible within our target audience instead of optimizing for people that will visit a website or apply to a job.

  9. Set your Target Audience to the recruiting location. For me that would be Greenville, SC.

  10. Now, click “Narrow Audience,” then “Audience Attributes,” then “Company,” then “Company Names.”

  11. Enter the company names that are currently undergoing layoffs, mergers, and similar job-shaking experiences.

  12. Uncheck “Enable Audience Expansion.”

  13. Uncheck “Enable the LinkedIn Audience Network.”

  14. Set budget how you please, preferably at a low level to start, such as $10 per day.

  15. Set a start and end date.

  16. Click “Next.”

  17. Set up your advertisement how you’d like, and then launch the ad.

How people will respond depends on how you invite them to reply. For instance, for some general campaigns I have created a web page in which respondents were invited to visit the page and tell us about themselves. Or if you have a page devoted to a specific job you want to fill, you can link people directly to that job’s page on your site. You could even include a direct phone number in the advertisement itself, if you’re open to this audience contacting you directly. LinkedIn also has a “Lead Generation” service.

I’d love to know how this approach worked for you, or whether you’ve found a better way to attract people whose lives were shaken up by mergers. Write to me at

James Aiken is president of Legacy Search, a recruiting agency for the building materials industry headquartered in Greenville, SC.

* — In case you’re wondering, neither I nor Webb Analytics has any relationship with LinkedIn aside from using the service.

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