ReTargeter Blog

Win the War for Talent with Retargeting: Attract the Right Candidates


What phases do candidates go through in a job search? They are orientation, consideration, action and engagement according to CareerBuilder, which surveyed 5,518 job seekers and 2,775 hiring managers to understand modern behaviors, attitudes and approaches to job search and candidate recruitment. One finding that may surprise you is that today’s job seekers use an average of 16 different resources — including search engines, job boards, corporate career sites and social media — to make a decision about a job.

Increasingly recruiters and hiring professionals are turning to programmatic advertising, audience targeting and retargeting in particular, to guide candidates through these phases and facilitate the recruiting process, by going to the right places with the right messages at the right time. In this first post of a series, let’s explore ways you can attract the right candidates in the first two phases of a job search: orientation and consideration.

Orientation Phase: As job seekers research, expose them to your job opportunities.

Job seekers use major search engines and visit job boards to check out the market. Assuming your listings are out there and you’re presenting yourself in the best light, now you can continue your talent pursuit with display ads that boost your branding and remind them of opportunities at your company.

  • Search Retargeting. Say you’re looking for a web developer. When a job seeker searches for keywords related to “web developer jobs” and others you define, she will begin to see your ads as she browses the web, long after she’s left the search engine. Here’s an example of ad creative that a potential job candidate might see on websites across the web in the days after performing her search:

  • Audience Targeting. Do you know the type of person you’d like to attract? You can expand your reach and create awareness by targeting demographics, geography, interests and behaviors of your ideal candidate.

Even if you didn’t have a relevant job opening at that time, you could use messaging to encourage job seekers to sign up for job alerts or to join a talent community.

Consideration Phase: Remind interested job seekers to come back to your site.

During this phase, candidates tap into their social networks (including colleagues, family, friends) to get a more transparent look at the companies they are considering. They also visit companies’ career sites and review their social media presence to evaluate their brand.

Perhaps a job seeker visited your career site from work, then decided to apply later from home. Or they started your online application before finishing it because they were distracted or it was taking too long. Here’s where retargeting can be particularly powerful.

  • Site Retargeting. One secret to success is segmenting your website visitors. By simply adding a small piece of code to different pages of your site, you can serve an ad specific to the job seeker’s behavior on your site.

Let’s say a national financial services company is searching for customer service representatives in regional offices across the U.S. They could run a campaign to target people who viewed related job descriptions and tailor the campaign to the location of interest for a particular prospect. Here’s an example of what the ad could look like for a user who showed interest in a customer service position in the San Francisco Bay Area:

The more defined your audience segment is, the higher the relevancy, and the more attracted the job seeker will be.

  • Social Media Retargeting. After people leave your website, perhaps they want to see what their friends are up to via social media. You can serve relevant recruiting ads on Facebook, the most popular social media platform.

  • Mobile Retargeting. There’s no denying people are spending more time on mobile devices these days. You can show your recruiting ads to people while they browse the mobile web or while they use their favorite apps.

In this “always-on” digital culture, employers need to focus on being where their target candidates are, at the right time and with the right message. Knowing that an online strategy is essential to your recruiting process, you can reinforce your efforts with a number of retargeting options to build your talent pipeline and remind candidates of interesting job opportunities.

Stay tuned for our follow-up post, in which we’ll continue to explore retargeting solutions for the next two phases of the job search: action and engagement.

We’d love to help you win the war for talent.



Case Study – Watters

Watters Logo | ReTargeter

Watters is the brainchild of designer Vatana Watters. For over 30 years, it has been the leader in offering luxurious designer bridal gowns, innovative bridesmaids dresses, classic special occasion dresses for mothers of the wedding, and adorable dresses for flower girls and junior bridesmaids around the world. Selling primarily at trunk shows and in third-party […]

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