Think Like a Marketer II: Use Retargeting and Content to Capture Candidate Attention

Use retargeting and content marketing to capture candidate attention.

In a past post, we compared the marketing funnel to the recruiter’s “talent pipeline”; starting at the “awareness” phase, we examined how to reach the right job seekers at the right time using targeted advertising. In this post, we’ll dive into the second stage of the funnel: consideration. In this phase, potential applicants have found your listing and are deciding whether or not they will apply.

Why do people switch jobs? One reason is because they are feeling disenfranchised or demoralized at work. Another — the one we want to focus on — is because they have been inspired by a new opportunity. So how can you inspire talent? With intriguing job content. In fact, according to Indeed research, one of the top reasons people switch jobs is because they see an intriguing job posting.*

The key word here is “intriguing.” If your job title and description are weak, missing or inaccurate, you could be losing potential candidates. What’s more, job seekers see dozens of listings every day; not only do you need a compelling message, but you also need to reinforce that message by showing it to candidates more than once.

Using retargeted ads — along with a little content marketing for your job titles and descriptions — can help your listings stay top of mind. This will help move job seekers further into the funnel and closer to hired.

Grab candidates’ attention with strong post content

Around the office, we use the mantra “content is king” and that is certainly the case in the consideration stage of the funnel. Your content is key to getting the attention of jobseekers and needs to be as compelling as possible.

People will likely require some extra nudges at this point in the job-seeking process to convince them to actually apply. Once you’ve put your best content forward, you can start using tools such as retargeting to drive the candidate further into your talent pipeline.

When writing your job posting, start by thinking through what message you want to send to potential applicants. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • What do you stand for as a company?
  • What is this role about, and why is that important to the job seeker?
  • What skills, education and experience are requirements for the role, and which are the “nice-to-haves”?
  • What language and keywords will resonate with this audience?

Remember that your job ads and content may be a candidate’s first impression of your company. As with an in-person meeting, potential applicants may make up their mind about your job within seconds, based off such indicators as the words you choose and the energy behind your post.  

Here’s an example of a well-thought-out listing for a public relations manager position:

“Our Sports Press team takes a full-court press approach, putting our brand name in the minds of every professional in our industry. We’re a ragtag squad of former championship weightlifters and English majors assembled from around the globe. We pull no punches to engage our audience and never release anything into the ring that we aren’t proud of.”

This demonstrates company culture while using keywords likely to engage your audience. If needed, you can always have a marketing colleague review your copy before publishing.

What is retargeting?

So you wrote a killer job description, the job seeker read it and now they’re interested. How do you nudge them to take the next step and apply?

That’s where retargeting comes in. Retargeting ads are a form of online targeted advertising that are served only to people who have already visited your website — or, in this case, your job listing.

There are two main approaches to running a retargeting campaign: list tracking and pixel tracking. (Note that pixel tracking is the more advanced option and will likely require support from your marketing counterparts to implement.)

1) List tracking: This involves uploading a list of custom email addresses from your applicant tracking system (ATS) to a retargeting campaign on a social network, such as Facebook. Facebook then matches the emails from the list to social accounts registered with that email to serve them targeted ads.

Some examples of this in action:

  • Perhaps you want to retarget to people who declined an offer to join your marketing team. You could build an email list from your talent database by filtering with status “offer declined,” then build creative content that speaks directly to those candidates.
  • Similarly, you might build a campaign targeting candidates who joined your talent network but never applied, with ad copy customized to that audience.

Retargeting these candidates from your ATS is a great way to help your organization build brand awareness and increase candidate conversion. The level of detail your ATS can provide about past applicants can empower you, the employer, to create hyper-personalized content instead of sending out the same message to everyone.

When people opt in to our talent network, they are shown our privacy policy along with a link to the details. Any company collecting user information displays a link to their privacy policy on the talent network, which candidates are shown when they opt in. This gives your company permission to use that data for remarketing purposes.

2) Pixel trackingWith this advanced option, a pixel code must first be installed on the website your listing is posted on; then, when a job seeker visits the site, a coded element known as a “pixel” or a “cookie” is placed on their browser. When they leave your site, the cookie notifies your retargeting platform to serve specific ads based on the pages they already visited. If pixels are not already installed on your website, this option may require you to seek assistance from members of your company’s marketing or IT team.

Conclusion

Retargeted advertising can be a great way to increase candidate consideration and push job seekers further into your talent pipeline. Utilizing best practices with job-listing content will ensure your posts are intriguing to job seekers. So hit them with a strong message and a retargeting campaign to ensure they see your post more than once — increasing your candidate conversions.

For a more detailed look at targeting advertising and product solutions, check out our Digital Marketing eBook.

*Source: Harris Poll on behalf of Indeed, n=1,997

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