How to Recruit Job Candidates Through “Retargeting” Ads

You may have heard of retargeting advertising technology as a hot tool for attracting customers, but one retargeting startup (ReTargeter here in SF) has a person dedicated to helping companies retarget just candidates.

This retargeting-candidate specialist is Armando Gallegos and we decided to pick his brain on using retargeting ads for hiring.

Recruiters: if a candidate visits your Web pages, yet doesn't take action, you can then "retarget" them with an ad on external Web sites.

Here’s the Q&A:

What is retargeting?

Retargeting is the practice of serving display ads based on prior engagement. While there is more than one form of this technology, the most frequently used is site-based retargeting. (Other forms include search retargeting, email retargeting, and CRM retargeting.)

Site-based retargeting is the practice of serving display ads to people who visit your website after they leave. These display ads appear on a variety of other sites around the web, keeping your employer brand in front of your bounced site visitors in an attempt to bring them back.

Can you explain why retargeting is important for recruiters?

Retargeting is important for recruiters/employers because it helps them stay top of mind with passive candidates and allows them to tell a story about their employer brand.

What pain and urgency does retargeting help solve for recruiters?

Retargeting helps recruiters stay in front of passive candidates and increases application completion rates.

What are the top careers-related pages that a recruiter can retarget (e.g. Careers home page, Careers department page, individual job descriptions?)?

The top pages tend to be Careers home page, Talent community pages, Event pages (Career Fairs), any career related landing pages, and individual job descriptions that receive a decent amount of website traffic.

Can an employer retarget candidates through any site other than one they control (i.e. their own Careers site)?

An employer can retarget from any site as long as they can place our code on the pages. That means they can retarget from any site under their domain, but not from an external site like a job board.

Is retargeting another argument for recruiters to focus more on their own careers pages than external job boards?

It certainly could be. Job boards can be a great way to find candidates, but you have less control over the experience and it does remove the possibility of retargeting.

Can you retarget candidates through Facebook?

Yes. Through the Facebook Exchange which launched last summer, employers can now serve ads on Facebook to candidates that previously visited their career site or engaged with their employer brand online.

Who is the point person you deal with at an employer regarding retargeting…is it recruiting, marketing, both?

The majority of the time we’re dealing with the recruiting department and or their recruiting advertising agency.

We know retargeting isn’t free — what’s the minimum cost to test out ReTargeter or your rivals?

The minimum cost with ReTargeter is $500 per month. This minimum spend level is intended for websites that have up to 10,000 unique visitors per month.

What’s the most useful metric to consider for retargeting candidates?

Generally speaking, the most useful metrics to consider are click through rates versus your other display campaigns and application completion rates.

Do you have any data on “candidate conversion” through retargeting? Any other big wins you can share?

CPrime, a leader in the field of IT Project Management saw an increase in time spent on their site by 75% and page views went up 60%. Another Client Rapleaf, a Data Management Platform, saw an increase in click-through rates by 207%.

What types of recruiters are going to be most successful with retargeting…and why?

Recruiters are beginning to realize that they need to think more like marketers, and retargeting has proven to be one of the most useful tools in the digital marketer’s toolbox. I would say that recruiters who are looking to stay ahead of the curve, are willing to learn, test and optimize are going to be the most successful with retargeting.

What’s the best way for an employer/recruiter to reach you directly about retargeting?

The best way to reach me is via email at, or phone at 415-956-1875. I can also be reached on LinkedIn or @mandogallegos on Twitter.

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Views: 639

Comment by Valentino Martinez on January 30, 2013 at 12:37pm

Hold up, Jason & mandogallegos (like the name). If a visitor chooses not to continue on a website, once visiting there, why would a second Ad make any difference? Is it a different Ad…a more powerful one?

And, if they’ve been there and done that, how does seeing your mug again make a difference? And won't retargeting Ads soon become spam if they keep seeing them every time they go online? Won’t seeing your retargeted Ad make them remember why a jumped off in the first place?

I like the concept of tracking back to people who have visited our website but did not apply. My concern would be to find out why they didn’t apply – was there difficulty in applying? Applying online can be a nightmare when it becomes tedious with breakdowns along the way. Rather than a Recruitment Ad I like the idea of sending a “thank you for visiting us” message with an invitation to share if they found anything good or bad about our website/careers section. In this way you may get valuable insight

Comment by Jason Webster on February 3, 2013 at 12:41am
Thanks Valentino. My thinking is that even if 2 out of 10 candidates that visited my careers site come back it can be a good thing. They may have heard about the company, been kicking the tires, and are willing to come back. It beats having no one that was on the fence coming back. Appreciate the comment!


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