• Engaging and Retargeting the Distracted Candidate

    Posted by Katie Gallagher on December 22nd, 2021

    It’s a common scenario these days: a job candidate begins viewing your organization’s career page, but then a text, call, email or possibly another task pulls them away. Will they return? Unfortunately, not too often. In fact, 60% of potential candidates quit if the application process is too complex or takes too long. The fallout is your ROI goes down and hiring costs go up.

    But don’t panic!

    You can attract top talent to your job ads, keep their attention, get them to apply and fill your needs by following these four strategies:

    1. Presenting an engaging and interactive career page with clear job descriptions.

    Transparency is crucial here. Be honest about expectations, compensation/benefits and scheduling in your job ads. Is the job in an office, remote, or is it hybrid? Can candidates work remotely from other parts of the country? Get current employees to review job descriptions to see if they truly encourage candidates to apply.

    The best job descriptions are approximately 250 words, covering the most essential aspects of the job (duties and qualifications). Moreover, you want to make it easy for job seekers to find the position they want.

    Finally, your career site should promote your employer brand, provide attractive visuals and tell a great story about your organization. This is your first impression, your handshake moment with a job candidate. Your objective is to link them quickly and efficiently to the job they want. You want their undivided attention as you answer their question, “What’s in it for me?”

    A great career page:

    • Demonstrates transparency and is simple in design
    • Begins with a catchy headline
    • Has strong images (no stock photos)
    • Features testimonials from current employees
    • Displays a career ladder or path
    • Has a specific call to action
    • Offers a quick application process

    You don’t want to waste anyone’s time. Job seekers should recognize immediately if this is the job for them, and once they have decided that it is, the landing page should get them excited about applying.

    1. Have a clear and consistent online recruiting strategy.

    Today, candidates are all over social media when searching for a job – in fact, they’re using an average of 16 different sources (job boards, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, etc.) when they start hunting for a new position. You should exploit programmatic advertising and sourcing technology with a robust recruitment marketing system that also takes advantage of TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube, Instagram and even streaming audio (iHeart, Spotify, Pandora, etc.), which has a global reach. Utilizing social media can help you build and further enhance your employer branding, so that you are recognizable to relevant candidates.

    HR and TA leaders should identify specific candidates based on their demographics, interests, and skills.

    As was previously mentioned, you should take advantage of programmatic job advertising for retargeting candidates. Programmatic job advertising allows candidates to become aware of your employer brand throughout their job search. Instead of having a person on your team buy, place and optimize job ads, recruitment technology can do it for you. This method is becoming increasingly popular, and it gives you another option when it comes to retargeting candidates.

    1. Keep the online application process simple, quick and user friendly.

    Indeed, reducing the length of the application process can have a major impact on preventing any candidate from becoming distracted. Simply reducing a 15-minute application process to 5 minutes will keep more candidates engaged and on track to complete the application.

    According to Kelton, 86% of job candidates use mobile devices when performing a job search. and half apply using their phones (well over 70% for nurses and candidates in the restaurant and retail industries). And surveys reveal that 53% will leave a mobile site if they wait longer than 3 seconds for the site to load.

    Therefore, limit the number of clicks website visitors must make, the screens they have to view and the questions they need to answer. One Appcast study shows that completion rates drop nearly 50% when an application had 50 questions v. 25 questions.

    1. Consider the main benefits of adding search retargeting to your recruitment marketing strategy.

    Recruitment retargeting has recently become a must-do strategy in the hiring process. Here, display banners target users who have previously visited your career site but did not to apply for some reason on their visit. In fact, only 8.6% of candidates convert to apply on their first visit. By placing a tracking tag on the career landing page(s), you can retarget (or “tag”) them when they visit that landing page and remind them to come back to your career page when it is more convenient for them. Over 73% of job seekers are passive candidates, and this is where retargeting really comes in handy.

    Data shows that by implementing this strategy in conjunction with your other marketing strategies, you can increase the overall number of applications you receive. When one NAS client implemented retargeting 4x, they saw their increase of applies month over month nearly triple! A retargeting campaign for another client saw their apply starts (number of times the ad was clicked on by candidates on the career site) jump from 633 to over 2100 and applications from 1830 to 2150 in just one month!

    What is cross-device retargeting and how can I use it in my recruitment marketing efforts?

    Cross-device retargeting is exactly what it sounds like, serving retargeting ads to people across multiple devices. For example, you can retarget candidates who were previously desktop users and show them job ads on their mobile device. This can give them an additional push and give you the ability to re-engage them. They have already expressed interest in your company in some sort of way, so it would only make sense for you to use retargeting to guide them back to your careers site.

    Cross-device retargeting helps keep your brand at the top of job seekers’ minds. When a job seeker is served an ad for job opportunities you may have open, they are 70% more likely to show interest and convert to an applicant. In general, most people that end up on a website start on one device and end up on another. Depending on the task at hand, using one device over another can be beneficial.

    Creating a retargeting campaign is as simple as starting a retargeting list in Google AdWords. From there, you will need to build a list of 100 website users to begin retargeting, but this should be no large feat if your website already has a strong foundation.

    NAS can certainly help when it comes to retargeting job seekers who have expressed interest.

    To solve your hiring problems, you can look to NAS which has the resources and staff to help you better position yourself in getting the talent you need. We regularly contribute to the talent acquisition community by offering many free resources on our website that include infographics, podcasts, blogs and other resources. NAS also offers a free 30-minute consultation to learn more about these strategies.



    Career Builder

    Dave Zielinski, SHRM, “Study: Most Job Seekers Abandon Online Job Applications.”


    ReTargeter “Win the War for Talent with Retargeting:  Attract the Right Candidate”

    Katie Gallagher

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