• The Great Rehire and SEM Strategies that Stick

    Posted by Ashley Kauffman on February 14th, 2022

    No one expected 4.5 million employees to quit their jobs in November 2021, the highest number ever recorded. That made HR and TA leaders suddenly scramble to fill positions and reflect on how to retain their own employees. And the trend isn’t over. One study indicates 59% of American employees have a letter of resignation ready to go but have not sent it, and 23% of them plan to resign before the end of 2022.

    Don’t panic; instead, take advantage of this trend called The Great Rehire to attract the talent you want for your organization.

    The truth is the market today favors the job seeker. They have many options and according to ZipRecruiter, two-thirds of job candidates are not accepting the first offer they receive. They’re very intentional about selecting a new position, and thanks to remote work options, their job search is not limited by proximity.

    To attract this talent, your task is to show them the What and Why of your organization and be actively recruiting because candidates are doing their research now. Although they may not be actively looking, 60-85% of passive job seekers are “open” to a new job. You can reach out and attract these candidates using some key strategies:

    SEM Strategies [Search Engine Marketing]

    This references the digital marketing ecosystem which involves each of the following:

    1. Paid searches
    2. Display ads
    3. Social media
    4. Programmatic
    5. Retargeting

    The entire process of the digital marketing ecosystem involves creating employment campaigns that prompt greater awareness of your employer brand, increase traffic to your website and generate more candidate’s applications. A well-developed ecosystem ensures you are staying upfront with candidates and ahead of the competition.

    Keep in mind that most job candidates start any search by using Google. Google advertising (aka paid search, cost per click, pay for click) is a powerful marketing strategy. Google, in fact, is the industry leader:

    • They have 92% of market share v. other search engines
    • 40,000 search queries happen every second
    • 76% of all global searches take place on Google

    Using Google ads, you pay a small fee every time a candidate clicks on your ad – these are the active job seekers, the ones you want to capture now if you can get in front of them.

    If you can get your organization at the top of the Google search results, you can increase the awareness of your brand and open positions by 80%. Indeed, you are more likely to get the talent you want when you are at the top of the search results (50% of all clicks go to one of the top 3 positions which are paid search ads).

    NAS has a team of experts who can help you here. We recommend focusing on developing a solid search campaign structure depending on the needs of your company, whether it is related to any or all of the following:

    • Specific positions to fill
    • The branding and awareness of your organization
    • Targeting your competitors’ job listings

    The magic happens through the use of key words – specific words or phrases that apply to your brand or open positions. There is no minimum or maximum here as long as you are achieving the results you want. One approach is to use highly searched words and phrases; another is to apply terms that are relevant and unique (i.e., your competitors aren’t using them!). The latter approach could give you an advantage.

    Begin by researching these key terms and after identifying them, be sure they appear in the ad copy and on your landing page. This can increase your CTR [click-through rate] and lead to more applies.

    Display Advertising [aka Banners]

    This is an excellent way to build brand awareness and prompt job candidates to click on your site based on what you are offering for your open positions. These candidates may not have been actively searching, but they found your display banner to be relevant and interesting and decided to click.

    Why do this?

    1. It is a way to connect to the passive job seekers who make up 90% of internet users.
    2. A display ad combined with a search strategy can increase your overall reach and connections by 15%.

    Job seekers may not click right away, but they may see an interesting title or tagline and return to Google to do a search based on what they viewed on your banner, which brings them back to your display ad. Organizations who use a combination of display ads and search strategies typically see a 50% lift in applications and an 8% increase in CTR when the ads are personalized.

    And don’t neglect to utilize engaging images! Using visual content is very important to recruitment marketing. In fact, 48% of organizations say visual content is vital to their recruitment process. Typical display ad must be visually appealing and have a compelling headline and a clear call to action. Moreover, the Call to Action (CTA) button must be clear and prominent. Specific banner sizes should also be considered. Studies indicate that 728 x 90, 300 x 250 and 336 x 280 have proven to be the most successful.

    A partner like NAS can help you. We use real-world data and superior marketing intelligence to help our clients attract the talent they want.


    This is surprisingly underused even though the benefits are great. You should always have a retargeting campaign ready to go to reach candidates because 98% of visitors leave a site without applying, but 70% are more likely to convert after retargeting strategies are utilized. This applies to both the passive and active job seekers. After candidates get tagged, a retargeting campaign can inspire them to return (28% return to apply after being contacted by a retargeting campaign, resulting in a 7x more application completions). Therefore, consider your overall job marketing process and have an organized plan that includes a standard retargeting campaign.

    Best Practices for the Greatest Success

    Clearly, HR and TA leaders must be determined in order to attract top talent to their organizations. To take your marketing optimization to the next level, following the best practices outlined below.

    Be Organized

    • Research keywords for SEM, what your competitors are doing and the specific job candidates you are pursuing
    • Create a campaign that contains display ads, banners and other media
    • Test the results you get using multiple ads and keyword variations
    • Analyze and adjust – use continuous optimization based on campaign stats and overall performance
    • Interpret data analysis of the campaign performance [aka analytics]
    • Update your strategy and re-examine the selected marketing channels

    Be Proactive

    Here, you anticipate your needs and seek out applicants before staffing needs become critical. Through anticipation, you always have an agile campaign strategy ready to go. This type of preparedness involves having a creative copy always ready to be implemented.

    Be Reactive

    Since no HR or TA leader can anticipate a surprise resignation or departure, they must be ready to start from scratch to fill this position. This involves extended set up and copy creation, a potential launch delay and higher costs and CTR. The Reactive strategy can also result in less applicants and a higher cost per apply. Nevertheless, it is a necessary task for any HR or TA department.


    Utilizing a full digital marketing ecosystem and understanding how candidates search today are crucial to attracting job candidates during the Great Rehire. Keep in mind that one-size does not fit all. The strategies you use must be specific and unique to your organization and result in the highest ROI. You must proactively prepare for reactive needs as you proceed through 2022.

    To solve your hiring problems, you can use these six strategies which can get job candidates receptive to your hiring message. You can also look to NAS which has the resources and staff to help you better position yourself in during the Great Rehire. We offer many free resources on our website that include infographics, e-books and blogs. You can also contact us for more information.



    Venngage.com, “15 Visual Content Marketing Statistics to Know for 2021 – United States Report”, 2021

    Meazy.co, “10 Retargeting Statistics You Need to Know in 2021”, 2021

    WebFX.com, “57+ Google Ads Statistics to Know in 2019 and Beyond”, 2021



    Ashley Kauffman

    As Director of Analytics with NAS Recruitment Innovation, Ashley works closely with our clients to help them strategize on recruiting A-level talent based on data intelligence. Ashley focuses on telling a story for our clients in a way that not only validates their current strategy, but also anticipates future opportunities. Whether your goal is delivering effective employment brands, career sites and social media strategies, or comprehensive online or traditional ad campaigns, Ashley leverages her ten plus years of industry experience to achieve success and exceed client expectations.

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