REcruiting, REmarketing, and REtargeting


When it comes to recruiting, remarketing and retargeting are important tools that corporate recruiters are just beginning to become aware of.

That's a lot of re prefixes to keep track of, so no one can blame you if you aren't yet an expert.

But it should be said that there is a lot of misunderstanding in both recruiting and traditional marketing disciplines surrounding these concepts and the tools that support them. So let's take a minute and throw some parameters around each.


I could give you a scholarly definition of retargeting, but there is an easier way to explain it. Remember that time you bought that coffee maker online and then everywhere you surfed you were followed by ads for the coffee maker you just bought?

That's retargeting.Digital target

It's typically accomplished by dropping browser files called cookies onto the computer of someone who visits your site. Then, when they visit any other web page that serves ads that come from an ad network where you have purchased banners, the website reads the cookie and knows to serve your ad.

Can it be annoying? Yes. Is it effective for recruiting? It can certainly be effective as part of an overall marketing strategy designed to increase awareness through multiple impressions of a brand or offer.

Running a broad, multi-channel recruitment marketing campaign to boost awareness of you as an employer, or define/redefine your employer brand to potential candidates? Then retargeting is an effective way to drive additional impressions and generally get more out of the traffic you have driven to your career site from the campaign.

And you can be creative and precise with retargeting. For example, you could retarget candidates who view technical positions on your career site. Any visitors who view a group of jobs but don't apply can be retargeted with a special ad that says "Did you know that ACME engineers get a $5k signing bonus and free beer in the break room?"

Sound like a good move to get more passive candidates? Just throw a link to your talent network on the banner and before long, you'll have a great database of tech candidates to source from.

The key to retargeting is the underlying concept that it takes at least five impressions for your message to get into an individuals brain.


So despite the fact that many seasoned marketers use the terms remarketing and retargeting interchangeably, there actually is a difference.

Remarketing is similar to retargeting, but it typically involves the use of email.

Before we go any further, we should be very specific about a core concept that has been elusive to many recruiters: When someone applies for your job and doesn't get it – you can and should try to get them to apply for other jobs.

There's no use by date on candidates.

It's not as easy and as accepted as just treating each new requisition as if only fresh new candidates qualify, but it is the core of recruitment marketing. And the key to success in the brave new world of proactive, relationship-based recruiting.

But even if you recoil from stale candidates, there is hope, because the best use case for recruitment remarketing is in the application process. Think about it. If you're applications are really good, maybe half of the candidates that start your application process actually complete it. So there's every reason to remarket to these lost candidates by sending an email with a link to their half-finished application and letting them know you care about them enough to ask them complete it.

Another way to remarket to candidates, if your Candidate Relationship Management system supports it, is to trigger emails to candidates who revisit your site. This works only if the candidate's profile is already in your CRM via an application, resume download, talent network opt in, etc. Your CRM can read when a candidate comes back to the career site and trigger an email out to the candidate.

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That email can let the candidate know you care about them, and encourage them to update their informaion by refreshing their talent network profile, signing up for job alerts, perusing hot jobs, providing referrals – the possibilities are endless.

The point is, you have an engaged candidate. So unless and until you know they are completely unqualified for all the jobs you will ever need to fill, use remarketing to engage with them!

Implementing the "RE"

Implementing REtargeting or REmarketing for REcruiting is accomplished in a couple of ways.

Recruitment marketing platforms like Talemetry support remarketing to candidates with integrated career sites, applications, and CRM. For retargeting, ad platforms like Google Adwords, Adroll, LinkedIn, and others support retargeting visitors with ad messages across their platforms.

No matter how you approach REmarketing and REtargeting in your REcruiting, the results can be REmarkable.

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