Retargeter Blog

5 Retargeting Tips for Corporate Employers

Retargeting for Recruiters

At ReTargeter, we’ve been helping Fortune 500 employers in the financial, retail, technology, and healthcare industries execute on successful retargeting campaigns since 2009. As more and more Fortune 500 employers turn to retargeting to help with their talent acquisition strategy, Recruitment Advertisers and Talent Acquisition leaders are taking notice.

Retargeting is a highly effective form of targeted advertising that allows you to serve banner ads only to people who have previously interacted with your employer brand, such as by visiting your careers site or opening your emails. When it comes to producing the lifts and ROIs with retargeting you may have heard about, it’s important to note that there are best practices that will ensure you get results, as our clients have.

Here are 5 tips for corporate employers considering retargeting:

#1: Segment your Audience

Advertisements can be targeted based on demographic information, like age or gender, contextual factors like subject matter of the website, or geographic data. Audience segmentation takes targeting one step further by allowing for you to tailor ad messages to users in different stages of the application process. As an employer, you want to serve the most relevant ads to users browsing through your site.

The process is simple: you place different retargeting pixels on different pages of your site, and then tailor creatives based on the depth of engagement of each user. For example, lets say Yahoo! has a huge hiring push for Engineers in San Francisco: Yahoo! could run a retargeting campaign where they only retarget users who visit the Job Category: Engineering, Location: San Francisco. Then, they could even mention in the banner ads that they are looking for Engineers in San Francisco. The more defined your audience segment and the greater the relevancy of your ads, the more engaged the user will be.

#2: Creatives Matter

A user comes to your Careers page (and your site!) for a number of different reasons, and it’s very easy to want to cram every single value proposition into your banner ads. Remember, this is your opportunity to show  job seekers the creatives that will tell your story. You want to communicate why yours is the best place to work, and why they should complete the application. Based on where a user is in the process, you want to run creatives that resonate. For example, use a call-to-action that encourage users to join a talent community, sign up for job alerts, or to apply for a job.

Another tip: overcrowded banners can distract from your goal — attracting qualified job seekers and nurturing them through the process. Often, creating memorable ads is best achieved by keeping copy minimal and design simple. All of your banner ads should be well-branded and recognizable.  Use bold colors, concise copy, and clear calls to action with big, clickable buttons. For more suggestions, check out our section on banner ad best practices.

#3: Frequency Caps

A frequency cap will limit the number of times a user will see your ads. This best practice not only assists in preventing applicants from feeling stalked or overwhelmed, but it also ensures you’re not wasting valuable impressions on people who simply aren’t interested in following through.

Based off of our historical data, the campaigns that perform best typically serve between 15-20 impressions per user, per month. We found that serving more than this tends to annoy users and can hurt your employer brand. However, serving fewer than 15-20 ads per month, is just not enough to help build brand awareness and recognition.

#4: Cookie Duration

Similar to frequency caps, you don’t want to overwhelm prospects, and you don’t want to continue serving ads to job seekers who aren’t responding. Here at ReTargeter, we typically recommend serving ads for a length of 90 days. This ensures you’re messaging stays relevant, and that your banners don’t become stale.

Even if you launch your campaign with incredibly strong creatives, running with the same set of ads for months on end will result in a lower performing campaign.  According to a ReTargeter study, clickthrough rates decrease by almost 50% after five months of running the same set of ads. After seeing the same ads again and again, a user’s interest is no longer piqued and the ads are more likely to blend into the background. By rotating your creatives and limiting the length of your campaigns, you can maintain high-performing campaigns.

#5: Burn Code

A burn pixel is a snippet of code that will untag any candidates who have taken the conversion action, whether that is joining the talent community or applying for a job. There’s nothing more frustrating as an applicant than continuing to see ads with a call-to-action for an action you’ve literally just taken. This not only makes applicants feel uncertain as to whether their application was received, but it also could make them second guess the employer.

The important thing to know about a burn code is that you can still place candidates who have converted into a new retargeting campaign, just don’t ask them to take the same action twice. For example, did they sign up for the talent community? Show ads for jobs that are aligned with their job seeker profile. Did they apply and not get an offer? Alert them to new postings that are similar.


Retargeting has already proven effective for ReTargeter’s clients engaging in recruiting and talent acquisition. When used properly, this method can target highly qualified candidates and nurture them through the application process. The opportunity to serve highly focused and relevant banner ads to users who visited your Careers page or signed up for your Talent Pool is unlike what was available to recruiters in the past. Follow these tips and best practices and you’ll be sure to see the results we’ve been able to provide our clients.

If you are in Talent Acquisition and you are considering using retargeting to amplify your digital recruiting strategy, we’d love to help. Send me an email, or give us a call at 415-738-0573.

Leave a Comment