If you haven’t had a chance to take a look at parts one, two and three from this series, click here to start at the beginning of what candidate retargeting is, why it should be a tool you utilize and which strategies bring results.
So far in this series, I’ve talked about several strategies that organizations can utilize to attract and retarget candidates who have visited their careers page without taking the plunge and applying for a position. The fourth part of this series looks at the ultimate retargeting, the type that seeks to pull candidates back to your site who have not only visited before but also have previously worked for the organization.
We all know it’s almost inevitable that employees will make the choice to leave your organization at one point or another. Whether it’s for a new opportunity or challenge, higher pay or even location, most employees stay with a company anywhere from two to six years and then move on. The majority of the time, it’s not personal, meaning employees aren’t angry or bitter at the organization. This is good news for companies who are open to re-hiring candidates who have previously quit because these former employees are actually the ideal candidates. They know your company, expectations and what it takes to perform there.
How to track them
Obviously it would be virtually impossible to track when former employees visit your careers page, which means that any retargeting that occurs wouldn’t be strategic in nature but would be the same as a first-time candidate visiting your site. In order to facilitate keeping in touch with and retargeting former employees, you’ll need to create an alumni network where these people can connect. There are a number of ways to do this, including creating an alumni page on your website, launching a new web site just for alumni, password protecting the site or creating a group on a social networking website. These alumni networks are completely customizable based on your company culture but often have message boards, profiles or spotlights, a blog and a company news section. Creating this network allows you to retarget those who visit the site later on, using strategic advertisements that are more specific and unique than your general retargeting advertisements.
When retargeting these former employees, there are three main things to keep in mind: Be transparent, play to your strengths and remind them of the company culture. Remember that these candidates already know what it’s like to work for the organization, so they’ll see through exaggerated statements. At the same time, they’ll have real experiences to relate to the words you write, creating a valuable connection to your advertisement. Feature the company’s culture and positive aspects of being employed there to remind these candidates of what they loved about your company.
Another aspect of your strategy to consider is successfully retargeting without spending an exorbitant amount of money and seeing minimal results. Retargeting can become expensive, so it’s important to conduct intelligent recruiting that involves creating a network of passive candidates so that every time you have a position open up, you’re not spending more of your budget to retarget passive candidates you’ve already connected with at some point. Rather than scrambling to seek out former employees with whom you haven’t connected since they left your company every time you’re ready to hire, you can simply tap into the network you’ve created that offers passive candidates who previously worked at your company and may be ready to come back.
The perfect candidate to retarget
The most important thing when analyzing your retargeting is that you’re seeing a return on your retargeting investment, which is why former employees are the perfect candidates to reach with retargeting. They have made the effort to join or view your alumni network, meaning that they likely view the organization in a positive way, so they’ll be open minded to the idea of working for your company again. As you continue to retarget these candidates, you’ll have immediate brand recognition and need fewer impressions to remain at the forefront of their mind than with new candidates.
Have you had success with an alumni network or retargeting former employees? Let us know in the comments section below.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs.