Written by

Job Seeker Journey (Part 2): Stages of a Job Search

Data-Driven Intelligence, Programmatic| Views: 1190

When conducting a job search, applicants go through distinct set of stages to arrive at their desired position. In our last post we introduced the concept of the Job Seeker Journey to make it easier for recruitment marketers to create a tailored recruitment strategy.

To further solidify the understanding of this concept we dive into the following:

  • The difference of job seeker flows on various media
  • The importance of mobile for touchpoint specific recruitment
  • The different stages of the job seeker journey and how applicants behave in them

Job Seeker Flows: How to Utilize Touchpoints Along the Job Seeker Journey

Each touchpoint in the job seeker journey has its own appropriate ad format. Programmatic recruitment is especially suited to reach job seekers across media such as:

  • Mobile: This is the central touchpoint for job seekers, given its pervasiveness throughout the job seeker’s day. Mobile phones are “always around”—a fact that makes them the ideal platform to serve programmatic recruitment ads.
  • Desktops: Devices such as PCs, laptops, and tablets also provide opportunities to reach job seekers programmatically. This is especially true in their free time, or when they switch screens (the multi-screen behavior).

Besides these digital channels, there are more traditional ones, such as TV, printed media, and recruitment fairs. These traditional channels also represent important touchpoints and, especially, TV and printed media, play a key role in the leisure time of the job seeker.

Out of these two platforms above, mobile remains the biggest trend in rectech. Active job seekers are increasingly using their smartphones to look for jobs. But recruiters can still reach passive candidates “where they are” via mobile.

Smartphones are always within reach of the user. These mobile devices represent a persistent touchpoint for recruiters. Smartphones allow sending messages across channels to both active and passive job seekers.

A study found that mobile users interact with their phones, in average, up to 2,617 times a day. These interactions include all tapping, typing, swiping, and clicking performed on smartphones.

Mobile phone touches by hour [source: https://bit.ly/2bzUuQL]
Mobile phone touches by hour [source: https://bit.ly/2bzUuQL]

This quantity of interactions and daily sessions represent a huge potential for recruiters. Each touchpoint is a chance to not only get job seekers inside the funnel, but to also keep them flowing through it.

Mobile optimization, when coupled with a human-centered approach to recruitment, improves the candidate experience.

The importance of mobile makes it a priority for employers to optimize their recruitment experiences in that channel. The application funnel benefits from mobile best practices that reduce friction and drop-offs. These practices include responsive design, form length, copy, number of fields, and CTAs.

Journey Stages: How Job Seekers Move Along the Job Seeker Journey

A job seeker goes through 5 distinct stages when looking for a job.

The Job Seeker Journey Map: A Framework to Improve Your Recruitment [own figure]
The Job Seeker Journey Map: A Framework to Improve Your Recruitment [own figure]

The following use cases explore how job seekers interact with the different touchpoints in their journey:


The initial stage of the journey is different for both active and passive job seekers. Active job seekers are intentionally looking for jobs. They use traditional online channels such as job boards and aggregators, identifying opportunities. Passive job seekers might be open to opportunities but not actively looking to change jobs.

Both types of job seekers need to be reached in different ways, with tailored display job ads, job board posts, and/or text messaging. In the awareness stage, employers use branding to attract job seekers and make them consider the open positions.


Once job seekers gain awareness of the employer’s brand they are ready to start considering the application. In this stage active job seekers decide whether they want to apply. Passive job seekers, in turn, might be analyzing the convenience of switching jobs.

Here touchpoints are intended to give more information about the open positions. To drive a decision in this consideration process, job seekers that have been already reached receive retargeting ads. Email alerts with updates and reminders are another convenient ad format. They can also be directed to application landing pages or contacted via phone.


In the final stage of the recruitment step, convinced job seekers become applicants. They make progress through the application flow toward interviews and offers.

Touchpoints for the application stage include branding ads. These help reinforce the decision to apply, enhance the candidate experience, and build trust with the employer brand. All these, when combined, drive conversions from offers to hires.


Retention begins in the onboarding stage once the candidate becomes a new hire. The goal in this step is to get the new employee onboarded and reaching full productivity as soon as possible.

Touchpoints in this stage include bonus ads, email alerts and yet more retargeting ads. These are used to keep building the new relationship between the employee and the organization.


In the final stage of the journey, new hires have been onboarded and reached optimal performance levels. An efficient onboarding adds to their lifetime value, improving the company’s bottom line.

Recruiters can leverage this retention phase and use the newly hired employees as effective multipliers of the employer branding. By using strategies such as referrals they can draw more job seekers and keep the application funnel flowing.

To further this advocacy approach, touchpoints include engagement, referral, social, and content ads. The ad flows depicts these touchpoints.

Bottomline: Define a Recruitment Strategy With Job Seeker Journey Stages in Mind

Understanding the job search experience via the job seeker journey framework will help you to:

  • Define a recruitment strategy that has a holistic approach towards the job search experience
  • Create touchpoint specific job ads that perform better in the given context

About Spencer Parra

Spencer Parra is the VP of Product Management for advertising and data products at Radancy. In that capacity, Spencer and his team of product managers, program managers, data scientists, and data analysts work to develop products in a data driven mindset. As the leader of Advertising products, he works to bring a holistic full funnel approach to Radancy’s advertising technology stack with Programmatic Jobs at its foundation. Through data products, he tells the story of media performance via Radancy’s Metrics Gateway and helps ensure data is democratized through Radancy’s unified platform. Spencer came to Radancy from the Perengo acquisition in mid 2019 where he served as Lead Product Manager and a member of the founding team. With Perengo, he worked towards the vision of leveraging the same rigor and concepts from ecommerce advertising technology to the recruitment advertising space. Prior to Perengo, Spencer launched and supported in-app advertising products at Criteo as a solutions engineer. Spencer holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top