August 16, 2021

Demystifying Programmatic

Alicia Little head shot
Alicia Little
Director, Brand & Marketing Communications
August 16, 2021

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Programmatic. Are you familiar with programmatic? Ever thought that your team might need “the programmatic”?

While it continues to gain traction and adoption by many top talent acquisition teams, programmatic job advertising or programmatic recruitment advertising remains somewhat vague or opaque. 

There are likely numerous reasons for this – one being that people often use different words to describe the same thing. Another being that “programmatic” often gets used as a noun (as I have even in the title of this blog post) rather than what it actually is,an adjective. Lastly, if you’re in talent acquisition and recruiting, you’ve likely noticed there has been (and continues to be) a constant barrage of new tools, new technologies, and new strategies that have emerged with the purpose of helping you to better and more efficiently do your job, while ensuring you attract and engage the candidates you need. 

It’s overwhelming. But let me break it down by sharing a personal anecdote because it was a real moment of epiphany in how I “got comfortable” with programmatic. I remember back in the fall of 2017, in the early days of my time at Appcast and being new to the recruitment tech space, amid a jam-packed schedule of onboarding, I was still trying to wrap my head around all of the new terms and acronyms that swam around me. In a moment of desperation, I just Googled it.

Define: programmatic

And here’s what I got back from Google (thank you!):

Repeating for emphasis – of the nature of or according to a program, schedule, or method.

So why was this so enlightening for me? Because I realized that anything can be programmatic! Building a marketing campaign could be done programmatically. Creating a new fitness plan? That’s programmatic. Heck, making a sandwich? That can be programmatic, too! 

It’s an adjective to describe the systematic, methodical way that something is done. If we bridge that to programmatic job advertising, look at how simple our understanding of it becomes.

Programmatic job advertising is the buying, placement, and optimization of job ads using data and software.  What facilitates the programmatic nature of it, then? It’s the programmatic rules, coupled with real-time data and intelligent software, that all work together to provide the instructions that tell the system how to best buy, place, and optimize ads.

If you’ve ever posted a job, you know it can take a bit of guesswork to figure out:

  • Where’s the best place to post this job?
  • How much should I pay to post this job to ensure I get applicants?
  • How do I know I’m getting the best possible results?
  • Am I using the right job titles and ad content to align with my ideal candidate persona?
  • … and so on and so forth.

Programmatic job advertising eliminates all this guesswork. You take all those manual, mentally-draning tasks and let programmatic take it on for you! And besides that, programmatic platforms can do it faster, more cost-effectively, and better for far more jobs at one time, leaving you more time to focus on the people you need to hire.

Hopefully, I’ve eliminated some of the mysticism and ambiguity behind programmatic job advertising. If you’d like to dig in a bit more, I’d highly recommend our whitepaper, Programmatic Recruitment Technology 101 or perhaps this blog post about programmatic job ad exchanges.

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