Online advertising has undergone a radical shift in the last 6 years. Rather than relying on teams of media buyers and analysts, most online advertising is now bought, placed, and optimized “programmatically” using “big data” and software.Programmatic job advertising means that ads are automated (as opposed to posted manually, one at a time, across individual sites), and that complex algorithms optimize them to reach the right person, on the right site, at the right time, and in a cost-effective way.
In fact, according to eMarketer, and as illustrated by the chart below, it’s estimated that up to 67% of online ad spend will be “programmatic” in 2016, up from just 24% in 2011. And by next year, that number will increase even more, with 72% of ad spend being programmatic.
The success of programmatic to help businesses sell everything from cars to magazine subscriptions has not been lost on recruitment marketing professionals as it is proving to be a faster, easier, and more cost-effective way to get more—and better—applicants for less. Adoption rates have started to spike rapidly. It’s projected that over $100 million of job ad spend will be on programmatic media this year, which is up from less than $10 million just two years ago!
You can reap the benefits
Programmatic turns the entire web into your organization’s own “help wanted” sign (and does this affordably, too). Your reach as a recruiter is extended, enabling you to find candidates where they live, work, and play. Employers can upload the open jobs they want promoted into one portal, set the price they’re willing to pay for an applicant and the number of applicants needed, and define the target audience of the most qualified candidate. Then, with a simple push of a button, the job ad is promoted throughout a network of thousands of sites, reaching the best candidates (based on the parameters you defined, such as skills, function, and location) at exactly the right time.
But if you’re still not convinced that programmatic is the way to go, here are 4 ways that using programmatic job ad software will optimize your spend to increase the ROI of your recruiting and talent acquisition operation:
1. Reach all sites, not just one
The best job seekers can be hard to find; they aren’t always hanging out on the major job boards. As previously mentioned, programmatic advertising turns the entire web into your help wanted sign, extending reach to the highest quality candidates from thousands of job boards as well as both consumer and niche sites that you may never find on your own. Job ads are placed right in front of the audience you’re targeting.
2. Focus your spend on hard-to-fill positions
Research shows 6% of your open jobs generate over 50% of the total applications you receive. If you are buying your recruitment media on a “cost-per-click” basis, “easy to fill jobs” can rapidly eat your budget, starving your hard-to-fill positions of exposure. Programmatic technology optimizes your posting sponsorships to prioritize jobs that actually need more applications and spends less promoting the ones that already have strong candidate flow.
3. Reduce your cost-per-applicant by 30%+
By leveraging real-time market-bidding, custom advertising “rules” to automatically un-sponsor the job ad once it receives enough applicants, and a wider net of publishers, programmatic helps reduce the cost to generate a qualified applicant by 30% (some organizations have even reported up to a 70% reduction).
4. Receive better quality applicants
Quality is always in the eye of the beholder. That said, one longitudinal market study of applicant quality found that programmatic job ad buying delivered 8% more candidates to the final stage in the hiring process, compared to applicants generated directly through job boards and aggregators. This, combined with anecdotal reports from hundreds of companies, indicates that the “wide net, narrow message” approach of programmatic makes a substantive difference in candidate quality.
What we have to look forward to
The best thing about programmatic technology is that it can be seamlessly implemented by placing a pixel on your applicant tracking system or corporate career site. Using a platform like Appcast,“going programmatic” is easy. It’s also becoming necessary in today’s competitive recruiting scene. Data and software are going to change how we source talent irrevocably. My advice: Get on the train now to get ahead. I wouldn’t want you to get left behind.
This blog post was originally published on the Greenhouse Blog here.
This post was originally published in 2016, and has since been updated.