Programmatic Job Advertising: Powering the Next Wave of Recruitment

Something is brewing in the world of recruiting. The air in talent acquisition feels, smells, and tastes like it did 20 years ago when the introduction of the Internet powered a revolution in passive candidate sourcing. This time, the new age will be defined by programmatic technology — harnessing the power of data and software to radically change how jobs are advertised online.

On its own, programmatic simply means “following a plan, policy, or program.” In the world of advertising, it’s much more. With programmatic technology, sophisticated algorithms find your target audience and ensure that your ads get in front of them in the most efficient way possible. These same processes allow for real-time, in-flight adjustments to optimize ad performance.

Adoption of programmatic is rising substantially. OwnerIQ recently reported that 96 percent of marketers use programmatic to buy display ads. In 2015, programmatic accounted for 55 percent of all digital advertising in the consumer space. In the next decade, it’s estimated that 90 percent of ads will be bought and sold programmatically.

Now, programmatic is coming to jobs, and it’s easy to see why. Traditional job ad placement asks for steep investments of time and labor. You’ve got to inquire about pricing and availability, purchase placements, then manually upload the job ads. Programmatic consolidates the process of managing multiple vendors into a single portal and soothes administrative headaches. Recruiters can set caps on a maximum number of applies needed for all jobs, and let the programmatic engine run in the background. It’s predicted 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.

The benefits are many. A recruiter’s reach is extended, finding candidates where they live, work and play on the web. Using a cost-per-click model, only 6 percent of job ads get over 50 percent of clicks. In contrast, the real-time market bidding of programmatic allows recruiters to automatically direct traffic to jobs in need of applications. By distributing spend so that budget is concentrated only on the jobs that need more applicants, programmatic techniques can lower the cost of a quality applicant by as much as 30 percent.

While simple enough to grasp, programmatic requires sharp, savvy pilots. Analytics are critical to success with programmatic. Echoing the early days of internet sourcing two decades ago, data and marketing-focused professionals need to be driving the outcomes that HCM leaders demand. This will allow old school sourcers to blaze a trail on the new frontier of job advertising.

Article Continues Below

It’s time for recruitment and talent acquisition to embrace programmatic advertising. It’s already here, and the change is occurring rapidly. Professionals have begun identifying themselves as specialists in the field. History repeats. As before, people in talent acquisition will need to get wise to radical, game-changing technology. Adaptability is the lifeblood of sourcers. Who better to adopt programmatic job advertising and bring recruitment into its next age?

About the Author

Chris Forman is the CEO and founder of Appcast Inc. He has previously served as CEO of StartWire (which he founded), CEO of AIRS, and Chief Development Officer of The Right Thing. Chris has worked in the recruiting industry for 20 years, developing smart recruiting tools that have helped hire millions of people around the globe. He is a nationally recognized expert in recruiting and talent management and has been quoted in publications such as The Wall Street JournalThe New York Times and Staffing Industry Review.