Automation is reshaping recruitment advertising in new ways. Media publishers, recruitment ad agencies and technology providers are at the beginning of a collective journey known as programmatic advertising, which uses software to automate and optimize the ad-buying process.
While relatively new to recruitment, programmatic advertising has successfully been used in consumer marketing for years. According to eMarketer, by 2019 more than four in five U.S. digital display ad dollars, or $45.72 billion, will be spent programmatically.
Those of us in recruitment marketing must pay attention to these stats because during the past 20 years, recruitment marketing trends have often followed consumer marketing’s lead. The same technology that shifts overall marketing has a delayed pattern of disruption in our industry when we figure out how to best adopt it to connect candidates to opportunities. For example, online job boards disrupted print and newspaper classifieds, and job aggregators like Indeed were inspired by Google’s pay-per-click (PPC) model.
What problem does programmatic advertising solve for in recruitment advertising?
To be clear, there are two ways of utilizing programmatic recruitment advertising: CPM for display advertising (banners, video) and programmatic PPC. This blog is dedicated to discussing the impact of the latter. In a future blog, I will address programmatic display.
While PPC has certainly helped shaped budgets the past 10 years, bidding for keywords has become so complex and competitive that humans need help from technology to manage a fast-moving, dynamic marketplace. In addition, there is a great deal of wasted spend in recruitment advertising today – some jobs do not receive applications and other jobs receive too many.
Rules-Based Buying Creates Efficiencies
To address this challenge, we can now use programmatic advertising software to help manage and optimize PPC purchases through rules based buying. Using programmatic software allows us to set rules that eliminate spending on jobs that have enough applications, and redirect it toward jobs that need more.
At TMP, we see billions of job seeker interactions from first ad impression to completed application and all the interactions in between. This gives us unique insights into the candidate journey that we combine with our programmatic PPC software to help our clients set performance benchmarks, create rules that prevent overspending on jobs and ultimately make better buying decisions.
How it Works
Our process is fairly simple:
- We take a feed of your jobs from your ATS or TalentBrew career site.
- Our experts organize your jobs around common attributes and goals.
- Using your budgets, we set spending rules.
- Our software distributes your jobs and optimizes your campaigns in near real-time, driving your budget to the best-performing job boards, and candidates into your ATS.
Let’s use an example from the financial services industry to further explain. There are several reasons why an individual may choose to buy mutual funds instead of individual stocks. The most common are that mutual funds offer diversification, convenience and efficiencies. The same can be said for programmatic job advertising.
In this analogy, the traditional approach is to research and buy individual stocks (or recruitment media), which can take time, a lot of energy to manage successfully, and often holds the greatest investment risk if one stock (media) is not performing. In the new programmatic PPC investment approach, you can work with a firm to help manage your media investments through a mutual fund approach. Programmatic PPC is like a mutual fund in that jobs are distributed to a wide range of job sites, offering greater reach while minimizing your investment risk through diversification.
Programmatic PPC offers convenience because it allows for the execution of one contract vs. multiple and simplifies the way you manage and track individual job site performance.
A Piece of the Big Picture
Even with this powerful tool, the key to media buying is understanding that it’s just one part of a much larger candidate journey. Media most often directs job seekers to career sites to apply. What is the user experience like on your career site? Are your jobs easy to find? How many steps are in the apply process? Do you provide relevant content on work locations and teams? And what about those users who come to the site and don’t apply, or begin the apply process and don’t complete it? Are you trying to find ways to drive them back to your site?
Recruitment marketing will undoubtedly continue to follow consumer trends into the future. TMP uniquely bridges the gap between Talent Acquisition and consumer advertising, ensuring your hiring strategies and media investments are successful within your organization. If you haven’t already, ask your colleagues in Marketing how they are currently using programmatic advertising. It will give you a good glimpse of the future of recruitment advertising and how you can move the needle in your own organization.