How to Improve Programmatic Recruitment Advertising

By Danni White - Last Updated on September 21, 2018
How to Improve Programmatic Recruitment Advertising

A big chunk of talent acquisition is the growing importance of programmatic recruitment advertising.

The goal of programmatic recruitment advertising is its data-centered process that automates and improves applicant sourcing.

Programmatic recruitment advertising, also known as programmatic job advertising, is a method of recruitment and hiring that you’re likely to hear a whole lot more about in the future. Programmatic advertising came about because of the advent of big data and ever-changing, sometimes real-time, market conditions. Also referred to as programmatic marketing, this form of advertising has been slowly gaining ground in the human resources arena. According to PandoLogic, “recruitment industry experts predict that by 2020, 80% of all recruitment advertising will be based on programmatic campaigns using big data.”

Programmatic recruitment advertising is a way of automating the buying, selling, and placement of ads aimed at finding great candidates for open positions. Minimum human interaction in the process is necessary. A system takes input from the user—a company seeking new hires or a recruitment/job-seeking agency, combines it with algorithm-based knowledge of where the likely candidates spend their time online, and fulfills the listing process so that advertisements for the open position appear on those internet destinations. Obviously, this saves a lot of time and a lot of money, and frees up human resource directors to focus on dealing with well-qualified candidates. Many media recruitment agencies are turning to programmatic recruitment systems to fulfill the needs of their clients.

Wonderkind, an agency that provides a programmatic recruitment platform, sums up the power of the method like this:

The goal of programmatic job advertising is to automate and steadily improve the sourcing of applicants. Programmatic advertising technology uses A/B testing, AI, and algorithmic decision engines to make job advertising easier and more effective. Easier, because it buys job ads on channels all over the internet automatically. More effective, because it constantly tests the ads and channels to make sure that your budget is spent on the ones that perform best.

The benefits of PRA include job-matching technology that is able to sift through all candidates and rank them from most-qualified to least-qualified according to job requirements. Again, this saves time because it allows the recruiter to focus on dealing with the actual candidates instead of sifting through an abundance of resumes to determine the most likely ones. In fact, according to one measure of the results of PRA, likely candidates are 14 times more likely to click on and apply to these targeted ads than they are to job results found during one of their own keyword searches.

What are some ways a programmatic recruitment advertising campaign can be improved?

First, don’t neglect the human element. Just because PRA makes use of artificial intelligence and algorithms, it doesn’t negate the need for a guiding human hand. While the admin-heavy part of the recruitment process is taken care of, PRA methods still require a variety of human inputs. For example, a human operator will need to input keywords related to job skills, types, location, and other criteria.

Second, be aware of the rules that your PRA campaign is running by. If you’re a human resources or talent acquisition professional, you’ll be the one establishing logic-based rules that govern how your ad campaign operates. What do these rules look like? Here are some examples:

  • If my web designer job in Los Angeles has less than 15 applicants, then increase bid to $2.50 on ZipRecruiter and CareerBuilder
  • If any of my jobs have a conversion rate less than 5%, then decrease my bid to $0.50 on Indeed.
  • If my accountant job gets 50 applicants, then stop spending on this job search.

Third, take charge of the budget. PRA campaigns are most similar to pay-per-click campaigns in that they can adapt to changes in results and, if not tightly controlled, they can run up quite a tab. With PRA, it is necessary to specify a budget for campaigns as well as other financial parameters and make decisions about financial allocations for specific hard-to-fill vacancies.

Job searches are relatively new in the programmatic advertising space, but it’s one you’re likely to hear more about as recruitment becomes increasingly driven by big data. Getting a handle on programmatic recruitment concepts now will bode well for large- and medium-sized organizations in the future.

Danni White | Danni White is the CEO of DW Creative Consulting Agency, a digital marketing firm specializing in elevating the visibility of small-to-midsize businesses and nonprofits. She is the author of 17 books and hosts the #Hashtags and Habits Podcast, which merges digital marketing, entrepreneurship, and personal growth.

Danni White | Danni White is the CEO of DW Creative Consulting Agency, a digital marketing firm specializing in elevating the visibility of small-to-midsize busi...

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