In an episode of Talent Talks, Raja Balachandran (GM, UK, Joveo) joined Jenn Terry (VP of Strategic Initiatives, Joveo) to discuss how recruitment marketing in the UK and Europe is gradually moving toward pay-for-performance and programmatic approaches, while still being heavily reliant on post-and-pray models.

They talk about the need for a change in the mindset of recruiters, and for greater understanding that programmatic is not “too technical” – it’s as simple as letting performance drive where you place your media spend in an automated manner. It’s the most efficient, effective, and agnostic way to exceed your hiring goals within your budget.

Watch the video or check out some of the highlights in the transcript below!

“It’s too technical!”

Jenn: Raj, I know you worked at Penna, but would you mind talking us through what you did there, and how you came to know about Joveo, and why you’re here now?

Raj: I had the pleasure of gaining a 360° view of the digital marketing world having worked on the publisher side – from app developers to website developers, trying to help them monetize their traffic – and also working with multiple demand-side platforms (DSPs) to run their campaigns across the globe for consumer brands.

Having done this for five years, I had the opportunity to work for a recruitment agency. So I met the people at Penna, and one of the questions I asked them was, “Why do you need someone who has no experience within the recruitment market?” That’s when I learned that there’s a huge market (recruitment) that‘s not aware of how things work in the world of consumer marketing. The adoption of programmatic technology in the recruitment world has been different from its adoption in the Ad Tech world.

Jenn: This is something that we’ve talked about on several of our episodes – the lagging adoption of technology that many recruitment teams are faced with. Part of the reason is not having good data to make digital decisions, so you go for the tried-and-true. Another reason is really just a lack of awareness or availability of things like programmatic advertising.

I was at AT&T for years, and for a majority of the time, most of my hiring was in the US, and so programmatic came fairly quickly. But as we look at the UK and Europe, there’s really a heavy dependence on job postings.

Can you talk a little about how you’ve helped clients transform from that post-and-pray (with the lack of transparency) to more of pay-for-performance and technologies like Joveo’s?

Raj: This is the biggest problem that we face within the industry, especially when it comes to the UK and European markets. There is a very strong mindset that believes that traditional job boards – and the way things are bought on a duration model – is the right way forward. I saw this when I joined Penna, and I found it very hard to believe. When we introduced this technology to some of our clients, they sometimes thought it’s a little too technical for them to even try the product. They say, “What is programmatic? Is it a silver bullet? I don’t think we’re ready for this.”

Transparency and being agnostic are essential

Raj: If you actually break up programmatic into simple components, it’s nothing but an automated way of buying media in an agnostic way. The technology does not prefer a particular channel or publisher over others. It lets market performance dictate the decisions for the clients.

This is exactly what Joveo does, and this is why I’m here. One of the main reasons that I joined Joveo is transparency. This means a lot to our clients. With Joveo, we were able to go to our clients and say, “This is exactly what we have spent, and this is the return on investment for every budget that you have provided per role, and we’d like to be transparent about it.” Agencies too are moving towards a transparent solution. Going forward, that’ll be the future.

Jenn: The other thing I would add is that it is really important whoever is giving you your results and giving you that transparency is agnostic. It’s always better if you’re getting the results from someone who wants you to be successful, but isn’t necessarily tied to an individual job board, or a group of job boards. You want to be able to be as neutral as possible.

Raj: It’s not only about validating your results. It has to be a third party who validates it. And that’s where the transparency comes in, and that’s where the Joveo Exchange comes in. We are completely agnostic to any media, and we’re able to say, “This is exactly how your campaigns performed – some of them performed well. It’s your call to make more investments on them. Or would you like to try out the others, which could be an interesting strategy as well?”

Jenn: When hiring is fluctuating – particularly for roles that are in-person, like waitresses, and kitchen staff, those are all down and waning – as an employer, if that was a big part of your book of business, you probably wouldn’t want to go all in on a commoditized job board contract. There’s a need to be more flexible. So it’s not only about the better performance, but also the ability to buy as you go and buy as you need, particularly now when the job market is up and down.

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The need for a change in mindset

Jenn: If you were to think of the ideal type of client, are there any sort of best practices that you would bring from your experience as an end user, to someone that was considering a product like Joveo?

Raj: Programmatic does not stop with job boards. It can go beyond – it can go to Spotify, display ads, video, even YouTube.

It’s about letting employers know, “There’s more opportunity; it’s not just going to one or two job boards.” There is no consumer here who’s loyal to just one job board. There’s no one person who’s not registered in Indeed, and Zip, and LinkedIn. We’re all there everywhere.

Jenn:I’m interested in candidates. I don’t care where they come from, as long as they’re at the right price! That’s the reality of the situation. I think that that’s very fair.

I also think that you bring a good point with the additional outlets. In addition to the traditional job distribution sites, we already allow customers to use Facebook and Google and some other more passive forms. Really understanding that as the market comes back and the war for talent again tightens, having lots of outlets available to you without having lots of contracts helps with passive recruitment and employer brand awareness.

I’m not saying posting jobs on duration-based or slot-based boards is a bad thing. It’s completely effective with the right money. But the reality is, if you’re not comparing that against your programmatic placements, you’re not really looking at your full deal.

With the Joveo platform, you can see the results of your slot-based, duration-based, and your pay per post or pay per performance – all in one place.

Raj, before I wrap up, is there anything that I didn’t ask you about that you think our viewers should know, or anything that you want me to know?

Raj: I think we’ve touched all the interesting challenges that the industry is currently facing. The solution is educating ourselves on the tools that are readily available at our disposal to make our recruitment media more efficient and effective.