PROGRAMMATIC JOB ADVERTISING: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE

How the world’s smartest recruiting teams advertise their jobs

Talent Acquisition and recruitment marketing teams today are constantly running against the clock and uncertain budgets to achieve their hiring goals. They continue to be tasked with finding more qualified applicants quickly – amidst a rising pile of varied challenges – at almost every stage in the recruitment process.

So, how can they source the most qualified and relevant applicants that convert to successful hires quickly, with shrinking and uncertain budgets, and without compromising on candidate experience?

The answer: Programmatic Job Advertising.

What Is Programmatic Job Advertising?

Programmatic job advertising (or programmatic recruitment advertising) is the use of technology for buying, placing (distributing), and optimizing job ads – and their associated budget -automatically across the Internet. It is the application of a machine-driven, rules-based approach to buying recruitment (advertising) media that ensures the most relevant and effective:

  • Publishers: by selecting the ones (among hundreds or thousands) that will showcase your job ads to the most qualified and relevant job seekers cost-effectively – using data-driven decisions to eliminate human bias or error
  • Timing: by targeting audiences precisely when they are most likely to see your job ads and convert quickly
  • Costs: by setting the right bids and budget caps (by job, publisher, etc.) and advertising on the right channels, to avoid both over- and under-spends. This often involves the use of machine learning and AI to automate the process of bidding on job ad placements across the Internet.
  • Traffic: by setting caps to deliver the right volume of relevant, high-quality applications for your jobs. This ensures you always have an adequate number of applicants for each of your open positions and leftover budgets can be allocated to other hard-to-fill jobs.

 

To summarize, programmatic job advertising ensures the most qualified job-seekers are targeted with the most relevant job ads on the right channels – at the right time and cost. All of this translates into recruitment with meaningful ROI.

Why You Should Use Programmatic Job Advertising

Cost: Recruitment teams are currently under a tremendous amount of stress in terms of budgets, especially since the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has severely impacted their ability to hire according to plan. Most talent acquisition organizations or staffing / RPO teams are operating with reduced and uncertain budgets, forcing them to explore more creative and cost- effective ways to source the most qualified talent.

Candidate relevance and quality: Whether you’re hiring a truck driver, a registered nurse, an entry-level customer service executive, or a data scientist, finding and attracting the right talent has always been hard. Rising unemployment levels due to upheavals in the labor market caused by the pandemic, have led to a large number of available candidates for all kinds of jobs. However, contrary to what one may expect, this has actually made life harder for recruiters that must screen thousands of applications to identify the ones that truly satisfy the job criteria.

Transparency: Recruitment marketing teams may also be painfully unaware of how their talent (candidate) sources are really performing when it comes to hiring outcomes and related costs. This lack of transparency could be due to either their reliance on post-and-pray job sites or the lack of visibility into down-the-funnel metrics beyond cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-applicant (CPA). The ability to compare these metrics – all the way from click to application to hire – in real-time across various job sites as well as search engine job ads and social media, is non-existent in most platforms.

Efficiency and Productivity: The job advertising landscape is vast, complicated, and confusing. There are thousands of job boards, publishers, social sites, and niche sites on which you can post job ads.Each of these sites may or may not attract the qualified talent you’re looking for. On top of that,there’s a host of job ad placement types, including CPC , CPA, slots, duration-based posts, Google Ads, and so on.

With all of these different options, how can your internal talent acquisition team know which types of posts and which channels will work the best for your needs? Traditional recruitment advertising is rife with inefficiencies. It takes a lot of time and effort to manage multiple job advertising vendors or publishers, collect and consolidate data, and track spending.

Without a practical way to work with hundreds of publishers, most recruitment teams limit themselves to the ones that bring in the most volume or deliver the lowest CPC – regardless of whether or not they are the most economical (in terms of cost-per-hire or CPH), or even offer the highest candidate quality.

In addition, as many organizations are currently running lean recruitment teams, it becomes essential to enhance recruiter productivity and ensure most of their time is spent on doing the job they typically know best, which is interviewing, hiring, and onboarding candidates. These teams need the right resources and RPO technology.

Predictability: Finally, there’s the issue of lack of predictability and consistency in delivering hiring outcomes. Here’s where data-driven job recruiting shines. The ability to predict what your top (and most cost-effective) sources will be for a particular position you’re trying to fill – and how much recruitment advertising budget you really need – can be a huge advantage, especially as you’re trying to do more with less.

However, it’s almost impossible to have a predictable recruitment process across the entire job seeker journey (from click to hire) when recruitment marketing decisions are driven by intuition and not data. Most recruiters today are guessing their sources and required budgets – with little data.

How Programmatic Job Advertising Works

Programmatic job advertising offers a lot more than just automatically distributing your job ads at scale. With the use of machine learning and AI, it continually optimizes your job ad placements and bids based on down-the-funnel metrics such as your hiring outcomes and cost-per-hire. A programmatic job advertising platform has the following components:

1. Intelligence

 

This involves a way to ingest and gather all your current and historical data, including your job requisition data; source, apply, and hire data; and any other data from your current or previous recruitment marketing efforts. This constitutes your “seed data.”

The programmatic job advertising platform then overlays your seed data with your budget and goals data (number of hires / qualified applicants, cost-per-hire, time-to-fill, etc.), to create your target and lookalike (similar) audiences – not only to meet your current recruiting goals, but to also prepare itself for your future hiring needs.

These are the “rules” that ensure that you stay on track for your goals, and maintain discipline at every step along the way.

 

2. Activation

 

This is where the programmatic job advertising platform activates your data to inform recruitment media buying decisions, create rules, and provide machine learning-based recommendations, so you can automate and optimize your job distribution based on your goals.

This enables you to buy media from the most effective sources (where the most qualified job seekers are) with the highest ROI, when you need it and for the right amount of time.

This unbiased, data-driven, and automated media planning and buying has helped businesses source up to 2X more qualified candidates, while reducing their cost-per-hire by up to 50%.

 

3. Insights

 

 

Here, you can track and analyze the performance and costs of all your recruitment media (including job boards, search engines, and social media) – via a centralized dashboard- from click to hire. All your recruitment advertising data is crunched to generate real-time insights on ad performance and costs at a campaign, publisher, job group, and ideally at a job level too. The insights are your outcomes.

This component provides you with end-to-end visibility and control of your entire job advertising process, whether you’re working with pay-per-click (PPC) job boards, duration-based postings, slot-based job boards, search ads, display ads, social ads, or even organic options. It allows you to compare all your digital candidate sources apples to-apples and easily identify the ones that are delivering the most (and the least) ROI.

 

4. Learned Intelligence

 

 

This creates a virtuous cycle / loop, so your insights, outcomes, and learnings flow back into the intelligence gathering component of the platform to inform subsequent media buying decisions. This leads to continuous optimization and improvement of your recruitment advertising process and results, eliminating any guesswork typically involved in traditional job advertising.

With AI-powered job recruiting and this constant feedback loop, your hiring outcomes and costs also become much more predictable and consistent over time.

Benefits Of Programmatic Job Advertising

 

1. Lower cost per hire and greater control on spend

 

 

 

This is one of the most obvious benefits of programmatic job advertising. A programmatic recruitment advertising platform enables you to allocate budgets (spending caps) at multiple levels: campaign, job group, job (ideally), publisher, and more.

It also allows you to track performance and costs across all your media – whether it’s job slots, pay-per-click publishers, duration-based job boards, Google, Facebook, or others – via a single, centralized dashboard. You can easily compare and understand how individual channels are performing and contributing (and which ones are performing better) – and use those insights to drive job advertising decisions.

Furthermore, your programmatic job advertising solution enables you to avoid wasting your recruitment marketing dollars on non-performing job boards, bot clicks, and intermediary fees. You can ensure your job ads are distributed only on the most cost-effective publishers – and your media buying strategy is aligned with your cost goals. All of this drives down your cost per applicant as well as cost per hire.

Our clients typically see a 20 – 50% reduction in cost-per-applicant (and cost-per-hire) and a proportionate increase in recruiting ROI.

 

2. Higher qualified / relevant applicant volumes: Qualified and Relevant – these are important words when it comes to recruitment. You can spend an enormous amount of money on the post-and-pray approach to job advertising and get hundreds or even thousands of applications. But how qualified / relevant are they? In other words, how many of them have a high probability of turning into actual hires? Without the right applicants you need, the volume of applications is worthless.

A major benefit of programmatic recruitment advertising is that it ensures your job ads are targeting the most qualified / relevant job seekers for your specific needs. Intelligent, automated optimizations (driven by a machine learning engine) allocate spend to the best fit publishers, where you’re more likely to find these candidates. As a result, the number of qualified and relevant applicants, which have a significant probability to convert into hires, is much higher.

 

3. Greater reach

 

 

There are thousands of job boards and publishers. Programmatic job advertising enables you to get your job ads in front of more job seekers globally, especially on sites that will deliver the best (and most cost-effective) results for your business. This might include niche job sites that you may be unaware of, but can potentially deliver exceptional hiring outcomes. You can also find and engage passive job seekers that aren’t on job boards but on the rest of the World Wide Web, visiting Google, Facebook, or their favorite lifestyle websites.

It is worth noting that a truly global reach will require a programmatic job advertising platform to support multiple languages and currencies, in addition to publisher networks internationally.

 

4. Significantly more productive recruiters: A lot of businesses today are operating with lean recruiting teams. Improving recruiter productivity is one of the top priorities of talent acquisition leaders around the world.

Automating repetitive tasks can go a long way in making talent acquisition (TA) and recruitment marketing teams more productive. Programmatic job advertising saves a massive amount of time for recruiters and TA professionals as it removes the manual labor involved in posting, managing, and optimizing job ads across a multitude of channels and interfaces (job boards, social channels, and other sites used for finding and recruiting candidates).

This allows them to not only spend more time on people-centric functions, such as interviewing, screening candidates, hiring, and onboarding, but also operate at a much larger scale and manage vastly more expansive programs than traditional methods.

 

 

 

5. Faster time-to-hire: The increase in relevant applicant volume as well as the efficiency of programmatic job advertising technology reduces the time it takes to deliver hires (time-to-hire). For many of our clients, time-to-hire has been reduced by 35% or more.

 

6. Exceptional candidate experiences: A great programmatic job advertising platform should also enhance your job application experience, therefore, improving your click-to-apply conversion rates.

This includes simplifying the job application process and ensuring it is optimized for all devices, especially mobile. Most candidates today search for jobs on their mobile devices. Mobile optimization of search and apply processes is critical to delivering great candidate experiences.

One of the factors that contributes heavily to a bad job seeker experience is over sourcing. For every job for which you say “yes” to 2 out of 100 candidates, you say “no” to 98 others. You would be far better off if you don’t push 98 of the “no” candidates into your funnel. Controlling applicant volume via programmatic job advertising (by setting caps on the number of qualified applications for a certain role) can be extremely useful in enhancing overall candidate experience and improving your employer brand.

 

7. Retargeting

 

A modern programmatic job advertising platform should allow you to retarget job seekers that started applications, but for whatever reason, dropped off without completing them. The ability to re-engage such candidates by sending them targeted messages and nudging them to finish their application process can be very powerful in delivering a high number of qualified applications at a low CPA.

 

8. Real-time tracking of performance and cost: One of the most desirable benefits of programmatic job advertising is its ability to deliver end-to-end visibility (transparency) into your recruitment advertising.

In traditional job advertising, real-time tracking of performance and cost across all media was next to impossible. Even when you did get data at, say, the end of a month, collating it across all the varied sources (slot or duration-based publishers, pay-per-click job boards, Google, etc.) and then having someone adapt it to a pre-agreed format and redistribute it for analysis, took so much time that it served little to no practical purpose by the end of the exercise.

With a programmatic recruitment advertising platform, you know precisely where your precious job advertising dollars are going, in real-time. You can track performance and costs across all your recruitment media – job boards, search engines, and social media – from clicks to applications to hires. You can also slice and dice the data any way you want – across campaigns, jobs, publishers, and more – based on your needs.

You can answer questions such as – how did this budget work? Do we need to raise the budget? Do we have enough candidates for this job? Do we even need to sponsor these jobs, or can we fill them with organic results without having to spend anything?

With such robust data, analytics, and insights, you can make intelligent, informed, and effective recruiting decisions that drive maximum ROI – at every step of the job seeker journey.

Questions To Ask Your Programmatic Job Advertising Platform Provider

There are a number of options when it comes to selecting a programmatic job advertising platform for your recruitment needs, so it can be challenging to determine which one is right for your business.

Whether you are looking to deploy such a solution for the first time and evaluating different solution providers – or re-evaluating your existing programmatic recruitment vendor (or even re-negotiating your contract with them), it is imperative to have a deep understanding of the platforms’ capabilities to best serve your needs not just today, but in perpetuity – because hiring, for the most part, is an ongoing business process.

Given the complex and fragmented nature of the talent acquisition landscape, the more specific your questions, the better your understanding and selection will be. Here are the top questions to ask:

 

Job ad targeting options

  • Which online recruitment marketing channels do you support?
  • How many job boards (or publishers) is your solution compatible with?
  • Can your platform / team buy and manage media across all required job boards?
  • Can your platform advertise jobs and target both active and passive job seeker audiences on
    Google, social channels, and the whole World Wide Web?
  • Can we manage our existing slots and duration-based postings from the same platform?
  • Is your job ad targeting limited to specific countries? If so, which ones?

Segmentation and automation capabilities

  • Can your platform allocate budgets and goals at the campaign, job group, and job levels?
  • Can your platform showcase insights by campaign, job group, and job?
  • Can your platform optimize and set up automation rules and expansions down to the job
    level?
  • What media buying channels or publishers does your platform automate (CPC, CPA,
    duration-based and slot job boards, Google, Facebook, etc.)?
  • How long does it typically take for a user to learn how to use automations?
  • Does your platform recommend publishers based on performance goals?

Tracking and analytics

  • Can your platform track all our required metrics – from click to hire – in a single dashboard?
  • Can you track metrics across all our online sourcing channels – job boards, search engines,
    organic, and social – in one platform?
  • Can your solution track candidate conversions across any channel (universal conversion
    tracking)?
  • Does your platform indicate how many organic applications a particular job has received?
  • Is your dashboard customizable?
  • What types of reports can be generated?

Job application experience

  • How do you ensure a great job application experience?
  • Does your job application experience improve the number of applications as well as click-to-
    apply conversions?
  • Can you optimize the applications for all devices?
  • Can you re-target and re-engage relevant job seekers that did not complete their
    application?

Product usability

  • How much training is necessary to use the platform?
  • How quickly will my team be up and running?

Service and support

  • What are your levels and hours of support?
  • Do you offer managed services? Do you assist in setting up campaigns?
  • What is your implementation process?
  • What level of technical assistance do you provide?
  • Are there costs for support? If so, how much?

Pricing

  • What is the cost structure of your self-service model?
  • Is pricing based on a percentage of media spend? Is there a fixed fee option?
  • If you offer managed services, how much is the additional cost?
  • Are there minimum spend levels or commitments?

Global presence

  • Which geographical markets is your solution best suited for?
  • Does your platform support multiple languages? Which ones?
  • Does your platform support multiple currencies? Which ones?
  • Can our globally distributed teams have centralized visibility into data across multiple
    geographies or regions?
  • What are your market expansion plans?

Vendor due diligence

  • How big is your R&D team? What’s the percentage of engineers / developers out of all
    employees?
  • When was the last time your platform had a new feature release?
  • How often do you release product updates and enhancements? Are they based on customer
    input? Are there any associated costs?
  • What are some of the features on your product roadmap?
  • Who are some of your clients? Can I speak to a couple of them about their experiences?

 

To learn about Joveo’s award-winning programmatic job advertising platform, sign up for a free demo!