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September 22, 2019 | Nancy Weiss
Programmatic Transparency: The Key to Recruiting Success
In recent years, the online job advertising industry has undergone a transformation. And technology is at the very heart of this transformation. In particular, the introduction of programmatic options. When done right, programmatic job advertising provides many benefits. One of the most overlooked yet single greatest business benefits is the transparency and insight it gives into job ad performance across channels. Programmatic recruitment transparency can be the difference between the same old same old and wild success. Yet it’s not always understood.
HOW DID WE GET TO LACK OF TRANSPARENCY?
To understand how lack of transparency became an issue in programmatic recruitment, it helps to know a little bit about how the digital advertising industry evolved.
Online job advertising is a form of digital display advertising. In the early days, ad purchasing was a direct transaction between advertisers and publishers. Each party knew exactly how much an ad cost, whether buying or selling. This type of relationship is less common today as it’s been gradually supplanted by technology that streamlines the ad buying process.
This is where programmatic advertising comes into play. While programmatic platforms were designed to offer an optimized method for buying and selling ad inventory — more volume, more speed, more scale — the approach also introduced additional vendors, or intermediaries, into the process. In doing so, it became more and more tricky to get visibility into online advertising’s true costs. This lack of transparency made ad results much more difficult to measure.
A PROCESS THAT KEEPS RECRUITERS IN THE DARK
While the process of programmatic recruitment can happen via several methods, here’s an example of how it might work when a recruiter hires an agency:
1. Once the agency is hired, it sends the order to its ad trading department.
2. The department sets up a campaign in the agency’s programmatic recruitment platform.
3. The platform connects to an online ad exchange that combines inventory from multiple first-, second-, and third-party ad publishers.
At that point, the job ad is placed with multiple publishers.
This isn’t to say that hiring an agency isn’t a good solution for some recruiters. Especially those who don’t have the time or expertise to manage a platform themselves. However, depending on a vendor’s in-house technology or internal priorities, the drawback is a substantial loss of transparency and lack of insight into important data.
Typically, vendors use in-house programmatic platforms that lack the functionality to offer true transparency. In these cases, the publishers that are delivering the most applies and hires are obscured—because the technology being used simply can’t reveal this information. This lack of transparency makes advertising ROI extremely difficult to calculate. Vendors’ commissions and fees, as well as ad markups, are also added to the total costs.
UNLOCKING PROGRAMMATIC RECRUITING’S POTENTIAL
As recruiters become more savvy about advertising platforms and vendors, they’ll begin to fully understand why transparency is essential for modern ad buying. Without a way to accurately calculate ROI and optimize ad spend, programmatic recruitment is stripped of some of its biggest benefits.
Bottom line, programmatic transparency is critical to your recruiting success. When done right, it has the potential to simplify the complex, highlight exactly what’s getting results, expose waste, and maximize advertising budgets.
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