The recruitment process is changing. The workforce is demanding new and better working conditions; conditions reflecting the shifts in work culture. These shifts represent unprecedented demands for diversity, remote work, comfortable working environments, and essentially better deals for employees than people had come to accept previously.
This has sent recruiters scrambling to find the perfect candidates for roles. Roles that, until recently, could be filled simply by dangling them in front of candidates on job boards and social media. Now, though, tactics need to change accordingly, and keeping up with the competition for hires involves making use of modern AI tech and rapid, automated bidding for ad space. Programmatic job advertising does just this. It’s a faster and more efficient way of sourcing your talent, and, coupled with a carefully-planned acquisition pipeline, it’s bringing companies a much higher return on ad investment.
We’re going to tell you exactly what programmatic job advertising is, how and when to implement it, and how it factors into an effective recruitment strategy. Keep reading to find out.
The internet is saturated with numerous small and tenacious actors in the war for attention. Recruitment advertising has to figure out how to stand out in a sea of alerts and messages across various channels in your candidate’s internet experience.
Nowadays, this means intelligently targeting your ads, and putting in the work to figure out where your candidate will be looking. In recent times, modern recruitment advertising has moved more toward talent attraction than talent scouting, and while this doesn’t change as much in the way of ad design, it does have significant implications regarding where, when, and how to begin the candidate journey.
As usual, the ad itself needs to stand out, present everything attractive and relevant about the company, be engaging, have a call to action, and still find a way to be noticed without being annoying. Recruitment advertising is hard enough without the added problem of now establishing the most effective platform for posting, then manually purchasing ads on job boards, traditional advertising media, and other places you think they’ll be found.
Finding the right place to reach your candidate can be tricky at the best of times, but now that you’re actively seeking them where they are, it’s even harder. This is where artificial intelligence comes in handy. With all the clutter of the internet, without help, it’s next to impossible to efficiently engage candidates on their terms; something which has become critical to talent acquisition. What’s needed is a fast and automated process that designs, targets, and purchases ads exactly when and where they’re most effective. This is where programmatic job advertising comes into play.
Programmatic job advertising takes a lot of the time and energy out of advertising your roles online. It’s a product of artificial intelligence (AI) and real-time bidding (RTB) that aims to streamline the recruitment process. Programmatic campaigns give you the power to identify a target market, set a budget, and outline the goals for the recruitment drive. Then, the programmatic advertising software configures a program to purchase the appropriate ad space, place targeted ads on the right platforms, and promote your listing at strategic timings to maximize the chances of finding the right fit on the candidate’s home turf.
Programmatic advertising has commonly been used for products on the market. Inputting your specific parameters, it can analyze hundreds of data points to select the best platforms and bids to drive traffic to the conversion point. This is a great system for creating the first touch point in the sales funnel, but the principle, with a little tweaking, works just as effectively for recruiting candidates for a specific role. Real-time bidding is an automated digital auction process that places instantaneous bids on ad space from publishers. It allows advertisers to manage and fine-tune ads from multiple networks simultaneously and can result in targeted ads being auctioned and displayed on a web page in the time it takes the page to load.
This method is a powerful recruiting tool, however, it’s not all-encompassing. As automated as it is, it still needs to be calibrated accordingly and be capable of providing you the details you need to analyze its effectiveness. There are times when, if left unattended, you’ll end up spending more than you wanted to on ads that are aimed at the wrong audience.
Using programmatic job advertising is therefore a skill, and has the potential to act as a dynamic supplement to your recruiting strategy.
Programmatic job advertising is an automated, AI approach to recruitment, however, there are some cases where the switching from your standard job advertising approach to a programmatic job advertising one isn’t an improvement. For example, without a rule-based buying platform, you’re going to have much less control over the job ads themselves.
Here’s why: if you’re using pay-per-click (PPC) popular job types will gather a lot more clicks than unpopular ones, and you’ll end up spending your budget on those, and missing out on filling the harder roles simply through less visibility.
PPC typically focuses on conversions as being a metric of success and is therefore used for commercial purposes. For recruitment, things are a little different. Job fit is critical, and therefore the quality, rather than the volume of the applicants is the focus. This means a different metric by which to measure success and a different approach to ads. The platform you choose will determine its effectiveness, and we’ll discuss this in detail in the next section.
If you do have a rule-based buying system, and you’re looking for a specific candidate profile, programmatic advertising is almost certainly a good idea. It’s a more focused approach to targeting prospects and will likely lead to a lower cost-per-hire than either traditional advertising or badly-implemented programmatic advertising job listings. As with any automation, it’s only as good as the parameters you set for it, so take the time to figure out what it can do for you, and how you want to use it. For this, we’ve put together some tips on how to select the right platform for you.
Whether you’re looking at choosing a platform or switching your current platform, there are some ways in which you can inform your decisions to make sure you get the right package for you.
Selecting a programmatic job advertising platform is all about asking the right questions. To make sure you’re choosing the best platform for you, it’s possible to break down these questions into categories of use.
To find out if the right channels are available, you’re going to want to know the answer to the following:
•What are the job sites and publishers available to the platform? – Different platforms will have access to different publishers, so make sure that your ideal candidate is going to be accessing those you’re paying to host ads on!
•Are all your required job sites available to you to buy and manage media? – While this is an automated process, you’re going to want to have a hand in directing the algorithm.
Managing your existing slots and posting from one place is a huge advantage to any advertising platform, and the range of sites that a platform has must overlap as close to perfect with your desired media locations.
Being able to get your job postings out on Google and other websites using one platform is a huge bonus. Having a spread across both general and specific websites is great, as long as you can see all your results in one place.
•Is your job ad targeting limited to specific countries? – Limitations are just as critical to assessing a platform as its capabilities; scalability and scope are two factors worth considering when choosing a platform that limits ads to a single location. While you might save some money in the short term, if your role can be filled remotely, or by a candidate willing to relocate, you may be missing out. Consider how your utilization of this platform will change in the future.
Next, you will need to ask questions about the job ad exchange. From whomever you’re considering, you should be asking:
•What kind of publishers are included? – Groups of publishers are the reason that this form of advertising is so cost-effective. You’re going to need to know who makes up these groups and what their reach is.
•Are search and social platforms available on the exchange? – both search marketing and social publishing are important methods of winning over a prospect, whether a candidate or a potential customer. Some platforms offer enhanced SEO features and social media engagement principles that can come in handy here.
•What is their past performance like? – Do you have the transparency available to understand the publishers behind the exchange? Are you able to view their performance overall; or even better the performance of individual publishers within their exchange?
•What’s the pricing scheme? – Is this based on performance or a fixed fee, etc. This will give you an idea of how you’re going to pay for the ad exchange. This also ties into transparency, since their previous performance factors into the benefits of the different payment schemes.
For the capabilities, consider asking the following questions regarding automation and the way your insights are presented and partitioned:
•How long will it take you to learn how to use the automation? – You want to know the skill level required to work with the program. If you need programming skills to run it, this is important to find out.
•How deep does the automation go? – Will it design your ads for you or simply post them on job boards? Will it engage with your social media followers and can it automate across all the major and relevant platforms?
•What level of control do you have over the automaton? - Can you set up and optimize the rules and expansion of the automation? It’s useful to be able to set the scale to spend only as much as you are getting a return on your current spending.
If you have different types of roles, are you able to allocate budgets and partition insights by campaign? This is especially important when you have multiple listings across different departments or job types, as combining insights will skew your data if the variables are unrelated.
Another handy control you might want is to have a maximum target of candidates before the spending shuts down. Being able to put limitations into the automation is a key way to maximize its efficiency.
•Will it adapt to your results? – this is a question of whether the algorithm is smart and will automatically adjust its sights as you have failures and successes on different publishers.
•Is it suitable? – This might seem like an obvious one, but some platforms are more geared to consumer advertising than recruitment advertising, and it’s a good idea to learn the differences.
Finally, the way your data is processed and presented to you is another area to consider carefully.
•Can you track metrics? - Ideally, you’ll have everything you need to follow on one platform. This should cover each step from click to hire and give you valuable feedback on how to adjust your approach in the future. Most if not all platforms will track some metrics, but these need to be relevant to your needs and in enough depth for you to make use of them.
•Does it need cookies? – This is important in tracking candidate conversions while maintaining data privacy. The best tracking is anonymous, and will keep you within regulations while providing you with the insights you need for continual improvement of the process.
•How customizable is the dashboard? – How much information are you presented with and can you bring it to the dashboard? This one ties into training of your staff in the system, as well as being able to digest the information available. The simpler and more effective the presentation, the easier it’ll be to understand.
Conversely, simplified data may be missing critical information, so establish exactly what you need and to what resolution before you commit to a program.
Some platforms even automate the creation of listings, which you will obviously need to investigate for quality before you switch.
The programmatic approach is all about getting the right ad to the right person at the best price. We’ve looked at how the automation can analyze where to place the ad, and touched on the fact that some platforms can even automate the creation problem, but guiding your candidates through the pipeline is still an art that needs a human touch.
A key part of the recruitment process, particularly in such competitive times, is making sure the onboarding process creates a positive and effortless experience for your candidate. Every touchpoint from the ad you’ve spent money on, to the workplace initiation should be well-tuned, and as part of that, it’s important to have an effective career page to follow from your targeted job listing.
By using Jabord to create your career page, you’re taking advantage of unquestionable statistics. The majority of job seekers check out a company’s brand before applying and are looking for specific environments that offer them a comfortable working experience. With an interactive career page, you get to display the personality of the company, as well as the role you’re looking to fill.
In terms of job fit, there’s no better way to match the ideal candidate with the role. An interactive career page allows your candidate to access the information they’re looking for in the order they want to see it. It can be paired with a video, job specs, and personal introductions by significant persons within the company.
Where your programmatic job listing makes the first touch point for a candidate, the career page fills in all the gaps and maximizes engagement to comfortably guide your ideal employee directly to your onboarding process. Jabord also comes with useful analytics to follow engagement through this process.
Your role as recruiter is to compete with the new demands of the workforce amid radical changes in expectations.
Many recruitment strategies are now employing programmatic job advertising with great ROAS, as a result of faster and better fit onboardings. However, it’s not suitable for every strategy, and blindly adopting the wrong platform could lead you in the wrong direction.
It’s important to identify whether your role could benefit from this method, as well as assess each for its channels, its ad exchange, its capabilities and whether the analytics it provides are relevant and useful.
Then, it’s a matter of designing or adapting your recruitment strategy to incorporate an automated job advertising process. But automation will only take you so far. After the first touch, it’s critical that the rest of the candidate pipeline creates a good experience that leads to a streamlined and effortless onboarding. With all that in place, you’ll be finding and hiring the best-fit candidates with less spend on ads.