‘Post and Pray’ Doesn’t Work. Try Programmatic Advertising Instead

It’s no secret that unemployment numbers stand at the lowest percentages in nearly 20 years. That makes talent acquisition extremely challenging — not only for staffing and recruiting firms, but for any company across the country.

In a challenging recruitment market, it’s important to look at your strategy for job advertising and its distribution. Now, you can’t expect applications to stream in after posting to a job board.

How can recruiters and staffing agencies gain an edge in their job distribution? It comes down to two big words that sound scarier than they actually are: programmatic advertising.

What is programmatic advertising – and why does your agency need it? 

In the talent acquisition industry, programmatic advertising focuses on using data and rules to optimize recruitment spend by making automated decisions faster than humans can even think.

While that definition is important, recruiters and executives want to know the real outcomes. How is this going to help my business?

Here are the three reasons your staffing or recruiting firm needs to implement programmatic advertising in its recruitment spend.

1. Your total spend won’t increase. A common misconception for any new technology or services is a bigger price tag. With a programmatic advertising strategy, the opposite is true.

The technology allows your jobs to appear on dozens, hundreds or even thousands of websites all through a couple clicks. By not having to manually post jobs across those websites, your efficiency increases dramatically.

Actually, the total spend should decrease when implementing rules for your jobs. Let’s use a quick example of two jobs:

  • Job A is an easier-to-fill position and when traditionally posted, it delivers 100 applications. That is wasted recruitment spend since your team of recruiters doesn’t need 100 resumes to fill one position.
  • Job B is a hard-to-fill position and after a couple of weeks, a few applications trickle in and no one is qualified. We are spending money and not getting what we want.

With programmatic advertising, we can set a limit of applications on that first job (let’s say 20) since your recruiters know they need 20 job candidates to find one qualified applicant. No more wasting your budget on 80 applications you don’t need!

In the second example, we know the competition for this job is higher and we can bid higher to draw applications from better candidates. That might seem like we are increasing our spend, but instead of aimlessly keeping that job open for 6-8 weeks, we quickly know we need to bid higher in a shorter time-frame to find the candidates we need.

2. Your ROI will. A common expectation in the talent acquisition industry when using programmatic advertising is a 20-30 percent decrease in your cost per application. (You do know your cost per application, don’t you?)

Why does it decrease?

The machine learning of programmatic technology uses its artificial intelligence to place the right jobs on the right websites at the right time.

The programmatic technology realizes applications for, say, nursing positions cost less on Job Board A when compared to Job Board B. So, it instantly pushes more nursing positions to Job Board A. Without programmatic, it’s extremely challenging to compare results across different job boards since the data isn’t centralized. That extends the decision-making process, and we are falling farther behind.

Better decisions in a shorter period of time results in better return on investment for your staffing agency.

3. Your competitors are already using it. In a challenging recruiting environment, getting your jobs in front of the active job candidate is imperative. Battling your competitors for a small pool of candidates means each advantage becomes magnified.

If your competitors are already using programmatic advertising (and an estimated 20-30 percent of digital recruitment spend in the talent acquisition industry is programmatic right now), then you are losing candidates to them.

Start with a portion of your recruitment budget. There is no need to recklessly jump right in and make a wholesale change.

Look at the results. (I bet you like them.) Utilize the data. Adjust.

And get to your ideal candidates before your competitors do.

Matt Lozar

Matt Lozar
Matt Lozar is social media marketing advisor at Haley Marketing Group.

Matt Lozar

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