Feb 25, 2018 by Lars Wetemans

Programmatic Job Advertising 101

Programmatic advertising is still in the early phases of adoption for recruitment. In other industries, like e-commerce, programmatic advertising is already widely used. According to eMarketer, nearly four out of every five digital-display dollars spent in the United States in 2017 was on programmatic advertising., founded in 1994, was the first public job search engine on the internet. The birth of Monster kick-started the digitization of job advertising.

In 2006, LinkedIn transformed the industry once again by making job searches social. Then, in October 2010, surpassed Monster to become the highest-trafficked job site in the United States. Indeed disrupted the market, and Monster, by aggregating job listings from thousands of websites to offer job seekers a more complete overview of the positions available to them.

Overview article


What is programmatic job advertising?

The goal of programmatic job advertising is to automate and steadily improve the sourcing of applicants. Programmatic advertising technology uses A/B testing, AI, and algorithmic decision engines to make job advertising easier and more effective. Easier, because it buys job ads on channels all over the internet automatically. (Wonderkind also automates the job ad creation process!) More effective, because it constantly tests the ads and channels to make sure that your budget is spent on the ones that perform best.

A/B testing, AI, and Algorithmic decision engines

A/B testing: Comparing two (or more) versions of something to see what performs better. For example: Running 3 different ads on Facebook for one job to see which ad performs best.

AI: Technology that performs tasks which would normally require human intelligence. For example: When Wonderkind’s tech automatically selects which channel to share job ads on, based on A/B testing.

Algorithmic decision engines: Search engines that use information from the user to provide more relevant results. For example: When you search Facebook for a friend of a friend and that person always seems to be close to the top (no matter how generic their name).

The benefit of programmatic job advertising is that it allows companies to spread their media budgets across multiple channels (e.g. job boards, social media, and other online platforms) automatically, while constantly improving these job ads based on cost-per-apply and / or pay-per-click.

Programmatic job advertising saves time through workflow automation and the steady optimization of advertising budgets.

Players in the market

Programmatic advertising is still in the early phases of adoption for recruitment. In other industries, like e-commerce, programmatic advertising is already widely used. According to eMarketer, nearly four out of every five digital-display dollars spent in the United States in 2017 was on programmatic advertising.

What to look for in a programmatic job advertising platform?

Each of these platforms has a lot to offer.
Here are the most important features to look for, and how to assess them:

Advertising channels
Instead of selecting a platform based on the quantity of channels it can share to, look for one that shares job ads on the channels that your target candidates use most.

Choose a platform that can analyze and recommend the channels that are right for your needs, and one that provides you with data about which channels your candidates are most active on.

Active markets
The platform you choose needs to be able to reach the candidates you want, where they are. If you don’t see your location mentioned, then reach out to the platform’s customer success team to see if they can help.

Analytics dashboard
The platform you choose should offer a real-time analytics dashboard, so that you can see how your campaigns are performing, and know when to makes adjustments.

Automated bid management
Find a platform that budgets your ad spend automatically. You shouldn’t have to be both a marketer and a recruiter. Let the platform do the marketing for you, like we did for KFC.

A good platform will determine how to distribute your recruitment advertising budget over each channel based on your market (target candidates) and data from previous and similar campaigns. This process should be transparent, and the platform should provide data about why your budget is being spent the way that it is.

Ease of use
Look for a pleasant user experience. A platform that enables you to create a campaign with just a few clicks and basic info.

The platform should make difficult choices about ad creation and distribution for you. That’s the whole point of programmatic job advertising!

Integration & implementation
Work with a platform that integrates well with your ATS and is both quick and easy to implement. Implementation shouldn’t take more than a week.

At Wonderkind, we’ve even had campaigns up and running within 24 hours!

Guidance & support
New technologies can be difficult to adjust to. Choose a platform that provides you with a dedicated customer success team. People who can both answer your questions, and help you get the most out of the technology.

When assessing the team, look for people who have strong knowledge of the latest tech trends and understand the labor market.

Proven results
Ask for case studies and success stories. Flashy marketing and cool-sounding technical terms don’t mean results, so trust platforms with a proven track record. If you want to go a step further, reach out to someone who uses the platform you’re assessing and ask them about their results.

Programmatic job advertising 2.0

As more companies enter the programmatic job advertising market, we’re going to see a move away from pay-per-click. The industry will move towards pay-for-performance. Probably in the form of cost-per-applicant, or perhaps even cost-per-hire.

Multi-touch attribution, the ability to rate a channel’s value based on multiple factors, will change our perception of top performing channels. For the first time we will have full insight into what drives effective recruitment advertising (successful hires). As we gain these insights, job ads will become even more targeted, and this targeting will be of a higher caliber.

At Wonderkind, we’re currently working to build deeper integration with ATSs, and create feedback loops that improve candidate quality for our users.

Our goal is to create a platform that can predict who the right candidates are, which channels work best to reach them, and what type of ads are most effective for converting them into applicants.

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