What Is Programmatic & Why You Need To Know

January 20, 2022

For years, organizations have leveraged their weapons in the war for talent. But today, the war for talent is only half the battle. To stand out in today’s always-on 24/7 digital landscape, you need to start fighting the war for attention. And to win that war, you need to harness the power of programmatic advertising.

Think about it: Your ideal candidates are constantly bombarded by email drip campaigns, LinkedIn messages from recruiters, and social media posts for open job positions. On top of that, they’re doing more and more research about employers before applying. Your candidates are checking out countless websites every day. What if you could use those channels to capture their attention?

Programmatic advertising helps you meet candidates where they already are. That means better-qualified, more engaged candidates, increased brand awareness, and a broader reach. The best part? You don’t need a ton of ad spend to build a calculated strategy.

So, what are you waiting for? Here’s what you need to know to reach top talent with the power of programmatic. 


What Is Programmatic Advertising?

Programmatic advertising involves purchasing, publishing, and optimizing ads. Buyers use an automated bidding system to purchase ad slots or impressions. The bidding system uses an algorithm to determine ad placements and opportunities in real time. With programmatic, the whole web is at your disposal—not just traditional job sites and social media platforms that are already packed with job ads.

Programmatic advertising makes buying ads more efficient and affordable, ensuring that only the users who are most likely to apply for your job are served ads. In turn, your marketing team can spend more time on other important projects instead of spending their valuable time bidding on ad space.

So, how exactly does programmatic come into play with recruitment advertising? Whether you’re trying to hire construction workers, machine operators, or HVAC technicians, programmatic ads make sure your job ads are seen by the right candidates on the right sites at the right time. In other words, it can help recruiters hyper focus on their target demographic without draining their advertising budget. 

Combined with compelling ad copy and powerful CTAs, the right programmatic strategy can be your secret weapon in the war for attention.


Leveraging Programmatic in the War for Attention

When your ideal candidates go online, how many ads do they see? Think about how many news outlets, social media platforms, eCommerce stores, and streaming services are competing to get in front of your ideal candidates. Then, imagine how many different “click here” buttons they are seeing among all those ads.

At any given time, there are billions of companies competing to steal your candidates’ attention away from your job ad. So, how do you step out in front of the competition and get noticed by your ideal candidates?

To cut through the digital noise, you have a few options:

  • Drain your advertising budget to make sure your ads appear on the websites your ideal candidates visit.
  • Invest in traditional time-based job ads on job boards and hope your ideal candidates are actively searching for jobs.


  • Adopt a calculated programmatic strategy to reach the right people at the right time with effective, tailored content.

The choice is easy enough, right? Your main goal is to dominate the competition and reach as many qualified candidates as possible without shelling out your entire advertising budget. This way, you’ll be able to guide those candidates through the talent pipeline and fill open positions more quickly.


Why Recruiters Need Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising makes your job easier by eliminating the monotonous, inefficient processes and unnecessary spending that typically accompany complex hiring needs. But is it worth the investment?

The truth is, programmatic isn’t the answer for every single job opening. If you’re looking to fill one or two openings, you’ll probably have better success with social media marketing or other methods. 

But for volume hires, tough-to-fill positions, and critical openings, the laser-targeted nature of programmatic helps pave the way for a seamless recruitment process. Here’s why.

  • Lower cost per hire. Greater control over your spending is one of the best, and most obvious, benefits of programmatic. A smart programmatic recruitment platform enables you to allocate budgets at multiple levels: campaign, job group, job, publisher, and more. By tracking your performance and costs across every campaign, you can compare which channels are performing better—and use those insights to drive your media-buying decisions.
  • More qualified candidates. You can spend thousands of dollars on billboards and newspaper ads to promote your job openings, but how qualified will your candidates be? In other words, how many of them will have the skills needed to turn into hires? Programmatic ensures your ads target top-quality talent so you don’t waste any ad spend on candidates who will never convert into hires.
  • Greater reach. Programmatic gets your job ads in front of more job seekers, especially on websites that deliver the most cost-effective results. Your ads might appear on niche job sites you’ve never heard of, but they can drive exceptional hiring outcomes. You can also engage with passive candidates that aren’t actively searching for jobs on traditional job boards.
  • Faster time-to-hire. Now that you’re attracting more qualified candidates, you can reduce the time it takes to convert candidates into hires.
  • Seamless candidate experiences. An effective programmatic strategy helps guide your candidate down the talent pipeline, enhancing their application experience and boosting your click-to-apply conversion rates. In turn, programmatic simplifies the application process and delivers better candidate experiences.


How Programmatic Job Advertising Works

Programmatic advertising offers much more than the ability to distribute job ads to your target audience. By leveraging machine learning and AI, programmatic continually optimizes your job ad placements based on down-the-funnel metrics, such as your average cost-per-hire.

If you’re new to programmatic, take a deep breath. It might seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. And if you have no idea where to start, an experienced team of marketing experts can help you get the job done right.

So, how exactly does programmatic work in the world of recruitment? In general, successful programmatic platforms are equipped with:


1. Intelligence

Programmatic offers a simple, convenient way to gather all your current and historical data, from your job requisition data to your hiring data, into one place. This is called your “seed data.”

Then, your ad platform will overplay your seed data with your budget and goals data (cost-per-hire, time-to-fill, etc.) to create your target and look-alike (similar) audiences. A smart programmatic platform not only helps you reach your recruitment goals but also prepares itself for your future hiring needs.


2. Campaign Management

This is where your programmatic platform utilizes your data to inform your buying decisions and provide machine learning-based recommendations. This way, you can automate and optimize your ad placement and distribution based on your specific goals.

With effective campaign management, you can buy media from the most effective sources so you can reach top-quality candidates—all while maximizing your ROI.


3. Insights

Programmatic gathers data on your recruitment media (i.e., job boards, social media, etc.), so you can track your marketing efforts with a centralized dashboard. All your recruitment data is crunched to provide real-time insights on ad performance and costs. 

Instead of wondering whether your campaigns are driving results, you’ll have all the information you need at your fingertips. Programmatic gives you end-to-end visibility and complete control over your entire advertising strategy, whether you’re leveraging PPC job boards, search ads, or social media.


4. Learned Intelligence

Machine learning algorithms leverage your insights, outcomes, and learnings to inform your future media-buying decisions. In turn, programmatic advertising continually optimizes and improves your ad strategy and results, eliminating the guesswork that usually comes with traditional recruitment advertising.

With AI-powered recruitment advertising and constant optimization, blue-collar recruiters can ensure their outcomes and costs are much more predictable and consistent over time.



Tap Into the Power of Programmatic

If you’re used to boosting Facebook posts and hoping for results, it’s time to change your strategy. Programmatic is the weapon you need to win the war for attention and get in front of your most qualified candidates.

To take your recruitment strategy to the next level, set up a discovery call with our team. We’re here to help you every step of the way—from assessing your current strategy to upgrading your recruitment marketing plan to attract top-quality talent.

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