Cutting the craplicants: how programmatic job advertising is shaking up recruitment

programmatic job advertising

Programmatic job advertising is about to become the recruiter’s best friend. Why? Because it blocks the influx of unsuitable ‘craplicants’, stops advertising budgets from spiralling out of control, and altogether makes recruitment advertising more effective.

The problem is, scores of people have no idea what ‘programmatic’ means. That’s not surprising. A lot of product names do what they say on the tin, but here, the tin is blank. So let’s take a moment to get to grips with what it is and how it can benefit recruiters.

What is Programmatic Advertising?

At its most basic, programmatic advertising is where a computer makes the decisions about where your job ads should be placed instead of a person. A programmatic system will manage and control your job ads according to your campaign goals, optimising the performance of your ads automatically. It allows you to target a specific audience at a specific time through specific job boards and aggregators.

It also solves some fundamental problems that recruiters have with pay-per-click advertising…

The problems with Pay-per-Click

We explained in the rise of paying for performance how pay-per-click advertising on job aggregators can produce huge savings for hard-to-fill roles, but that easy-to-fill roles are another story. Easy-to-fill jobs get more responses, i.e. more clicks, and pay-per-click means you’re paying for each and every one of them. But when you pay to place an advert on a job board for a specified length of time (known as paying for time or post-and-pray), you pay the same sum whatever the number of clicks.

So, with pay-per-click, your spend curve is upturned. Instead of not having enough money for the easy-to-fill roles because you’ve burned your budget on the more difficult ones, the opposite has happened.

Which brings us to the next problem with uncontrolled pay-per-click job advertising. Craplicants, aka the totally unsuitable candidates who’ve applied for your easy-to-fill roles. Without any control over the amount of people who click and apply, recruiters and HR professionals end up inundated with craplicants and a ton of admin work is required to weed them out.

The solution to both these problems? Programmatic software.

But how does Programmatic Software work?

It’s simple. All you have to do is specify your campaign goals and press “go”. A computer does the rest.

In other words, you tell the software how long you want the ad to run, how many applications you want for the role, and how much you want to pay per click. Then you let the programmatic software get to work monitoring and optimising your ads.

And how does the software optimise your ads? That’s simple too. Once you’ve received your desired number of applications for your easy-to-fill roles, the software will remove the ad from the aggregator. This stops you from burning your budget and means there’s plenty left for the hard-to-fill roles. And if the hard-to-fill roles aren’t getting enough responses, the software will increase the cost per click or ‘bid price’ so that the ad is more prevalent and gets seen more often by job seekers.

Programmatic software frees up large swathes of your budget and balances out your spend curve. It helps you get more responses on hard-to-fill roles so that you can fill those positions quicker and don’t need to employ recruitment agencies to help. And last but not least, it ensures that your HR department isn’t overwhelmed with craplicants that you have to spend time and money processing.

The effect of all this is that you are likely to save around 40% of your advertising budget, depending on your campaign goals.

Not the sharpest tool in the shed

As rosy as this sounds, there’s a ‘but’. Only when your ads are effective or ineffective will the software alter the bid price. It’s a reactive process, not a proactive or predictive one. It means that money is wasted while the software ‘speculates’ on the right bid amount, and plays catch-up when it gets it wrong.

Basically, programmatic software is efficient, but it’s not smart. It’s great at cutting costs and improving the performance of your ads, but it could be a lot better, if only it could learn to become better.

So what if there was a way of making it smarter? What if there was a way of enabling it to learn?

Enter the robots…

In our next blog, we’ll talk about how artificial intelligence can enhance programmatic software by driving smart and proactive decisions in recruitment ad spend, to a degree that has never before been possible.

About ClickIQ

ClickIQ’s automated job advertising platform manages, tracks and optimises the performance of your recruitment advertising in real time, focusing spend where it’s needed most to reach both active and passive job seekers across Indeed, Google, Facebook and an extensive network of job boards.

Follow Richard Collins on LinkedIn to explore of the latest developments in the sector and to learn how you can keep your Talent Attraction strategy ahead of the curve.

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