Programmatic advertising—or “programmatic” for short—is a new technology for distributing online ads including consumer ads and recruitment ads. Programmatic is now widely used but it requires a different way of thinking about how advertising is assembled into media campaigns and priced.

Programmatic recruitment advertising includes the following features:

  • It automates the buying and selling of ad inventory anywhere on the internet. Most job boards and online media are equipped to accept orders this way.
  • It prices ad inventory on a bidding basis, similar to the way Priceline prices the sale of a hotel room. You start with a low bid and raise the bid until it is accepted or you stop bidding. The bidding process is computerized and completed in less than a second.
  • The technology allows the advertiser to define and reach the desired audience. Your ad is sent to and seen only by the people you want to reach, the target audience.
  • You can define your audience using various attributes compiled by online data services. Here is a simplified list of the attributes that can be used to define and target desired job candidates:
    • Their online search activities suggest a personal interest in a job title, topic, service or product
    • They seem to be actively seeking another job at this time
    • Certain demographics apply such as occupation, education, language, licenses, location

Other features in its favor:

  • Your ads are distributed to relevant websites appropriate for the audience profile and campaign budget. The websites are chosen automatically by the algorithms built into the particular platform in use. Different platforms apply different algorithms and consider different factors when automating the selection of sites for your ad. In effect you are reaching suitable candidates where they personally show up online. Your ad is cast across a much wider net and faces less competition at the same time.
  • An ad can be set up as either a conventional job posting with a click-to-apply or a small display ad that links to a designated landing page such as a video or job fair invite.
  • Different pricing models are available. Price can be based on the number of views delivered, completed applications received or total spend per month. It just depends on your goals and the marketing strategy in effect. The ads are very cost efficient compared to non-programmatic methods.
  • The programs that run programmatic campaigns have access to mountains of data on past advertising results and online activities by the desired audience. This information facilitates campaign planning and budgeting. You can see ahead of time what you can expect in the way of results and costs. This cuts down on surprises and disappointments in your recruitment efforts.
  • For larger employers and budgets, programmatic advertising optimizes spend and ROI for all advertised jobs.