If you've been in business long enough, you remember when placing an ad for a job meant calling up your local newspaper. You'd write a brief description of what the job was and who you're looking to hire.
You paid the newspaper based on how long you wanted your ad to run. Then, it showed up in the classifieds section of your paper and you'd wait for your phone to ring.
It was pretty cut and dry. There was no email, no LinkedIn, and certainly not job sites.
Today, you handle your recruiting and hiring through the Internet. Instead of calling your local classifieds editor, you use programmatic job advertising.
Programmatic job advertising is a very efficient recruitment advertising method as it focuses on PPC (pay-per-click) and PPA (pay-per-applicant) media, meaning you only pay for actual traffic or applicants that you receive. This is much more effective than the old days of “post and pray.”
Are you already using this form of recruitment marketing? If so, that's great news!
So, how's it coming along? Is it getting the job done for you?
If not, your budget could be a big reason why. Let’s review the basics of a programmatic job advertising budget, and then we’ll take a look at the three biggest reasons your programmatic job advertising budget may not be getting you the results that you need.
Google AdWords made performance-based advertising a household name. Programmatic job advertising primarily utilized performance-based advertising channels, like CPC (cost-per-click) and CPA (cost-per-applicant) media. This is now the standard model that most job search engines use.
They charge advertisers (you) based on how well your ad performs. They calculate it on a per-click or per-application basis, depending on their structure.
Instead of having to go through a long, drawn-out process, you pick a source, set your budget, and wait for the applicants to pour in.
It seems simple enough. But are you getting the most out of what you pay for? The answer lies within your budget. Or, more appropriately, in your ability to set the right budget.
If you're new to buying performance-based ads, you need to know the importance of setting an appropriate programmatic job advertising budget.
Here are three reasons why you're may not be getting results from your programmatic job advertising budget and what you can do to get the biggest bang for your buck.
How is your monthly budget calculated for hiring? Do you determine this based off of previous knowledge and expertise or do you just take a stab in the dark? How do you strategically develop a budget number that you think is fair talent trade value for a candidate?
When establishing a budget, it’s important to take into consideration programmatic job advertising performance metrics such as potential job views and click volume, especially on your CPC media. If you don’t have an understanding of these metrics, you may not realize how fast CPC bids can add up and eat away at your budget. This could result in blowing through your budget just two weeks into the month, leaving you with little or no resources moving forward. Let us explain.
If you decided on a $100 budget (without using data to support your decision) for a single job in hopes of getting 100 clicks on that job, you’re assuming you’ll have an average CPC of $1.00. But maybe this job is a senior-level engineering role and average CPCs are closer to $2.50 for this type of role in the location you’re hiring in. That means your $100 budget will only get you 40 clicks instead of your anticipated 100, and it’s likely that your budget will spend out much faster (maybe in a few days, instead of a few weeks) than you were thinking.
Plus, will 40 clicks be enough for you to get quality applicants and make a hire? Would 100 clicks even be enough for you to get quality applicants and make a hire? Again, this is why having access to deep, job-level recruitment marketing analytics is so critical. You need to understand metrics like conversion rates (from job views to applicants), average CPAs (costs-per-application) and others in order to understand what you should be bidding on your CPC and CPA programmatic job advertising media - and in turn, what your budgets should be - in order to achieve your hiring goals.
Whether you’re running a small or large scale programmatic job advertising campaign (which is typically based on the volume of jobs), your budget needs to correlate appropriately. Here’s what we mean by this.
For example, let’s say you’re running a campaign to support 300 jobs with a budget of $1500. That’s an average of $5 budget per job. However, what happens when one job goes over that $5 spend? You’re forced to either pull budget from another position (which could limit the traffic on that job) or you’re forced to consider increasing budget to keep all of your jobs spending at an equal pace. When this happens, the result is often a low number of applications received across the board or a number of jobs receiving no applicants at all.
Instead, it’s best to be more realistic about what budget will properly support the number of jobs in your campaign. Is $5 per job enough to get the traffic and applicants you need to make a hire? Maybe it should be more like $20 per job, or even $150 per job if it’s a harder to fill role.
The best way to identify an appropriate budget is to have plenty of analytics to make data-driven decisions. If you want to run a programmatic job advertising campaign to fill 100 customer service jobs, you know that you need 10 applicants on each customer service job to make a hire and you know that it costs you an average of $5 per application (CPA), then you can back into exactly what your budget should be to reach your hiring goals (100 jobs x 10 applicants each x $5 CPA = $5,000 budget).
While programmatic job advertising can be extremely efficient if managed properly, there really isn’t a “silver bullet strategy” for all hiring needs. If there were, you could set up your programmatic strategies with a fixed budget and not worry about any of it again. But we all know that this isn’t the case - it requires constant management, optimization and improvements to achieve your hiring goals without wasting money or time.
With that said, having flexibility in your budget is important, and there should always be room for change as needed. If you have a budget that is static and always remains the same, there is a chance that you could potentially run into one of the two problems described above, and ultimately, wasted spend.
As you run programmatic job advertising, you may find that performance is better than you expected and you can “turn down” (spend less) or even turn off your campaigns early, potentially meaning you spend less than your originally planned budget and have that now as savings or to re-allocate to other campaigns and media. You don’t want to continue spending money when you don’t need to.
On the flip side, you may find that performance is lower than you expected - maybe a job is harder to fill than you realized, you’re not getting applicants fast enough for your goal hire date or there’s some sort of challenging seasonality at play that was not accounted for, as a few examples. So, you may need to “turn up” your campaigns by bidding more aggressively, adding more budget or making other optimizations necessary.
In either scenario, knowing that your programmatic job advertising budget should be flexible is key.
It’s no mystery that programmatic job advertising can work, given the right budgets. Because of this proven success, this recruitment marketing method has captured a large share of recruitment advertising budgets over the past few years, and the shift away from older advertising models has accelerated rapidly.
But, we also know that it’s not always easy to shift gears and take on new recruitment advertising models. As companies continue to adopt this strategy, they may quickly learn that programmatic job advertising can be a time-consuming and difficult process to navigate if not managed efficiently and without the proper analytics. Whether you develop an in-house team of programmatic job advertising experts or if you outsource to a recruitment marketing agency like us, it’s critical that your campaigns are managed properly. Otherwise, your programmatic job advertising may not be as effective as possible and could be wasting your time and money.
Similarly to the introduction of Google Adwords for traditional marketers, those who lead the way with programmatic job advertising will be one step ahead of the competition, and the competition for talent is fierce. And nowadays, programmatic job advertising has been so widely accepted as a primary method of digital talent acquisition, if you’re not already using programmatic, you may already be behind the ball.
Setting the right programmatic job advertising budget will give you the ROI you're looking for. But, it takes more than setting an appropriate budget. It takes a knowledgeable partner who can make it easy for you to attract and hire great talent using programmatic job advertising efficiently and cost-effectively.
At Recruitics, that's what we do. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for your business.
[This is a 2019 updated version of our original post 3 Reasons You’re Not Getting Results from Your Performance-Based Advertising Budget.]