Programmatic Job Advertising and the Candidate Experience

Programmatic Job Advertising and the Candidate Experience

Key Takeaways:

  • Providing a positive candidate experience has never been more important. Programmatic advertising remedies some of the most prominent issues amongst job seekers, such as overly complicated application processes.
  • Programmatic advertising simplifies and optimizes the application process, making it more efficient and user-friendly for candidates.
  • Programmatic media allows organizations to build relationships with candidates by providing detailed information about the company, its culture, and benefits, leading to better engagement.

As job seekers have become more discriminating and are increasingly vetting prospective employers, considering the candidate experience has become more important than ever for recruitment marketing professionals. As a result, the “candidate first” recruiting paradigm and a candidate-driven approach in the recruitment process have become integral to talent attraction and hiring. 

In this context, programmatic job advertising represents an innovative way of prioritizing the candidate's needs and preferences in the recruitment process. Just as in search engine marketing in the consumer marketplace, candidates searching job boards have a high degree of intent, using relevant keywords when searching for job titles and self-selecting the job postings that match their career interests. These candidates who are evaluating prospective employers and seeking relevant positions tend to be highly active in their job search and often convert quickly into hires.

programmatic job advertising

To attract relevant candidates, programmatic job advertisers utilize sophisticated algorithms to assist companies in optimizing ad relevance, helping reach their target audience while staying within predefined budget parameters. For employers, a major benefit of programmatic ads is the ability to make real-time adjustments for ad optimization, incorporating market-level data on the supply-and-demand for labor to efficiently reach candidates, and helping lower both cost-per-hire and time-to-hire. Another significant benefit is value – since programmatic operates within a performance-based pricing structure, it provides immediate cost savings and a higher return on investment (ROI).

Providing a positive candidate experience can improve a company’s hiring results by attracting more applicants, being more competitive, improving the quality of hires, and increasing brand awareness. This article will detail how programmatic job advertising can enhance the candidate experience, providing additional benefits to companies and job seekers.


Targeted Job Recommendations

Since programmatic advertising uses algorithms and data analysis to match job seekers with relevant job opportunities, candidates are more likely to see jobs that align with their skills, experience, and preferences. In addition to providing search results when people use their sites, many programmatic job boards allow candidates to create profiles or upload resumes, making applying for jobs easier. 

The aforementioned functions keep candidates from having to search for open roles every time, and allow programmatic job boards to proactively recommend relevant job openings. When candidates return to these sites or apps, their job preferences are remembered and the content can be personalized to their career interests. Job seekers are led directly to career opportunities and shown related jobs, helping candidates find jobs that are a better fit for them, thus improving their overall experience. This experience can feel gratifying and conveys the image of a personable employer who is genuinely interested in engaging with them.


Reduced Irrelevant Applications

Receiving irrelevant applications can be a frustrating time-waster for recruiters. Similarly, receiving or being directed to irrelevant job postings can be frustrating to candidates. Since programmatic uses data to make more relevant ad placements in comparison to legacy “post and pray” advertising models, it allows for more accurate candidate targeting. Programmatic algorithms ensure that ads are tailored to match job seekers for each job posting.

For candidates who are a good match, this can help reduce time-to-hire as recruiters identify candidates from a shorter, better-curated list of applicants, improving the experience for both employers and candidates.

programmatic advertising strategies


Streamlined Application Processes

A growing reason many candidates “ghost” employers is an overly complicated application process. In a recent survey, more than 75% of respondents preferred a one-click application experience over filling in a long-form, multiple-page application process. Candidates realize that the recruiting process takes time, but they also understand their value in today's competitive job market – and they’ve become more discriminating and less tolerant of bureaucratic hassles than in years past. From the perspective of many candidates, investing more time into an application process doesn't necessarily improve their odds of getting hired, especially if they’re unsure if the employer is a good fit for their career goals.

Programmatic advertising not only streamlines the application process but also optimizes it. For instance, it can direct candidates to apply directly through the company's website or applicant tracking system (ATS), rather than through third-party job boards or sites, making it easier for candidates to submit their applications. This application process is more efficient and supports a positive candidate experience.


Quick Apply/Easy Apply

As mentioned, a lengthy job application process can deter candidates, leading to more drop-off and a poor candidate experience. Many programmatic job boards have responded to this shift in expectations by developing new quick apply/easy apply options to help streamline this process. 

Quick apply or easy apply enables candidates to apply for jobs directly through the job board site or app, bypassing the need to apply through a career site. When candidates use these tools, details such as resumes, certifications, or skills assessments can be automatically added to the job application using what they’ve shared previously. This supports a seamless “one-click application” process for candidates, and is especially helpful for those browsing on their mobile devices. The time saved (on the candidate’s part) when using quick apply or easy apply can go a long way to prevent candidates from ghosting prospective employers.



Organizations can build relationships with candidates long before they apply for a job. With the information from company profiles and reviews, candidates can learn a great deal about the company from the start (e.g., values, culture) on websites and job boards they prefer.

When a company uses programmatic media, their job postings are advertised to job seekers in an on-demand fashion. Job descriptions can be detailed with branded creative material that is appealing to job seekers, including benefits and workplace culture, which help candidates envision how they might fit into the new role.

After the application process, recruitment professionals can personalize their communications to align with candidates' interests, guaranteeing that they receive pertinent information regarding both the organization and available job prospects. This results in better response rates from higher-quality candidates.

candidate experience


Feedback and Analytics

Of course, one of the major advantages of programmatic advertising to employers is that it provides a superior ability to track and measure campaign performance. Programmatic allows companies and recruitment marketers to monitor and analyze how their ads are performing across different formats, channels, and segments, and how they are impacting recruitment goals and metrics. Various tools such as Google Analytics, LinkedIn Campaign Manager, or Facebook Ads Manager can be used to collect and visualize campaign data.

Programmatic advertising platforms provide insights into candidate behavior and engagement. Employers can use this data to continually refine their job listings and application processes, ensuring they align with candidate preferences and expectations.

This data-driven decision-making provides the facility for continuous improvement and helps to ensure companies have a candidate-centric approach. When it all comes together, this can raise recruiting efficiency, significantly improving the candidate experience. 



Faster and more efficient hiring processes made possible by programmatic advertising can contribute to a better candidate experience. Candidates appreciate quick responses and decisions, which can be achieved through automation and data-driven recruitment.

In addition to overall efficiency and the aspects mentioned earlier, areas in which programmatic can enhance efficiency include:

  • Mobile Accessibility: Programmatic advertising is well-suited for mobile devices, allowing candidates to search and apply for jobs on their smartphones. This accessibility is crucial in today's mobile-centric world and ensures that candidates can engage in the hiring process whenever and wherever they are connected.
  • Consistency: Programmatic advertising ensures that job listings and application processes are consistent across various platforms and job sites. This consistency provides candidates with a reliable and quality hiring experience.

In addition to directly contributing to a positive individual experience, a company’s reputation for improved efficiency in recruiting and hiring will propagate through the talent pool. With the proliferation of digital platforms, job seekers employ networking at higher levels than in the past. When companies offer an exceptional candidate experience, job seekers spread word-of-mouth within their networks and even write positive reviews online. Thus, increased efficiency produces a direct and positive impact on a company’s employer brand as well. 


Across industries and professionals, programmatic job advertising improves the candidate experience by making the job search process more personalized, efficient, and candidate-centric. Reducing friction and aligning job opportunities with candidate preferences contributes to a more positive and enjoyable recruitment journey.

Interested in learning how programmatic job advertising can supercharge your recruiting efforts? Feel free to reach out to us to learn how we can help accelerate your hiring needs!

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