10 Years of Programmatic: What We’ve Learned and Where We’re Heading

10 Years of Programmatic: What We’ve Learned and Where We’re Heading

The recruitment marketing and talent acquisition landscape is constantly evolving, and one major technological shift in the industry is celebrating its 10th anniversary. In 2009, a group of passionate recruitment marketers wanted to solve one of the industry’s biggest pain points – and created programmatic job advertising

In 2012, Recruitics launched and revolutionized recruitment advertising with the world’s first-to-market programmatic job optimization platform. The team created programmatic job advertising to allow recruiters the ability to create logic-based automation rules to manage budgets and optimize spending – giving companies more control of their recruitment advertising budget to get the best ROI. 

“To us, the ideal programmatic job advertising platform needed to have at least three things,” said Tim Dineen, Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Recruitics. “It needed to help us understand the performance of our job ads, it had to eliminate time-consuming processes through automation, and it had to help hire great talent more efficiently. This didn't exist, so we built it ourselves.”

To learn more about this innovative technology platform, it’s essential to understand where the industry was before it, where it is currently, and where the industry is heading.


Before Programmatic Job Advertising  

There used to be an imbalance of clicks on job applications and a lack of control from companies who were hiring. There was no proactive way of thinking or building strategy behind posting jobs, and companies would put out job advertisements and “come what may.” Organizations would rely on traditional duration-based job boards where recruiters pay a fixed price to advertise the job and wait for applications to come in.

With this, there isn't anything recruiters can do to boost the visibility of jobs after posting, especially those that need more applicants – since there aren't any changes they can make based on real-time performance. What's more, recruiters also don’t have the ability to stop a flood of applicants if they've already received the pool of talent they need just a few days after posting.

Recruitics recognized an area of opportunity to both boost visibility and to prevent overflooding of applicants for jobs that don’t need the applications, and in response, created programmatic job advertising.


Where The Industry Is Today 

Programmatic has been around for ten years, but really, the technology is still in the early adopter phase. In 2021, advertisers in the United States were projected to spend nearly 106 billion U.S. dollars on programmatic digital display advertising. According to SHRM, programmatic recruitment advertising is used by less than 10% of recruiting teams – and 60 percent of companies that use a programmatic approach see improvements compared to only 18 percent of companies using traditional advertising.


The Importance Of A Partner

Programmatic technology is a great platform for many companies, and there are a lot of really great technology players out there. But ultimately, companies need smart people behind the technology. 

Take a car, for example. A car needs a great driver behind the wheel, and no matter how great that car is, if someone doesn’t know how to drive it, the car won’t go far. For recruitment data, the same can be said. 

Also, companies must think about defining their hiring goals and have an understanding of the actual demand there is in the market. Suppose companies don't have someone looking at the data in aggregate every day, or someone who can look at what's going on in the greater market to see the trends. In that case, they aren’t able to make smarter decisions to steer the data in the right direction. 

Tip: It takes smart people behind programmatic to make the right decisions. This is why companies partner with a team ready to analyze the data behind every job and perform optimizations based on it.


A Holistic Picture

When companies track all sources that deliver applicants, they can use the automation that programmatic provides to augment applicant flow in areas that need more support. It allows for a more proactive vs. reactive approach. 

No two markets or jobs are the same, so a one-size-fits-all recruitment strategy doesn’t work. Having visibility of data at a granular level allows companies to make the best decisions for their needs.


Understand Labor Dynamics

As the recruitment industry knows well, keeping up with market trends is significant in remaining competitive. Companies must understand what is going on in the labor market to create a strategic approach and update recruitment strategies. When this is done, companies can work to achieve their hiring goals.

For example, if companies are only looking at one industry trend – such as unemployment rates in a market – they cannot see the full picture behind the other competitors who they’re competing against for the same talent. Or, without having visibility on historical data in the industry (such as understanding the ebbs and flows of high-volume hiring season), how can decisions be made to adjust job advertising strategies? 

With the context of labor market dynamics, companies can understand the other forces that impact the ability to perform in a market – and understand that sometimes programmatic is not going to be the only solution to hiring struggles. However, programmatic is an asset when paired with other recruitment strategies – such as updating employer branding and messaging in the marketplace. Shifts in a company’s overall recruitment strategy can make one company stand out from the crowd that's fighting for the same talent in the hiring landscape. Creating an integrated approach and taking a deep dive into recruitment strategies ensures programmatic advertising is working at its optimal level.

How can the industry grow to the next frontier of programmatic?


What To Expect In The Future

Every year programs will get more sophisticated, and many changes in the recruitment industry have occurred in the last 10 years – with many market shifts expedited due to the pandemic. Innovation with technology/automation is happening at a faster rate than ever before, and as the world works to evolve, so will the recruitment marketing industry.


Focus On Candidate Experience

It typically takes 8-12 touch points with a candidate before they apply for a role. Because of this, companies should consider implementing technology/automation that can streamline the hiring process. 

Pairing robust technology with human experts ensures companies remain efficient and highly competitive. Access to actionable data enables companies to make better and more informed decisions – improving the quality of applicants, filling positions faster, ensuring a quality candidate experience, and reaching top talent with recruitment messaging.

Also, there’s a new focus on treating candidates more like customers. Before, long application and interview processes would frustrate candidates – often leading to applicant drop-off. New technologies coming into the industry, such as click to apply or easy apply, make the application process much faster and easier for job seekers – alleviating candidate frustration.

Easy apply is gaining popularity because it allows candidates to circumvent a lengthy application process and send their resumé, job board profile, or other information directly to recruiters or hiring managers. On the platform, easy apply jobs are typically labeled as such; with one click, applicants can fill out a short form and upload a resume from their previously uploaded profile. This has proven to be particularly attractive to users on mobile devices since most candidates don’t have a resumé saved on their mobile device, and the ability to contact a recruiter using their job board profile simplifies applying while on the go.


End-To-End Analytics

The industry is moving forward and focusing on meaningful analytics that allows recruiters to gain visibility and dig deep into the funnel to truly understand how they interact with talent, how to move them most efficiently through the funnel and into interviews, and eventually lead to hires.

With end-to-end analytics, talent acquisition professionals can have a more holistic view of their recruitment marketing efforts and gain more actionable insights from the data they’re processing. Also, this data not only identifies potential gaps in the recruiting process, but can highlight what’s being done well. For example, with E2E recruitment metrics, a talent acquisition professional can see which sources provide the most applicants and hires, allowing the user to dig even deeper into their data.

Visibility in all areas of the funnel, seeing what happens with candidates at each stage, and looking at drop-off signals can all be beneficial to recruitment professionals to understand their process more clearly and see where automation can be added with ease.

More meaningful analytics means recruitment marketing professionals can understand where they need to invest more. For example, sometimes a CPA might go up, but the cost per hire will decrease. Understanding where to invest ensures companies don’t optimize the wrong metrics and can intelligently plan for future talent acquisition needs.


Speed Kills

The average job seeker is applying to multiple jobs at once, and many are involved in numerous interview processes simultaneously. This is where many companies need to update their hiring processes to be as quick and efficient as possible. To elaborate, if the candidate is investing too much time in the interview process and is continuously speaking to different hiring managers, they might decline to proceed. With it being a competitive market, it’s essential to only have the number of interviews necessary to make a decision.

Also, candidates will move on if a company takes too long to respond to initial applications or interest. Companies need to act fast to secure top talent in this current hiring market.


Moving Forward

Technology and innovation have grown tremendously in the past decade and will continue to evolve into the future. The shift to a marketing-based approach to recruiting and the introduction of programmatic job advertising has dramatically affected how companies compete for talent, but there’s room to grow.  

If companies are not taking advantage of the available platforms, they might be at a disadvantage when keeping up with the incredibly competitive hiring landscape. 

For those considering adding programmatic to their strategy and would like to learn more, reach out to Recruitics today!

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