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The Holy Grail of recruiting is to reach the right candidate with the right ad at the right time — all the time.

In the field of HR advertising, programmatic recruitment offers employers the ability to reach qualified applicants at scale. While there’s a lot to explore in this area, in this article I will focus on:

- How programmatic advertising generates optimized results through automation
- How programmatic recruitment helps source applicants across the web
- The different channels and ad formats used to reach active and passive job seekers

Automation Is at the Heart of Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising helps automate the decision-making process of media buys by targeting specific audiences and demographics. Essentially, this means algorithms perform all the bidding automatically, using data aggregated from different sources (analytics, CRM, offline, third parties, etc.).

Algorithms leverage data analytics to drive ad-buying decisions, which are strategically aligned with the advertiser’s goals. In the recruitment space, programmatic advertising allows employers to target and reach the right candidates across different channels. The whole process takes place via real-time auctions with supply sources where ad impressions are auctioned instantaneously, with transactions occurring in a matter of milliseconds.

Data Drives Automation

Just as automation is at the heart of programmatic advertising, data is at the heart of automation. With the right data, advertisers can:

- Identify, build, increase, activate, and reach high-value audiences
- Optimize ad performance to meet objectives
- Dynamically deliver a customized, relevant creative experience to the audience
- Automate ad-buying across a broad array of inventory sources and channels

Of course, the benefits of data depend on the quality of the data. A well-implemented programmatic platform requires useful data in the first place to produce both actionable insights and effective results. This is where a proper recruitment analytics framework is required.

Programmatic Recruitment

Employers strive to find suitable talent for their available positions, always moving as quickly as possible through the application funnel from sourcing to hiring. The goal is to get a candidate working — and delivering value — as fast as possible.

Programmatic recruitment enables employers to automate job ad placement in real time. That way, they can target and reach the most relevant active job seekers, thereby improving overall applicant quality and optimizing the company’s application funnel.

A Day in the Life of a Job Seeker

These days, the sourcing of candidates happens across numerous digital channels, or touchpoints, where job seekers spend their time and attention. The infographic below depicts the day of a job seeker, illustrating the different touchpoints where interaction occurs:

Perengo JobSeeker diagram

The day of a modern job seeker might feature about 15 different context-driven touchpoints across digital channels. For example, commuting is conducive to checking mobile apps, whereas meals and leisure time are ideal for browsing the web, watching a video, or consuming content in general.

Active job seekers browse jobs several times during the day, and this activity — together with other interactions in different channels and on different devices — represents a timely opportunity for programmatic ads to reach the candidate, potentially turning them into an applicant.

Matching the Message to the Medium and the Device

A particular challenge recruiters face is ensuring the ads shown to potential applicants match their current context — e.g., the content they are consuming and the device on which they are consuming it — on an any given advertising channel. With programmatic advertising, this process is completely automated, giving the recruiter access to a massive inventory of ad networks, publishers, and ad exchanges. Recruiters can also manage ads in all available formats, including media-rich ads that are interactive and personalized.

Programmatic Recruitment Reaches Qualified Applicants at Scale

Programmatic advertising is an efficient and effective way to target and activate high-value audiences. When combined with programmatic recruitment, significant benefits can be gained, including:

  1. Higher volume: Automation enables employers to reach a larger, still highly targeted audience of active and passive job seekers across a comprehensive set of devices and channels.
  2. Better price: A programmatic approach lets companies get more from their recruitment budgets by optimizing ad spend to achieve better ROI.
  3. Improved quality: Programmatic recruitment platforms provide data analytics capabilities that improve the decision-making processes by optimizing traffic mix and improving overall applicant quality.

Mike Kofi Okyere is founder and CEO of Perengo. Follow Mike at his HR Technologist blog on Medium.

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