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Why Employers Should Use Programmatic Advertising to Recruit

Programmatic media is the future of recruitment advertising, according to, which states, “if you’ve been in the job-ad buying space long enough, you know that every now and again a technology comes along that revolutionizes the way we run ad campaigns. Today, the new kid on the block set to fundamentally reshape the recruitment advertising landscape is programmatic advertising.”

Programmatic advertising defined, according to KRT Marketing, a data-driven recruitment marketing agency is: “A data-centric recruitment advertising process, utilizing machine-to-machine communication to purchase online job ads in real-time, based on preset rules and targeting on a pay-per-click or pay-per-app basis.”

Recruitment software and technology is constantly evolving fast in the HR space. While many recruiters and employers are still figuring out how to best leverage their applicant tracking system and use ATS software for recruiting the right candidate, programmatic job advertising is adding another twist to HR technology. A twist that can greatly help employers manage their recruiting budgets, and use recruitment technology to their advantage. In other words, employers can get more bang for their buck through programmatic job advertising.

In the blog post How programmatic job advertising can fix uneven application distribution, author Melissa Miller writers “Programmatic, to put it simply, is an automated ad-buying process that allows you to advertise job postings and implement rules that match your requisition-specific need.”

Mona Tawakali, Vice President of Digital Strategy for KRT Marketing, explains it further.

“Programmatic advertising gives our media analysts the ability to programmatically manage PPC job ads for our clients,” says Tawakali. “The platform’s data-driven, rule-based technology automates the tactical execution, allowing us to spend more time on campaign strategy. The end result has been delivering more quality applications for less cost to our clients.”

Programmatic advertising will account for 50% of all digital ad sales by 2018, if not even sooner, according to the College Recruiter article Programmatic advertising in recruitment: start paying attention.

College Recruiter, named the top job search site for college students and recent grads by, has been using programmatic advertising since 2014 for mobile and display banner advertising solutions. More recently, College Recruiter launched JobsThatScale, a process designed to save high-volume recruiters time. It takes too much time to post on a hundred job boards in order to find enough candidates. Once College Recruiter understands an employer’s needs, the company uses a pay-per-applicant formula to drive enough quality candidates to a job posting to fill all positions.

“Many employers and others in the employment marketing space confuse programmatic with pay-per-click advertising,” says Steven Rothberg, founder and president of College Recruiter. “Job ads which are posted using programmatic technology are often priced on a pay-per-click basis, but you can post a job using programmatic technology but pay for it on a traditional, duration-basis such as $X for 30-days, and you can go to a job search site and post a job just to that site and pay for it on a pay-per-click basis such as $100 for 100 clicks.”

Employers should not simply just buy advertising from publishers who claim they can reach their audience, says René Bolier, co-founder of OnRecruit, a global HR Tech company that helps companies attract talent by automating their job advertising and helping them engage with automatically created talent pools.

“You should identify your audience and then pay anybody who is capable of reaching that audience,” says Boiler, who also launched to help companies understand how they should track, manage and buy job advertising.

Employers should also follow these tips, says Boiler:

  • Pay for performance, not for ‘publishing’ without performance guarantee.
  • Maintain control over what ads you want to show and how many times, and to which people. Campaigns paid for duration – a certain amount of time no matter the results “are not the way to do this,” says Boiler. “But performance-based campaigns via programmatic advertising are.”

The benefit to employers of programmatic advertising is that it removes the guesswork from where to advertise their openings, says Rothberg. Rather than posting a job on one site because that site seems well targeted to the employer’s desired audience and another job at another site because that site seems well targeted to the employer’s other desired audience, employers can instead post all of their jobs using programmatic technology and the recruitment software will automatically determine not just where the audience should be, but actually is based on factors such as how many people view the ad, click the apply button, apply, interview, and even are hired.

“This marketing automation greatly improves both the effectiveness and efficiency of the advertising because employers should generate better-qualified hires at a lower cost,” says Rothberg.

How else can employers benefit from programmatic PPC strategies? Read these six things that happen when employers move to a programmatic PPC strategy, from KRT Marketing:

  1. Say goodbye to cost-per-click (CPC) and hello to cost-per-apply (CPA)
    Tracking tags record application data produced from your PPC campaigns, which is the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) used to measure apply conversions and CPAs.
  2. Eliminate wasted spend on jobs that don’t need applicationsUp to 80% of PPC advertising investments are wasted on jobs that don’t need applications. Programmatic recruitment technology uses apply data to determine which jobs need advertising and which don’t.
  3. Generate applications for jobs that need them
    Programmatic recruitment technology lets you set advertising rules so you can get the results you need for each and every job. (i.e. stop advertising a job when it reaches XX apps…called rule-based advertising).
  4. Expand your reach to a larger pool of qualified talent
    Programmatic advertising distributes your jobs to a large network of proven PPC job sites, not just one or two.
  5. Receive meaningful data to expose true media performance
    Programmatic recruitment technology uses real-time apply data to compare PPC job site performance. Understand how many clicks are needed to convert one apply and what the CPA is for each job family.
  6. Uncover new predictive capabilities for future decision-making
    Use historical data of candidate actions from click to hire to build out forecasting models to predict how many applications are needed for future hiring initiatives.

Programmatic advertising for recruiting is the future. The future is now. Is your company ready?

Author: Matt Krumrie is a contributing writer for