Target Your Prospects With Programmatic Ad Buys

Deciding where to place a job ad is an important decision; it’s based on how best to get your ad in front of good candidates. For example, if you were looking for a medical technician in Arizona, you’d traditionally place the posting on job boards used by Arizona-based medical technicians.

All advertising used to work that way; if you were selling marine pumps you’d advertise in media aimed at people who buy marine pumps. Advertising has changed. Now ads are shown to individuals based on what the internet knows about them. If you do a search on marine pumps, then go to an online magazine about health; don’t be surprised if an ad for marine pumps shows up. The ad content is not driven by what the advertiser knows about the online magazine, it’s driven by what the internet knows about you.

How is this possible? It’s just smart software. Software knows about you; it knows about the product it’s trying to sell, and it knows the cost of placing the ad on different sites. Minute by minute the software makes the best choice. It’s called programmatic buying.

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We don’t do that in recruiting, but the revolution is upon us. Services like Appcast allow you to shift to programmatic buying. The shift will happen quickly because it costs nothing to start, you only pay for results. Furthermore the result you pay for is not just a “click”; you only pay when a candidate has made their way through your applicant tracking system. Bottom line: smart software delivers better results. It will become the normal way of placing ads.

What is interesting?

  • Programmatic buying is an example of an algorithm outperforming human intelligence. Buying ads is not a particularly difficult task; nonetheless we can be sure that with each passing year more and more things humans once did will be taken over by software.

What is really important?

  • According to Appcast’s data, companies that use programmatic buying cut their job advertising costs by about 30%.
  • Recruiting tends to be a high volume transactional department. It’s designed to get the work done, not investigate radical new methods. The question for companies is who is responsible to be on top of innovations like programmatic buying? Do they have enough resources to handle that responsibility? There is a lot of money involved, not to mention the importance of getting the right talent, so having sufficient resources to stay on top of innovation in recruiting is no small issue.

David Creelman, CEO of Creelman Research, is a globally recognized thinker on people analytics and talent management. Some of his more interesting projects included:

  • Conducted workshops around the world on the practical aspects of people analytics
  • Took business leaders from Japan’s Recruit Co. on a tour of US tech companies (Recruit eventually bought for $1 billion)
  • Studied the relationship between Boards and HR (won Walker Award)
  • Spoke at the World Bank in Paris on HR reporting
  • Co-authored Lead the Work: Navigating a world beyond employment with John Boudreau and Ravin Jesuthasan. The book was endorsed by the CHROs of IBM, LinkedIn and Starbucks.
  • Worked with Dr. Wanda Wallace on “Leading when you are not the expert” which topped the “Most Popular List” on the Harvard Business Review’s blog.
  • Worked with Dr. Henry Mintzberg on peer coaching, David’s learning modules are among the most popular topics.

Currently David is helping organizations to get on-track with people analytics.

This work led to him being made a Fellow for the Centre of Evidence-based Management (Netherlands) for his contributions to the field.



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