Intro to Programmatic Applicant Sourcing

Technology is changing the way we do business and talent acquisition is no exception. Over the past few months, buzzwords have been popping up all across talent management: AI, Machine Learning, programmatic, real-time bidding (RTB) and chat-bots. These terms are all going to become more integrated in the day-to-day methodologies that enhance hiring capabilities. Today we’re going to focus on what programmatic and RTB is, what we can do about it now, and where it’s going.
I come from the advertising agency world where I worked in digital marketing for five years. I spent my time creating paid search and programmatic marketing strategies. When Hireology created Applicant Engine, a product that takes a calculated approach at talent acquisition marketing, I joined the team to share my previous experience from the digital space and and apply it to the the world of hiring.

What is programmatic and RTB?

First, we want to distinguish what programmatic is, and how RTB ties into it. Programmatic is an automated technology infrastructure. RTB is a buying method of purchasing a single impression via an auction-based system in real time. Typically, these programmatic purchases are done with RTB.  This technology allows you to target the demographic on any website, compared to previous ad targeting strategies that revolved around buying publisher inventory and hoping the right person makes it to the site. In 2017, spending on RTB Programmatic for Digital display ads was forecasted to reach $27 billion, which equates to about 72% of the digital display total budgets.

Why aren’t we doing this right now?

Coming from the digital marketing space and transitioning to applicant sourcing, I noticed a common theme in every one of my first interactions with a vendor. Take everything that you learned from digital marketing, travel back in time 5-10 years, and that’s where job boards stand today. The main driver for this delay is the XML files that job board feeds run on, which are currently necessary to monitor which jobs are still open and which ones need to be filled. The lynchpin for RTB-based job boards will revolve around when vendors can transition from XML based feeds to API integrations that will make the simultaneous ad purchasing possible.

Where do we go from here?

We’re still at the very early stage of programmatic, and the pre-RTB stage as far as job boards are concerned. There are quite a few vendors that allow you to purchase on a “programmatic direct” basis, in which terms are agreed upon and certain metrics are hit. Think along the lines of paying $1,000 for 20 applicants, and the vendor will pull some strings to make that happen. While a step in the right direction, there is a huge gap in the mid-flight optimization that the programmatic space cultivates. Other platforms that are working to set up rules (cost per click or cost per applicant), meaning the platform uses data to make a decision on whether or not to purchase that impression based on previous data, but these platforms are also in the very beginning stages. Expect the amount of data to help make these decisions, as well as the possible API integrations that will enable RTB to increase substantially throughout 2018.
Programmatic and RTB are two very hot-button topics that are only going to gain more traction in talent acquisition. The seeds have already been planted for a real-time method to get in front of the right candidate anywhere on the web, instead of simply when they are looking for a job. We’re excited to see where programmatic capabilities will go in the coming months, and work to stay on the forefront of these conversations and potential integrations.  
Learn about how Hireology can help you build your best team using our programmatic ad buying product, Applicant Engine. See a demo today.



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