Tim Horrocks


August 1, 2022


How to Target Talent More Effectively with Programmatic Ads

Programmatic advertising is next-generation advertising technology that uses AI technology to serve job adverts to the best potential candidates. Where once recruiters had to cast a big net and hope for the best on job boards, intelligent programmatic ad software only targets those most likely to respond positively to ads served to them. It automates the placement of ads on apps, social media and websites, or wherever people hang out online, using big data to find the ideal match for your ad. 

That’s what makes it so useful in a crowded digital recruitment space where it’s difficult to get noticed at all, let alone by those who might actually be a good fit for your company. Simply put, programmatic ads stop you wasting money placing your ad somewhere it isn’t wanted. The results are more cost-effective ad campaigns, better quality candidates and more talented businesses. 

Let’s look at some of the ways programmatic can improve talent acquisition at your business.

What are the benefits of using programmatic advertising for recruitment?

The main benefit of programmatic advertising is that it reduces cost per hire. That’s thanks to its pinpoint targeting capabilities. Smart technology allows you to determine who you are targeting by their occupation, their geographical area or even the mobile device they are using—it can even adjust messaging depending on the weather. 

The tech works to a level of detail and on a scale that isn’t possible with manual methods—but when it comes to setting budget parameters governing how much you are willing to bid on ad, you’re in control. You can also automatically shut down a campaign once you’ve received the requisite number of applications. A study has shown that traditional marketing methods resulted in an average of 40% of recruitment budgets being wasted. The pinpoint targeting and customisation of programmatic advertising is all about making every penny count. 

Another big benefit of programmatic ads right now is that it’s still relatively new in the recruitment arena. Despite being very popular with marketing teams, uptake of programmatic advertising in recruitment is estimated at around ten percent of businesses (and, for the record, Jupiter Sparks was the first agency to use it for recruitment). With numbers like that, programmatic ads could be a secret weapon that will give you the edge over competitors in the struggle for talent.

Despite its many benefits, programmatic advertising won’t solve all your recruitment issues overnight. It takes time—research has shown that active job seekers generally require upward of three touchpoints for them to respond to recruitment advertising and passive candidates an average of 17. Dynamic programmatic ads can help you there, too. By retargeting candidates who have previously engaged with initial ‘top of the funnel’ messaging (‘seeded’ content, for example) with a follow-up ‘are you still interested?’ message, they’ll enable you to deliver candidate touchpoints quickly and consistently. 

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Why does programmatic advertising deliver better quality candidates? 

Programmatic advertising campaigns deliver more engaged, higher quality candidates by only serving your ads to prospective candidates it deems well-suited to the role. Rather than determine this by keyword use like Google Ads, programmatic ad software does this by creating an ideal persona based on the job criteria and targeting people who resemble it—so called ‘lookalikes’. 

The software is smart in that the amount it bids for an ad placement will depend on the degree to which the target resembles the persona. That means that, when the software bids high, there’s a great chance that it’ll result in you gaining the attention of someone really well-suited to your organisation. 

 Not only will this help you to fill your vacancies quicker, programmatic ads can be so effective that they could also allow you to pipeline surplus talent for the future. That means when the same or similar vacancies reoccur, you’ll potentially have talent ready to go and not need to advertise, which, over time, significantly reduces your cost per hire.

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What kind of roles are best suited to programmatic advertising campaigns?

Programmatic advertising is ideally suited to lower-paid or volume-hire roles due to the way the software works. Before an ad is served the ad software will bid the amount you are prepared to pay for a click from a potential candidate. Because lower paid jobs tend to draw from a larger talent pool where suitable talent is more common, the amount bid for clicks is lower. That means your budget will go a lot further and you’ll be able to engage a lot more suitable candidates for your money. 

It's worth noting here that there is a minimum £5k spend for programmatic ad campaigns but the whole point of programmatic advertising is making sure your recruitment marketing budget is well spent. More bang for your buck, as they say. So, if initial costs seem expensive, it’s important to remember that programmatic advertising really works. There’s a reason UK businesses spent over £20billion on it in 2021.

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Learn more about the best media for recruitment advertising here.



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