Programmatic Advertising Can Even Out Job Application “Feast or Famine” By Matt Lozar

  By Anonymous  |    Sunday September 10, 2018

Category: Expert Advice, Technology


Job A Has 0 Applications. Job B Has 100 Applications. 

Staffing agencies and recruiters have all experienced application “feast or famine” when posting numerous jobs to job boards.

This example features 10 jobs on a job board. Job A is receiving ZERO applications. Job B is receiving 100 applications.

Both of those results aren’t desired.


Yes, 100 applications are fantastic, but to fill an open job, does a recruiter really need 100 applications? Probably not.

Yes, zero applications are not good for anyone. It’s impossible for a recruiter to fill a position that receives zero applications.


How Can Programmatic Advertising Fix That?

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of programmatic job advertising, this post provides a great primer to get you up-to-speed on the terminology and benefits of this technique.


Fixing the Feast: Too Many Applications

Programmatic advertising has a powerful “application caps” feature, which allows you to limit the number of applications you receive to an individual posting. Here’s how it works:

Using our example above, we have one job with 100 applications and one job with zero applications.

How can we improve the balance? It starts with the information we need to know before posting the jobs.

For Job A, let’s say your recruiter knows they need 10 applications to fill the open position. For Job B, let’s say the recruiter needs 20 applications to fill the open position.

Enter programmatic technology.


By using programmatic technology and the correct software program, we can set those rules in the initial setup of the campaign. We simply tell the software that Job A needs 10 applications, and that Job B needs 20 applications.

Now we can sit back and let the programmatic technology do the work.

Once the postings are live, advertising spend goes toward those two jobs to drive the applications you need for that position. The software will work to meet those goals. Once the goal is reached, the spending for the positions is turned off (or switched to other jobs.)


No more wasted spend. No more stacks of applications your recruiters want nothing to do with.

The job gets filled as efficiently as possible and there is zero to little wasted recruitment spend.

Fixing the Famine: What If a Job Isn’t Getting Enough Applications?

Good question!

In the programmatic advertising software, we can set a cost per click bid or a cost per application goal. Let’s say we want to bid $0.25 cost per click for that job or $10 per application.

Remember that we need 10 applications to meet our goal for Job A. After seven days, we have two applications. But, we need 10 applications at the end of a two-week span.

The programmatic software can be set to automatically increase your cost per click bid to meet your goal of 10 applications at the end of the two weeks. That $0.25 CPC can increase to $0.50. That $10 application goal can increase to $15.

Now, it won’t spend endlessly just to reach your goal of 10 applications, but it will do everything within its capabilities to reach your goal. If it can’t reach the goal, that means we have to increase our budget because the market rate for the jobs is below our budget.


How Do We Know How Many Applications We Need?

Another good question!

That comes back to the internal team at your staffing agency. Can you look at your applicant tracking system and determine how many applications came in for a past job? Can you use that data to determine how many applications you need to fill the job?

If you can’t, now is the time to start recording that data. Work with your recruiters. They may have a gut instinct but if we are able to record data, the real numbers will provide better data than gut instinct.

One Last Benefit – Setting a True Recruitment Budget

In the past, how has your staffing agency or team of recruiters set its recruitment budget for job board spending? Was it a percentage of revenue? Was it just a number that “felt right?”

The rules-based bidding will help provide a market value baseline for applications to fill open job orders.

Start with using the tips in the last section to determine how many applications are needed to fill a specific job. Obviously, that number is going to be different for a nurse job and a machine operator job.

That’s step one.

Step two comes in knowing how much each application costs. The programmatic software will tell us it costs $5.27 for a machine operator application but $43.79 for a registered nurse application.

Multiply the number of applications we need by the market value of the application cost and we have the total advertising spend for that job. Let’s say we need 10 nurse applications, that brings a total of $437.90 for the registered nurse job.

Extend that budget by taking the $437.90 and multiplying it by the number of open positions. With 10 RN positions to fill, that’s a recruitment spend of $4,379.

That entire number is data-driven. It wasn’t a guess. It wasn’t gut instinct. And it allows us to set expectations for the cost of what it will take to fill current and future open positions.


Leverage Programmatic as Part of Your Recruitment Marketing Strategy

This example illustrates how programmatic technology can:

• Minimize wasted recruitment spend on jobs that bring in dozens or hundreds of applications you don’t need.

• Efficiently set recruitment budgets based on actual data. This allows for better decisions, not only on the recruitment spend, but across the entire recruitment marketing process.

In the coming months and years, programmatic technology will be widely adopted. Get ahead of the curve and integrate this tech into your recruitment marketing strategy to avoid application “feast or famine,” maximize advertising ROI and recruit the right people, right when you need them.

Ready to get with the program (programmatic advertising, that is)? Haley Marketing is here to help!


About Matt Lozar, Social Media Marketing Advisor

Since social media burst onto the scene, Matt has found a passion for knowing as much as he can about the always-changing industry. Graduating from the University of Notre Dame with an undergraduate degree in business and working for nine-plus years in intercollegiate athletics, Matt enjoys being a part of a team that helps everyone come out with a win at the end of the day. Outside of the office, Matt is always working on his golf game (even in a northern climate), though not as much since the birth of his energetic daughter.

Previous Page
Article Search