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Niall Moody

Nano Interactive

UK Sales Director

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The real-time methods and techniques that will help you win top talent


It’s time for recruiters to embrace programmatic advertising, the automation of advertising, to maximise engagement with new talent.

Josbite, Indeed, Monster, Total Jobs, Fish4 – the list of job board sites goes on and on. So for anyone seeking out the next step in their career path, there’s certainly no shortage of places to look. In fact, last year, the Global Job Seekers survey carried out by Madgex found that everyone on the hunt for a new career challenge now uses at least four digital sources, whilst 42% use eight or more.

In this cluttered digital landscape and with fresh competition from Google’s AI-powered jobs search engine, where some are even claiming we could see the death of the job board, it has never been more important for recruiters to deliver simple and effective marketing campaigns in order for them to be seen by the right person at the right time. Enter programmatic advertising.

It’s time to think like marketers

Recruiters have always been told to think more like marketers, and for the past ten years programmatic advertising has been a marketer’s best friend. In fact, at the end of last year, a report by eMarketer cited that UK advertisers had spent £3.39bn on programmatic advertising, up 23.5% compared  2016. And by 2019, the total UK spend on programmatic advertising is expected to more than double from £1.99bn in 2015 to a much larger £4.52bn.

But despite programmatic’s dramatic rise, not everybody remains convinced and the recruitment industry, until recently, has been somewhat cautious of adopting the technology. A lot of this is down to a lack of understanding of what the technology actually is and how it can be practically used in the sector as well as misconceptions of it being too costly.

But this caution needs to change and the time has come to empower the sector with the benefits of programmatic advertising.

But what is programmatic advertising?

In the purest sense, it is the automation of advertising, where a machine – rather than a human – buys online advertising according to a set of criteria. Humans define the audience profile and then the machine works out where and when to find them.

By doing this marketers can reduce the cost of buying and managing the media and, more importantly, run more effective campaigns, to then get a higher return on investment.

In turn this has allowed marketers to act in real-time, with precision and cost effectively. Moreover, by enlisting the help of machines, it means recruiters can invest more time in building relationships with candidates and future employers – a much better use of their time.

Effective advertising is done in the here and now

People like being engaged with in real-time through contextually relevant content, but can also get frustrated if they feel they are being followed online, which is why we’ve seen a rise in the use of ad-blockers.

Making sure advertising appears in the right context at the right time gives recruiters the opportunity to position themselves as a trusted resource.

Madgex’s Global Job Seekers survey found that nearly half of millennials now block ads on mobile devices. So given that by 2020 millennials will make up 35% of the global workforce, recruiters need to start to understand their behaviour now to then be able to have an appropriate strategy in place to engage effectively with the future workforce. And this is where intent targeting plays a vital role.

Identify and react to what people are searching for in the moment

Marketers have long seen the value in search as a key indicator for user intent and this resonates incredibly well in the recruitment sector.

Think about when a person is searching online for different job roles. This is the moment when they are already engaged and hungry for industry information to inform their searching even further.

Recruiters should therefore be looking to create a better user experience and approach people with the message that is most relevant to them based on their current searches. If you can get your message across to them at this point, they are likely to be much more receptive.

Make sure your ads appear in an appropriate setting  

The environment in which recruiters place their ads is also a key factor in the impact it has on audience engagement.

Making sure advertising appears in the right context at the right time gives recruiters the opportunity to position themselves as a trusted resource making them more likely to impact key performance indicators such as an increase in applications.

Recruiters should, therefore, ensure they are working with brand-safe websites that offer relevant contextual environments for user engagement.

But don’t just target job seekers, think about the passive audience

There are, however, different ways of utilising real-time search targeting. Of course, there is a natural fit if someone is searching for a specific job role, but recruiters can also use this technique to engage and build awareness with the passive audience – people who aren’t actively looking for a job but may be interested in a role or be the perfect candidate further down the line.

There is now technology available to maximise real engagement with people cost effectively.

For example, if you’re looking to hire a developer, it would be beneficial to engage with people who are searching for a software course. Similarly, what about people who are moving cities and looking for rented accommodation?

Recruiters shouldn’t just use job searches as an indicator of someone who would be a good fit for an open position, and should therefore work with the right partners who can help them to identify relevant associated triggers.

It’s time to embrace programmatic and educate the sector

There’s no denying that programmatic advertising can be seen as a daunting next step but it is also no secret that the recruitment market has become highly competitive. There is now technology available to maximise real engagement with people cost effectively, and it’s time to build education and confidence around it.

Recruiters, it’s time to step up to the plate, be brave and utilise the tech appropriately to reap the rewards.

Author Profile Picture
Niall Moody

UK Sales Director

Read more from Niall Moody

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