October 13, 2021

Why Aren’t You Saving Money with Programmatic Job Advertising?

The technology behind online job advertising has evolved greatly from its inception when the first ever banner advertisement appeared on Wired magazine’s website hotwired.com on October 27, 1994. To quote The Drum

It was an ad for AT&T that asked users “Have you ever clicked your mouse right HERE?” with an arrow pointing to text that read “YOU WILL.”

According to Joe McCambley, who helped create the ad, it was part of a larger AT&T campaign that focused on “futuristic technological wonders” like being able to talk to a friend via video on a phone or being able to borrow books from libraries thousands of miles away.

Once viewers clicked on the banner ad, they were directed to a tour of some of the world’s greatest museums.

Of those who saw the ad, 44% clicked it. Following the success of AT&T, other corporations expressed interest in buying ad space. The first-ever ad server was founded by a company known as FocaLink Media Services in 1995 by Dave Zinman, Andrew Conru, and Jason Strober. Their system gave control over online advertising delivery but there were problems. To quote “The History of Digital Advertising Technology…”

After some time, difficulties started to arise when the number of websites, and therefore publishers, began to increase. The once-straightforward direct sales process started to become more complex and drawn-out.

While premium ads—those bought by advertisers directly from the publishers—were still common, publishers soon found that a lot of other available inventory wasn’t being filled and fell victim to oversupply. 

Moreover, advertisers had to sign individual insertion orders with every publisher they wanted to work with and coordinate the campaign execution. 

To overcome these problems, advertising networks (aka ad networks) started to appear. In 1996, a company called DoubleClick emerged as one of the first ad networks.

Doubleclick had a solution called Dynamic Advertising Reporting & Targeting (DART) which lets clients see how many times a banner ad was seen (also known as “impressions”) and clicked (also known as “click through rate”), allowing them to make on-the-fly changes to live marketing campaigns. During that time however, advertisers had to wait until a campaign was over before they could try new ideas.

Fast forward to today and advertising technology has given us complete control over online advertising campaigns. Automation, programmatic advertising for jobs, and analytics together has fundamentally changed how recruitment advertising is bought, managed and optimized with many large corporations and agencies increasingly putting systems in place.  

The days of old-school job board spreadsheets or, guessing what credits you need, are gone. We are in the era of real-time buying, based on what works best, with continuing improvement of campaigns. 

2-Recruitment Marketing

If you are not using automation and programmatic to control your recruitment advertising, you are wasting your time and money and reducing the efficacy of your advertising performance. We often hear these ad tech terms used, but what do they mean? What are the differences and more importantly, what are the benefits?

AUTOMATION: Tells the system what to do. 


    • No need to manually check every job on every job board to make edits on appearances and pay.
    • Significant time saving, allowing a greater focus to prioritize activities 
    • Better allocation of budget from easy jobs to hard-to-fill rules, shifting of jobs to the best performing job boards and advertising stops once target reached. 

PROGRAMMATIC: Where the system buys the advertising. It is the plumbing that tells the job boards and media owners what to advertise and where. 


    • No more manual posting of jobs
    • No more having to buy and allocate job board credits. 
    • Works across multiple job boards and media, without the need for contracts

ANALYTICS: Tell you what it has done. 


    • Programmatic job advertising platforms can help you push ROI by up to 90%
    • They allow for additional time savings from your team and cost savings of being able to reduce agency or empty desk costs.
    • By buying from a single point of contact from a network of multiple job boards, you are likely to fill more jobs. 

Despite the enormous benefits of using programmatic, analytics and automation technologies for advertising jobs, the adoption rate is extremely low. According to the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM)... 

Most marketing departments employ programmatic ad buying; among recruiting teams, adoption is under 10 percent.

As to why less than 10% of recruiting teams are using such technologies, the reasons cited were “...not understanding how programmatic advertising works, companies cited wanting to keep control, not having the budget and worrying about cost.”

The article goes on to mention a survey of 400+ talent acquisition and HR leaders on the topic of online advertising of jobs and said this. 

The research found that:

  • 30 percent of employers are buying job ads completely manually. These companies rely primarily on offline search to advertise.
  • 22 percent are just starting to explore programmatic job advertising or automation.
  • 32 percent are using some combination of automation and traditional advertising, mostly on one or two aggregated job sites or a job search engine.
  • 11 percent are moving toward a strategic programmatic model and automating advertising through job ad distribution.
  • 5 percent have a fully programmatic model, automating job advertising spend and using predictive data and machine learning to optimize performance in real time.

Contact Us

There is never a good time to waste money. Programmatic job advertising is THE way to promote your jobs online, especially during this time of "The Great Resignation.” If you have questions about anything related to programmatic advertising for recruitment, please contact us. We have consistently saved our clients time and money via our recruitment marketing services.

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