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Scared of Programmatic Advertising? This Will Calm Your Four Biggest Fears

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“We’re going to use programmatic job advertising software to manage your recruitment spend.”

It’s like a scene out of a college classroom.

As soon as the word programmatic comes out of my mouth, we jump back to the difficult college class that made your head hurt.

Saying the word programmatic instantly causes the eyes to glaze over, the brain to start hurting, the head to start spinning.

I can hear it over the phone from prospects. I can hear it when talking to other team members here at Haley Marketing. I can hear it when explaining to my mom about what I’m doing at work. I can hear it when talking to clients on the phone.

And that word scares people. A lot.

When people are scared (especially in business), what do they do? They freeze. They turn off. They don’t want to try something new.

Even if it’s going to help their business. Even if it’s going to find more candidates in the most challenging recruitment climate in decades. Even if it’s a recruitment tactic that isn’t going away and would put their staffing agency a leg up on the competition.

So yes, when candidate recruitment is as challenging as it’s ever been, staffing agencies and recruiters feel more comfortable doing what they’ve always done because it’s comfortable.

And I get it, change is hard with anything. Not just in business but in all aspects of life. It’s human nature to gravitate to where we are comfortable.

This blog is going to help that mindset change about programmatic advertising. It’s going to make you more comfortable with a tactic designed to give staffing agencies more control over their recruitment spend. It’s designed to bring the control of your monthly budget back to you. It’s designed to show which job publisher brings the most applications, which jobs are eating up your budget and which jobs aren’t converting.

Let’s jump in.

Fear Number 1 – My Applications Are Going to Go Away

programmatic-fear-lose-jobsThere are several options to design a campaign when starting programmatic recruitment. All of them revolve around your comfort level with jumping into this new tactic.

Comfort Level: Dipping Your Toe In
Let’s start with someone who doesn’t want to change any of their spending. You’re working with the two biggest job boards in the country – Indeed and ZipRecruiter. The first month of the campaign is going to keep your monthly spend the same (or very close to the same).

Why? Because we need benchmarks. We need to gather data. We need to learn what the cost per application is on Indeed and ZipRecruiter. We need to know the conversion rate for each job publisher.

If you’re spending $2,500 right now on the job boards, then let’s keep the ad spend at $2,500 for our first month and learn what the data says. After that first month, we’re going to make recommendations based on the data. If one publisher is out outperforming the other one, shift the money to the publisher that’s performing better.

Comfort Level: Wading at Waist Level
OK, let’s go to the next comfort level – trying a new job board source. Maybe it’s the Appcast Exchange. Maybe it’s JobAdX. Maybe it’s Talroo, Adzuna, Neuvoo or another job publisher you want to try.

Don’t jump all the way in. Take a portion of your $2,500 monthly budget and shift 20 percent to the new source while keeping the other 80 percent on job publishers you’re comfortable with (we can still use programmatic with all 100 percent!)

Then, let’s see what the data says. Are your current job publishers performing the best? Is the new source outperforming old sources? Make adjustments because of that data. If the new source works better, shift more money over (maybe get up to 40, 50, 60 percent). If the current sources work better, then let’s shift back but continue to use the programmatic software to help us understand and make better decisions.

Whichever strategy you choose – Your applications won’t go away. Believe me, that’s the LAST thing I want to happen when taking your recruitment spend and using programmatic software to analyze.

Fear Number 2 – Too Complicated

programmatic-fear-too-complicatedThis is a valid concern for a couple of reasons:

  • The software is intimidating. If you don’t have a background in managing online advertising campaigns, it’s difficult to know even where to start after logging into the software. That’s where the team at your agency of record (a company that manages job board spend, like the Haley Marketing Group) can navigate the software for you.
  • We don’t know how to measure success. Again, a valid concern, but our team is ready to help you determine what that success could be. Is it meeting a cost per application goal? Is it collecting a certain number of applications for each job? Is it to prevent a runaway job from spending a disproportionate part of your budget?

Let’s think about the biggest fear of people – public speaking. It’s intimidating to stand in front of a room, whether it’s 10, 100 or 1,000 people. At the conclusion, it’s difficult to know if your presentation was successful.

Developing a relationship with your agency of record can really help overcome the fear that programmatic software is too complicated. Not only will they handle the technical setup, they will manage and optimize your programmatic campaigns to drive the best results. Moving forward, a committed agency of record continues to learn about your staffing agency and keep campaigns agile to meet your changing needs. Have a big job order come in? Let’s shift spend to that order. Market rates increase? Now we need to increase our CPA.

That’s where having an agency of record you trust will take away that complicated factor. We simplify the programmatic tactic into methodologies and tactics your team can understand and learn from. We share the data that shows how your goals are being met and make suggestions on changes to improve.

(Just like your fear of public speaking. Have a plan. Know what you want to accomplish. Work with someone who can coach you and help you improve.)

Fear number 3 – Afraid of Technology

programmatic-fear-technologyNew technology can be scary because we don’t understand it.  Jumping back to the top of this blog, just hearing the word programmatic and not understanding what it means can instantly turn companies off to trying to new, but effective, tactic. (Similar to that class you dread but know you must take.)

That’s where working with a company that clearly explains how the technology helps your staffing agency becomes imperative. (Just like a really awesome teacher in a really tough class!)

For example, what does programmatic mean? It just means “using software and rules to purchase job advertisements faster than humans can.”

Let’s look at some examples for a company that has 50 open job orders.

  • Programmatic software organizes campaigns where each job can only go into ONE campaign.
  • We can develop a bidding strategy for each campaign. Let’s say you have jobs in industrial, clerical and healthcare. It naturally makes sense to have three campaigns.
  • Now, our bidding strategy says we’ll pay $0.25 per click for industrial jobs, $0.50 per click for clerical jobs and $2 per click for healthcare jobs.
  • Let’s take it even further. When we reach 20 applications, turn off spending to that job because we have enough applications for that open job order.
  • One more rule: If we don’t have 10 applications in seven days, let’s increase our bidding. Why? Because we need applications faster and the market is showing our bidding strategy isn’t working.

That’s all the technology is. Looking at your priorities. Creating campaigns. Developing rules and bidding strategies to meet your staffing agency’s priorities and goals.

Fear Number 4 – Everything Is Fine Right Now

programmatic-fear-working-nowThe staffing industry is experiencing some of its best success of recent memory. Recruitment is a big challenge, but overall, staffing agencies are making money and seeing success.

Is that good enough for your business?

The answer could be yes. Your recruitment spend strategy is working. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I get that.

But what if I tell you it could be better? What if I tell you that programmatic tactics aren’t going away? Numerous industries outside talent acquisition have been using these technologies and software for years. They use these tactics because they deliver results more efficiently. They use these tactics because they work.

When things start to turn south in the economy and staffing industry, is that the time to try something new? (When the Boogeyman shows up from the past and your staffing agency is fighting for success, are you ready to fight him off?)

Is that the time you want to work through your questions about a new technology? The change at Indeed brought a big adjustment to the staffing industry. A shift in the economy will bring a bigger one.

Programmatic recruitment tactics are just becoming known in the staffing industry. Now is the time to implement these tactics into your recruitment strategy. Before it’s too late, and you’re playing catch up to your competitors.

Connect with a company that understands the technology of programmatic advertising.

Connect with a company you trust to become your agency of record.

Connect with a company that wants to partner with your staffing agency and be excited about your success.


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