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Self-Service vs. Managed Programmatic Campaigns – Which Do You Need?

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Programmatic job advertising continues to gain momentum in the staffing industry.

The ability to make data-driven decisions with your staffing agency’s recruitment budget on job boards combined with the lack of active candidates is too good to pass up.

For staffing agencies looking to try programmatic job advertising, there is a very important question to answer: What is the right fit for your company – self-service or a managed programmatic campaign?

Let’s look at the differences.

Self-Service Programmatic Campaigns

A self-service programmatic campaign is providing a budget and letting the software spend that budget. On the surface, this sounds like a really good solution. And it can be.

Your staffing agency wants to reach more people with its job postings. Using a programmatic solution can push your jobs to dozens, hundreds or thousands of job boards with the click of a button.

All your staffing agency must do is set a monthly budget and provide a feed of the jobs from your website or ATS to the programmatic software.

What’s the problem?

The problem is that your monthly budget has nobody watching it. No one is looking out for your company, for your staffing agency. Let’s say you have a $2,000 monthly budget and you start on the first of the month. There might not be pacing to your budget. It could get spent in 7-10 days.

That means for the final 20-plus days of the month, your job board budget is exhausted. (And we have heard from multiple clients who have experienced this quick spending. They wanted to try programmatic job advertising and saw their budget spent in one week!)

Another problem could be that you want applications distributed throughout your jobs and want to avoid runaway jobs. Without any management, a couple of your jobs could be wasting a large percentage of your monthly budget. What’s the point of having 100 applications for one job when you only need 20?

The goal of getting jobs to more job boards was accomplished. But any management of that budget went right out the window. Now you’re frustrated and had a bad experience with a technology designed to make your job spend strategy more efficient.

A poorly designed self-service programmatic campaign isn’t going to result in success. On the surface, it’s a “posting and praying” strategy. Quite honestly, that’s what staffing agencies are doing now with the job boards. This isn’t any better.

Managed Programmatic Campaigns

A managed programmatic campaign will have someone (or a company) setting up the campaign before it begins and then watching the campaign through the following weeks and months. It could be a data-hungry member of your team. It could be a recruitment marketing agency. It could be a programmatic agency.

Someone will be analyzing the data. They will be looking at performance. They will be looking at conversion rates. They will be analyzing the cost per application

They will be working to deliver success – what you envision as success in programmatic advertising.

Why is that important? Let’s look at an example.

Let’s go back to the $2,000 monthly budget. Maybe your success is to pace applications throughout the month. We can manage the campaign to spend $500/week.

Let’s say you want to get 20 applications per job and nothing more. Your success can be met by creating a rule for the software to stop spending on that job when the application goal is met.

Now let’s take it a step further.

It’s been a couple of months and you have data for your two publishers. Publisher A is leading to more placements than Publisher B. If you are actively managing your recruitment spend, then the data shows money must shift from Publisher B to Publisher A.

Actively managing the job spend and monthly budgets helps make those decisions faster and keeps your company agile. In a candidate-starved market, that’s imperative to stay ahead of your competition. If you can shift your budget weeks or even days faster than the competitor down the street, that can be the different in making more placements.

What’s the Right Fit for You?

Programmatic job advertising provides a lot of great benefits. It can prevent runaway jobs. It can kickstart underperforming jobs. It can increase the distribution network or your job openings. It keeps your budget agile and shifts the money to where the performance shows it should be spent.

A self-service model isn’t going to do that. It’s basically “posting and praying.” No one wants that. That’s what we want to get away from with job spend management.

That only happens if it’s managed effectively.

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