Programmatic Advertising – a new era of job advertising?

Have you already heard about the term Programmatic advertising in recruitment? I came across it for the first time about one year ago and I knew it would be a breakthrough all along, hence I could not wait for it to get to us in the Czech Republic. And now it looks like we are getting close.

I should probably explain what it actually is. Programmatic advertising is usually connected with applications and tools that allow for automated job advertising on respective job boards. Programmatic, as many others in our field, was not developed for recruitment primarily, but it was meant for the classic consumer market. It dipped into the world of recruitment a few years ago in the USA. Just last year, first companies took it to the Western European market and 2018/2019 could be the time for Central Europe.

Before we jump into a detailed explanation, it is necessary to explain the market development, which allowed the creation of this field in the first place. Several years ago, the job advertising market in the USA closely resembled ours. Most of the job boards charged the ad fee based on the duration of the ad – meaning a week, a month etc. However, as the time went on, new players inspired by Google and Facebook came along and said that it might be better to charge fees depending on the performance of the ad – meaning how many engagements or candidates the ad gets.

With the duration based payments for the ad, it is possible that you will not see any engagement during the month you had paid the full price for.

It is also possible that you will see a lot of engagement, but none of it will be relevant. And yet, you had again paid the full price for the ad without seeing any credible results. This revolutionary view on how to charge for the job ads has secured a seat among the most dominant players in the job advertising markets to newcomers such as Ziprecruiter (Ziprecruiter shows over 8 million job ads at any given time). However, this article is not supposed to focus on the development of job advertising sites (maybe next time), so let’s go back to the Programmatic applications.

The performance-based payment system helped to create Programmatic applications.

It started with apps such as ClickIQ, Appcast, Onrecruit, that aimed to work as a platform between a company who wishes to post the job ad and the end job board that will show the ad. Most of these sites are performance-based (pay per click or pay per application). Your job ads are automatically listed on hundreds and hundreds of job advertising sites but also on social media such as FB, LinkedIn, Twitter and they are fully automated. These apps are usually equipped with advanced AI functionality that learns from the candidate’s behavior and utilizes that for future decision making.



As a company, you are able to set rules for the behavior during promotions and the application itself can increase or decrease the investment into a certain ad depending on its efficiency. Because you are able to list or delist a job posting at any time, the application can determine on its own that you have received enough relevant responses already and delist the ad in order to save you money. The saved sum can be further invested in another ad that might not have been as successful so far.

Certain (mainly community oriented) job portals can –  in real time – send data to the Programmatic app and such data may reveal for example, that a site is currently visited by higher amount of Java programmers and the Programmatic app can immediately react in a way that it quickly posts a job ad meant for this community. In other words, these apps help us to work with data in real time and automate its processing with an advanced functionality of self-learning.

This can significantly increase the number and quality of candidates coming to your company and at the same time, lower the job advertising costs. Most companies, that have started with Programmatic confirm better numbers in these three categories by several tens of percent.

Even in Central Europe, we can see some job advertising sites that offer the option of performance-based payments, but these are still marginal activities. I discussed this often with lead Programmatic app developers, asking why don’t we have them in CZ already and they have often mentioned that unfortunately, we do not have enough job ad sites that would be willing to switch to the performance-based system or have it run concurrently with the duration-based system.


This is also one of the reasons, why I invited Richard Collins to this year’s EVOLVE! Summit, the founder and lead provider of Programmatic tools ClickIQ will introduce the ins and outs of this fairly new discipline. Richard was at the beginning of the Programmatic advertising boom in the USA and Western Europe and therefore he is the best of the best to introduce us to Programmatic Recruitment and what it brings into our region. You can be sure it is not far away and we can get ready for it.

Image source: Katemangostar, Cornecoba