Don’t Let Programmatic Become Your New “Post-and-Pray” Job Board Strategy

Don’t Let Programmatic Become Your New “Post-and-Pray” Job Board Strategy

This month’s article in the recruitment marketing newsletter focuses on a borderline rant. But really, it’s just advice from what we are seeing from companies using programmatic job boards.

For years – staffing agencies complained about (but still used!) the “post and pray” strategy on job boards. Recruiters would repeatedly post jobs on Indeed, ZipRecruiter, etc., and then pray that applications would come in. No data-driven decisions were made behind any of the posting strategies. It was constantly rinse and repeat of get job, post job, pray applications head to the inbox. (And be happy or mad based on the variance of the results!)

Now, fast forward to 2023 and companies are using programmatic job boards or exchanges. Programmatic just means using computers and data to make decisions faster than any human. It’s not unique to talent acquisition. Digital marketing companies use programmatic tactics across numerous platforms (Google, Facebook, etc.) in online advertising.

One of the biggest benefits (and selling points) of programmatic job advertising is the ability to reach multiple job boards but only need one relationship. Meaning – if you purchase sponsorship from a programmatic job board or programmatic job exchange, your job gets sent to dozens or hundreds of job boards at once. (think of it as a stock vs. a mutual fund)

That can be a good thing!

However, what we are hearing and seeing in the industry is going back to the bad habit of the “post and pray” method – just using a programmatic job board to accomplish it.

What do we mean?

Companies are getting access to programmatic solutions through some type of technology (their ATS, software, etc.) To take advantage of that, they are having recruiters click a button to have jobs posted programmatically. Or, they are purchasing spend on these programmatic job boards, sending jobs over, and praying!

That’s it. No strategy. No focus on business goals. Just clicking a button to sponsor a job and have it reach hundreds of job boards.

That sounds a lot like “post and pray” – just with some new technology! Then recruiters complain because it doesn’t work, or the candidates are of poor quality. Taking it a step further – programmatic then leaves a bad impression on your recruiters and company because it doesn’t work.

What’s the Right Recruitment Spend Strategy?

Just relying on one job board (whether it’s Indeed, ZipRecruiter, etc.) or a programmatic job board (Appcast, Recruitics, PandoLogic) isn’t going to bring the best return on your investment.

The highest ROI comes from actively managing the job spend, not just relying on posting and praying. Should any of those job boards or a programmatic job board be part of your recruitment strategy? Of course!

But this new way to “post and pray” isn’t the answer. It’s not a bad habit we want to continue.

So, now what?

On top of sponsoring jobs, the staffing agencies getting the best results from their recruitment budget are focusing on these areas:

  • Runaway Spend – even with programmatic job boards, if a rule or control isn’t in place to stop a handful of jobs from using a disproportionate amount of budget, it will eat up a lot of money quickly.
  • Application Limits – very similar to runaway spend but it can be very helpful to put a control in place to stop sponsoring a job when it reaches your target goal.
  • Optimizing Budgets – really know your jobs-to-budget ratio! How many jobs should be in your budget to get the cost per application you need to be successful? Is it 20 jobs and $1,000? Is it 40 jobs and $3,000?

This article wasn’t meant to bash or dissuade staffing companies from using a programmatic job board. The point was to hopefully share how recruiters are carrying over their “post and pray” tactics to new technology.

The recruitment marketing team at Haley Marketing is ready to help get the most out of your recruitment spend. Contact our team today and we’ll provide a free analysis of your job performance data!

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