Job Board Journalist: Postcards from the TAtech Programmatic Summit

Peter Weddle

The TAtech Leadership Summit on Programmatic Ad Buying, founded by Appcast, was held on June 5-6, 2018 in Minneapolis. In this the fourth year of the Summit, a survey of attendees found that almost half – 45 percent – were advertisers, while the remaining 55 percent were from job boards, programmatic platforms, agencies and media companies. And, in a sign of the growing stature and importance of the Summit, almost two-thirds – 62 percent – were attending the event for the first time.

The Keynotes and speakers, panelists and case study presenters provided a rich educational experience for the attendees, who came from all over North America as well as Great Britain, Germany, and Israel. The following are just some of the highlights from the sessions.

Programmatic advertising is only as good as the ads that are distributed through online networks. Ashley Whillans, an assistant professor from Harvard Business School, opened the Summit with the results of some of her research on what motivates people to act (or in the case of a candidate, to explore a new job opportunity). She found that most people (57.8 percent of her research subjects) valued time over money, except among hourly candidates. For that reason, she suggested that job ads highlight the non-cash benefits of working for an employer. However, she also noted that cash remains an important incentive, so further suggested that ads show a position’s total compensation package, including the cash value of those non-cash benefits.

The panel on ad titles, company reviews and other factors impacting candidate application rates made the following points:
• In the good old days of just five or six years ago, it took 7 touch points to get a candidate’s attention. Today, Glassdoor’s research indicates that it’s now up to 11 “brand interactions” before most candidates will see through the clutter and recognize a message or ad.
• Adding salary to a job ad increases the click through rate by 17 percent. That’s true in almost every case, regardless of how high or low the salary, perhaps indicating that the appearance of the number, itself, encourages candidates to view an employer as an open and trustworthy organization.
• Adding a company logo to an ad typically generates 20 percent more click throughs than ads without a logo. In addition, content in the ad that communicates progress and transformation (e.g., the improvements a company is making in its products, brand awareness, even its facilities) can also positively impact candidate applications, particularly if the ad invites candidates to participate in the company’s advancement.

A panel that brought together the CEOs or Founders of most of the leading programmatic technology companies offered the following insights:
• While employers are generally satisfied with the dashboards and centralized metrics of programmatic solutions, too much of the process is still manual. Part of this situation is due to “a yearning for the good old days of recruitment advertising” and some of it is due to the fact that programmatic is often perceived as still too hard to do (so people revert to old habits).
• The application of programmatic ad buying to talent acquisition is not much more than four years old, so there’s still plenty of room for development. In the near term, the industry needs more capable technology for A/B testing of job titles and other ad components, better rules for bids and ad frequency, and more useful guidelines for budget allocations and targets.

Finally, Steve Lombardi, Co-founder & CEO of Upward.net presented a session entitled “What Publishers Want (and Don’t Want) from Programmatic Buyers.” He made the case that publishers (job boards, association career sites, digital media companies and social media sites) want conversion data and job content with a high CTR and good conversion. What they don’t want are small CPC campaigns with no ability to optimize and job content with a low CTR and poor conversion. With good conversion data, for example, publishers can optimize campaigns by removing ads from sources that are unlikely to perform well, focus traffic on devices that do convert well (i.e., desktop vs. mobile) and build targeting campaigns that reach the right demographic for a particular opening.

These insights and the other thought leadership presented at the Summit made it a memorable, if jam-packed day. To see many of the PowerPoints used by the presenters, please click here. Bottom line, over two-thirds of the attendees said that programmatic ad buying was the future of online recruitment advertising, and almost half of the advertisers in attendance said they would be increasing their programmatic spend in the next year.

Food for thought,
Peter

TAprose and Job Board Journalist by Peter Weddle are brought to you by TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions.

Mark Your Calendars! TAtech’s 2018 events include:

• February 12-13, 2018 Scottsdale, Arizona USA: The TAtech Leadership Summit on AI/Machine Learning in Talent Acquisition – the only conference totally focused on the capabilities and impact of AI/ML/NLP in recruitment. See you next year!

• March 13-14, 2018 Dublin, Ireland: TAtechEurope 2018 – the premier event for recruitment advertising and technology thought & business leaders in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. See you next year!

• April 18-19, 2018 Las Vegas, Nevada USA: The TAtech Spring Congress & Meetup – a unique conference designed to maximize opportunities for B2B networking, trending topic discussions and the exploration of partnerships and business opportunities. See you next year!

• June 5-6, 2018 Minneapolis, Minnesota USA: The TAtech Leadership Summit on Programmatic Ad Buying – the only conference for both publishers and advertisers that is totally focused on the technology and applications of programmatic ad buying for talent acquisition. See you next year!

• September 26-27, 2018 Bourbon Street New Orleans, Louisiana USA: The TAtech Fall Congress & World Job Board Forum – the Global Economic Forum of recruiting, this event brings together thought & business leaders from job boards and all other talent acquisition technology solutions companies around the world.

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