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The State of Programmatic Job Ads

Performance-based ads have become a highly-adopted and powerful tool for Marketing departments throughout the world, and yet it hasn't in Recruitment Marketing. So, what is the state of programmatic job advertising in the recruitment world?

Madeline Laurano, Founder of Aptitude Research shares information from newly published research entitled The State of Programmatic Job Advertising.

- Are performance-driven ads the answer to more effective recruitment advertising?

- What happens when employers embrace performance-based programmatic?

- Why aren't employers jumping on the bandwagon?

- What is the key differentiator for programmatic?

- Can anyone do programmatic?

- or should Marketing be involved?

Great research coupled with Madeline's HOT TAKES on news from last week in the recruitment industry.

Brought to you by those crazy programmatic kids over at Pandologic.


Pandologic (0s):

pandoIQs, Programmatic recruitment advertising platform helps employers source talent faster and more efficiently than ever thanks to predictive algorithms, machine learning and AI. Buzzword, overdose alert. Yeah. Pando was on the cutting edge of Programmatic, while being deeply rooted in the recruitment industry. pandoIQ provides an end to end Programmatic job advertising platform that delivers a significant increase in job ad performance without any waste spending to maximize the ROI on your recruitment spend. And their AI enabled algorithms use over 48 job attributes and more than 200 billion historical job performance data points to predict the optimal job advertising campaign. The machine does all that shit. That shit sounds expensive! Think again Cheesman pandoIQ provides an end to end job advertising solution that delivers a significant increase in job ad performance without any wasteful spending. Sold!

INTRO (1m 21s):

Hide your kids! Lock the doors! You're listening to HR’s most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheeseman are here to punch the recruiting industry, right where it hurts! Complete with breaking news, brash opinion and loads of snark, buckle up boys and girls, it's time for the Chad and Cheese podcast .

Chad (1m 44s):

Here we go welcome back kids. Welcome to the Chad and Cheese HR's most dangerous podcast. I am Chad Sowash and today we have a special guest researcher, analyst and intelligence elevation artist, that's what she's going to be doing today, Madeline Laurano, founder of Aptitude Research. Give a Big applause. Big applause.

Madeline (2m 8s):

Thanks Chad.

Chad (2m 9s):

Madeline, I didn't do justice. Okay. I need, we need to know more about Madeline. Give us a little Twitter bio about you.

Madeline (2m 16s):

Well, thanks for having me on Chad, I'm thrilled to be here. And I think the intelligence elevator is the greatest compliment I've ever had, so I don't know if I can say anything else after that, but I do research, like you said, on HCM technology, talent acquisitions, a big focus for me. And I know for you too, so I'm excited to be here and share some of the new research.

Chad (2m 36s):

Enough of the T's on the research. We're going to be talking about programmatic, but before we get into the research, let's talk a little bit about what programmatic is in the first place. We know what dumbed down distribution is and all that is very simply, and it is programmatic to an extent, right? If you're posting a job and it's being thrown out there to the world, that is a programmatic distribution, but we're talking about something much different than just spray and pray types of technology. What is the programmatic that we're going to be focusing on with this research?

Madeline (3m 11s):

Yeah, it's exactly right. I think most people think it's just job distribution or just real-time bidding. And it's so much more, it's really automating all the buying and selling of advertising. It's used so often in marketing and it's removing in many cases, humans from negotiating that, which is time-consuming, there's so much error with that and it's streamlining all your advertising and it's doing that all through a performance driven system. So ultimately if it's working, you're saving all of this wasted spend, you're saving money and you're streamlining your advertising and ideally getting the right candidates, which is what it's designed to do.

Chad (3m 46s):

Yeah, but the problem is in talent acquisition, adoption. We haven't seen mass adoption. So your research actually jumps into some of those different points. And again, we're just going to tease the research because we want people to be able to, to read into it, not to mention you and I have a webinar with to talk more about this in March, right?

Madeline (4m 12s):

Yes, exactly. We're going to talk about all of these misperceptions around what it is and what's happening in the market. And I think that's exactly right, Chad though. It's, if you look at marketing and how we've adopted programmatic, it's like it's 80%. Something crazy! And that's small companies, big companies and in talent acquisition, it's under 10%. And that's what we found in our research too. It's just not being adopted. It's not being talked about enough. I mean, people don't understand what it is, who the players are, what it can do. So we're, I know we're going to do that on the webinars, you know, shine some light in the space and we tried to do it in the research too.

Chad (4m 47s):

Well. Let's talk about some of the players real quick, because if talent acquisition leader is not familiar, we've got the pandologics, we've got the Joveos, we've got the Appcast, we've got hat is, what is Radancy's, I think it's just Randancy's programmatic, Symphony Talent, programmatic. Who else, who else?

Madeline (5m 12s):

Yeah. And then Recruitics with KRT and they've got programmatic. And, you know, I think that that's really where a lot of the strength is in these standalone providers or the Symphony's that have, you know, really made a commitment to building it out. I think the confusion is when, and I know we've talked about this before, when the ATS providers start to say, we've got programmatic and they don't, and then it just becomes confusion about what's job distribution. What's truly programmatic. And, and we've seen that, we've been at conferences together where we've seen ATS providers going to market with programmatic.

Chad (5m 47s):

Yeah, and really what it is what I like to call. And I'm not trying to downplay how hard it is for like a Broad Bean to push jobs out. That's that's not easy. They have analytics, they have all, but it's not programmatic. Right. They actually, I think they've partnered with Joveo and probably some other programmatic players to provide programmatic to their customers. So the big question is why has marketing had such a high adoption rate in talent acquisition has not.

Madeline (6m 19s):

Yeah, it's a great question. And we dove into that and the research, and I can tell you some of the themes that came up and the differences that came up the first is it's not an integrated part of our TA strategy where it is in marketing, like the marketing strategy and the brand strategy for companies includes programmatic. That's a core component, and we don't do that in talent acquisition. It's the separate side item. You know, it's a different market, different providers that we don't typically talk about and it's not integrated. And I think the other piece is marketing does a really good job of showing the value and showing that this isn't something that requires you to build this new budget and think about cost, it's a cost savings solution.

Madeline (6m 60s):

And we don't talk about it the same way in talent acquisition. So I think when it's not integrated, and when you're talking about it as an expense versus a cost savings solution, there's a disconnect.

Chad (7m 10s):

And that being said, what has your research actually found with regard to companies going programmatic? Are you seeing them sticking with it? Are they actually, you know, increasing budget? What's the story there? Because those are the ones, for all those talent acquisition professionals out there who are not yet in the land of programmatic, they can look at their peers and say, okay, what have they done?

Madeline (7m 34s):

Exactly. And I think that was the biggest aha to me in this research is that companies start using it. Don't go back. They don't go back to traditional advertising. 57% of companies they use programmatic are continuing to increase their investment. And that's huge to say, that's an, and it's an easy replacement. It's not like a CRM. Like if you, if you don't want to use your CRM anymore, you've come through so much implementation. It's so much money. You got to stick with it. But with programmatic, you could go back, you could go back to traditional, but companies aren't, they're spending more. And you know, I think that really speaks to the value and you know, the streamlining, this advertising, which is a huge time commitment if you're not doing it through automation.

Chad (8m 13s):

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So what's the next point? The next point is another, I think excuse more than it is anything else.

Madeline (8m 20s):

Yeah. I think the next point is about this loss of control, right? It's that companies think if they're going to go to programmatic, we're going to lose control in how we're doing our advertising. This isn't what you want to manage. We want to use one aggregator. We want to use Indeed. And that's what we're comfortable with. And programmatic means we don't have control of that anymore. We're removed from the negotiation. But to me, it's like traditional advertising. It's a complete out of control model. That's a model that is out of control. You have no visibility, you have no idea what's working. And when it doesn't work, you have to spend more to be able to get more of an online presence. So it's not working, you're not getting the right candidates, give us more money, so we can increase your online presence, you still will have no visibility and that's out of control.

Madeline (9m 5s):

So it's interesting.

Chad (9m 7s):

So you're trading one control piece, for you control maniacs, et cetera, out there, I know, cause I'm one. You're trading the control of knowing exactly where my job is being posted, for the control over your wallet. Because right now the control on your wallet is gone. You are screwed.

Madeline (9m 27s):

Yeah, exactly, exactly. Exactly. So to be able to see some visibility and performance driven advertising, which just isn't happening right now.

Chad (9m 37s):

So, and that is all through this third point, which I am going to just sit here and just bask in, because we've been talking about AI for so long and everybody makes fun of it and everybody's like, yeah. Machine learning and AI, but you found that AI is actually the key differentiator, which is why people stay and why it's so effective.

Madeline (10m 0s):

Yeah. Because you're actually using historical data. You're using these job attributes and you're able to predict what's going to work. So the advertising that you're doing is based on a model for your company, that's going to work for you and bring you the right candidates. And that's very different than just real-time bidding. That's very different than just job distribution. AI, to me, what's the differentiator. And that's when you look at all these different providers we talked about in the beginning, that's where you're going to start to see some providers stand out more than others.

Chad (10m 28s):

Right. Right. And some of these providers, I mean, they've been around for 10 to 20 years in gathering data. I mean, we're talking about models that before programmatic, these organizations were gathering data because they were pretty much the dumbed down distribution models and then they evolved. So this isn't, it's not like you're dealing with organizations who just popped up out of nowhere. You're dealing with individuals who've been in this space for a very long time. In some cases, probably longer than you, talent acquisition leader.

Madeline (11m 4s):

It's such a good point. Nobody talks about that. It's these CEOs and these founders of these companies have been in the space forever and most of them have started other companies too. They've gone through this. They've seen what works, what doesn't work. And they've landed here in this programmatic world because they see the value and that's, you know, it's not somebody that's kind of worked in finance and said, Oh, talent acquisition is getting a lot of money, let's move over there and, and build something cool. We get it. You know, they get it.

Chad (11m 30s):

Yeah. Because that is exactly not how this industry works. So, and then we talk about, you know, that's your fourth point that programmatic requires expertise.

Madeline (11m 40s):

Yeah, exactly. And I think when you kind of go back to that, who are the players? What are the categories? We're starting to see some, you know, different providers and whether it's ATS land or CRM land, starting to talk about it, but it really does require that expertise and that commitment to doing this because it's a lot of work. And I think anyone that's been responsible for traditional advertising, you know that, you know how much work it is, you know how much time you put in, you know how much error can be involved with that. So if a provider's not dedicated to that, they're going to have the same issue.

Chad (12m 11s):

Yeah. Well, I'm going to definitely call out a bunch of those applicant tracking systems that are out there. And I remember you and I were at the same conference and I was talking to Colin Day about this. This to me, for your clients, is not an option any more, whether you're iCIMS, whether you're Smart Recruiters, whether you're Jobvite, none of this is an option. This is a part of core business.

Madeline (12m 38s):

And if you're not going to build it, partner with some of these providers in a really strategic way. And I think that's what a lot of ATSs are doing, which is very smart.

Chad (12m 47s):

Yeah. So you were 5th and final, as we tease a little bit more into this, is programmatic impacts, both marketing and talent acquisition metrics. Talk a little bit about that. And does this mean that we're going to have to bring the CMO into the discussion?

Madeline (13m 5s):

Yeah. You know, I think it's not a bad idea to bring the CMO into the discussion mostly because I think talent acquisition can benefit from seeing how marketing has done this.

Chad (13m 15s):


Madeline (13m 15s):

And use that as a role model and a use case. If we can see how marketing's adopted this, how they're, you know, not even building a business case anymore. It's just part of what they do. We could probably learn something from that. So I think it's a great idea to do that. And what we found and I think people always love to see kind of the impact of different technology on the business. We found a big increase in things like job views, traffic to the site, thinking about, you know, where some of these sources are coming from. All these kinds of traditional marketing, advertising metrics that companies look at, a huge impact on them, when companies use programmatic and then kind of your traditional TV metrics, like time to fill, quality of hire, and diversity, you know, hiring too, we saw a big improvement.

Madeline (14m 2s):

So anyone that's interested in the report, I can share all of that with you. But that to me is always the most interesting thing to see, okay, wow, this really does work. Yeah.

Chad (14m 12s):

Yeah. Well, it obviously does because when, when companies get into it, they don't leave.

Madeline (14m 17s):

They don't.

Chad (14m 19s):

So, okay. So really quick, how can people find the research and where should they also go to listen to our fabulous webinar that we're doing?

Madeline (14m 30s):

I know we're gonna be talking about much more of this discussion on the webinar. And we have a couple of key studies we're going to be talking about. So if you're interested in that, go to and you can go to their events. It's March 23rd at 1:00 PM, and we'll be there with some slides. We'll have some slides. So that's always, that's always exciting. And then our research will be published next week at

Chad (14m 53s):

Excellent. Excellent. Well, I can't let you out of here yet because we've had a couple of big things happen this week or actually today. And I want some Madelyn hot takes on this. So you want to play the game?

Madeline (15m 8s):

Yeah, let's do it.

Chad (15m 9s):

Okay. Okay. Okay. So today, drum roll, please, Seek Out, received $65 million in series B funding prior to this, they only had $8.2 million. So what are your thoughts on Seek Out? And this is a big raise.

Madeline (15m 28s):

Huge, I mean, this is huge. I, you know, I thought I was just going to have a great day. We were going to record this. I was going to get some work done, do some, it's going to be a writing day, a low key day. And now, then this happens. I mean, this is a huge, huge, huge announcement. And we've been doing a little bit on AI matching and I, to me, this is where Seek Out is going to go, right. They're awesome with search, they're kind of solving that problem for organizations. When they're looking to, you know, find the right candidates, they can kind of search all these public profiles, like Get Hub and Stack Overflow and all these kinds of experts sites, and find candidates. And that's such such value for companies and sourcing.

Madeline (16m 9s):

But then if you look at what like Eightfold is doing and Hired Score is doing and all the attention they're getting, just, it's amazing. I mean, those are two amazing companies and we could talk about that for an hour, but, you know, I think this is Seek Out's opportunity is to say, well, not only can we kind of solve this search and think about, you know, diversity hiring and thinking about efficiency, but can we kind of play in this AI matching space a little bit more competitively as well?

Chad (16m 36s):

Yeah, I think, I think that's an interesting thought. My favorite tech in the space today is matching, that that's my favorite. It is the biggest lift out of anything else that's happening in technology today. And it also leverages the hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars that companies have spent in creating their own candidate databases, that they just allow to atrophy and die and so on and so forth. So I think that is a very interesting angle. Although, you know, my question is to the Eeightfold side of the house, Eight fold to be quite Frank, they are promising way too much right out of the gate.

Chad (17m 18s):

And I love to see a company who knows how to focus and they are disciplined. Anoop, I can see where this could be a pretty easy where we're searching databases. Now we're reaching back and we're just, we're continuing to search databases. It's just your database. It'll be interesting how they sell that as an out-reach and an in-reach kind of kind of scenario. So I like that take that. That's pretty hot.

Madeline (17m 47s):

Yeah. And I think the other piece too, like I think they're going to have to tighten up their messaging around AI and ethical AI, because that's what Hired Score has done so well, I know that's what Eightfold has been focused on and that's a very different approach than I think what some of the other AI providers are kind of putting out there in the market. It's real consent. It's real ethical AI.

Chad (18m 10s):

Yeah. And that is a podcast within itself. We're going to take you down a rabbit hole. Okay. Before I go there, we've got to get to the, the next piece of news, Tengai gets legs. What do you think about that?

Madeline (18m 25s):

I thought this was, I was excited by this. I was not expecting it. And I saw your post actually this morning and it got me interested. And I think it, I think it makes a lot of sense. You know, I think we got a lot of attention with the talking head for anyone that doesn't know, Tengai, they have the talking head that does interviews that reduces bias. And it's basically giving everyone the same opportunity with this sort of robot or real robot head that does the interview. And a lot of companies invested in this and they bring this in and everybody kind of goes through this process and there's mixed reviews, right? We've heard mixed reviews. It's people like the head, people don't, they think it's creepy. They, you know, have different opinions on it. But I think the value to give everyone a fair opportunity and increase inclusivity is a huge advantage.

Madeline (19m 10s):

And to be able to now, do what they're doing and kind of broaden it a little bit is I think just strengthening that inclusivity message.

Chad (19m 19s):

Yeah. Yeah. I think if you take a look at all the acquisitions around interviewing, and video interviewing, there's obviously a huge need for something like this. And to pat Joel and myself on the back, we were in, it was 2019, when we actually had an opportunity to go to Sweden and meet with the team. This is one of the things that we said they have to do. I mean, there's there, they have to be able to provide portability, not to mention, can you imagine trying to scale a bunch of those talking heads versus an app. So now they have this awesome physical interviewing capability, along with something that is much more scalable and fits right in your hands.

Chad (20m 7s):

So I think this is an awesome job. The work that goes into something like this is pretty amazing. And for them to turn it around that quickly and still have the updates going for the, the physical Tengai, I've got just a big applause for those guys.

Madeline (20m 26s):

Yeah. And especially in like the remote recruiting world that we're all in now too, to be able to pivot like that and say, this is what a lot of companies need and we can work on that. They did a good job getting that out quickly.

Chad (20m 38s):

I love it. I love it. Well, Madeline, thank you for taking a little bit of your time and teasing out what we're going to be talking about with programmatic on, you know, the webinar and the research itself. One more time where can they go to find the actual research.

Madeline (20m 56s):

Yes, you can to next week. And I can share that link with you when it's up and published and ready to go. But I'm excited. I'm thrilled that we're talking about it together and I'm excited for the webinar too cause I know we have a lot more to say on all of this.

Chad (21m 11s):

Good times, now that I got you Madeline, we're doing more of this. I appreciate it, again, thanks for coming on.

Madeline (21m 17s):

Thanks for having me.

Chad (21m 18s):

And we out.

Madeline (21m 20s):


OUTRO (21m 43s):

Thank you for listening to podcasts with Chad and Cheese. Brilliant! They talk about recruiting. They talk about technology, but most of all, they talk about nothing. Anyhoo, be sure to subscribe today on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. We out.


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