TAtech Tip: Run Toward, Not Away From, 'Workmageddon'


There's been no end to the commentary about the impending arrival of "workmaggedon" – the end of work as we know it. Every day there is another article, news report, or blog post on the relentless spread of machines in the workplace and their ability to take on more and more of the tasks we humans have historically performed.

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Some see this development as a disaster. After all, if you're a junior lawyer, journalist, bank teller, or manufacturing worker, it means you now have far fewer employment opportunities. In effect, your sense of security and confidence in the future have been outsourced to a bunch of wires and code masquerading as a cloud from some distant industrial park.

Others, however, have a different experience. At least for the moment, workmaggedon is a boon for them. It means the end of work they have neither the time nor the ability to do well. What's been outsourced in their case is frustration and stress.

That's what the advent of programmatic ad buying offers recruiters. It eliminates some impossible requirements they used to buckle under, including:

- perfect information about the capabilities and track record of 100,000+ job boards and other employment sites;

- the skills to select and post at those sites that are likely to generate the best results at the lowest price for each and every opening;

- real-time information about the performance of their ads on each of the job boards they've selected;

- and the ability to make real-time adjustments in ad placement and spending so as to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.

In programmatic ad buying, a machine – or more precisely, the amalgamation of data, analytics, and software – does all of that for them.

Here's How It Works:

You write a compelling ad about the opening you are trying to fill. Note: No technology is powerful enough to overcome the impact of a job posting with all the appeal of crabgrass.

Next, you post that well-written ad to a programmatic ad buying network. Such networks offer performance-based advertising – a per-per-click or pay-per-applicant spending model – across hundreds or even thousands of sites.

Finally, you set a bunch of "rules" for your ad. These typically include the total budget you are willing to spend on advertising for your opening, the amount you are willing to pay for each candidate click, and the attributes you are seeking in candidates for that opening.

At that point, your work is done, and the machine takes over. It will post the ad on those sites that have historically generated the most applicants within the parameters you have established.

But that's only the beginning: It then monitors the ad's performance and adjusts its placement, spend, or both.

If the ad isn't generating an adequate number of candidates on one site, it will move the ad to other sites until the target number of applicants is reached. Alternatively, if the ad generates the target number of applicants, the machine will turn off the ad so that money isn't spent on unwanted applicants. If appropriate, the machine will also redirect spending to other ads that need more applicants.

Ultimately, programmatic puts an ad in front of the right candidate at the right time to minimize both the time and cost to fill.

We still have a ways to go before we figure out the full range of best practices in applying programmatic ad buying technology, but recruiters are already beginning to see its power and promise. The improved ROI it generates, coupled with the reduction in recruiter grunt work, makes this workmaggedon an optimal recruiter experience.

Peter Weddle is the CEO of TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions. The trade association for the global TA technology industry, TAtech also provides a number of programs for recruiting and HR professionals, including a conference dedicated to "Optimizing the RECRUITER Experience™," a speakers bureau, and TAtech U – a free webinar-based training program on key advances in TA technology and applications. Visit TAtech.org for more information.