August 24, 2017   view past issues

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A Goldilocks Applicant Flow

It happens with some regularity. You post a job on one or more job boards and you get (a) way too many applicants or (b) way too few. You either have to wade through a mountain of resumes – many from unqualified prospects – or you have to run around with your hair on fire looking for other sources of talent. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could post your openings and generate a “goldilocks applicant flow” – not too many, not too few, but just enough to fill your openings efficiently and effectively?

There’s been no lack of commentary about the importance of writing compelling job postings. I’ve penned more than a few such exhortations myself. But, here’s the rub: if you write a truly powerful job posting, you’re going to shoot yourself in the foot. Half of North America will apply, and the vast majority of those applicants will be totally unqualified for the job.

Just as bad (and maybe worse), you can write the best job posting on the planet and get exactly the opposite outcome. No matter how persuasive your words or how enticing your employer’s value proposition, all you hear once the ad is posted is the sound of silence. All you have to show for your hard work is an angry look from the hiring manager.

The solution to this binary dilemma is a new software-based technology with a terrible name. It’s officially known as “programmatic ad buying,” but for our purposes, let’s call it a Goldilocks Delivery System. It’s used in performance-based advertising. In other words, instead of paying a single fee up front to post your job – the way it’s done with standard 30 or 60-day online ads – you set an overall budget and what you are willing to pay per applicant. Then, the system only charges you for each application you receive and only up to the budget you’ve set.

It’s the software and data in a Goldilocks Delivery System, however, that produce just the right number of applicants for you to fill each of your job openings. Here’s how it works:

First, a Goldilocks Delivery System uses predictive analytics to target the best sites for your opening. Many of today’s job boards not only post your job on their own sites, they also distribute them to lots of other job boards, as well. As a result, they have mountains of historical data indicating which sites work best for which kinds of jobs. The job boards with a Goldilocks Delivery System use that data to predict where your opening is likely to get the best flow of applicants and post it there. In effect, you start your ad campaign where it has the highest probability of succeeding quickly.

Second, a Goldilocks Delivery System monitors your posting and makes adjustments as necessary. If your job posting has generated the right applicant flow for you to fill an opening, it removes the ad so you don’t get too many resumes. And, if the ad isn’t generating enough applicants, it moves the ad to other job boards to increase the flow. The software makes both adjustments in real time and without human intervention, so time is saved and recruiters are free to focus on other important tasks. In effect, your ad appears on just the right sites and for just the right amount of time to ensure you get the applicants you need.

I understand that HR and talent acquisition teams sometimes feel as if they’re being bombarded on a daily basis by new technologies. They haven’t figured out how best to deploy the technology they already have before they’re confronted with the next big thing they absolutely must acquire. It makes a lot of folks simply tune out, but that would be a mistake with programmatic ad buying … oops, I mean Goldilocks Delivery Systems.

The technology has been effectively used in e-commerce for several years now. It’s the reason you see an ad for those boots you checked out on Amazon, when you visit the NBC News site the next day. The capabilities of Goldilocks Systems are proven and their results are impressive. And, now they’re being introduced in talent acquisition. Check ‘em out.

Thanks for reading,

TAtech® Insights and Peter Weddle’s Technacious Recruiter are brought to you by TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions.

Mark Your Calendars! TAtech’s 2017 & 2018 events give corporate and staffing firm recruiters the unique ability to interact with the leaders – rather than the exhibit booth salespeople – of TA tech companies.
• September 27-29, 2017 Denver: The TAtech Fall Congress & Deal Center, with The World Job Board Forum and the 2017 ReSI Awards Gala.
• March 13-14, 2018 Dublin, Ireland TAtechEurope 2018, The TAtech Industry Congress in Europe – the premier event for recruitment technology thought & business leaders worldwide.
• April, 2018 in Las Vegas: The TAtech Spring Congress & Deal Center. See the 2017 conference details here.
• June 5-6, 2018: The TAtech Leadership Summit on Programmatic Ad Buying. See the 2017 conference details here.