Job Board Journalist: Real Time Bidding Adds Speed to Reach of Online Ads

Peter Weddle

Scientists use it to describe resistance bulb thermometers. Special Forces teams use it to signal a return to base. For job boards and agencies, however, the acronym RTB means real time bidding.

You’ve probably heard how computers and high speed trading have changed the way Wall Street works. Well, now they’re poised to do the same in recruiting. Not today and maybe not tomorrow, but for sure in the relatively near future.

Wikipedia describes RTB as “a means by which advertising inventory is bought and sold on a per-impression basis, via programmatic instantaneous auction.”

Here’s what that means:

Let’s say an advertiser wants to post a job opening for a sales person. Using what’s called a demand-side platform, it can access several different ad networks (sources of talent), place a bid for what it is willing to pay for an impression by a sales person on one or more of those networks, and see the ad posted on those networks where the bid is accepted.

So, what’s the big deal? These kinds of auctions have been used in recruiting for awhile now. They’re the basis for fairly distributing ad inventory on most publisher networks. RTB, however, represents a breakthrough because these demand-side platforms have the computing power to determine the value of an impression in real time or less than 100 milliseconds.

No more waiting around for human judgment; the technology has either been fed advertiser data or has a history with the advertiser, so it can instantaneously determine what an appropriate bid should be. Ads get posted at the right job boards faster than ever before. And they get posted for an appropriate investment – advertisers no longer have to worry about bidding too little and losing an optimum slot or bidding too high and wasting precious ad dollars.

Now, that’s certainly a big step forward, but there’s even more to RTB. It also includes applications called supply-side platforms. They enable job boards and other publishers to manage their own inventory of advertising space more effectively and to interface with ad networks to place ads with other publishers and generate additional revenue. In effect, these platforms extend a single ad into an ad campaign that maximizes an advertisers’ reach into the talent pool based on its impression-level bidding history.

RTB has been used on the commercial side of the web for several years now, but applications that support recruitment advertising are only just now being introduced. They include:
• Appcast Inventory, a supply-side side platform to help job boards “optimize their performance advertising inventory for more revenue and a better job seeker experience.”
• RealMatch Recruitment Performance Manager™, an analytics suite and ad network that “leverages advanced performance-predicting algorithms and targeted campaigns to automatically boost response for jobs that need it most.”
• Recroup JobAdX, a programmatic job advertising platform powered by real time bidding, allows “job-boards and publishers to dynamically place jobs on their site after a real time auction, resulting in higher revenue.”

Admittedly, these are very early days for RTB in recruiting, but lest you think it’s unlikely to have much staying power, consider this: ReportsnReports predicts the RTB market will grow at a better than 40 percent (41.18%) CAGR between 2014 and 2019 and hit $42 billion by next year.

What’s the probability that will happen? Who knows. But here’s a sign – there’s now a job board for RTB pros. It’s called

Food for thought,

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

Mark Your Calendars! TAtech’s 2017 events include:
• September 27-29, 2017 Denver: The TAtech Fall Congress & Deal Center, with The World Job Board Forum and the 2017 ReSI Awards Gala.
• March, 2018 in Dublin TAtechEurope, 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, 2018: The TAtech Leadership Summit on Programmatic Ad Buying. See the 2017 conference details here.


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