In many sectors, employers have laid off or furloughed many and often most of their employees. Many of these employers are counting on the vast majority of these workers returning when the employer staffs up but that seems unlikely. If an employee has been off work for weeks, months, or even a year, they’ll likely reevaluate whether they want to go back to the same job or look for a better one. Many will find better opportunities elsewhere, or at least employers who are hiring sooner. In short, we’re looking at a massive upheaval in the labor market, particularly for hourly workers.
One of the most significant innovations ever in the employment marketing industry, programmatic job ad buying, was starting to take hold in the U.S. and, to a lesser extent, other countries before COVID but it will play a massive role in how employers staff-up as they and the rest of the economy re-open. A traditional job posting ad on a traditional job board should generate enough candidates that an employer should be able to hire one person. That’s fine as most employers when they advertise a job opening only want to hire one person. But, as the economy re-opens and employers discover that they need to replace a quarter, half, or even most of their employees, they’re often going to need to hire five, 25, or even 100 people into the same role. It just isn’t feasible for them to run five, 25, or 100 job posting ads to hire the people they need.
The answer is programmatic job ad buying coupled with performance-based pricing such as cost-per-click. An employer can advertise a job and an automated, job distribution system will then look at the ad and send it out to multiple job search sites like College Recruiter based on the kind of job. We’re an entry-level site and so won’t receive jobs requiring 4+ years of experience, but we would receive the hourly retail jobs, internships, and jobs for recent graduates. A healthcare site won’t receive construction jobs, but will receive jobs for registered nurses. So, programmatically, an employer can feasibly run a job on multiple sites based upon where the candidates they need are most likely to be searching.
Now, you layer on cost-per-click (CPC). An employer who needs to hire five people over two months needs far fewer candidates than an employer who needs to hire 50 people this month. The former might pay $0.50 per click for candidates who see the posting on the job board and then click to the employer’s site to, hopefully, apply. The latter, because of a much more difficult hiring need, might pay $0.75 per click. The job posting for the employer paying a lot less per click will appear lower in the search results and, therefore, will attract far fewer candidates. The more an employer pays per click, the more motivated they are to hire.