Advice for Employers and Recruiters

Is CPC-based pricing the same as programmatic job ad buying?

Anita Jobb AvatarAnita Jobb
November 13, 2023

CPC, which stands for Cost Per Click, and programmatic job ad distribution are related concepts in online advertising, but they are not the same thing.

CPC is a specific pricing strategy, while programmatic job ad distribution is a broader, technology-based approach to placing job ads, which may but doesn’t always include CPC as one of its components. For example, a recruiter can manually log into a job board, manually post a job, and choose to pay a certain amount to the job board each time a candidate views the posting and then clicks the apply button to go to the application page, which may be hosted by the job board or on the employer’s site.

Put another way, CPC is a pricing model used in online advertising, including in the job advertising industry. Advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. This model is commonly used in search engine advertising and can be part of various advertising strategies, including job postings. The key element of CPC is that the cost is directly tied to the interaction of a potential job candidate with the job ad.

Programmatic job ad buying refers to technology that some employers and other job advertisers use to automate the posting of jobs, often across dozens or even hundreds of job boards and other sites. Programmatic advertising often focuses on maximizing the return on investment, reaching the most suitable candidates in a cost-effective manner, which can align well with a CPC model but can also employ other pricing strategies like traditional, duration-based pricing, cost per impression (CPM), cost per application (CPA), or cost per quality application (CPQA).

Programmatic job ad buying is a more comprehensive approach to distributing job ads than manually posting the same job at site after site or even logging into a job distribution platform and manually checking multiple job boards to which you want the job distributed. Programmatic uses automated, technology-driven methods to post job advertisements across various platforms. Programmatic advertising uses algorithms and machine learning to place job ads in the most effective spaces online, targeting the right candidates at the right time. This method can encompass various pricing models, including CPC, but it is not limited to it. Programmatic job ad distribution optimizes the ad placement process for efficiency and effectiveness, leveraging data and technology.

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