ARTICLES, BLOGS & VIDEOS

The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted March 15, 2019 by

Are diversity and inclusion hiring efforts undermined by the shift to programmatic, CPC job advertising?

Over the past couple of years, College Recruiter has undergone a remarkable transformation. As was the case since the dawn of recruitment advertising a few hundred years ago, all of our employer customers were advertising their part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level job opportunities with us on a traditional, duration-basis such as $X for 30-days.

Today, virtually all of the postings on our site are pay-for-performance such as cost-per-click and most of those are programmatic, meaning that the jobs we receive and the CPC we receive are based upon pre-set rules created by the employer customers, their advertising agencies, or their job distributors. Hopefully, that quick overview helps to illustrate why I wrote above that our people, process, product, and price have undergone a remarkable transformation.

I thought that readers of this blog would appreciate a little information about what we’re seeing happening in the marketplace right now. Some of the traditional, ad agencies are doing a good job in terms of advising their customers as to what CPC’s to pay, what jobs to distribute, expectations, etc. Some aren’t.

A common theme across almost all ad agencies — but not all — is that the overriding metric of success is minimizing the CPC and/or eCPA. I understand the desire to use objective metrics like that, but I’m also hearing frustration from some on the employer side who are appreciating their reduced costs per and time to hire but concerned about the negative impact these programs are having on their diversity and inclusion hiring efforts and, therefore, the long-term productivity of their workforce. 

What a small number of employers and advertising agencies are starting to appreciate is that the lowest CPC and lowest eCPA typically translates into a higher percentage of candidates coming from a smaller percentage of sources, which reduces the diversity of the applicant pool. Note that when I talk about diversity, I’m not just talking about race or gender. I’m also talking about socioeconomic and other such backgrounds. If a disproportionately large number of applicants come from low cost, general aggregators, then the candidate pool will also be general and therefore anything but diverse.

A couple of the ad agencies we work with are segmenting their budgets so they allocate $A to general aggregators; $B to industry-specific, niche sites; $C to geographic-specific, niche sites; $D to college-specific sites; etc. Within each of those groups, they use CPC and eCPA as measures of success, but they don’t expect or need the CPC or eCPA for the niche sites to be as low as those from the aggregator sites.

From what we can see on our end, most of the job exports from the advertising agencies are being managed to minimize CPC and eCPA instead of the more nuanced approach that we’re starting to see from a small number of other, more cutting edge ad agencies whose clients value a diverse and inclusive candidate pool so much that they’re willing to pay for it. Talk can be cheap, but these ad agencies and their customers aren’t just talking the talk, but they’re also walking the walk.