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Using Down-Funnel Metrics to Optimize Programmatic Recruitment Campaigns.

  • 05.30.2019

  • |

  • Jack Folz

Standard programmatic campaigns drive a high volume of candidates – but are the “bad” applications more trouble than they’re worth?

Since it arrived on the recruitment scene roughly four years ago, programmatic has solved many problems in the recruitment advertising industry, but others remain. Programmatic solutions, like Bayard’s AppFeeder product and many others, were introduced as a way to automate and optimize campaigns with an eye on increasing application volume and decreasing costs. After 4-years of refining technology and processes, application volume is rarely a problem for employers that engage with programmatic media. The increase in application volume is welcome, but it poses a new challenge – how does an organization ensure that its programmatic campaigns are yielding high-quality candidates, not just a high volume? At Bayard, we believe there is an answer to this question. By using down-funnel metrics to optimize campaigns, you can improve quality, not just quantity and cost-effectiveness.

Before we get into the benefits of using down-funnel metrics to optimize campaigns, we must discuss the role of any metric in optimizing a programmatic campaign. Most digital media campaigns in the recruitment space are designed to track clicks, applications, and spend at a campaign or job level and then use this data to optimize toward a higher application volume or lower CPA. Down-funnel metrics take campaign optimization to the next level in that they allow marketers to evaluate campaign performance through the entire funnel and eventually determine the actual ROI of their programmatic media campaigns.

The two most important down-funnel metrics to measure in programmatic campaigns are; qualified applications, and hires. From these values, we can use campaign spend numbers to determine the cost-per-qualified-application and cost-per-hire at various levels (client, campaign, publisher, job, city, etc.). While these metrics are nothing new to recruitment marketing, breakthroughs in programmatic technology allow marketers to act upon these metrics and optimize campaigns in ways that were not previously possible. Programmatic traders are now able to work with your organization to collect qualified applicant data (based on your definition of quality) and hire data in real time and use this data to make campaign optimizations in-flight.


Now that we’ve established the importance of using down-funnel metrics to optimize programmatic recruitment ad campaigns, it is pertinent to discuss real use cases and demonstrate actual benefits in engaging these metrics.

One scenario found a large healthcare staffing firm inundated with applications that recruiters do not have the bandwidth to review and process. Historically, their media campaigns had been optimized to maximize the flow of applicants at a minimum cost. With this optimization, many of the additional leads were low quality and that recruiters were spending too much time on leads that didn’t pan out.

To address this problem, they can partner with their programmatic team to start collecting down-funnel metrics. In this case, down funnel metrics would be as follows:


      1. Quality application – A candidate that is submitted for employment.
      2. Hire – A candidate who arrives for work on day one of orientation.


Collecting this data can help to reveal the ROI for each publisher in the campaign. Calculating how many candidates each publisher provides and at what cost is how we measure this ROI. The programmatic team is then able to make an impact by shifting budget to publishers with a proven track record of delivering quality candidates and away from those that do not.

How is this impact typically made? Most commonly, partners will see an increase in the number of hires made, a decrease in the cost-per-hire, and improvements in recruiter efficiency.


Let us show you how much of an impact we can have on your recruitment marketing campaigns.
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