S4 E79 | eXpert Tease: Tactical elements of programmatic advertising with Heidi Hite

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Chris Hoyt, CXR 0:16
Hello, everyone, and welcome to CareerXroads podcast and our special segment that we call expertise. I’m Chris Hoyt president of CXR. And today we’re gonna grab 10 minutes with Heidi Hite, who is the senior recruitment Marketing Program Manager at Sleep Number Corporation. And we’re going to talk about the tactical elements of programmatic advertising. Now, these segments that we do are typically delivered in a sort of snackable format. So if you’re just sipping your morning coffee, or knocking out a mile on the treadmill, you’ll get to hear us discuss any number of issues before you even finish. And those are going to fall within areas that talent leaders have actually from hundreds of companies have said need attention. So these could be anything from ethics, in recruiting to DE&I topics, to employee wellness, or even employee retention. So if you’re interested in weighing in on what you think the 2021 recruiting leaders should focus on, you can take part in our new 2021 priorities benchmark. It’s open to everybody. And it’s found within the research and Reports section. www.CXR.works. Now, if you’re attending live today, you’re going to get to participate via the chat feature of our broadcast. And you should feel free to ask our guests Heidi, a question or two. And we’ll do our best to get to them. Now. If we don’t have time, or you think of something later you’d like to ask, you can always join us in our open exchange. That’s found at www.cxr.works/talent talks. So with all of that, Heidi, good morning, how are you today?

Heidi Hite, Sleep Number Corporation 1:40
Good morning. Good. You.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 1:41
I’m doing very well. Thank you. It’s still snowing where you are.

It recently but not right now. Thank goodness.

Minneapolis, you can’t hate Minneapolis except for the snow.

Heidi Hite, Sleep Number Corporation 1:53

Chris Hoyt, CXR 1:55
Look, Heidi to level set what what is sort of your area of responsibility as Sleep Number and and tell us how programmatic advertising sort of falls within that, please?

Yeah, so I am supporting the recruitment marketing space, which essentially is advertising for jobs to put it simply. But it really is larger than that, right. So we’re really focused on creating the value streams and understanding why candidates would choose us why they would come to Sleep Number, why they would stay. A large portion of my time is really put into programmatic advertising as it is essentially one of the main tools that we utilize to really open up the top of the funnel, from a brand awareness standpoint, all the way down through driving applications to our open jobs. So as the world is changing, and as jobs are really being circulated through different digital online places, we want to make sure that we’re showing up effectively, but yet still supporting our missions and how we’re driving equality, and individual aviation and other types of factors within our spaces. So my world is art and science, I am looking at data, I’m looking at app to higher ratios, I’m looking at our different segments of work, where they’re regionally located. And then I’m also looking at just where we need to be showing up from a voice and a value and how we really mesh those two together. And that art and science fashion.

I love that. But if I’m in layman’s terms, like if I ever heard of programmatic advertising, what does that what specifically does programmatic advertising do for job listings.

So it’s essentially a system that allows jobs to come in and be allocated to the right job boards at the right time, using data as a baseline to set up the system. And then using analytics based on candidate behavior to determine if that job board was the right investment. And if and when it’s not, it switches automatically based on the data from the candidate behaviors. So it really is that setup process of how we how we determine what segments we’re going after, what data pieces that we want to so app to higher ratio is one that we really lean into, because that is more of a factor that is a stable element that we can put into the system. But then we’re looking at adhering to candidate behaviors, and where success is coming based on the positions and based on regional locations. And so it’s an again, that art and science balance. But it’s something that I’m looking at on a weekly basis, sometimes even daily to ensure that our jobs are getting what they need, and that we’re pulling and opening up different segments. So if if we’ve gone too narrow as I think about our application to higher ratio for a particular job, we’ll play with that mid campaign to ensure that we’re getting the results that we’re looking for.

So imagine you sort of behind the scenes pulling levers over here In

Heidi Hite, Sleep Number Corporation 5:00
I’m a puppeteer

Chris Hoyt, CXR 5:03
Yeah, is it a lot of that? Or is some of that some of that get to be automated for you.

I do work with an external advertising agency. And so there’s an analyst specifically on our account that is working to determine and pulling those levers. Now I am the face of the business. So I’m in taking where we’re at from a business standpoint, our recruiters are telling me on a daily basis, I’m not getting enough apps, they’re not the right apps. Here’s where I’m, here’s where I’m trending here, what my needs are. And then I am prioritizing those from a company wide perspective. And then I’m ensuring that our analyst is given this information and that I’m able to analyze after the fact, sometimes even in real time, right, of where we’re trending and what things we need to open up and what things we maybe need to close, what priorities change, and that’s midstream. So complete puppeteer,

Yeah. So okay, so let me give you, like, give you a scenario to break down. So let’s say we’ve got a roll that’s open. And, you know, historically, we need 10 applications to get one hire out of Yes, very generic. What behavior and we go in and the job, because you’re looking at this at the job level? Yeah. It’s just not getting there’s no, there’s no juice from the squeeze right? Now, so what behaviors what candidate behaviors might you be looking for, and to make those adjustments to get me my 10 to one ratio to fill this role?

The first thing I would tell you guys is programmatic is not a short term solution. And so if you’re looking for tomorrow’s hire, you need to think about it more strategically and long term. So programmatic gets smarter as jobs are continually filtered into the system. And so in my opinion, it’s no less than a six month strategy. And so as I would think about like a one position, in particular, I would really look at the app to higher ratio to start the process. And then I would increase that if I was starting for the first time within a programmatic solution. So if if nine to one is your app to higher, I would do 12 to one, I would increase that to ensure that the system has enough to learn because once it hits, its application ratio is sometimes then turns attention to other jobs. And so I’d want to make sure that I’m over indexing as we start the process. So as you think about programmatic you might be, you might be investing more so in the beginning, and then optimizing and fine tuning that as you go from a longevity standpoint.

Interesting. So if you don’t we actually have a question come in, where do you start, if you don’t initially have your app to higher data? Is it are you throwing a dart at the wall and just watching traffic or something a little more scientific,

Holy cats, if you do not have your hands on this data, what I would recommend is really analyzing your business. programmatic historically does really well for like profiles. So if you’re hiring for one specific role and multiple locations throughout the United States, that’s a great test scenario to start programmatic. If you have one off hiring for a magnitude of roles in different areas, I would start off with a really small, concentrated pilot until you can build up that data to really be able to hone in on what success would look like.

So Heidi, how dependent is programmatic advertising on on internet browser cookies? From a tracking? profile?

That’s such a good question, because the world is changing so quickly. And it’s it’s underneath us as we speak. My opinion on this and as I’ve been just continually bringing this up with our agency partner to get their perspective and just ensure that our data from Google to everything we do is not changing dramatically, is cookies is really becoming more mainstream. And that’s what I’m liking to see is that it’s it’s as crazy as it was when it first came out. And this notion of you need to accept, which then opens you up to vulnerability, right, from an internet access standpoint, people are becoming more comfortable, and it’s becoming to be anywhere you go on the internet, you have to accept cookies. So in my opinion, and from my data streams, they still look pretty consistent. And I’m waiting to understand as this continues on, if people start to remove themselves from the cookie collection, or if they just accept it and move forward, as I and many others have been doing.

Yeah, it’s really interesting. So I think Google announced last year, right? They were going to remove support in their browser and Chrome, which I think at this point has a 60 somewhere between 60 and 70% of browser market share right? But by 2022 to remove support for third party cookies, and you know, my head is sort of spinning like how does that impact it but then they announced this, this flocks, the Federated learning of cohorts, which sounds to me like you’ll still see ads targeted, but just less refined based on your browsing habits. Which kind of sounds like cookie crumbs, not necessarily cookies, but just straight up is there is that discussion happening with with your or your agency?

It is but it’s also super hard to anticipate some of these changes, I think back and been in this world a little while. But when Google for jobs came out, and I remember we all thought the world was gonna stop and that Google was going to stop serving up our jobs and or pay millions of dollars for and it just hasn’t happened. Right. Business continued, as usual. And so I’ve definitely it’s on my radar, but it’s not stopping the way in which I’m doing business or looking at data today.

Yeah, it would be. It’s interesting, because you have to think that Google uses those cookies, right for tracking and

Heidi Hite, Sleep Number Corporation 10:26
It’s for their own purposes, too.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 10:27
Well, they make 130 over $130 billion a year in just their PPC ads. So right away, it just sort of gets by Yeah. Okay, one last question for you. Once again, specific what ad agency and software are you using? Have you used any others? And are there any pros or cons to what you’ve got on the table now?

Heidi Hite, Polaris 10:48
Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes. One that I’ve been using most recently, and most of my tenior year would be with Radency, which is formerly TMP worldwide. And so they have their own ad platform, the thing that I like about this platform in particular, and I’ve looked at others, and I’ve always stuck with this one, to be honest with you, it’s improved and enhanced tremendously in my own opinion. They also are very reliant and a huge partner with these large job boards, which you guys know they’re running the world, that is where you’re going to get the return. But then they also have over a 10,000 plus online network. And so as you’re thinking about DE&I, as you’re thinking about the right reach at the right time, and not dwindling, that top of the funnel, where we all need to be in need to prove our worth, right. They still have that reach, which you can still tap into, which in my opinion, is one that you need both worlds in order to be successful. So that’s my, that’s my favorite. But I I’d be open to hearing other people’s perspectives, and it’s always one that I’m keeping on my radar.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 11:51
Yeah, yeah. So in a time of pandemic, ironically, this is the first, I guess, calendar year, we haven’t heard everyone screaming, the job boards are gonna die.

Heidi Hite, Sleep Number Corporation 12:02
No, they’re there. To use it more effectively.

Chris Hoyt, CXR 12:07
Yeah, absolutely. They have all this shift. Right. They change and thanks for telling us I love what is it artists formerly known as Prince the TMP shift? Glad some of us know how to actually pronounce it. So how do you thank you so much for your wisdom and your experience? We appreciate your time with us.

This has been fun. I hope to see you guys all soon. I love being a part of this community. So

Absolutely. We love you. So look, for those who want to dive back in next week. We’re talking with keynote speaker and noted author, Jason Lauritsen. He’s gonna actually share with us the topic of galvanizing yourself against failure. And he has got a really fun story to share. So until then, and if you’ve got more questions for Heidi, we hope to see you at CXR.works/talent talks, where we’ll post those up and you can post your own questions and we’ll get you get those answers to you. I’ll get it out eventually, we’ll get those answers to you and we’ll see you guys next week. Thanks everybody.

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