Leah Daniels
Leah Daniels, GM SaaS

Defining the Players in the Job Publisher Marketplace

August 31, 2018 at 09:00 AM — Post

Job Site Players: Definitions & Terms


In modern recruiting, job sites have the flexibility of operating as both candidate traffic buyers
and sellers (and often times as both, simultaneously). As a result, there are various strategies – as well as intricacies and complexities – of both types of operators.

In this nuanced marketplace, various classifications are used throughout the industry to define candidate sellers and candidate buyers. We find ourselves often pausing to clarify which side of the transaction we are referring to.  In order to add clarity into this highly complex market, we thought we would break down the various lingo we use to get you up-to-speed on how we at Appcast talk about this unique market, and how our joint customers are seeing this information in communication and product labels.

Buyers: Job Sites that are looking to acquire candidate traffic for their clients.

In the North American and European markets, there are numerous buyers and sellers of candidate traffic. While some job sites do both in a true arbitrage model (more on this later), most find themselves either primarily client-facing with a strong candidate brand and a large direct sales organization (but still not enough candidate traffic to meet their clients’ demands) or candidate-facing with a small sales organization focused on generating and selling candidate traffic to larger job sites.

Many buyers have a multi-media candidate acquisition strategy that includes Google Ads, display advertising and retargeting, as well as re-syndication, in which case, there are additional buyers focused on these channels.

Publishers: Job sites that are original sources of candidates and sell those candidates to other job sites are generally referred to as Publishers, as they re-market, re-syndicate or ‘publish’ jobs to their candidate audiences. In the market they are also sometimes known as a candidate ‘providers,’ ‘sources,’ ‘destination sites’, ‘wholesale providers’ or ‘vendors.’

Publishers are motivated by their monetization models to drive a lot of clicks. In the traditional job advertising model, publishers are a foundational part of the buying structure. They impact your budget allocation, relay traffic that accumulates most commonly into “clicks” (meaning you pay for it) but doesn’t necessarily convert into the required volume of applies.

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Re-syndication: When a job site buyer provides their job content to a job site publisher, with the intention of paying the publisher to acquire candidate traffic for the buyer.

Ry-syndication offers buyers an opportunity to quickly and cost-efficiently drive additional candidate traffic at a lower cost per acquisition than any other acquisition channel.

If you are already re-syndicating, what is your current average cost-per-registration?

Wholesale Market: The market that exists between the buyers and publishers, via re-syndication. The Wholesale Market allows the buyers to purchase candidate traffic from the sellers at a much lower price than in a retail environment.

A wholesale market thrives in an environment wherein job sites are either buyers or sellers of candidate traffic, allowing for publishers to provide lower per-click pricing than in the retail market job sites which have large sales teams, infrastructure and significant branding efforts that increase the overall business costs.

Tapping deeper into the wholesale market can have a profound impact on your current and future candidate engagement. You have the opportunity to remarket to every candidate you engage with through email engagement, desktop and/or mobile push notifications, and leveraging cookies to push targeted display ads. It’s important, though, to recognize that an essential part of participation in the wholesale market is the need for incredibly high volume of candidate traffic, and a stark indifference to which jobs succeed in producing that traffic.  

Organizations that must fill vacancies can’t afford to attempt to source quality candidates in the wholesale market as a pillar of the strategy. This will inevitably result in jobs with no candidates, while other jobs generate hundreds or even thousands – ideal when you are looking for an entry point to remarket other jobs in your inventory to that candidate, but not as a hiring company.

Arbitrage Job Sites: Job sites that operate both as a buyer and a seller, oftentimes between a retail job site and an original source of candidate traffic (publisher). The arbitrage market exists due to the number of wholesales publishers and the complexity of the industry and the inherent challenges that exist with managing hundreds of publisher relationships.

To increase candidate volume, you will get the best results from standard aggregators and arbitrage vendors alongside the sites that have large inventories of candidates through original sourcing or lead generation.

But, not all volume is quality – this is where testing is important. Especially with Arb.

Bring a new vendor in – and make sure you provide enough budget to run a reasonable test. Work with your arbitrage vendors to determine quality and, in partnership, understand if they can manipulate their publisher relationships to help drive quality that your customer are looking for.

Whatever the needs or structure of your job site, one fact is clear: without constant management, publishers will drive clicks but not necessarily efficiently, effectively, or with the quality candidate traffic you demand. These goals are only reached through a programmatic approach and a solid partnership and mutually understood goals for the traffic program.

Want to get started with a programmatic strategy, but not sure how? Request a free consultation with one of our traffic acquisition experts.

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