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Programmatic data-driven recruiting


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The swing from printed to digital media has created a whole new set of challenges for recruitment departments everywhere. However, it has also created opportunities.

“Job adverts are generally only read by those seeking a new position, and at any one time, only 15% of skilled employees are actively seeking a new role,” explains CEO Nils Wagener. “One of the things we do is try to access the other 85%. This is simply not possible with classic advertising, even online; you have to actively search for these candidates.”

KÖNIGSTEINER is a specialist in digital recruitment, and uses its skills to source the perfect candidate through a variety of innovative channels. Of course, digital and online advertising plays a role. The company also undertakes direct searches using social media and approaches potential candidates directly.

A third area of activity is programmatic advertising; this involves creating an awareness of the client company through digital storytelling in spheres where ideal candidates are likely to be found – schools, universities and even among the company’s competitors.

So how does KÖNIGSTEINER achieve this? “Firstly, we have to know where to find the target candidate group, and always keep this group in mind,” says Mr. Wagener. “Then we look at data-driven recruiting analysis – detailed figures are evaluated daily – to predict which channels will produce the highest rate of success. This way, we can create the best possible budget-oriented campaigns for our clients. We have a long history dating back to 1967; as a result, we have a lot of data and strong market penetration. We are almost a pioneer in this respect. We are at home in all channels, which allows us to control them and ensure they complement each other. These days, you really need to find innovative ways of reaching certain target groups. For example, a potential partner for us is an assessment center specialist which undertakes assessments via Facebook.”

Nils Wagener
At any one time, only 15% of skilled employees are actively seeking a new role. One of the things we do is try to access the other 85%. Nils WagenerCEO

With 270 employees, Königsteiner is a full service agency for all recruitment channels through its five subsidiaries, which are very strong in the DACH region and also operate in other European countries. “Our service spectrum is unique in Germany,” underlines the CEO. “The HR branch is somewhat conservative, and generally finds digitalization a real challenge. We spend a lot of time explaining to recruiters that there are many hiring channels besides the standard job portals. Our whole team is highly solutions oriented and has a very entrepreneurial approach, in contrast to many advisors who are customer oriented but are often too quick to tell the clients only what they want to hear.”

Mr. Wagener himself was a business consultant with his own firm, who supported KÖNIGSTEINER through a three-year CRM transformation project. When further work was identified, he put his own firm on ice and joined the holding as CEO to implement the next stage of the transformation programme.

“We have now taken the first important steps,” he says. “The recruitment sector is in a state of massive change, with data-driven recruiting and artificial intelligence becoming increasingly important. Our goal is to use all the channels at our disposal to help us find candidates more efficiently. Of course, we have our challenges too. Data protection legislation is very strict, and new players – including Google and Facebook – are trying to develop a market in this sector for themselves. This creates a level of uncertainty, which we are addressing by engaging early in discussions with large companies, and seeking strong strategic partnerships.”

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