“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Surely you’ve heard this saying before, but stay with me for a second. The sound of the tree falling is the proof of it happening (i.e., the data), and if that proof doesn’t exist, people question the reality of it.
You spend a lot of time, energy and (perhaps) money leading your company’s Recruitment Marketing efforts, and what do you have to show for it? If you don’t have the data, then you don’t have much, sadly.
So, with that in mind, I’m going to share a new way I’ve created to evaluate the results of my own Recruitment Marketing strategy. But first, a caveat: every business is different so what has worked for me may not be relevant in your position, but it may get you thinking about it differently. And that’s really the whole point here, isn’t it? To share ideas and spark a conversation about a better way to do things. I’m hoping to achieve that here.
And with that understanding, here’s how I think about measuring my Recruitment Marketing efforts:
Always, Always Start With Your Goals
In everything we do, we should understand what our end-goals are. When I think about my Recruitment Marketing activities, I ask myself three key questions:
- Do people know us?
- Do people like us?
- Are they taking action?
From a top-down approach, I want to make sure people know our company name and who we are as an employer first (brand awareness); then, I want to inform them on our culture, our values and why people like working for us (brand perception); and then, I want to drive action.
With each of these categories, I establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are relevant for my business and talent acquisition priorities.
Do They Know Us?
In the first bucket, our goal is all about eyeballs (i.e., awareness). I want people seeing our ads, our social content, our careers website, etc. so they become familiar with who we are. Example KPIs for this bucket could include:
- Paid media advertising reach
- Social content reach
- Website visits
- Traditionally ad reach — if you’re running a radio ad, for instance, the radio station generally has an idea of how many people are listening. Understand that their numbers are probably over-inflated, but it will give you a good idea nonetheless.
Do They Like Us?
The next step is to track and influence your employer reputation and establish data for that. Sites like Glassdoor and Indeed have company ratings that should form the backbone of this, but you can also look to establish both candidate and internal employee surveys. The survey results in particular may be more telling since those are your actual employees’ and target candidates’ opinions (lots of people can review on Glassdoor).
I would also recommend including your fan growth on social media if you have dedicated careers channels. Increasing your social followers indicates more potential candidates are interested in hearing your content and potentially working for you.
Are They Taking Action?
Lastly, I want to encourage the job seeker to take action. Depending on the campaign and specific goals, that action may vary, so some example KPIs might include:
- Talent network signups
- Job alert signups
- Apply clicks
- Completed applications in the ATS
I’ll also add in cost metrics here as well — metrics like cost per click (CPC), cost per application (CPA), cost per hire (CPH). If your efforts are successful and all things being equal, you should realize a downward trend over time in your cost metrics.
What’s The Story?
Help your leaders understand the full story, and not just the action portion. Let me re-emphasize that — most leaders don’t understand the candidate experience and what it’s like to search for a new job today. Help them understand it.
Candidates explore and research like online shoppers (sometimes hitting a careers website 7-9 times before applying) and your job is to provide that education and help influence the right decision. The three categories above could be as broad or specific as needed (so, if you need brand awareness among female software engineers and that’s your priority then you can mold the metrics around that — again, know your goals).
From a data perspective, I am also cautious about including metrics that have multiple variables and influences beyond my control. So, for example, I’m reluctant to include turnover/attrition metrics or time to fill since so many other groups can be responsible for the end-result. I could put the best strategy in place and attract hundreds of applicants, but if the recruiters aren’t reviewing them, or the hiring manager is dragging her feet, then time to fill swells and doesn’t reflect the successful upfront effort of attracting them. Make sense? I know many others in our industry who do track these metrics and believe they’re critical; however, I take a different approach.
Lastly, I’m a big believer in tracking your own trends and trying not to benchmark too much against other companies. Each brand, each industry, carries its own challenges and to continually compare yourself to another company could lead to false assumptions in your strategies. Track your own trends over time and compare if you’re improving or not.
That’s what this is all about, right? Improving over time. I hope this was helpful in some way for you.
Do you track metrics differently? What have you found useful in evaluating your Recruitment Marketing strategies?