Marketing is all about conversions — that is, getting your target audience to take a desired action. And digital marketing is all about using channels like email, social media, email, text and chat to achieve that conversion.
Keeping conversions top of mind is something that can really benefit those of us in Recruitment Marketing too.
It’s helpful to ask ourselves questions like:
- How many people can we convert to site visitors, then applicants and ultimately hires through our digital marketing approaches?
- How can we optimize our conversion rates over time?
To explore this topic, Rally Recruitment Marketing hosted a digital marketing show-and-tell at Talent Acquisition Week in San Francisco. It was such a great session that I wanted to share the top takeaways to help you increase your digital marketing results and improve your recruiting strategy.
Top digital marketing tactics for recruiting
1 – Keep your eye on the prize: focus on the CVR
CVR is short for Conversion Rate. Tracking your CVR will help you to understand the percentage of people who are taking a desired action when they interact with your digital marketing channels, and whether your conversion rate is increasing over time.
Here’s the formula to calculate your CVR so that you can work out and track this number:
Here’s an example: If you’re looking to calculate the CVR of people joining your talent network from your careers site, you would take the number of people who signed up to join your talent network (number of people who took an action) divided by your total careers site visitors (people who could have taken action) over the same timeframe, and now you’ve calculated the CVR percent.
2 – Aim for a personalized candidate experience at every touchpoint
Digital marketers in every industry are focused on creating experiences that feel personalized and seamless to encourage people to take action. Consider your own experiences as a consumer: If you receive an email message that feels like it’s speaking directly to you based on your past purchases, interests and location, you’ll be much more likely to take notice and take action than you would be if the email felt like a generic message sent out to a massive mailing list.
Similarly, if you can find ways to personalize the browsing experience on your careers site, you will motivate more people to take action (join your talent network, apply for a job, RSVP to attend a recruiting event, etc.).
Panelist Sara Pieper, Director of Global Employer Brand Marketing at Covance, shared how her team has personalized their careers site experience, and the results they’ve seen. The Covance careers site, which runs on the Phenom People platform, features tailored job recommendations for each individual who lands on the careers site. In addition, the team uses a chatbot that helps to deliver a candidate experience that feels personal at scale by answering candidates’ questions and leading them to their personalized job recommendations.
Since implementing these improvements, Covance has observed an increase in the CVR of people who complete an application — from 12% to 21.9% over a 3 month period! Further, 7% of careers site visitors engage with their chatbot, and of those who engage, 75% end up converting into applicants.
3 – Conduct user experience testing to streamline your careers site experience
Another way to improve your careers site conversions is to investigate the experience users are having on your careers site. You can then make adjustments over time that cater to your users’ behavior.
Tools like Smartlook, Hotjar and Crazyegg let you watch how users are interacting with your site. Using these tools you can access recordings of candidates’ site sessions and heatmaps that reveal where people are clicking and how they’re navigating your site.
As you conduct your user experience testing, you should look for areas of friction that can be streamlined to improve the experience and increase conversions.
You can also look for opportunities to improve the placement of your calls to action based on where people are navigating most frequently. For instance, if people are often attracted to one section of a specific page, then it might make sense to include a button for “Search Jobs” near that spot.
In this example below of the CDW careers site, which runs on the Talemetry platform, Hanady is able to see how candidates navigate the experience of searching for open CDW jobs.
4 – Use retargeting ads to win back prospective candidates
Retargeting ads are a type of digital advertising that’s delivered to people based on their past internet behavior, and are often used in programmatic advertising.
You’ve probably encountered retargeting ads yourself from retail sites like Amazon or Wayfair. Retargeting ads can be delivered based on your browsing history. For example, if you were looking at a specific product page for some time but left before actually making a purchase, you might be delivered ads for that product or similar products to encourage you to come back to the site and convert from casual browser into buyer.
Similarly, with Recruitment Marketing, we can use retargeting ads to persuade candidates who visit one of your job pages to come back and actually finish submitting their application.
These types of ads are an effective way to lift your applicant conversion rate. In fact, Sara shared that when Covance began using retargeting ads, their application completion rate increased by 7x!
Wondering what tools to use to incorporate retargeting ads into your strategy? You can consider using Adroll or Google Ads to advertise on websites. Plus, social media platforms also offer retargeting.
5 – Invest in paid social ads to reach your audience
Posting organic (unpaid) content on social media is a great starting point! However, you now need to pay to boost or sponsor some of your social posts on a regular basis in order for your organic social content to regularly reach your audience. That’s because the social platforms’ algorithms will show more of your organic posts if you spend a little money on paid posts.
Panelist Hanady Khourshid, Sr. Manager of Employer Brand & Diversity with CDW, shared her recipes for a successful paid social ad campaign:
- Targeting your ads based on the talent demographic you’re looking to reach (the more specific, the better!)
- Choosing compelling imagery to appeal to that audience (ultra important to influence conversion)
- Setting the budget appropriately, knowing that some audiences are more or less expensive to reach
Using this approach, Hanady’s team has observed very strong results through their paid social ads. In one recent campaign they observed 789,000 impressions, a click through rate of 2.63% and 100 applicants!
6 – Test and optimize for success
Major decisions shouldn’t be made based on a hunch. Savvy digital marketers know this, and so should we as recruitment marketers.
A/B testing (also known as split testing) is one way to confirm what approach might work best. This process literally involves testing out an “option A” against an “option B” at the same time to see which of the two potential choices performs better.
Sara’s team did this with a recent set of LinkedIn ads. They put a small amount of budget behind two different image options to see which was more enticing to their target candidates. The more simple imagery in their “option B” performed much better, with a 45% higher click-through rate (.74% versus .51%).
Once they realized that this second image would convert better, they also ran some A/B testing on the copy that accompanied the image. Copy “option B” had a 67.5% higher click through rate (1.24% versus .74%) and a 300% higher engagement rate overall.
By taking this approach, Sara’s team increased the chance that their campaign would be successful — and gained valuable insight into the types of content that resonates with their target talent demographic.
7 – Choose the digital marketing tactics that are best for your recruiting strategy
There is an endless option of digital marketing tools and tactics available for your recruiting strategy. Dedicate some time on a regular basis to scoping out new tools and considering what options make sense based on your organization’s current recruiting challenges and opportunities.
Here’s a list of the top digital marketing tools and tactics that our panelists recommend that you might look into as you consider ways to boost your own recruitment conversion rates:
- Google analytics
- Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising
- Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) software
- Photos & videos
- Candidate experience
- Brand ambassadors
- Untapped sources of talent
- Talent analytics reporting
- Programmatic job distribution
- Social job distribution
- Social media management suite
- Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) software
- Career site retargeting/audience expansion
- Employee advocacy
- Internal mobility/referral technology
- Scalable brand activation
- Text recruiting and engagement
If you’d like to learn more, view the entire presentation on digital marketing tactics in recruiting, or download the slides from Rally’s SlideShare channel.
Thank you to Sara Pieper and Hanady Khourshid for sharing their expertise! These expert panelists made it clear that as recruitment marketers we have so many opportunities to improve our efforts if we only look outside of the typical recruiting tools and approaches that we’ve relied on historically.
We need to take a big step forward and embrace the tools and tactics that our Marketing counterparts are embracing to evolve our Recruitment Marketing strategy and continue to see performance progress. And the team at Rally is here for you every step of the way as we learn and move this function forward together!