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The New Way to Measure Recruitment Marketing

The New Way to Measure Recruitment Marketing
Profile photo of Lori Sylvia
Written by Lori Sylvia

In our recent webinar, The New Way to Measure Recruitment Marketing, Jessie Summerfield spoke about how she’s used data and analytics to know what content works best to attract talent. We’re reviewing Jessie’s methods and how they influence her Recruitment Marketing strategy.

The New Way to Measure Recruitment Marketing
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Demonstrating the return on investment (ROI) of Recruitment Marketing strategy can be a bit tricky, as you’ve likely experienced yourself. 

Recruitment Marketing emerged out of the need for companies to differentiate their recruiting strategies, so it’s understandable why our community has relied upon using Talent Acquisition metrics to measure Recruitment Marketing effectiveness. However, as you’ve also likely experienced, recruiting metrics alone don’t quite capture the full story of the work you do.

Watch the Webinar On Deman: The New Way to Measure Recruitment MarketingFor Recruitment Marketing to grow as a discipline of its own, we need a new way to measure our impact! That’s why I dedicated our recent webinar to understanding how there are now two roles of a recruitment marketer, and how each is measured in its own way.

Together with Jessie Summerfield, Recruitment Marketing Specialist at Advocate Aurora Health, we presented how to track, measure and report on what’s working in Recruitment Marketing and employer branding through data. Then we explored how to use that data to tell the full story of your impact on your company — all centered around the real approach working for Jessie at her organization right now.

Let’s look at some of the key strategies shared, how you can make data-driven decisions and get buy-in from your key stakeholders and leaders.

The challenge with the “old way” of measuring Recruitment Marketing

When practitioners say they can’t demonstrate their value in order to get more resources and bigger recruitment budgets, it’s often because only part of their work is understood — attracting talent to jobs. Their performance is graded solely as it relates to job-post-related metrics like:

  • Number of apply clicks
  • Cost per click 
  • Cost per applicant 
  • Number of hires
  • Time to hire
  • Cost per hire

But as the current labor shortage shows, an effective Recruitment Marketing strategy is no longer just about attracting talent to jobs — it’s also about attracting talent to employers. In fact, 74% of candidates research employers before deciding to apply for a job or accept a job offer, according to the Talent Board.

As a result, today’s candidates are searching for information about your company as much as they are searching for jobs. In other words, Recruitment Marketing practitioners need to act as content creators to showcase their company and position themselves as an ideal place to work — which can’t be measured against the same metrics as recruiters or product marketers. 

To succeed in this new role, you need to know what content and messaging on what channels are driving the most candidates to apply, which brings us to 2 new metrics you’re going to want to start tracking: reach and engagement. 

New metrics to understand your impact to attract talent

In tracking reach and engagement, it’s important to understand the number of people that your employer brand is reaching, but also make sure that talent is interacting with your employer-focused content so they stay interested. 

Jessie shared that she uses the following metrics:

  • Organic reach
    • Careers site and careers blog: new users and repeat users
    • Social careers channels and LifeAt hashtag: followers and users
    • Talent network, job alerts, events: sign-ups (opt-in)
    • Job board company profiles: views and impressions
  • Engagement
    • Social channels: clicks, reactions, shares and comments
    • Email: opens, clicks and replies
    • SMS: reads and replies
    • Web: time spent on site and clicking through to other pages 

To track all of these metrics, Jessie uses Facebook analytics, Google analytics, Rally Inside and email open rates from her CRM to help her understand if people are responding to the content she’s publishing. 

Rally note: Rally Inside is our new analytics & benchmarking tool that shows you what works best to attract talent to your employer brand by analyzing candidate engagement with your Recruitment Marketing content. Sign up for a 30-day free trial today! 

Understanding trends and making data-driven decisions 

Unearthing this data is one thing, but Jessie considers her real job to be telling a story with it. She identifies trends helpful in optimizing her Recruitment Marketing efforts, such as what works best by audience, which is essential for a team with a limited budget that recruits for as diverse of an industry as healthcare. 

For example, data from Rally Inside helped Jessie confirm that LinkedIn was more effective in reaching nursing talent than previously expected, which informed her that she should invest in creating more content for LinkedIn. 


Jessie learned that an effective way to appeal to nurses on LinkedIn was through content about innovation taking place at their locations and the opportunities this afforded healthcare professionals.

Jessie also uses the engagement data of organic content to inform her paid social media strategy. For example, she discovered in one of her behavioral health campaigns that she was getting clicks from states other than those in which her company had operations. This informed Jessie that maybe people in those states were considering them as an employer, that they were willing to relocate and that she should focus some paid advertising in those states, which she normally wouldn’t do.

Watch Jessie discuss what she learns when she reviews her content by audience:

Earning buy-in from leaders with data

Aside from informing where her efforts might be best spent, Jessie uses data to prove her value at the company, create a story of what’s happening in the labor market for leaders and gain buy-in for necessary changes and/or budget increases.

illustration of the data story

How Jessie views data and how to use it in her organization.

To do this, she condenses her data into a simple scorecard breaking down Recruitment Marketing performance into 3 areas: awareness, candidate quality and ambassadors. Each area is the culmination of several smaller metrics, including: 

  • Awareness
    • Website users
    • Job views per job
    • Digital impressions
    • Campaign clicks per spend
    • Social engagement rate
    • Other “top of funnel” 
    • Recruitment Marketing cost of hire
  • Candidate Quality
    • Applications to interview ratio
    • Offer acceptance rate
    • External hires
    • Time to fill
  • Ambassadors (current team members referring the company to others)
    • Glassdoor and Indeed ratings
    • Internal applicants
    • Referrals

The total scores in each of these areas are based on the performance of that area the year prior. Each score is also given a green, yellow or red coloring to make monthly performance easier to understand at a glance. 

Jessie sends these scorecards to leadership every month, complete with any insights she’s gleaned from the data. For example, the scorecard below shows a drop in awareness from June to July. Whereas a leader might look at this without any context and say “we need to spend more money on job boards,” Jessie can include in her analysis that, based on the comparative performance of her own content and ads, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and any other relevant sources, it’s related to a labor shortage more than a lack of jobs.

An example of Jessie's scorecard. 

An example of Jessie’s scorecard.

She can then offer her recommended course of action: creating more demand through employer brand content, which may or may not require a bigger budget and more resources. 

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Today’s job seekers want authentic content about the culture and employee experience of your company. As a recruitment marketer, your value should not just be measured by the performance of your job ads alone, but also the reach of the employer brand content you publish and the engagement it attracts from talent. In hearing Jessie’s approach, you’ll now hopefully have a better idea of what data to start tracking at your own organization to better reach and attract today’s talent. 

Sign up for the Rally Inside waitlistTo learn more about Rally Inside, read more here on how it’s changing the game of measuring your Recruitment Marketing impact. 

And be sure to sign up for the waitlist to get free 30-day access to Rally Inside.

The New Way to Measure Recruitment Marketing
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About the Author

Profile photo of Lori Sylvia

Lori Sylvia

Recruitment Marketing evangelist and community builder. Founder of Rally.

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