Our latest Rally community survey revealed that 34% of recruitment marketers work for someone who knows nothing about Recruitment Marketing and employer branding; 56% are working for someone who is learning about RM/EB at the same time they are; and only 10% are learning about RM/EB from their manager.
How are you supposed to be recognized for your work or get the support and resources you need to do your job well when your leaders don’t know how to measure your success?
The answer is you can’t, which represents one of the biggest problems in Recruitment Marketing today. So to help, I’m here to teach you how to measure your own success and prove it to your leaders — and it starts with the right measurement plan.
What is a Recruitment Marketing Measurement Plan?
A Recruitment Marketing Measurement Plan is a document that outlines the metrics that are important to track so that you can monitor, measure and analyze the effectiveness of your Recruitment Marketing strategy over time.
Whether you’re a seasoned data analyst or completely new to the field, download our free Recruitment Marketing Measurement Worksheet to learn what metrics are important to track and where you can source this data, plus get our recruitment funnel calculator to know how many candidates it takes to achieve your hiring goals.
Keep reading to learn the 5 steps anyone can use to implement a successful Recruitment Marketing measurement plan at their organization.
1. Get leaders on board
If you don’t have the luxury of complete autonomy over all Recruitment Marketing efforts at your organization (who does?), then your first step is going to be getting leaders behind your plan. I’m not talking about getting leaders to support your Recruitment Marketing strategy, I’m talking about your plan to measure the effectiveness of your strategy, although they are inextricably tied together.
To get leaders on board with your measurement plan, you’ll need to do several things. First, explain what you are trying to achieve. For example, if you’re trying to increase the size of your talent audience, getting more subscribers to your talent network or more social followers over last month is a concrete goal that you can bring to leadership. Or if you’re trying to improve your employer brand’s reputation, getting more employee reviews (hopefully positive!) left by current employees is another objective. Remember, you may also have to explain “why” you’re doing what you’re doing. There’s still lots of internal education we need to do about why Recruitment Marketing and employer branding are critical to talent acquisition. So come prepared!
Second, explain how you’re going to measure whether you’ve achieved your goals. More talent network subscribers, for example, might require more candidate touchpoints, such as pop ups on your careers site asking visitors to join your talent network or increased engagement with your social content leading candidates back to your careers site. With no way to measure your progress, all other aspects of your plan could fall apart, and there’s no way to establish credibility with your leaders without reporting on your results.
And third, commit to leadership how often you’ll report your results. If possible, show them what those reports will look like, and get their feedback now on how they’d like to see the data and have you present your analysis and recommendations. What you’re effectively doing is getting an agreement from your leader up front about what you’re planning to do and how they’ll know you’ve been successful. (Remember, your leader probably doesn’t know what successful Recruitment Marketing looks like!) Then when you come back to your leader with the report and your analysis, they’ll see that you achieved what you set out to achieve and you’ll instantly earn credibility.
2. Determine measurement for dedicated and shared channels
You’ve gotten the go ahead and support to start measuring your Recruitment Marketing strategy — congrats! Next, you’ll need to determine how to measure your Recruitment Marketing channels (for some, this may be a conversation that happens in the first step above with leaders).
You may have heard the phrase “owned, earned and paid media.” That’s the old way of looking at marketing channels. It especially doesn’t work well for Recruitment Marketing since there is a lot of overlap between Recruitment Marketing and corporate marketing and between employer branding and corporate branding.
A better way to view channels is based on the audience you’re reaching:
- Channels dedicated to recruiting where you are only or primarily reaching candidates
- Channels shared between recruiting and corporate marketing where you are reaching candidates as well as other audiences such as customers, partners, investors, etc.
When you’re using dedicated Recruitment Marketing channels (your #LifeAt Instagram, emails to your talent network, digital recruiting ads, etc.) you can be confident that your data is resulting from Recruitment Marketing efforts alone.
But for channels that you’re sharing with your marketing and communications team (your company’s LinkedIn page, for example), it’s essential that you have a way to track your metrics separate from theirs. Otherwise, all your metrics will be mixed together and you’ll have a hard time proving the effectiveness of your efforts alone. This is especially tough if you don’t have the same access to view the engagement metrics on those shared channels. You’ll be operating in the dark!
The solution is to use your own system of tracking and tagging, universally across all your content and ads, everywhere they’re promoted through both dedicated and shared channels. A tool like Rally Inside will help you tag, track and measure all your Recruitment Marketing efforts, aggregated in one place. And it’s compatible with all the recruiting and marketing tools that you and your marketing team use. So no matter how much you have to share your channels or how little access you have to in-house analytics, you’ll always understand how your Recruitment Marketing strategy is performing and be able to prove your effectiveness.
Another important note on sharing channels with other teams: it needs to be clear to the other teams posting to the channel the effect their content is having on your ability to reach your target audience (and vice versa).
As a general rule, the more people who like, watch, comment on, share and generally engage with content, the farther that platform’s algorithm will push that content. If you’re creating engaging content but the teams you’re sharing the channel with aren’t (i.e. constant sales posts), their content will take away from your efforts and limit your ability to reach people. Likewise, if you’re only promoting jobs, and not sharing content about your company culture and employee experience, your content may be falling flat too.
Chances are the people you’re sharing the channel with aren’t intentionally creating boring content. But for the best results, naturally reinforce (potentially with the help of leadership) the importance of maintaining a schedule of engaging content. Be sure to also share with other teams what kinds of content is resonating with your talent audience; if everyone helps each other create better content, the farther your content will go, the more people it will engage and the better off you all will be!
3. Measure the right metrics
Recruiting and Recruitment Marketing are measured in different ways. Recruiting’s goal is to fill jobs with the right talent at the right time in a cost-effective way. It’s typically measured by the time, cost and quality of hires. Recruitment Marketing’s role is to help fill jobs now and in the future. That’s achieved by both advertising current jobs and by marketing your employer as a great place to work.
Therefore, your Recruitment Marketing measurement plan must of course include measuring the cost of job advertising strategies, including job boards, hiring events, digital ads, etc. But what’s often overlooked is the measurement of your role in attracting and influencing talent to want to work for your company in the first place! So you should also be measuring your impact on increasing the Reach, Engagement and Reputation of your employer brand.
But what specific metrics make up these 3 areas? You can find a more detailed explanation in our New Way to Measure Recruitment Marketing article, but here’s a condensed outline to get you started:
- 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
- Social channels: clicks, reactions, shares and comments
- Email: opens, clicks and replies
- SMS: reads and replies
- Web: time spent on site and average pages per session
- External: employer reviews, comments on social media and industry awards
- Internal: exit interviews and recurring feedback sessions
4. Measure the right way
As you and your team get more mature in how you measure Recruitment Marketing, you’ll need the right tool to bring all your data into one dashboard to make sense of your metrics and bring you insight. Otherwise, you’ll be pulling data manually into spreadsheets from all your data sources like your employee advocacy tool, social media management tool, CRM, careers site platform, ATS, and on and on. And who has time for that?!
The problem with pulling data manually into spreadsheets is that it takes away time from doing actual Recruitment Marketing, and it hinges on your ability to accurately import, organize and distill down all of your different data to where you can use it to confidently make decisions. The last thing you want to happen is to base your Recruitment Marketing strategy off a spreadsheet containing data silos and data gaps that you can’t trust and you can’t support to your leadership! Even if you’re pulling reports directly from your recruiting and marketing tools, what’s often missing is a universal way to contextualize everything so that you’re looking at your channels, content and campaigns on an apples-to-apples basis.
That’s why many practitioners are moving to a Recruitment Marketing dashboard that aggregates data in one place — without having to constantly update a messy spreadsheet or go searching in all your different platforms to find the data. There’s nothing worse than your leader or a key stakeholder asking you, “How did that campaign do?” and you’ve got to say, “I don’t know. Let me get back to you.”
Rally Note: To learn more about Rally Inside, discover helpful benchmark data and find out how Rally Inside helps employers around the world to improve their Recruitment Marketing strategy, download our Rally Inside Recruitment Marketing Analytics Report.
5. Start right now
Creating a Recruitment Marketing measurement plan may sound intimidating, especially if it’s your first time diving into analytics, but I’ve got good news: if you’re posting to social media, emailing your talent audience, or running digital ads, you’re already 90% of the way there!
The final 10%, and the most important 10%, is adding a thoughtful approach to measuring if what you’re doing is working, if it’s getting you closer to a better employer brand and if it’s converting more candidates into quality hires. Otherwise, you just might be wasting your valuable time and resources on tactics that aren’t moving the needle. And you don’t need a big Recruitment Marketing budget or content engine to start now — even if you run one ad, send one email or publish one social post a month, as long as you’ve got the discipline to track everything you do, you’ll be able to show your results in no time at all.
To help you get started in creating your Recruitment Marketing measurement plan, download our free Recruitment Marketing Measurement Worksheet. The worksheet includes more detailed information about what you should be tracking and where to source data, plus our recruitment funnel calculator to know how many candidates it takes to achieve your hiring goals. We created the worksheet to help practitioners of all experience levels become more confident in Recruitment Marketing analytics.
Whatever path you take, my recommendation stays the same: measuring your work as a recruitment marketer is no longer optional.
If you want to be recognized for the full scope of your work, get the support and resources necessary to succeed in your role, understand the wants and needs of your talent audience, build a better employer brand for your company and hire more quality talent, a Recruitment Marketing measurement plan is just as important as having a Recruitment Marketing strategy!