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What Metrics to Measure for Each Recruitment Marketing Channel

What Metrics to Measure for Each Recruitment Marketing Channel
Profile photo of Sam Elsley
Written by Sam Elsley

Learn what metrics you should be measuring for 3 most popular Recruitment Marketing channels: email, social media and your careers site — and what you can learn from each metric

What Metrics to Measure for Each Recruitment Marketing Channel
5 (100%) 3 votes

Having so many channels to now connect with candidates is great news for recruitment marketers. But as you’ve likely experienced, the more channels you use, the more complicated measuring your entire strategy can become.

That’s exactly why we created our How To Guide, How to Track Your Recruitment Marketing Strategy. Aside from explaining what Recruitment Marketing tracking consists of and why it’s so important to your strategy, we also explore what metrics are worth tracking for different Recruitment Marketing channels.

Today, we’re highlighting important metrics for the 3 most popular Recruitment Marketing channels: (email, social media and your careers site) to help you gain a better understanding of what you should be measuring for each channel — and what you can learn from each metric.

This is not so much meant to be a complete guide on how to track each metric in detail but rather a jumping-off point for practitioners just getting acquainted with Recruitment Marketing tracking or wanting to take a more data-driven approach to developing their Recruitment Marketing strategy.

Without further audio, let’s look at what tools you will need to measure the metrics covered below.

Rally note: We’re only covering organic strategies in this post. Stay tuned for future blogs highlighting the metrics to follow for your paid ad campaigns.

The Technology You’ll Need to Effectively Measure the Recruitment Marketing Metrics

As long as the list of metrics below might seem, you actually don’t need that much tech to be able to measure and keep track of them. Here’s what you’ll need for each channel:

  • Email
    • Email marketing software with in-house analytics capabilities
  • Social Media
    • Social media management tools or the native analytics available on the social platforms (i.e. LinkedIn’s native analytics or Instagram Insights)
  • Website
    • Google Analytics
    • Google UTM Builder

You can also elevate your ability to measure your strategy with cross-channel link tracking and engagement data from Rally Inside, our free analytics & benchmarking tool.

Our tool shows you what works best to attract talent to your jobs and employer brand by analyzing candidate engagement with your Recruitment Marketing content. Rally Inside can help you understand what content you should be creating, which channels you should be focusing on and benchmark data to let you know what content and channels are producing the best results for other employers.

You can also see all of your data in one dashboard, meaning you don’t have to use messy spreadsheets when trying to track all your channels together.

Sign up for your free account of Rally Inside.

What Recruitment Marketing Metrics to Measure for Email

Are the right emails with the right content being sent to the right people at the right time — and is all of this resulting in the right actions being taken?

That’s a big question, but being able to say “yes” starts with measuring and tracking the following metrics:

Opens

The number of times an email is opened.

If people aren’t opening your emails, there may be something wrong with your subject headlines or segmentation (i.e. the topics you’re promoting may not be interesting to the group of candidates you’re emailing).

However, recent changes with Apple products and other email providers have affected the accuracy of open rates, making them a less reliable metric than they used to be. While you should still measure email open rates, they shouldn’t be your only indicator of success; combine them with the other metrics below for a more accurate picture of the progress you’re making.

Useful questions that tracking this metric can help answer:

  • Are your subject lines captivating enough? Are the topics you’ve highlighted in your subject interesting and relevant to who they’re being sent?
  • Does your audience want to hear from you as the sender? Are they interested, in general, in what you share with them?

Clicks

The number of times that links in your emails are clicked on.

Once candidates have opened your email, are they actually engaging with the content inside of it? You’ll know this by tracking clicks. For every email you send, look at which links are getting the most clicks. This is a great way to gain a real understanding of what your audience is really interested in. If people aren’t clicking on your content, it might be time to reconsider what you’re including and who you’re sending it to.

If your links lead back to domains you own (i.e. your careers site), you can also attach UTMs to them so you can clearly track how your emails are fostering engagement using Google Analytics.

Useful questions that tracking this metric can help answer:

  • What kinds of content does each of my audiences respond to most?
  • Am I creating and sending interesting content in the first place?
  • What is the best way to format my email so that candidates click on my links?
  • Are my CTAs (calls to action) clear and helpful?

Rally note: Rally Inside is a great way to keep track of clicks across all your channels while being able to bring in many additional data points — even when sending candidates to domains you don’t own.

Open Rate

The percentage of people who received your email that also opened it (or, if you want to do the math yourself, the number of emails opened / by the number of emails delivered x 100).

Are your emails becoming more enticing to candidates over time? Keeping track of your open rate can help you answer this question. For example, if month after month your open rate is going up, then you’re getting better at tailoring your subject lines and topics to your audiences.

Useful questions that tracking this metric can help answer:

  • Are your subject lines getting better en masse?
  • Are you getting better at aligning the topics you’re sending with the interests of each of your audiences?

Click Through Rate

The percentage of clicks on your link that generate impressions, or clicks / impressions x 100 (again, if you want to do math on your own).

Similar to open rate, tracking your click-through rate can help you understand the relevancy of the content and messaging you’re sending to your audiences. An upwards-trending click-through rate lets you know that your content and targeting are headed in the right direction.

Useful questions that tracking this metric can help answer:

  • Is your content strategy improving over time?

Click to Open Ratio

The percentage of people who open an email and also click on a link within that email, or unique clicks / unique opens x 100.

How well are you connecting your store’s window display to the products inside? If candidates see a subject line they’re interested in, click on your email and then find that your content isn’t advertised, you’ll quickly lose trust with them. Keeping an eye on your click-to-open ratio can let you know if this is happening (you may not even know) so that you can rectify the situation.

Useful questions that tracking this metric can help answer:

  • Are your subject lines too click-baity?
  • Are you effectively and accurately connecting the topics you advertise in your subject lines with the content inside your emails?
  • Are you building trust with your audiences or losing it?

Deliverability

How many emails that are sent are actually delivered to recipients’ mailboxes.

If emails aren’t getting to your audiences’ mailboxes, or the right folders of their mailboxes, nothing else matters. A faltering delivery rate can be indicative of all kinds of problems, including low-quality or unverified email lists, a disinterest in the content you’re sending and many others worth addressing right away.

Useful questions that tracking this metric can help answer:

  • Are your email lists high quality? Do you need a better verification system for when people first sign up with their emails?
  • Are you suffering from some technical problem hindering your ability to deliver emails?
  • Are people unsubscribing, sending you to the spam folder or ignoring you, lowering your email sender status and affecting your ability to deliver emails in the right mailboxes?

Unsubscribes and Spam Complaints

Unsubscribers are the number of people who subscribe to receive emails from you and then unsubscribe, and Spam Complaints are the number of complaints you receive from people who receive emails from you that flag your emails as spam.

Making your intention clear upfront to candidates signing up to receive emails from you is critical. Will they be receiving job alerts from you? Content related to their industry? Emailing candidates in ways they didn’t sign up for is a sure way to get them to unsubscribe or flag you as spam, and if this starts to happen too much, you can expect your reputation as a sender, and deliverability rate, to start to plummet. One way to potentially counteract this is by having candidates select what topics they’d be interested in hearing from you about when they first sign up to receive emails from you (i.e. through an opt-in form, for example).

Useful questions that tracking this metric can help answer:

  • Is there a disconnect between the kinds of emails your candidates expect, want to receive from you and what you’re sending them?
  • Is your reputation as a quality email sender going up or down? What changes need to be made if it’s going down?

A great example from MongoDB of how to set expectations with candidates you plan to email. Before being able to sign up for their talent newsletter, candidates must answer a few basic questions about the kind of communications they’d like to receive from MongoDB, helping decrease the chances that they’ll receive anything irrelevant and unsubscribe as a result.

What Recruitment Marketing Metrics to Measure for Social Media

When candidates research you on social media, will what they find make them want to follow you, engage with your content, share your jobs and content with their networks and even make the leap to check out your careers site and open roles themselves?

Making this happen starts with keeping track of and learning from the following metrics:

Impressions

Impressions is the number of feeds your content is reaching on a given platform.

You can use it to let you know if your hashtag targeting is too broad, too narrow and if there are any problems immediately after publishing something. For example, if your content regularly reaches 500 impressions and a new post only reaches 50 people, you know right away that something is wrong (i.e. you forgot to include certain hashtags).

Useful questions that tracking this metric can help answer:

  • Is your hashtag targeting too broad or too narrow? Should I be using more (or better targeted) hashtags?
  • Are there any human-error or technical problems stopping your content from reaching its normal number of feeds?

It’s also important to keep in mind that social media platforms are regularly changing their algorithms around what posts get seen by the audience. If a change is made by the platform, this can have an effect on the number of impressions you get.

Reach

Reach is the number of people who saw your content on a given platform.

If your reach is growing (through better targeting, more shares or other means), it means you’re going in the right direction. If you’re reaching a lot of people but none of them are engaging or converting, however, that could be a sign that your content isn’t resonating with your audience and that some element (i.e. visuals, messaging or targeting) needs to be revised.

Useful questions that tracking this metric can help answer:

  • How many people are you reaching versus converting?
  • Is there something you can change in your visuals, messaging or targeting that would lead to more conversions?

Likes, Views and Reactions

The number of people who Like, View and React (i.e. “celebrate” on LinkedIn) to your content.

What’s considered a “view” changes from platform to platform, but in the case of Instagram, a view counts as someone who watches your video for at least 3 seconds. If your views are stagnant or going down, try making your thumbnail, description or first 3 seconds more captivating to grab and keep people’s attention.

The same can be said for the number of Likes and reactions on your posts. While vanity metrics like these shouldn’t be your main indicators of success, they can still be useful to track in combination with more important metrics like shares and comments to understand if your content is landing with your audience.

Useful questions that tracking this metric can help answer:

  • Is your content landing with your audience?
  • Do different days and times lend to more likes, views and reactions?

Shares

The number of times that your content is shared.

Referrals go a long way in the world of recruitment, which is why tracking shares as a recruitment marketer is so useful. Even if it’s not a job being shared, a shared piece of employer branding content is still getting more people to vouch for your company to their network, which in turn can lead to more hires down the road.

Useful questions that tracking this metric can help answer:

  • Are you strengthening your employer brand in such a way that more and more people trust you enough to want to share your content, jobs and company with people in their networks?

Comments

The number of comments left under your content.

Comments are useful to know from an engagement rate perspective but more important than this is what they say. Are there themes, questions or criticisms that keep coming up? In this regard, comments can serve as a direct line to what candidates are most interested in knowing about your company and roles, which can inform your content strategy going forward. It’s also important to respond to every comment, both for employer reputation reasons but also to boost your engagement rate and help the algorithm push your content as far as possible.

Useful questions that tracking this metric can help answer:

  • Are there themes, questions or criticisms that keep coming up and that you should address?
  • What does your talent audience think of your content and company? What do they want to see in the future?

Clicks

The number of clicks that links inside your content receive.

In the end, you want candidates to take action, whether that’s to read a new blog post, check out a new role or something else. The best way to track how well links in your social posts, profile bios, link trees and other areas on social media are converting is with a tool like Rally Inside. You can use it to shorten your links to make them more social-media-friendly, keep track of how many clicks they receive across all of your social media profiles (and other Recruitment Marketing channels) and even see which content topics are driving the most engagements.

Useful questions that tracking this metric can help answer:

  • What kinds of content drive candidates to take action?
  • What visuals, messaging, topics and CTAs are most effective in getting candidates to click your links?

Followers

The number of followers you have on a given social media platform.

You can think of your social media followers as an extension of your talent database. They’re people who are interested enough to want to stay connected to you, which presents an opportunity to nurture them through your content over time. The more followers you attract, the more potential for nurturing and potential applicants you create.

Useful questions that tracking this metric can help answer:

  • Is your strategy consistently getting you more followers, which can be seen as an extension of your talent database? Is it attracting more people interested enough in your content, company and roles to want to stay connected to you?

Engagement Rate

The percentage of followers who engage with your content, or number of engagements (likes, comments, shares, views, etc.) / number followers x 100.

This metric helps you vet the quality of your followers. If you have lots of followers but a very low engagement rate, that means your targeting and content might be attracting the wrong people (or your followers are bots). More than gaining new followers, improving your engagement rate is more useful from a Recruitment Marketing perspective. Would you rather have 500 followers and 10% of them like, share and comment on your content or 1,000 followers and 1% engage with your content? (You would want the first scenario!)

Useful questions that tracking this metric can help answer:

  • Are you attracting the right people as followers, people who actually engage with your content?
  • Are your followers real people?
  • Is your overall social media strategy improving your engagement rate or not?

What Recruitment Marketing Metrics to Measure for Your Websites

Growing traffic, longer time on site, more conversions and a smooth stop in the candidate journey no matter where candidates are coming from are all signs of a thriving careers site.

Below are the metrics worth tracking (you will need Google Analytics, and possibly UTMs, to track them) to help your careers site (and other Recruitment Marketing website channels) embody these traits.

The Google Analytics dashboard you can expect to work with when tracking the metrics below.

Returning Users

The number of users who visit your site having already visited before.

Tracking Returning (and Active) Users will help give you a clear picture of how many users are coming back to your careers site. Whether it’s to check new blogs, check, open roles or anything else, candidates repeatedly coming back to your site is a great sign that they’re interested enough that they want to keep tabs on you.

Useful questions that tracking this metric can help answer:

  • Is there a growing number of candidates who want to keep tabs on you?
  • Are people repeatedly returning to your site to check new blogs, check, open roles or do anything else?

New Users

The number of users to your site who have never visited before.

The more new candidates visit your site, the more will check out your jobs and content, sign up for your talent newsletter and convert in other ways beneficial to your employer. It’s also worth tracking what keywords and pages are driving the most new users to help you understand what kind of content is leading people to find you on search engines.

Useful questions that tracking this metric can help answer:

  • Are your various campaigns generating more traffic to your careers site? Are the keywords you’re targeting, topics you’re covering in your content, efforts on employer reputation sites like Glassdoor worth it based on the number of people they’re attracting?
  • Are you consistently expanding your reach? What keywords, sources and specific pages are attracting the most traffic to your site?

Pageviews

The number of views each page on your site receives.

Which pages are receiving the most traffic or producing the most conversions on your careers site? Tracking pageviews will help you answer this.

Useful questions that tracking this metric can help answer:

  • What pages are visitors viewing most? Are you taking advantage of these high-traffic pages by optimizing them for conversion? For example, are there clear CTAs placed throughout or lead capture pop-ups installed?
  • Are there insights you can pull from top-performing pages that you can use to inform your content strategy going forward?
  • How are people finding your top-performing pages? What can you do to drive even more traffic to them?

Bounce Rate

The percentage of people that visit your site and then immediately leave.

This is important to track because it can alert you to holes or inconsistencies in your candidate journey. For example, something as simple as not having your logo at the top of your careers site can cause confusion for candidates arriving from somewhere else (i.e. a social post), which can result in them leaving immediately. Similarly, sending candidates to the wrong place on your careers site (such as your homepage instead of an area highlighting the department they’re interested in) can result in a higher bounce rate. Experiment with playing around with these types of changes to see what keeps candidates sticking around.

Useful questions that tracking this metric can help answer:

  • Are there inconsistencies or holes in your candidate journey that are causing candidates to drop off?
  • Are your page titles and meta descriptions accurately conveying what’s included in those pages?
  • Are you being strategic in where you’re sending candidates based on where they’re coming from? For example, say there is a social post detailing a day in the life of an engineer at your company. From this post, are you driving candidates to an engineering-specific area of your careers site or somewhere more general where they’re more likely to get lost or disinterested?

Channels

Which channels are driving traffic to your website and driving conversions on your site.

Where is the majority of traffic to your careers site coming from? Is it social media, Google, email, paid ads or somewhere else? Knowing this can help you know where to spend most of your efforts for the best ROI, or where you need to improve. Tracking your links with UTMs can help give you even more information around which channels are most effective (and you can include UTMs when using Rally Inside).

Useful questions that tracking this metric can help answer:

  • What channels are driving the most traffic to your careers site?
  • What channels drive the most conversions?
  • What channel should receive the majority of your budget depending on what goal you want to achieve (i.e. sign up for a talent newsletter, apply for jobs, etc.)?

Referrals

Places online that are referring traffic to your site.

Are other websites linking to your careers site, and are these referrals driving traffic? Knowing who is linking to you can also let you know where you’re being talked about online, which can help alert you to new potential channels to tap into or conversations to enter. 

Useful questions that tracking this metric can help answer:

  • Are other websites linking to your careers site, and are these referrals driving traffic?
  • Are there places online where you’re being talked about and should enter the conversation?
  • Are there new potential channels you should be looking into to connect with your talent audience?

Rally note: The biggest challenge to using Google Analytics is that it only allows you to track visitors to websites you own. With a link tracking tool like Rally Inside, however, you track visitors to websites you don’t own as well. This is useful because there are often places you can send candidates to that are more effective at showcasing your employer brand or converting them to apply to jobs (i.e. employer review sites or social posts from employee advocates). 

You can then cross reference this link tracking data from Rally Inside with applicant flow data from your ATS (or referral data from Google Analytics) to connect the dots between these other sites you’re sending candidates to and the number of applications you’re generating. 

How to connect the dots between the traffic you send to sites you don’t own and the applications you receive. 

Learn more about using click tracking to guide your Recruitment Marketing strategy to success.

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While there are many more possible channels you may want to keep track of (it depends on where your specific talent audience hangs out online), gaining a handle on the 3 channels above will have the biggest impact for most Recruitment Marketing teams. 

To learn more about what Recruitment Marketing tracking is, why it’s so important to your strategy, what it can measure and how to incorporate it efficiently for your process to make sure you’re always moving in the right direction, download our How To Guide, How to Track Your Recruitment Marketing Strategy!

Track your Recruitment Marketing all in one place

What Metrics to Measure for Each Recruitment Marketing Channel
5 (100%) 3 votes

About the Author

Profile photo of Sam Elsley

Sam Elsley

Sam Elsley is the Content Marketing Specialist at Rally Recruitment Marketing and a regular contributor to the Rally blog.

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