We’ve mentioned it before, but the current recruitment market has changed. Just five years ago, Google for Jobs didn’t exist. Programmatic advertising, responsible for a flurry of recent acquisitions in the talent acquisition space, was in its infancy. And the ability to post your jobs to Facebook was tested, but not a formal offering. As the recruitment marketing landscape has evolved, it’s become more important than ever to routinely evaluate your marketing effectiveness across all stages of the funnel.
As we’ve gone through the process of onboarding new clients for Change State’s recruitment marketing agency business, we’ve been shocked to hear how often analytics are overlooked. More than once lately we’ve been told that certain legacy recruitment marketing agencies apparently never even bothered to ask for access to reporting from a client’s ATS.
(For now, we’ll ignore the point that many Applicant Tracking Systems do not make it easy to visualize or export funnel analytics…so if you’re working with an ATS where you trust the data you’re seeing, kudos to you.)
Worse, those that do take the time to look at analytics often stop short of what really matters. One area of neglect we see most often is the failure to view your recruitment marketing metrics beyond the application. It’s a bit like investing in a consumer ad campaign and declaring victory when a prospective customer first steps in the door, whether they buy anything or not.
Driving candidates to your jobs is important and all, but without a clear picture of where your best interviews, and ultimately, hires, are coming from, organizations miss key opportunities to evaluate the performance of talent sources against the outcome that really matters: qualified employees that actually want to work for your company once an offer is made.
The perils of focusing on applications alone is underscored by two eye-popping data points from Appcast:
6% of advertised jobs generate more than 30% of total applications
50% of advertised jobs will return just 2% of the applicant flow
The implication? Through the lens of applications alone, a job board may appear to be delivering tremendous value. But not all applications are created equal: Driving too many applicants to a job that is overfilled, while business-critical jobs suffer from a lack of qualified applicants is a waste of your limited marketing budget, and from our perspective, inexcusable.
To further illustrate the point, here’s a recent example from new client. Vendor names have been blinded to protect the innocent, and numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10 for “math” reasons.
First is a visualization of the total number of applications received across four sources in Q1. Nothing shocking here: some applications from job boards, some from social sites.
Second is a visualization of the total number of hires made across the same four sources in Q1. Here’s where we’ve seen clients miss opportunities. Our largest paid source of applicants (“Job Board A”) is delivering the lowest number of hires.
Since the numbers seemed off, we figured we should take a look at their Application to Hire ratios as well.
Now the kicker: Job Board A was the largest recruitment line item for the client, and Job Board C was a close second.
So if you’re taking a quick look at applications by your top sources, your marketing spend looks appropriate. But further down funnel metrics can paint a much different picture for clients.
So what’s the story here? A few questions that came from this conversation – though we can’t give you all the answers in writing.
Is Job Board A is delivering poor candidates and we need to reduce spend?
Maybe Board A is set up to fail.
At what point in the hiring process are jobs being sent to Job Board A?
Are recruiters looking at applications from Board A differently than Board B and C?
And probably an easy conclusion: Social sure seems to convert well. More, please.
We’re all often drawn to a ‘more is better’ mentality. For this post we focused on visualizing applications and hires. The output of this initial exercise with our client was a deeper review of their recruitment advertising by differing job groupings. When you truly understand your ratios and how many applications, interviews, offers you need to make a hire you can begin to supercharge your recruitment marketing efforts.