Improve Year-End Recruitment Marketing Metric Reviews

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Dec 24, 2015
This article is part of a series called How-Tos.

As we head in to 2016 there’s always a little chaos with closing out the year. One of the things that can be very time consuming (and frustrating) when putting together those year-end reviews is showcasing performance of recruitment marketing strategies.

Many times advertisers and even analytics teams get caught up in fluff metrics and don’t put in the time to show context behind the numbers. By fluff metrics, I mean things like click through rates or total impressions. Metrics with no real context behind them, just generic values.

For year-end reviews, try taking your data points a step further with these data-rich insights.

Application and Hire Yields of Campaigns — I always use the gold mining analogy. Gold miners feed thousands of yards of earth through a conveyor to only yield a couple hundred ounces of gold. Recruitment marketing campaigns generate hundreds if not thousands of applicants and hires. However, not all of those applicants and hires are for the positions that you needed to provide lift for.

Let’s say you had a specific campaign to increase application flow for customer-service representatives that ran for six months and netted 1,000 applications. Of those 1,000 applicants, are you able to tell how many were actually customer service representatives? If you can, great. If you cannot, you’re in trouble. You won’t know the true cost per hire; you can’t identify channels that are actually driving the applicants you need; and, more importantly, there’s a disconnect with hiring managers when you say ‘we have 1,000 applicants!’, but then they say “we didn’t see any flow on our end.”

Application and Hire Yields are critical to understanding the performance of recruitment strategies. As I pointed out earlier, just because you have 1,000 applications come from a campaign doesn’t necessarily mean they’re all for the positions you were trying to provide lift for.

Viewable Impressions — The majority of online publishers and ad networks lure advertisers in with low CPMs (cost per 1,000 impressions) or the chance to get in front of the “right” audience. While that may be true, one thing that doesn’t get reported on 95 percent of the time is how many of those impressions were actually visible to online viewers.

Sure, if an advertiser had third-party tracking on their online display ads they can capture post-impression data. By post-impression data, I mean even if an ad fired on a web page where a viewer happened to be on, that viewer is cookied. However, it doesn’t tell advertisers if their ads were actually visible.

Reporting platforms, such as DoubleClick, now have the ability to report on viewable impressions, which marks a great shift in how analytics teams evaluate the performance of online display campaigns. We all know that a leaderboard banner on a top website isn’t going to drive boat loads of job seekers to apply, but it’s a branding tool. One way to tell if advertisers are getting the most bang for their buck is to see how much of their impressions were actually visible to potential job seekers.

Additionally, this provides leverage for media teams when evaluating media buys and negotiating much better rates upon renewal time. If an advertiser has 1,000,000 impressions with a $7 CPM, you may think that’s a great deal. However, if only 250,000 of those impressions were visible, advertisers are essentially throwing away 75 percent of impressions that they bought.

Influencing and Converting Media  It has been very difficult for analytics teams and advertisers to best visually represent path-to-conversion, or all the touch points an applicant took before completing an application. We know now that job seekers visit multiple outlets to do their research on potential employers before deciding where to apply.

Here is an example of a job seeker and all their touch points, but it’s an example that is very real life. An ad on their favorite news site sparked their interest (first touch point); they saw a promoted tweet on Twitter (second touch point); now they are going to Glassdoor to see what it’s like to work at the company (third touch point); then they go to LinkedIn to see if they know anyone that works there (fourth touch point); this leads to them visiting a career site with content about company culture and job descriptions (fifth touch point); they go back to Glassdoor to see what the benefits are like from others who left reviews (sixth touch point); and then they go back to the career site to start the application process and complete an application (sevent touch point).

One way to tap in to path-to-conversion metrics is bucket media into two categories — influencing media and converting media. Not all strategies include media that is “converting” media. Converting media is media that a potential applicant goes to when they are most ready to apply — career search sites and job boards mainly fall in this bucket. Influencing media is media that is intended to peak passive job seekers interest and gets them excited and wanting to learn more. This media could be online display ads, eBlasts, social networks, and sponsored content.

One way to show what is influencing and converting is by tapping into the analytics to see assisted conversions and conversions (completed applications) via reporting platforms such as DoubleClick. If a media has more assisted conversions than conversions, it would be categorized as an influencer. When a media has more conversions than assisted conversions, it would be a converting media. When there’s little of both, the media is likely not providing much value.

Recap  There are many ways to look at analytics and evaluate paid strategies. These few insights I described are way to go beyond the standard high-level metrics to show context behind the numbers. When showing the performance of strategies, go through the progressions of different metrics and try to align the right metrics with the appropriate strategies. Just like a quarterback goes through their progressions when deciding where to throw the ball, if the deep route isn’t there, check the crossing route, if that isn’t there check the running back in the flats, if that’s not there throw the ball away.

If a media isn’t driving applications or hires is it at least influencing other media. When hiring managers say they are not seeing volume, but tracked media says otherwise, see what types of applications/hires are actually being tracked.

A scenario I see all too often is advertisers will cut elements of a strategy because they are not driving volume, but the intention of the said element may not have been intended to drive volume. Peeling back the curtain and showing context behind things like applications, hires, and impressions will show what the real story is and provide greater value than just showing a strategy had 1,000 applicants and 50 hires.


This article is part of a series called How-Tos.
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