In the world of candidate attraction (i.e. job ad distribution), the key metrics are pretty standard. This is not an article about new or cutting edge analytics that will help you hone in on KPIs to get your ROI A-OK, ASAP.
If you are measuring things like applicants per job, source of applicants, candidate satisfaction by source, application completion rate by source, and hires per source, then you are monitoring the right kind of metrics that will enable you to optimize your attraction dollars.
The big question is where are your metrics coming from?
There are many sources you can get your data from:
Your media partner
Your media partner is measuring (in most cases) how many visitors they are sending to your job description, or click-throughs. That’s about as far as they can track without having access to your servers/ATS/websites. Some have instituted additional steps in the candidate handoff from their site to yours, but this can increase the candidate drop-off rate.
Your ATS is measuring (oftentimes) the number of candidates who physically choose from a list which job board they came from when they apply for jobs. It is then using that data to measure time to hire, hires by that source, etc. The advantage of your ATS is that it can match the source back to hiring data so you get a bottom line metric for which sources result in actual hires. The downside is that this can be complex to set up, and maintaining tracking source data integrations can be challenging and result in incomplete or incorrect data.
Your job distribution partner
Your job distribution technology provider (often provided through a partnership between your ATS and a third party job distribution) can give you reports showing which job boards received your jobs and how many clicked through to your job page. Depending on whether they are fully integrated with your ATS or not, the source effectiveness data you get from your job distribution provider can provide ATS data on how many candidates were hired from your job advertising efforts, but more often than not this data is not passed properly. Typically a candidate with source tracking data is passed to the job description where they apply for a job, choosing their own answer to the ATS’s “where did you hear about the job?” field resulting in inaccurate source data in the ATS.
The Job Advertising Data Problem
In order for your ad source effectiveness tracking to be accurate given the differences above, there are several moving parts that need to be understood. Each of your constituent in the posting process is tracking different data that can give you different results.
Many organizations either make decisions based on incomplete data, patch together data from different sources without understanding how different each one can be, or ignore tracking altogether.
If you can’t manage what you can’t (accurately) measure, the range of different data you are exposed to in the job ad process presents a problem. It requires that you prioritize data and analytics in your candidate attraction efforts. In an environment where most job posting tools seem to be similar, digging a bit deeper to understand what kind of analytics you are getting from various options can go a long way towards realizing the greatest value from distributing job ads: Optimizing your spending based on results. With advertising being one of the largest recruiting expenses, data integrity and analysis must be a top priority.
So what should you be tracking?
- Data generated from tracking codes automatically added to the job URLs as you post them.
- Data that can be tracked through your jobs pages as candidates navigate through your site after being handed off by your job board. This allows you to measure drop off from the handoff and any applications the candidate starts to fill out.
- Data that gets pulled back into your ATS as candidates complete the application and are validated by your job posting system after a candidate is hired to provide a fully validated source to hire loop.
- Analytics that tie all this together to show you an accurate view of how candidates move from your ad to your site to your application, through your hiring process to an offer. These analytics should be based on a single unified tracking code that is used and read by all your various systems.
With a job advertising distribution system that integrates with your ATS and accurately tags and tracks the jobs it posts from your ATS through the full source to hire lifecycle, you can get clear, ACCURATE metrics, like the one in the graphic, to confidently optimize your job advertising budget.