Expert Panel: Discussing Social Recruiting’s ROI and Top Challenges
The whole concept of “social recruiting” has gotten a lot of attention as more talent acquisition professionals have been able to attribute hiring successes to investing resources into LinkedIn, Twitter, and more. Today, though, many recruiters have this mindset that they “have” to be leveraging social recruiting, despite the fact that they don’t know where to start, how to measure its effectiveness, and so on. As a consequence, some are putting resources in the wrong places.
This panel was created to provide a number of tips on the topic of social recruiting, so recruiters can get more out of what they put into it. The first post in this two-part series defined social recruiting and shared a number of tips for those looking to get started. In this post, we continue that conversation, focusing on how to measure the success of social recruiting and the greatest challenges recruiters face.
How can a talent acquisition professional measure the success of social recruiting?
Source of Hire Gross Effectiveness, calculated as Direct + Indirect Costs of Sourcing a specific channel, divided by (total compensation recruited via that channel). There are two other metrics: Source of Hire To Interview, calculated as Number of Candidates First Interviewed divided by Number of Candidates Sourced by Each Channel. And Source of Hire To Interview, calculated as Number of Candidates Interviewed To Final Slate divided by Number of Candidates Sourced by Each Channel.
This is a struggle for many people. The most important thing is to track your actions and compare those to both the flow of applications and the yield of hires from those applications as a measure of quality. Effective social media recruiting should increase the number of applications from those online sources and, at the same time, should improve yield by bringing in a higher quality of applicant. Since you’ve engaged with this person and gotten to know a bit about them and their interests, unqualified folks will have learned more about your jobs and self-select out of applying/your process, while qualified applicants should naturally be that much more interested.
This is a good question. Ideally, you’d want to be able to measure all associated costs required to source and hire quality candidates via social media, and then be able to calculate an ROI. However, that can be a challenge, because the way social media is moving today, it’s not just something you do at a certain time each day, it’s more of a lifestyle. In addition, you need to be strategic on the campaigns you run. They need to be more than just about your job openings, actually considering how you might want to engage with that audience. So making those calculations could be difficult and even a bit subjective. Ultimately, you want to be able to track the source of every candidate going into the pipeline, so you know where to allocate your resources for the future and understand what to measure it against. Fortunately, there are now tools to help you understand your ROI.
Success can be measured on so many levels. The most obvious is your return on your investment. Where are your hires coming from? If you are having applicants that are coming to you because of your company brand and something you have done on a social level, then you have achieved success. If your candidates are just applying online with little to no engagement socially, then you need to tweak your social recruiting strategy.
The starting point for us, when working with any new client, is to define the audience the recruiter wants to reach, and what they want that audience to be doing in the next months that’ll produce the desired business results. For some teams it’ll be all about increasing the visibility of their employer brand amongst the target candidate audience, so the reach of social messages is the measure of success. For others the goal is to attract more passive candidates via social who aren’t being reached via other channels. So the measure will be the application volumes being received and what proportion of those are being shortlisted for open vacancies.
You have to be able to attribute “source of apply” to social channels. So it is very important for you to accurately log information about how you contacted a candidate. Use custom bit.ly links (or other trackable short-links of your choice) for advertising jobs on each platform, so you know which social network they clicked through to get to the job application.
List size, interviews, hires and speed. Of course, those are the easy answers, so if you really want to do it right, you need to set up competing hiring tracks to see what works best. One way to track is to look at companies who do no social and compare them to companies who do it well. Now that would be fun.
What is the biggest challenge professionals face when it comes to social recruiting?
That it’s quick and easy. It is not. It requires persistence to engage and have real conversations with people and understanding that the right time to broach your job opportunity is the art of recruiting. Far too many recruiters go the hard pitch route as soon as the person even winks back rather than gauging the multitude of factors that lead to the right time.
A challenge for many recruiters is simply not knowing what to do. There are so many resources, trainings, webinars, infographics, and everything else out there telling you how to be a social recruiter that it is overwhelming and a lot of people just don’t know where to start. What you must overcome is just that: START! Starting anywhere is better than not starting at all.
In my experience, the biggest challenge people face is actually measuring the ROI of social recruiting. But for those less invested, the challenge can be feeling too intimidated or overwhelmed to get started in the first place. There is no set social recruiting methodology. It’s really about relationship building, and the truth is it’s something people get better at as they go. Not to mention the fact that the higher the quality of your own social network, the easier it gets to source great people from it. Social recruiting is a long journey that recruiters have to be prepared to make an investment in time in, and let’s face it, lots of us are still doing it badly or not at all. At the end of the day, it’s about the quality of your network and the relationships you’ve built, not just how many connections you have in order to turn it into a useful tool.
I think people consider being on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and sharing job links to be social recruiting, but that could not be further from the truth. People spend far too much time trying to be “social’ and not enough time targeting the right audiences and driving home a concise message. I see too many recruiters spend time talking to other recruiters on social media and not enough time talking to candidates.
Hands down it’s finding the time to do social recruiting properly. Your team needs a dedicated resource to do social recruiting properly, whereas too often we see this being something recruiters are asked to fit into their week “when they have the time.”
Proving ROI is a major obstacle in most organizations. Companies like Jibe can help translate things like click tracking into usable data. No they didn’t pay me to say that.
It’s a skill-set most recruiters don’t have, and it takes time to do correctly. We pretend you can do it in fifteen minutes a day, but it’s not true. Doing social right is really a full dive, and sometimes, that’s not what you need to do your job.
Check out our new eBook, 10 Ways Your Mobile Recruiting Experience is Driving Talent Away. It shares several examples of poor mobile experiences, and provides tips for taking your candidate experience to the next level.