Recruiting Content: 7 Ways to Measure the Success of Your Initiatives

Recruiting Content: 7 Ways to Measure the Success of Your Initiatives

Mike Roberts

Since nearly all of today’s job searches are done the web, the lines between recruitment marketing and digital marketing have been blurring for years. As a consequence, there’s never been a greater incentive for talent acquisition teams to enter the content marketing game.

Just as good marketing content can help to attract, nurture, and convert customers, employer branding and recruiting content can be used in the same way for candidates.

The challenge is, content marketing is hard to do well. It’s not necessarily the task of coming up with an idea that’s difficult. Ideas are a dime a dozen. Marketing teams often struggle in the execution and distribution phases of content marketing—actually creating something considered engaging and sharable and then getting it in front of people.

If you are creating employer branding content—videos, infographics, blog posts, articles on third-party sites, etc.—how can you tell if it’s good? In this post, we’ll share a few ways to do that.

1. Website Analytics

Marketing 101 tells you to measure everything. That’s easier said than done, but there are some staples your team should be looking at on a weekly basis.

Google Analytics has a goldmine of free information about the performance of your website. Basic website metrics to measure include:

  • Page views: the number of pages viewed on your site, which can be broken down by source
  • Time on site: how long people spend on your site
  • Bounce rate: how many visitors enter and then leave your site without clicking through to another page

This information is relevant to recruitment marketing professionals only when filtered. For instance, you can view information in Google Analytics for URLs containing example.com/careers. If that’s where you’re hosting your employer branding content or where you’re directing people with your content via social, then you’ll want to understand how your initiative is impacting the basic metrics above. Of course, Google Analytics is incredibly complex, and you can get as detailed as you’d like with how you use it. More info on ways to use Google Analytics can be found here.

Most likely, your marketing team is already using Google Analytics. If you’re not up to date on how to use it or need access, just walk down the hall and ask them.

2. Social Media Metrics

A spectrum of sites falls into the social media bucket. This includes Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, YouTube, and more. Depending on your candidate persona, you will be on some of these social sites, but most likely not all of them.

Social media performance can shed light on the value of content you’re putting out. Here are a few social metrics for that:

  • Social follows: how many people are following you on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook…
  • Social engagement: how many people are liking, commenting, and sharing your posts on social channels
  • Video views: how many people are viewing your videos (in the past we’d just say YouTube views, but now Facebook has its own video player and other sites like Wistia are gaining ground)
  • YouTube subscribers: how many people are subscribing to your channel
  • Social link clicks: how many people are clicking on your social links (use bit.ly or another link tracking service)

Of course, you may have numerous social recruiting and employer branding campaigns going on concurrently, so it can be difficult to directly attribute success to a particular piece of recruiting content. The idea is to try to correlate recruiting content publish dates with fluctuations in performance.

A few tools that can help you monitor these metrics include Audience, Buffer, and HootSuite. The best analytics can usually be found right on the social networks themselves, though.

3. Talent Network Opt-Ins

If you’re putting out thoughtful and unique employer branding content, then you’re probably thinking more strategically than most talent acquisition teams already. We could hope candidates see the content and then directly apply. But the fact is, not every internet passerby may be ready for that. That’s where a talent network comes into play.

Calls-to-action on or around your recruiting content to join your talent network can help create intermediary marketing relationships, so you can nurture potential candidates with additional employer branding content. Measuring talent network opt-ins is as simple as keeping track of the (hopefully growing) number of contacts in your database.

4. Career Newsletter Metrics

Getting potential candidates to opt-in to your talent network is one thing, but enticing them to come back to your site and view additional recruiting and employer branding content is a whole other conversation. A career newsletter can be helpful here, because on top of offering subscribers information about job openings, you can also continue to warm them up by sharing your latest content.

If you are currently hosting or planning to host a newsletter, then you’ve got to be monitoring its performance. Metrics to watch include:

  • Open rate: the percentage of people who opened the email based on the number of emails delivered
  • Click-to-open rate: the percentage of people who clicked an email after opening
  • Subscribes: this may just be the number of contacts in your talent network
  • Unsubscribes: how many people opted out of your newsletter/talent network

Your talent network may have capabilities for sending out and monitoring email performance. If not, your marketing team will no doubt have an email marketing system—although you will probably want your own system to control.

5. Candidates and Hires Generated

This could be hard to measure depending on your team’s maturity with analytics and automation, but the ability to track a conversion can highlight the true value of a particular source. Some companies are tracking source of applicants from links that lead to job descriptions, but fewer are tracking source of applicant from other sources like recruiting content.

6. Press Mentions

The intrigue and value associated with your content can surface in a variety of ways—press mentions being a big one.

We’ve asked in the past: What are you going to do to stand out from the rest in your employer branding strategy? Jet.com, for instance, released a video about its virtual reality office tour last year. That type of employer branding content got the company tons of publicity.

How you get this publicity is a different story, but you can work to measure the impact by counting up press mentions. Google Alerts is useful for this. You could also monitor inbound links to your site with a tool like Moz’s Open Site Explorer. An inbound link report can show you who’s linking to your site and then you can investigate why.

7. Internal Sharing

One of the best indicators of good content is whether or not your own employees are sharing it. Getting them to share may take an internal marketing campaign (or sometimes several) to raise awareness around the fact that you’re now creating employer branding content and why they should care.

This is a bit more of a qualitative measurement, but it’s an important one.

If no one is sharing the content, it could be that you’re just not doing well with fostering an environment for employee engagement. But it could also be related to the fact that you’re creating the wrong content. The recruiting content you create should be aligned with your candidate persona, which is a reflection of all the people who already work for you.

The Cost of Not Creating Recruiting/Employer Branding Content

The internet is so important to the job search process. Not creating employer branding content is tantamount to a marketing team not creating marketing content, and just hoping customers will come.

As we mentioned at the beginning of this post, creating good content is hard. It’s intimidating. Getting past that, though, and starting small with creating your first video or employee testimonial blog post is the initial step toward what could be an incredible journey.

Today’s war for talent can be won and lost based on candidate experience. Is your career site set up to convert top talent? Get a free career site assessment from one of our specialists today.

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