Career Site Optimization: 5 Candidate Conversion Metrics You Need to See

Career Site Optimization: 5 Candidate Conversion Metrics You Need to See

Mike Roberts

candidate conversion metricsBeing able to understand and quantify performance is the cornerstone of a data-driven recruiting culture. But in order to make informed and proactive decisions, talent acquisition professionals need information. The challenge many organizations face is they have yet to establish a standardized process for monitoring and optimizing key recruiting and conversion metrics.

As the tasks of both searching and applying for a new job continue to move online, there’s certainly a case to be made for developing a particular set of performance metrics around candidate conversions on your career site. For many companies, the career site is emerging as the number one source for applicants, so getting everything from how job seekers find requisitions through their apply experience is crucial.

In this post, we’ll discuss five different candidate conversion metrics every talent acquisition leader should be looking at and working to improve.

1. Mobile Drop Rate (for Legacy ATS Users)

It’s hard to discuss the idea of the mobile drop rate in 2015. But because so many career sites are still reliant on legacy Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), we’ve got to. As you probably know, legacy ATS have not kept pace with today’s digitally and mobile-savvy technology job seekers, and as a consequence when job seekers hit “Apply” on mobile, they have no choice but to email themselves the application so they can finish later on a desktop.

Mobile drop rate is a measurement of how many people email themselves the application versus how many of them actually complete it later on a desktop. As you might imagine, the application completion rate is often far lower than if job seekers could just apply right there on their mobile device. But the good thing about this metric is it can actually provide powerful data to use while developing a business case for a more modern candidate experience solution.

2. Career Site Traffic and Applicant Source

A recent study by LinkedIn revealed almost 50% of recruiting leaders think that “recruiting becoming more like marketing” is one of the top trends in the space right now. If that’s the case, then career site traffic as a performance indicator sounds spot on. Most marketers live and die by their Google Analytics data.

What’s important to note here is that plainly measuring career site traffic won’t give you too much detail into candidate conversion performance.

Just like marketers, recruiters can benefit from looking deeper into different sources of traffic and applicants. For instance, you might monitor referral traffic—which job board is delivering the most traffic and applicants? You could also measure traffic by geography, which can show in which regions additional recruiting resources may be needed. And finally, you might look into traffic and applicant source by device (mobile vs. desktop).

Similar to the previous point, traffic and applicant source broken down by device can be a helpful piece of information if you’re trying to attain buy-in for an investment in next-generation career site software.

3. Application Completion Rate

A staple of career site optimization is having the ability to glean insights from your application completion rates. This means looking into the number of people who hit “Apply” versus the number of people who make it through to the “Submit” button. Inversely, this will also show you application abandonment rates.

Depending on the technology at hand, you can dig deeper not just into what the application completion rate is, but also why it may be underperforming.

Recruiting analytics can facilitate understanding apply flow performance, so you can see more than just high-level application completion rates. They can actually help you—for instance—determine which steps in the apply flow process are turning applicants away. Or maybe which devices are delivering better results than others. You can then use that information to refine and adjust different apply flows.

4. Time to Complete

We asked a question a while ago on the Jibe blog, “When was the last time you went through your own apply flow?” Many people in a talent acquisition leadership position were embarrassed to say they couldn’t remember. If you don’t recall what your own apply process and corresponding candidate experience is like, then it’s time to set aside a moment to go through it.

Something to keep track of while you go through that exercise is how long it takes—or the time to complete. This is a metric many companies are measuring, and, again, breaking it down by device. If you have more than one apply flow, that should be accounted for as well. Modern technology can actually tell you how long the process takes, so you don’t have to do it yourself.

5. Job Alert/Talent Network Opt-Ins

Building on the point earlier about recruiting becoming more like marketing, some companies today are using job alerts and talent networks in innovative ways. Rather than relying solely on whether or not a job seeker converts by applying for a position, adding the option to opt-in to receive alerts about relevant positions in the future provides another opportunity for a conversion—only this time it’s more of a marketing conversion.

Job alert and talent network opt-ins are yet another candidate conversion metric companies should be monitoring and optimizing. Strategically placing calls-to-action throughout your career site and apply flow can help to organically build a robust talent pipeline that will pay dividends in a variety of forms over time.

Taking a Broader View of Candidate Conversion

Although we’ve discussed a number of career site candidate conversion metrics and opportunities, you may also want to measure and incorporate other variables that can be used for cross-analysis as the applicant moves through the hiring funnel. For instance, how is candidate quality impacted by the time it takes to complete an application? The possibilities are endless. But if you’re behind the curve, it’s important to start laying the groundwork for future performance improvements now.

The first step toward making any data-driven decisions is to get a better understanding of analytics in recruiting in general. To learn more read our whitepaper, Analytics in Talent Acquisition: The Hype, the Reality, and the Future.

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