Metrics: Creating Efficiencies in Sourcing Through Media Spend Tracking

Company Q is a leader in the athletic apparel space, using digital sources to their advantage, generating millions in revenue online per year. Did you know Company Q also uses the same consumer advertising technology to source and track quality hires? How do they do it while keeping a lean budget? How do recruiters report efficiencies in sourcing spend to their VPs?

The answer? Metrics! 

Tracking the Responses – Applicants vs. Hires

Company Q is able to attribute completed applications to the digital source. How? When a visitor completes the online application process, the tags record the visitor as a completed application when they reach the “Thank you for applying” page.

Completed applications are recorded in two ways:

  • Post Click: Post-click data captures the number of users who click on the job posting, banner ad, etc. and complete the application within the same user session.
  • Post Impression: Post-impression data (non-clicks) captures the number of users who viewed a job, banner ad, etc. who do not click, but later return to the site and complete the application.

Track to hire (TTH) takes the process one step further by attributing the hire to the source. Using the same ad technology that tracks shoe purchases, the recruitment team is able to know which search engine keyword, which job board posting, or which banner ad drove that person to become a hire.(The ability to implement the tags necessary for track to hire is dependent on the capabilities of your applicant tracking system. Some systems do not have the capabilities to utilize TTH tags.)

Exposure to Conversion – View Impressions

How many times does an applicant see your brand before acting? Do you know? Where do they see your ad before acting? Do you know if the applicant acts immediately? Or do they see your ad and then remember it when having a bad day later in the week.

The majority of conversions are post impression, meaning the applicant does not act immediately. On average it takes a person seeing your brand around three times to entice that person to act. Exposure to conversion is the tracking process in which companies define the points of contact between first view and the time they convert.

For example, Company Q knows a purchaser searches “Running Shoes” on Google. They then go to Facebook, YouTube, and then finally to the corporate site where they complete the purchase (i.e. conversion).

Company Q also knows potential applicants run a Google search for “Jobs in Apparel.” They then visit YouTube, a Job Board, and then the corporate site.

The exposure to conversion metric allows Company Q to maintain certain elements of a media campaign with the knowledge that it will help drive people to act.

Track-to-Hire – Creating the Efficiency Ratio

What does a hire really cost? What is your ratio of spend to applicants to hires?

Through analysis of media placement effectiveness, recruiters know which media is producing candidates and where the budget is best spent. When you know where your best hires are coming from, you can adjust your ad spend accordingly.

For example:

  • Media A drives 50,000 applicants and 12,456 hires creating an application to hire ratio of 24%
  • Media B drives 24,000 applicants and 19,342 hires creating an application to hire ratio of 81%

Media B is the more efficient media based on the applicant to hire conversion. Even though it leads to fewer applicants, Media B provides better results at the hire stage. It gives recruiters less volume and more time to source/screen the right person.

This ratio also allows Company Q to cut spend from Media A and apply it to Media B with the knowledge that the most hires are coming from that source.

Level of Candidate vs. CPH

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There are always exceptions to the efficiency ratio. Higher-level positions will have a higher cost per hire then an entry-level position. Not all hires can be reviewed in the same way.

Track to hire will allow companies to know where those high level candidates live online (where do they seek out information and network).

The Conclusion

Company Q tracks all digital hires and knows what potential candidates are looking at, what they are clicking on, and what eventually truly drives them to apply. While many factors contribute to a hire being made, the efficiency metric allows for educated decision-making in the media-buying process.

Tracking this information is not a “set it and forget it” process. It is important to watch trends and adjust the sourcing strategy over time as new players enter the marketplace. For example, three years ago social media was not a place to spend recruitment advertising dollars, but now is a factor in sourcing candidates.

Companies must also have agreed-upon goals and the flexibility to modify those goals over time. This will produce an ideal method to track effectiveness and spend money in the right places.

Audra Jackley is currently a Senior Account Director with TMP Worldwide Advertising & Communications, LLC. TMP is the largest independent firm focused on recruitment advertising and communications. What’s more, TMP is the only recruitment-focused firm to be ranked among America’s top 30 digital agencies.

Audra joined TMP Worldwide in 2005 and brings over ten years of advertising experience to her role in the Seattle office. Using new media, social networking, and other innovative digital approaches, Audra works with her clients to develop sourcing strategies to meet their recruitment needs. Her client base consists of Biotech, Healthcare, and Technology. In 1999, Audra received her B.A. in Communication from Washington State University with an emphasis in Public Relations. In her free time Audra rows for the Lake Union Crew and you will find her on the lake rain or shine. She also enjoys traveling as much as possible.

Beth Abbott is currently a Digital Strategist with TMP Worldwide Advertising & Communications, LLC, She has over twelve years of experience in computer science, management information systems, and marketing.  She joined TMP in 2010.

Beth is passionate about new technology and helping companies leverage innovative digital strategies to strengthen their brand identity and attract top employees.  Her true talent is the ability to identify strategic online initiatives and align the business need with the digital opportunity. Originally from Boulder, CO, Beth has lived in Seattle for the past twelve years.  She has a B.S. in Business Administration and Management Information Systems.

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2 Comments on “Metrics: Creating Efficiencies in Sourcing Through Media Spend Tracking

  1. This is definitely a great topic for a post and I love that recruiting and sourcing teams are thinking strategically about evaluating what spend is yielding results.

    Interesting that this post is coming from an ad agency. I wish that ad agencies would focus on doing what they do best – creating ads, branding, positioning, creative, placing ads etc. They are awesome at it.

    The amount of misinformation being told by ad agencies who are now trying to position themselves as technology providers is alarming! I’m sorry if this comes across as “trollish.” But, there are misstated facts here and often they’re repeated when agencies are trying to sell “technology” solutions, I’ve witnessed it first hand. Agencies leverage the relationship they have had with companies for year to position themselves as something they aren’t. We don’t know what we don’t know, so because we “trust” them, we believe they can do it all.

    #1 your ability to track to hire is not dependent upon your ATS – there are true tech companies able to marry the data from ATS to your Ad tracking when properly executed.

    #2 Looking at cost per hire by source is not enough. What about quality of applicant (future hire), Time to fill, Cost per hire by division, discipline, department, region, manager, recruiter, specific campaign, event, etc.

    #3 An application or a hire is not the only thing of value, what about the passive talent you attract and nurture relationships with over time.

    When you are evaluating a partner to marry your ad spend with your cost data, consider their motives. Ask for evidence, and don’t accept that things can’t be done simply because your ATS doesn’t have source tracking.

    I agree that the real value you here, no matter who you choose to help you surface the data is how you turn that data in to evidence based decision making. We’ve come a long way from the days of just placing million in print and crossing our fingers. Keep up the great work sourcers and choose your partners wisely!

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