On today's XtremeRecruiting.tv I interview Shally Steckerl and ask:

Question of the week:
With the many tools available for identifying and recruiting passive candidates how do you measure your return on invested time and effectiveness for your favorite web tools?

ipod with Big Biller bookCheck out Shally's video and answer the question here in the discussion. My trusted friend Dave Staats will judge the best answer and the winning XtremeRecruiting.tv group member will be announced next week, and receive an i-Pod loaded with over 10 hours of live interviews from my e-book Big Biller. You may also be interested in the book Happy About LinkedIn for Recruiting: The roadmap for recruiters using LinkedIn .

Ready? Enter your answers in the Reply to This box below.


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Bill, good morning - you raise an interesting question. If I may ask, can you let us know which role/angle you'd like the answer from (i.e. TPR, Corp Recruiter, etc.)?

I ask, Bill, because each role has different metrics/drivers (and more importantly, goals . . . such as reduction in TTF versus 'Avg Placement Fee', etc.), so therefore your notion of ROTI (Return on Time Invested) and Effectiveness may have slightly different takes.

If you'd like both, no problem - looking forward to hearing more.

Joshua Letourneau
Mg Director, SSF (Strategic Sourcing Framework)
LG & Assoc Search / Talent Strategy
BLOG: www.lgexec.typepad.com
Josh - I would hope you, and each person who participates, answers from their perspective of what they do - be it corporate, sourcer, 3rd party, HR or whatever.

Thanks for helping clarify the question - and now - what is your answer? :)
No problem, Bill - give me until around 11:30 est before I get back to this. I'm working on a placement in Hong Kong and Geneva, Switzerland . . . so I need to make these deals to further grow out our SSF side of the business!!! P.S. I love HK fees - all the usual fee pressures don't apply.
Good Morning Bill:

As a recruiter I measure effectiveness of web recruiting tools by asking:

· Are they affordable

· Are they easy to learn

· Are they easy to use

· Do they produce the candidates in the verticals/companies/level in which I’m searching

· Is the candidate background and contact information current

· Does the tool provide me with candidates that result in send-outs

Hope to see you at Fordyce in Las Vegas.



Ted Fitter
Managing Partner, Executive Recruiter
Specializing in Professional Services Sales
RiteMatch Partners
1628 North Federal Hwy Ste. 200
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33305
954-567-1011 x14 [office]
954-804-8866 [Cell]
954-567-1431 [fax]
Good question. I would argue that there are at least 2 perspectives that must be considered when determining the ROI. One is "absolute", the other is "relative". I would also argue that measuring this activity raises the same philisophical question that can be applied to almost all sourcing activities (attending trade shows, telephone sourcing, job fairs, advertising, etc.). I think this activity is a "process" rather than an "event" and as a result needs to be looked at in that vein.

Absolute Measurement of ROI
Value (i.e. return on investment) is measured by comparing the benefit against its cost. In this case, the benefit is the result produced (the best being a sourced candidate directly resulting in a placement); the cost is the hard dollars (if any) paid for the web tools plus the cost of time spent on this activity. Unfortunately, there are many other activities that comprise the placement process - sourcing is just one facet.

Relative Measurement of ROI
Because the same candidate MIGHT be sourced through multiple avenues, one really has to also consider the opportunity cost of using one tool versus another. In other words, what was the cost for sourcing the candidate via this method (use of web tools) vs. time and $$ spent elsewhere.

It's the confluence of activities that achieve the results we deliver. I would argue that a solid recruiter has a strong grasp of how to spend his/her time and is extremely aware of the law of diminishing returns as it applies to his/her desk activity. If a particular activity is yielding positive results (qualified candidates, submissions, send outs, etc.), the recruiter often invests more time in that activity; recognizing when the results are fewer and farther between AND ACTING on this observation is akey to success.

In the end, if a recruiter is working on a contingency basis, s/he charges based on the value s/he delivers to a client (i.e. a percentage of the candidate's annual compensation,a proxy for the value the hiring firm receives). S/he must has a strong "intuition" on how best to strike the balance among competing variables.

A vague response? Perhaps. But it's my 2 cents, for what it's worth.

One of the ways that I rate success is on Linked In. I send alot of inmails to people. I rate how many accept my message and how many do not. That is one way that I rate success. I use LI quite a bit, so this is important information for me to keep up with...ROI.

Carrie Darney
Artis Consulting
For the websites we actually post on we ask the applicant where they found out about the job & then run the report at the end of every month - then we run a separate report on how many hired from each site. The vendor runs us a view & click through report

For social networking, i.e. LinkedIn, MySpace, Facebook - it's time spent vs outcome - 2 trails here - one, did I hire an individual from contacting them thru these venues or did I get a referral that we hired from the person I contacted. I tend to use LinkedIn for management jobs & other social networking & blogs to drive people to our website to apply - then it's captured by our ATS. If my recruiters insert any candidates themselves we have a field where they capture where the candidate originated from. We also keep track of how much time we spend in these venues & divide that by outcome - # of applicants & did we hire.

We also rate the success of Boolean searches we do in our ATS & other sites by the number of viable candidates it produces and again, did we hire any of them.

We review our numbers monthly to see what venues worked best for which roles - since my dept covers USA, Canada & Mexico - that adds to the complexity since what works in the US does not work in Canada, or Mexico, and vice versa. Also, we review how much time invested by productivity - did we spend 10 hours on LinkedIn to get candidates but no hire? We have a wrapping service from our largest board so very little effort but if it didn't result in any applicants - it's money not time wasted.

I think you could give a statistician a lot of work to view it from every angle! Generally speaking it's how much money (time IS money) we spent VS effectiveness of the channel.
Your closing comment was very well put, Pamela!
How do I measure my return on invested time and effectiveness for web tools?

Perspective: 3rd Party

Two simple applications help me track these metrics. Our applicant tracking systems and an Excel spreadsheet. I am a big fan of keeping things simple. We run productivity reports from the applicant tracking system which grabs typical data like, recruiting source, number of applicants, submittals, interviews, offers, (dare I say turndowns), and starts, etc. What we can not capture with the ATS, we compliment with a simple Excel spread sheet that tracks where we searched and what tools were used for each open position. It is a simple grid with all resources listed and we just put an "x" in each box for the resources used in on each particular search. A weekly (and quick) side by side comparison of the two reports gives us a snap shot of productivity per source, per search. Sorry to report there are still no magic bullets!

We all probably have our own conclusions about certain sources performing better on certain profiles. For example, we probably will not be successful trying to find PMP, ITIL certified pros with Fed Gov or DoD clearance credentials by using the same sources we use for Java /.NET developers. By tracking each position against all the sources, we learn over time what works better for some profiles and focus on those sources when subsequent similar profile needs surface. This improves our ROI per resource while still employing any and all sourcing activities across the open requisition board. Unfortunately we have to try all the sources to build imperical data, track it and evaluate results in order to come to some conclusions on what works, or at least where are our greater chances to succeed. It's like the addage about money...sometimes you have to spend some time to make some time.

Thanks for the chance to participate, but of course, now, I'm in trouble because I did this during prime time!

Rob Laseak
Director of Recruiting
4Ocean Systems, LLC
A Veteran-owned Form

Great question, and one we're asked all the time (we're a digital / social media consulting practice that advises employers and recruiters on web strategy.)

Our solution is to track the effectiveness of different channels via web analytics, tied into the client's ATS. So we can track a business networking campaign across LinkedIn and Xing.com, CPC on Google, a social campaign across Facebook, and jobs on Monster, etc. The image shows how we can then compare channels against completed online applications - so, in this case, specific job applications, applications to join talent pool, and so on. This approach has some big advantages - firstly in providing (nearly) real-time CPA and ROI; it really helps on-boarding the clients / giving them some great metrics / KPIs to work with ; it allows us to optimize campaigns on a continual basis; and, perhaps most importantly, it allows us to demonstrate that the new approaches all of us in community are evangelising, really deliver.

The kicker of course is to integrate channel to hires via the HRMS.. hopefully we'll get there soon ;p

Paul Harrison | Managing Partner | Carve Consulting | www.CarveConsulting.com

With the many tools available for identifying and recruiting passive candidates how do you measure your return on invested time and effectiveness for your favorite web tools? Well... it's not always easy to measure unless there is repeatability. Therefor one could say with a watch a calender and an accounting system use to ally collected fee or commission earned... Next question?

Of course it is not the answer. The answer will only come with experience that enables a recruiter to develop set of matrix to measure our own recruiting performance . Of course such measurement criteria too begs for repeatability to support viability. Until then, I say let's not be so hard on ourselves... When we devise something that works keep basic track of how long it took to reach each step in the recruiting process. Make the placements repeat and improve as we track. Most successful recruiters are tracking their performance in one way or another - if you are not yet you should be otherwise we can get lost in inefficient and process work.
If I am reading the question correctly, you are asking us how we measure the return of the time we invest in "finding and recruiting" passive candidates using web tools and its effectiveness, not the actual hiring of them, so my answer will reflect that.

First, no matter the sourcing tool for passive candidates, I do look at a number "industry standards" that make up a total cost of hire, such as:

Time spent searching,
How many prospects identified
Ease of use contacting prospects and time spent (including emails/electronic messages, phone calls/voicemails)
Number of returned emails and phone calls (positive vs. negative)
Number of direct connects (postive vs negative)
How many pass initial screening,
How many interview (phone or in person)

Now with the advancement of Web 2.0 technologies I have new metric that I find invaluable; How many of the connections I make, both email and phone, can I convert into a connection with me within my web sourcing tool in order to keep them in my talent network/pool and most important become a motivated referral source. The more of these I can get over time minimizes the time investment listed above, making more productive and ultimately more successful.



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