What are you doing to measure your social recruiting efforts? Because if you aren't doing anything to measure them and you're telling the world that social recruiting works then you're just winging it. Or if you aren't putting any effort in place to try and account for your efforts while squaking to your peers and colleagues that it doesn't work - well, you're equally as full of it.
This article is an entry for CruiterTalk.com's Recruiting Carnival and a follow up to last year's entry where I had the honor of posting The Evolution of Recruiting. It covered topics related to how some companies are unwilling to let their talent seekers dip into social channels to source and recruit. In summary my opinion was, and continues to be, that this is a short-sited response sprinkled with a dash of control issues and thrown into the #Fail bucket in the hopes that recruiters will stop asking about it or that it will simply go away. But guess what? It's not going away anytime soon and recruiters are going rogue to get it done. The best part? Some recruiters are savvy enough to keep pushing forward and are finding ways to track their efforts in the hopes they'll be able to come back to leadership/clients and tell a good story. Boys and girls, it's almost story time.

To reference, and get you caught up on the ramblings that bring us here:
  1. Where to start (what network?!)
  2. How to prevent a Time Suck (recruiters “wasting” time!)
  3. Measuring the Return (hires or applications?)
  4. Maintenance (okay, what now?)
I remember the deciding moment for me when I realized that job seekers simply can't be trusted to tell us how they found or heard about jobs they were applying for. I had pulled a "Hire Source" report that was from an ATS and sorted the hires by what they had selected from the drop-down menu that was available to them. When I saw that I had two new employees in Dallas that credited their hiring to an ad that was run in a niche magazine (and that ran only in Alaska!) I knew I was done. I've never pulled that report again and I continue to refuse to give validation to any report that leaves the hiring source selection up to the job seeker. After all, isn't this data a considerable factor in how we decide to spend our time and dollars?

As a recruiter we communicate our need to either the individuals or the masses. Either way, and regardless of our style of communication, we issue to those individuals a "call to action." We ask them to check out a posting online or to head to X to get more information. Sometimes we simply send them to our own LinkedIn profile or a Facebook Fan page to stay in touch. But whether we rattle it off of the phone, post it in a blog, text it via SMS or push it to our networks in a PM - there's an opportunity for us to track what we're asking them to do with just a little bit of effort on our part.

Some of us already use URL shortening services like Bit.ly or BudURL but aren't making the most of them. Over the course of last years events and conferences and webinars, I spoke with countless recruiters (and even sourcers!) that were using URL shorteners to do only that - shorten a URL. What if I said that all you rogue (and social) recruiters could use free services like these to not only clean up your communications but to track "expressions of interest" from job seekers? Okay well... I'm saying it.

So let's assume I've a new job that I'm recruiting for. Before I begin my recruiting and marketing I take a few minutes to create a BudURL for each channel of recruiting I want to track - Voice, Email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and maybe even one for my blog. This is quick and easy to do as it's just a matter of copying and pasting the destination URL and either creating a vanity title for it or letting the service create it's own. The resulting URLs may look like http://service.com/234hs or http://service.com/HotJob - it's up to me.
I will say that if I'm working on a job that warrants some special attention I might dress up the links so that they're each attractive to the potential audience as opposed to just random characters - but hey, this article is about tracking the interest, not marketing the attraction. Whichever I choose, I now have maybe 5 links to my job posting that I can provide to potential candidates.
Now I simply begin my legwork and distributing the links via the correlating communication channels. One of the great things about pushing these through social channels is that potential candidates have the ability to push (aka: RT/FWD) my links along to their networks. And as long as my url is intact - I get the tracking that I'm after. So depending on the tool used to create and track the URL's, I may be able to see something as detailed as the following.

The above tracking was pulled just minutes after a simple tweet that pointed to a page on the internet I found interesting. What it shows us is that people clicked on the link when it appeared on Twitter, Facebook (note that I can tell which pages!) and various pages/tools related to twitter. While this example is not a job post, it's a good example of some detail available on traffic and something I could share.

If you're really a fan of analytics you can export your information easily to spreadsheets or, as is available with some tools, feed it into Google Analytics as it relates to your domain traffic. An example of the end result is within the below chart. This shows an overview of the traffic that was a result of using various URLs (as outlined above) for a particular job posting. With some filter magic, analytical mojo and stripping of some other proprietary data, you'll see that the result can be pretty impressive. You're now a few steps closer to either finding out if Social Recruiting channels are a complete waste of time or if you've something you can start to build a case to your clients/leadership with. (or if social works for Job Type A more than Job Type B or... you get the idea.)

There is something to keep in mind, however. These are "clicks" or "expressions of interest" and are not applications. To track the source of applications and hires in detail like this you'll likely need more help and partnership from your leadership and/or ATS partners. Remember that the idea of this article is to communicate a relatively easy way for passionate recruiters to begin and measure the value of recruiting in social networking channels.

Does this cover in depth the way in which sourcing practices that can be tracked without cost? No.
Does this cover how each of these efforts could be marketed? No. (but c'mon... just give this one some thought.)
What it does lay out is some (hopefully) thought provoking ramblings so that recruiters and sourcers trying to measure their social recruiting efforts might start down a path of discovery - and hopefully share what they find. I know that it's exciting when we can add a bit of science to a profession that for so long was thought of as simply an art - and sometimes dismissed from meetings or budgets as a result.

So what are you waiting on? Get tracking!

Originally posted on www.RecruiterGuy.net & www.CruiterTalk.com

Views: 93

Comment by Joshua Letourneau on January 21, 2010 at 11:56am
Great post, Chris - your note about 'Top Referring Domains' is an old marketing trick where you're evaluating the traction of each 'channel'.

This is why we often see distinct URLs' tied to different TV commercials, etc., at different times in the day.

By measuring who is going to our site and when, we are able to cut back on wasteful commercials and only engage those that are working (and/or rework our message where it's not working).

For example, when posting a job on 'Site A', we may notice that mentioning our "Green-Friendly Strategy" drives greater traction, while 'Site B' better responds to a mention of our "Corporate Culture." Through this method, we can optimize each channel.

Great stuff, Chris :) Keep the good stuff coming :)
Comment by Tammy Duran on January 21, 2010 at 6:44pm
Great post Chris! Our company is just beginning to use social media for recruitment and hiring, what kind of posts would interest readers and get them interested in our company?
Comment by RecruiterGuy on January 26, 2010 at 11:21pm
Thanks for the great comments, Joshua and Tammy. Joshua you hit in on the head, as usual.

Tammy, I'm not sure I understand the question - are you looking to create posts about social recruiting in order to generate interest in your company? If so, I think you'll find a plethora of information and content here on RBC related to the subject - lots of fodder!
Comment by Anthony Sargent on January 28, 2010 at 12:00pm
Very useful information. I'm looking into some of these topics now. With the charts on your article above were these produced in google analytics or from the budURL app?


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