What are you doing today to learn from your past?

Most everyone has heard the famous quote from Winston Churchill “Those that fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it”. While this quote focuses on understanding the negative things in your past so you don’t do them again, I also think it’s important to look at the positive side as well. There is lots of information and experience from your past that you most definitely want to replicate and you need to be good at identifying these as well.

So the question is, how often do you look into the past to learn more about what’s good and bad about your recruiting strategy? Every week? Month? Quarter? Year? Do you even do that at all?

The key to understanding and learning from your past (both immediate and distant) is by measuring it. Setting up a system where you can collect and analyze key recruitment metrics is extremely important. Once you have this system in place, you need to create a methodology of how often you analyze your data, determine what are the key triggers in your recruitment funnel (# of hires, # of applicants, etc.) and figure out how best to achieve your overall recruiting goals in analyzing these triggers.

Let’s look at 3 great examples of companies using metrics to look at their past to make significant positive changes to their recruitment marketing strategy:

What recruiting channels work best - A Fortune 300 company took a look at their metrics and realized that the major job board that they had an expensive yearly agreement with was providing less applicants than the free job search engine over the course of the year. Since then they’ve split ties with the major job board and been able to put that money into other aspects of their recruiting while seeing an overall increase in the # of applicants they receive.

Where are our applicants located - A Fortune 500 company opened a job position and took a look at their geo-location data after a few days. What surprised them was that applicants weren’t coming from the geographic area that they thought they would and instead a majority were coming from one centralized area. They needed more qualified applicants and ran more campaigns targeted towards that area helping them receive twice as my applicants as before.

This is a great example of how you can look at the immediate past to produce important results in your current recruiting.

Where are candidates falling off - Another Fortune 500 company was looking at their recruitment funnel and realized that something was off. Tons of candidates were entering their application but very few were becoming applicants in their ATS. They realized they needed some way to capture candidates before the application and added an opt-in form that flows into a database as an intermediate step in their recruiting process. With this new step, they were able to capture around 50% more contacts from each recruiting campaign they launched and utilize these contacts via mobile recruiting and email for any future recruiting campaigns.

Learning from your past is essential to improving your future and a key to that is collect the right metrics from your recruitment funnel. I know that there are some great recruiting organizations out there that are doing this successfully and I would love to hear from you!

Let us know what successes and changes have you made to your recruiting based on the recruiting data you collect? And what are the best lessons you’ve learned that you can share with other recruiters?

Originally posted on the SmashFly Recruitment Marketing Blog.

About the Author: Chris is the Marketing Analyst for SmashFly Technologies. SmashFly is the provider of the first recruitment marketing platform called WildFire that provides companies and staffing firms with job ad distribution, Recruitment CRM, Mobile Recruiting and the best real time recruitment metrics for all their recruiting efforts online.

You can follow us on Twitter @smashfly

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