All of our discussions about recruitment and employer branding marketing have basically centered on strategic frameworks and concerns to help today's recruitment teams make the most sensible choices and moves to either establish themselves or up their game in perhaps the most competitive job market in recent history.
Now, we know that sounds like a tall order, but on the flip side of this coin is something that is often less discussed in the recruitment marketing game – and that's the notion of evaluating the success or failure of your content marketing efforts. Elementary though it may seem, taking a moment to pause, reflect, examine outcomes, and tweak or adjust strategy or processes is imperative not only in any good recruitment content strategy but in marketing strategy at-large.
The trouble with something as specialized as recruitment and employer branding marketing is identifying the KPIs and critical metrics to evaluate your marketing framework's parts are actually moving the needle and what parts are merely landing on deaf ears.
For my money, the trouble with zeroing in on the right metrics is simply a matter of terminology. Talent acquisition and retention teams know all too well the right data points to evaluate when deciding whether certain aspects of their recruitment efforts outside of a marketing strategy have been effective, so now it's just a matter of tweaking the lens with which recruiters are viewing recruitment marketing data to best suit the reporting they already monitor.
With this in mind, let's discuss 5 signs that prove your recruitment marketing is indeed working and what that means for your overall recruitment planning.
It's safe to say your most commonly used destination for any piece of digital (and print for that matter) recruitment or employer branding content will be on your company's main website or a subpage of that site, which deals solely with your career opportunities. If your marketing content is designed and executed in good order, then it's safe to say the first key sign your recruitment marketing strategy is getting traction is consistent growth in your web traffic.
Consistent growth is the key here. Yes, it's easy to experience a small bump when running a campaign for a specific position or service line within your organization, but the goal should be garnering the same web traffic metric no matter the job you're actively recruiting for, time of year, the shape of the market, or other variables. This is yet another area where recruitment marketing and employer branding content work hand-in-hand: If your employer brand is strong and resonates with the kind of job seeker or applicant pool you're targeting, then your web traffic numbers should sustain growth no matter what part of the hiring cycle your company is working through.
In addition, be sure to track the number of views within your ATS (applicant tracking system). While some ATS platforms cannot provide this granular level of reporting, others are equipped to report on the number of views an application receives during a specified period. This data point will help you better understand if potential applicants are at least viewing or engaging with your job postings, which could help you discover better ways to convert those views into applications.
Social media following
Is the number of people following your company's social media platforms continually increasing? Are your posts experiencing increasingly high numbers of impressions? Is the level of content engagement (people liking, commenting, and sharing) your content seeing steady, sustained growth? These are all excellent signs that not only is your recruitment and employer branding content resonating with your audience, but that said audience feels compelled to share this content within their network of friends and colleagues, which in turn puts more eyes on your organization and the story of who you are as an employer.
A healthy social media following may seem like small potatoes, but let's think about this differently. For a long time in the not-too-distant past, employers relied fairly heavily on word of mouth and reputation for applicants to find their career opportunities and for current employees to understand and spread the good word about the company's status as a best-in-class employer.
In 2020, that's basically social media except amplified by about 1 million times. Now, with social media, word of mouth recruitment and employer branding is not limited to your community or your region. In fact, content that resonates and moves your following to investigate your organization further can reach people not only across the country but across the globe. Thus, widening your company's overall footprint and the candidate pool from which you pull today's top talent.
Whether through Google Analytics or reports from such career websites like Indeed, CareerBuilder, or LinkedIn, better understanding how job seekers are finding your career opportunities is an essential indicator in terms of if your recruitment and employer branding content is landing how you hoped.
Suppose job seekers are finding your career opportunities through branded searches such as your organization's name, a specific facility or location, or a specific job title that is unique to your organization. In that case, it's safe to say your story and narrative are impacting how job seekers are working to seek out your career opportunities.
In contrast, if most of your job seekers are stumbling onto your employment opportunities through generic searches, then your recruitment team still has some work to do to put your organization at the top of mind for both the passive and active job seeker.
Pretty standard question: Have you experienced an increase in applicant flow since X or Y recruitment marketing campaign was launched? But there's a slight nuance to this question that can sometimes muddy the waters: Where have these applicants been sourced? Or, how have these applications come to you?
Now, unless you have tracking codes of pixels installed across the entire spectrum of your ATS, you're likely relying on applicants to self-report in terms of how they found your career opportunity or from what source they were prompted to apply. While the latter can take some doing to understand or accurately report on truly, it's important to answer both of these questions (have applications increased and from what source?) to really understand if your recruitment marketing campaigns are successful.
Tied into our previous point about applicant flow, are you filling your positions with the best talent you believe is out there, or with the right brand of talent to ultimately help your company achieve its productivity and growth goals? Suppose the answer is yes, and you can tangibly tie that yes back to specific recruitment marketing campaigns. In that case, it's safe to say a victory lap is in order in terms of how you are executing a recruitment marketing campaign.