Corporate Career Site Series – Part 1: Measuring Results 7 Comments

This is a 3 part series, focused on deploying and managing effective corporate career sites. The 3 posts will include:

Part 1: Effective Corporate Career Sites & Measuring Results

About ten years ago, corporate career sites started to become more and more popular, and the emphasis on content began. Since then, hundreds of articles and white papers have been written and you wouldn’t need to look very hard to find information on the importance of a having a strong corporate career site integrated into an overall online and talent brand strategy. We know nearly 100% of all candidates visit corporate career sites at some point during the application or research process. With a strong brand and an engaging experience, it could be an organization’s top source of hire. Yet, what’s missing in many of the articles is how to measure the overall impact and business results from career sites, and what to do with the information once you have it.

For recruiting leaders it is a fairly simple process to build a business case for an online career center “makeover”. After that, a project plan is put together, internal and/or external resources are secured, the work takes place, and the new site is launched. Sounds easy!

OK, now what? It’s time to measure the impact and results. After talking with several recruiting professionals, consultants, and IT professionals, most hinted towards tracking the following metrics for their site:

  • Overall traffic, and unique visitors
  • Referring sites, to track where candidates are coming from
  • Session length, looking at how long each visitor was on the site

There are many flaws with this basic approach to assess and measure the effectiveness of your site. For starters, these or other fundamental metrics may be impacted depending on your ATS and CRM provider(s), the integration, and where your career pages are hosted. In addition, while still important to understand, these only give you a small piece of the puzzle in looking at an overall online strategy. Did I forget to mention we’re recruiters, not web experts?

The good news is you don’t have to be a web expert, data junkie, or analyst to dive into the mountains of information that is likely already available. Here are 4 critical measures to get you started:

  • Visitor-to-Candidate-to-Applicant conversion rates. If the number of applicants you receive divided by the total career site visitors is 10% or less, start working on a plan. There is a high chance your site is not attracting the right audience, or is not engaging candidates. It’s also important to understand the path of candidates that did not convert to an applicant. Where did they go, what pages did they visit, and was the exit point on the site.
  • Percentage of traffic generated from search engines. With job board traffic consistently declining, and an estimated over 35+ million active and passive job related searches being conducted every month on the search engines, it is vital to understand what searches are being conducted by candidates that are directed into your site.
  • Candidate quality by online source. Don’t listen to any job board vendor when they tell you “Great news, we’re averaging 22.8 quality applicants per posting”.
  • Integrated path and the conversion funnel. Understanding the funnel for your career site is critical. Start with visitors, and move through the various cycles including candidates, drop offs, leads, applicants, pre-screens, interviews, and hires.
  • Career Site ROI. Run your site like an e-business. You should be in a position to understand and measure the overall impact, return, and quality your site is producing.

While this is not a complete list of areas to focus on, it is a great starting point in understanding the effectiveness of your site, and visitor behaviors. When analyzed properly, it provides great information and will help build a stronger business need to make changes over time. Unless you are making a major overhaul of your career site, it is typically recommended to make changes over a period of time so you can measure patterns and modify content.

Partner with your internal IT or web strategy group to get started, and don’t underestimate the impact of your corporate career site has on candidates.

About Jason Buss

Talent HQ’s creator and editor is Recruiting & Diversity Leader, Jason Buss. Talent HQ is a premier online news and information channel for the Recruiting and Human Resources community.

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  • Posted on: Tuesday, May 20th, 2008