Yesterday, for a presentation I was giving on HR.com on the Candidate Experience, I received a really interesting question from a attendee on Source of Influence:
How many touch-points do you need typically for a candidate to apply?
First, it’s a great question. I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t have enough data to give a definitive answer today but we are striving to understand this data.
Second, I see this as the next phase in recruitment metrics capabilities. In today’s recruiting environment, candidates are interacting with recruitment messaging and recruiters in a number of different ways. From finding job ads on job boards, niche sites and job search engines to engaging on social platforms to consuming information and messaging on corporate Career Sites, the process flow of submitting an application is getting more complex by the day.
Recruiting organizations are striving to better understand all the touch-points they have with candidates so they can know what initiatives they are running that have the most influence on the most qualified candidates to submit applications for their job positions.
There are a number of companies, including ours, that speak about being able to measure the Source of Hire for every one of your job campaigns. When we talk about this data we are really providing Source of Application or the last source that a candidate visited before they submitted an application. While this knowledge provides some value to organizations, the real end goal is to start understanding all the sources that influence that application not just the last one.
Let’s take a look at an example. We have an applicant named TED. He is looking at potential marketing positions. Here’s how he interacts with a particular organization:
So over a 3 week period, TED touches a bunch of places before he decides to apply. In many instances, organizations only know that the Talent Network email led to the application, if that much. But weren’t the other touch-points just as important in his decision to apply?
There are a number of companies working on providing this level of detail on what is influencing completed applications (and more importantly qualified candidates and hires.) I fully expect the first iterations to be available in the near future so recruiting organizations can have this level of insight into what is influencing their candidate conversions.
Marketing organizations have been building out this type of functionality and tracking for a number of years. And while it’s not always perfect, this type of tracking helps them get an overall understanding of what parts of their marketing mix provide the most value. Many of these marketing organizations have spent years integrating their systems to make sure these touch-points are centrally tracked from initial interest to prospect to sale.
For recruiting, the systems haven’t always played as nice. Many companies have data in a number of disparate solutions including:
In this case, many organizations have gone on their own to make sense and centralize this data into one place to make it easier to analyze and take out strategic insights from. But this is changing.
First, recruiting solutions are getting better at integrating with the big ATS technologies so this is not the hurdle that it once was (although it still can prevent problems). Second, the emergence in platform solutions have provided organizations with the opportunity to utilize all these tools in one solution which helps guarantee metrics integration across these desperate solutions.
By knowing what recruiting initiatives are influencing candidates to apply, you will better be able to utilize your recruiting budget and resources to focus on the activities that drive the most value for your organization. In addition, you will also be able to see at what touch-points the most candidates drop out of your recruiting process.
With this knowledge, you will be able to continually improve your process, provide a better experience for your candidates and in turn increase the number of qualified candidates that apply for your job opportunities.
This data is going to be available to companies very soon and so now is the time to think about how you will be able to utilize it to make better decisions.
What other questions would you like answers to in your recruitment strategy that you can’t answer today? I would love to hear them. Contact me @smashfly