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Recruit Smarter Not Harder by Assessing Job Board ROI

Recruit Smarter Not Harder by Measuring ROI
Inara Prusakova/123RF.com

With so much pressure on HR to deliver, it’s rare when professionals can set aside time to evaluate what they’re doing – much less whether it’s effective. But when it comes to recruitment, particularly in today’s market, taking the time to assess recruitment ROI is critical. Smarter, not harder, is the way to work, and with a bit of effort you can determine where your recruitment efforts are netting results and eliminate avenues that take time and return nothing.

Avenues to draw talent

Company Career Sites

Think your career site is an effective source to recruit? A 2018 survey found that a mere 12% of career page visitors apply for a job. From there, only 12% will move on to an interview. Of that group, only 28% will be offered a job, and 10% will not accept. End to end it takes 270 career page visitors to affect a single hire. And once hired, not even 25% will stay on staff for a year.

Giant Job Boards

With literally millions of jobs posted annually, you’d think enormous job boards would net results, but again, data shows less than 15% of job board candidates are actually hired. The competition is fierce on these sites. Some organizations have SEO experts that can move their postings up in job board rankings; others simply pay an additional fee. But ROI may be minimal for the majority of employers.

Niche Job Boards

Posting on a niche site that caters directly to the demographic you seek is the smartest way to hire. These candidates have self-screened. They don’t need to waste time skipping past hundreds of jobs that aren’t in their future; they go directly to what’s right for them. Recruitment ROI is likely highest when specialty boards are utilized.

Assessing your Avenues

For many HR professionals, quantity is the marker of whether a recruitment site is effective. But sifting through 250 applicants, only 10 of whom are qualified, is a time drain no one can afford. Too often, by the time you’re ready to set up interviews, a good percentage of those are no longer available. Rather than assessing the quantity of hires, HR must assess quality of hires. And that starts with looking back, rather than forward.

Examining the Data

It’s always a good idea to keep track of where you sourced candidates: whether they were called for an interview, met with the institution, were made an offer or beyond. This data is critical to measure ROI. If you don’t keep these types of records, it’s a good idea to start. A simple spreadsheet will do, although some recruitment platforms will let you track data you accumulate on their sites. You’ll want to do an overall assessment though, so data from all sources is important.

To measure whether you’re hiring smarter, collect or analyze these data points for each recruitment source:

  • Where you posted each opening
  • Number of resumes/applications received
  • Number of candidates called for phone interviews (if applicable)
  • Number of candidates called for in-person interviews
  • Number of candidates extended a job offer
  • Number of candidates who accepted a job offer
  • Number of new hires who reported to work for their first day on the job
  • Number of new hires that completed 3 and 6 month anniversaries
  • Number of new hires that completed one year anniversaries

Hiring smarter means looking at where the candidate was sourced, true, but there’s more information to be had. Your institution needs quality, long-term hires. You may hire a job seeker a week through some job boards, but if none of them last a month, you’re running in place. The quality of hires is more important than the number of applications you receive.

A quick look back may be an eye-opener

If you don’t have that data at your fingertips today, you can still do an assessment of where you’re hiring smarter/not harder. Pick a selection of new hires that made it to their first anniversary and analyze where they were sourced. Is there a theme?  Now look at new hires that didn’t make it to the one-year, 90, or 180 day anniversary – does another pattern emerge?

Look through offer letters sent and compare to those accepted and rejected – can you uncover the recruitment sources for the candidates that turned you down?  Each of these data points reveals places you’re recruiting harder or recruiting smarter. It’s not just a question of money, although it’s important to get the most for your recruitment spend; it’s the amount of time, effort, and energy recruiters waste that’s almost incalculable.

Setting aside a few hours to analyze where your institution is recruiting smarter, not harder, is an investment well worth making. When it comes to the busy world of recruitment, time spent and timeliness are critical. Use yours as smartly as possible.

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About Riia O'Donnell

Riia O’Donnell has over 20 year’s hands-on experience in all aspects of the Human Resource function. Beginning as a recruiter, she grew to lead in all areas of HR, including employee training and development, legal compliance, benefits administration, compensation evaluation, and staff management. She has been a contributing writer for a wealth of HR, training, and small business websites for the past 7 years. Connect with Riia on Twitter at @RiiaOD.