This isn’t a beginner’s guide to understanding analytics; however, even if you are new to recruitment analytics I encourage you to read this post for its tips for using Google Analytics to measure mobile recruiting activity. Then, find your favorite marketing department buddy and plan to explore Google Analytics with his or her assistance.
Why Should You Track Recruitment Site Activity?
An analytics platform is essential to the modern recruiter because it can inform your decision-making process, give you justification for new recruitment expenditures and unearth trends that will compel you to create new action items for your organization’s talent acquisition efforts.
If you’re already using a mobile-optimized applicant tracking system, you may very well already have access to a robust analytics dashboard that allows you to evaluate the behavior and source of your job portal visitors. If you don’t use an ATS, Google Analytics is an incredibly powerful and free alternate resource.
Even with access to a recruiting software platform with in-application measurement dashboards, it still makes sense to use Google Analytics as a complementary analysis tool.
Prerequisites for Mobile Recruiting Analysis
Before you can reap the data rewards offered by Google Analytics, you (or your marketing team) needs to do some quick groundwork to connect your careers website to a Google Analytics account with a unique tracking ID. If you do work with an applicant tracking software provider, ask its support team to install the tracking ID in your ATS portal so you have a secondary analytics option that complements your recruiting software’s dashboard reporting.
Once your Google Analytics account begins to track data, know that the information you glean will become more insightful as time passes. A quarter or a year of tracking information is more telling than a week of data.
Initial Questions for Mobile Recruitment Metrics
Google Analytics can be a virtual playground for the analytically-inclined. There are myriad ways to splice and dice data, but it isn’t going to be productive for you or your organization’s mobile recruiting efforts unless you look at metrics that matter and customize them to your needs. However, you must begin somewhere.
Consider “big picture” questions about your mobile recruiting activities and then use Google Analytics to create custom reports and dashboards that answer those questions in a way that suits your unique circumstances.
- What type of technology are visitors using?
- Where do visitors originate?
- What actions do visitors take while they browse the jobs portal?
Customize Data Elements for Additional Insight
It’s time to drill down to what matters most for your talent acquisition efforts. In this section, we’ll explore ways to answer the above questions using different tools within Google Analytics. As you and your team customize reports, you can use the answers gleaned to carve out which mobile job seeker “personas” matter most. Then, put action steps in place to compel more visitors with those preferred personas to convert on job opportunities.
What is the breakdown of site visitors by device type?
You don’t know anything about your mobile recruiting analytics until you know what percentage of your career site visitors arrive via desktop, tablet and mobile device. The answer to this question is the foundation for so many more decisions related to how you structure not just a mobile recruiting strategy, but an overall recruiting strategy. For smaller organizations, the general category percentages across all site visitors may be sufficient. In larger companies, it may make sense to evaluate this breakdown separately across each job category for additional insight. This latter approach will be applicable for further discussions in this post as well.
Which channels provide the most mobile traffic to the jobs portal?
Out of the box, Google Analytics provides a number of helpful reports that can serve as starting points for your data exploration. However, as previously mentioned, its power comes from customizing for your own scenarios. For instance, by applying a secondary dimension to the Channels report in Google Analytics’ Acquisition dashboard, you can quickly separate channel traffic by device category. Take it a step further by adding an advanced filter to look at channel traffic for one specific category such as mobile.
Then, edit the filter to look at desktop by itself, too.
Look for notable differences and start to ask why they exist. In the previous image, one possible hypothesis for desktop users being more likely to arrive via organic search compared to mobile users could be due to the jobs portal not being built with responsive web design principles. As a result, jobs portal pages wouldn’t necessarily appear as prominently in mobile search results than if the site was mobile-friendly.
However, you can’t rely on siloed statistics, so you must look at all angles to make informed decisions. For example, in some sites, the social channel may be a bigger piece of the pie for mobile users relative to organic search because so many people access social sites from their mobile devices more frequently than from computers.
For further insight, click on one of the channel groupings, such as social, for more detail about which sites in that category provide traffic to your jobs page.
Compared to desktop users, how many mobile users start employment applications? How many finish them?
Bring additional, essential context to the aforementioned metrics by examining them from a conversion standpoint. After all, improving the number of mobile users to your jobs portal across various channel categories is useless if those users don’t submit employment applications while they visit. Although you should compare the number of initiated employment applications to the number of completed applications over a given time period across all user categories, keep in mind that some people who completed during that time period may have started applications before the beginning of that reporting period. Nevertheless, you can still monitor percentage gaps over time for insight.
Compare this mobile user application start-to-finish ratio to that of desktop and tablet users. By doing so, it will become clear whether you may have an application problem in general; or, a mobile application problem, specifically. To put it simply, is your application too long for everyone because you ask twenty essay questions; or, do only mobile users abandon the funnel because they have cramps from finger zooming to see itty-bitty application drop-down boxes? (Assuming your site is not yet…you guessed it…mobile responsive!)
- Enable auto-populated candidate data from external profiles like LinkedIn and Indeed.
- Make sure text is legible and images are spaced appropriately without finger manipulation.
- Add a progress bar to your mobile application showing percentage of completion.
- Re-engage users who create a profile but abandon the application by sending them email invitations to finish the process.
Additionally, Google Analytics conversion reporting can help you identify opportunities to capitalize on emergent strengths and/or shore up apparent weaknesses.
The previous image might lead a recruiting professional to the following opportunities:
- Even though the email channel makes up a tiny percentage of mobile site traffic, it’s the most successful category for converting applications. Therefore, a relatively small amount of money and time may be well spent on developing additional email campaigns to engage job seekers in an organization’s passive applicant pool. If your applicant tracking system offers automated job alert emails, this could be a pivotal feature in this scenario.
- The social channel grouping is relatively poor at converting applications even though it brings more site visitors than organic search traffic. It’s abundantly clear that social media isn’t going away as a tool for recruiters, so this organization could re-evaluate the content it’s posting on social channels to include more calls to action that result in application conversion. Example: If your online employment application is mobile-optimized, share occasional posts about how easy it is for users to apply for jobs from their smartphone with a link to the portal.
Your marketing team can help set up goal conversions in Google Analytics based on a destination URL address or portion of a URL address (e.g., a user landing on your application “thank you” page is counted as a conversion).
What are notable differences between desktop users and mobile users?
Once you feel more comfortable navigating reports related to visitors, channels and conversions in Google Analytics (perhaps with additional coaching from your marketing “bestie”), start experimenting with segments in Google Analytics. Adding segments to reports allows you to easily compare different cross-sections of users relative to specific dimensions and metrics in a single screen. Segments can help you quickly identify differences between desktop and mobile users, U.S.-based vs. international users, or new vs. returning users, for example.
Google Analytics Mobile Recruitment Resource
As you can see, in order to reap the benefits of this robust analysis tool it’s important to clarify your end objectives and specify the type of information that will help you make actionable decisions for your recruiting activities. Start with the basics and then customize your view using filters, additional dimensions and segments.
Want to get a jump start on analyzing your talent acquisition metrics for mobile site visitors? We’ve put together a dashboard complete with recruiting-relevant report templates you can use as a foundation for your own mobile recruitment dashboard customization. Download our free resource and get instant access to the following data points just to name a few:
- conversion rate, bounce rate and average session length by device category;
- session and conversion info segmented by channel across different device categories;
- and, conversion rate by social network across different device categories.