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How to Use Google Analytics to Measure Mobile Recruiting

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.

Visitors

Primary Question:
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.

Mobile Recruiting Analytics Overview | ExactHire

Channels

Primary Question:
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.

Mobile Recruiting Site Traffic Organic

Then, edit the filter to look at desktop by itself, too.

Desktop Recruiting Site Traffic Organic

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.

Social Network Mobile Recruiting Analytics

Conversions

Primary Question:
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!)

Tips for Increasing Mobile User Application Conversions

  • 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.

Social Email Mobile Recruitment Analytics

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).

Segments

Primary Question:
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.

Audience Overview Segments Mobile Analytics

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.

Mobile Recruitment Analytics Dashboard | ExactHire
Image credit: iPhone by Gonzalo Baeza (contact)

Which Recruitment Metrics Are Right For You – Time to Fill?

Would you say that you are proud of the efficiency with which your company approaches the hiring process? Do you get excited about the opportunity to welcome new teammates onboard; or…you can admit it…does it make you cringe just a little bit thinking about how long it will take to get everything ready, round up all the interviewers to be involved and pore through all the applications? It all comes down to Time to Fill. In this second installment of my series about determining which HR KPIs work for your company, we’ll examine this telling metric.

In my previous blog about Cost per Hire, I indicated that there is generally a direct relationship between CPH and Time to Fill…in particular, as it relates to the cost of your staff members’ time to be involved in a drawn out hiring process. Take too much time to hire and the business could suffer due to lower productivity, and rush through the process and risk hiring the wrong candidate which will just negatively impact your turnover metric down the road.

How critical time to fill is relative to other HR metrics for your organization only you can determine, but consider this: just because you are a small or medium-sized organization doesn’t mean that you should get by with fewer steps in a shorter hiring process. Small companies can’t afford to “wing it” as it really can take the whole village to hire and onboard a new employee. Any size company can be diligent in making the many steps involved in the recruiting process turnkey; however.

Where Do You Spend Your Time to Hire?

If you’re like me, you manage by what you measure. And when I’m trying to lose a few pounds you can bet I’m recording my calories on my FitBit app…or if our household wants to save up for the next remodeling project, we’re entering our daily expenses into a spreadsheet. Even if I choose to indulge myself every once in awhile, overall by watching my behavior I change it for the better. Having the data in front of me helps me more intimately consider cause and effect. The same is true for the hiring process. Its easy to let a day turn into days and days into weeks when you are progressing through various milestones such as applicant review and interview scheduling without really monitoring your timeframe closely. That can easily translate into disengaged applicants that pursue other companies…and its a vicious cycle, your process then becomes even longer.

A Well-Oiled Time to Fill Machine

So, in the spirit of hiring introspection, let’s look at some basic hiring process stages and ideas for making them thorough, yet as time sensitive as possible.

Job description development

    • Have up to date job templates for frequently hired positions in place and then use them as a base from which to create more specific job listings
    • Use the job listing as an opportunity to set clear expectations about role requirements so that certain candidates self-select out of the process if its clear it won’t be the right fit
    • Create a Job Success Factors page to accompany the job description to paint a more vivid picture about a day in the life of this position

Post jobs to external boards & social media

Review applications and resumes

  • Set aside blocks of time throughout your week dedicated to application review so it doesn’t fall by the wayside
  • Use filters attached to job-specific screening questions to quickly view only applicants that meet basic qualifications
  • Have a comprehensive list of applicant status codes or dispositions already in place so that its easy to assign and continuously update applicants’ place in the hiring process

Conduct pre-screens

Applicant correspondence

Prepare notes & feedback

Pre-employment testing & assessment

Schedule coordination for in-house interviews

  • Request access to the calendars of others involved in the hiring process internally so that you may quickly see when they are/aren’t available
  • At the onset of the hiring process, reserve blocks of time on potential interviewers’ calendars in advance so that you know you can count on them tentatively being available during those times (even if it is a few weeks out)
  • Utilize video conferencing tools (i.e. basic ones could include Skype, Google Hangouts or GoToMeeting to name just a few) to schedule interviews earlier than they might be otherwise if the candidate were to have to travel to your office

Collect hiring manager feedback

Candidate communication – yays & nays

  • Engage applicants by proactively communicating to them about their status in your selection process
  • This can be done quickly by using email templates that include personalization strings (to populate the first name of the person and the position to which he/she applied, for example) and the ability to update applicant records in mass groupings within an ATS

Extend conditional offer of employment

  • Again, have a template for the language you typically use in offer letters/packages ready to go in an existing template
  • Give the candidate a clear deadline for responding
  • Explain the process of collecting information necessary to conduct background/reference checks, etc. in advance to the candidate should he/she accept

Conduct background and/or reference checks

  • Utilize a web-based form for collecting information necessary to run checks…embed the URL address for the secure form into a template in your ATS and quickly invite applicants right from the applicant record
  • Alternatively, check if your provider has a web services integration with your background check and/or reference check resource

Coordinate onboarding logistics with staff

  • Create an email distribution list of all the employees in your organization who should be involved in the onboarding of a new employee – that way, a quick message and/or checklist can be initiated with these people when the time is right simply by emailing one address
  • Incorporate employee onboarding software into your process so that, based on the division to which the new employee is hired, the appropriate staff members are automatically prompted of onboarding process and receive notification when new hire paperwork forms must be approved and/or electronically countersigned

Finalize start date details with new hire

  • Communicate with new hire to confirm start date and if onboarding software is in place, go ahead and explain that applicant will be receiving email prompting him/her to login and approve and sign various employment paperwork files

If you aren’t already employing many of these tips in your process, before you start consider documenting your average time to fill. Then, once some additional time-saving measures are put into place and in action over a period of a few months, measure your average time to fill metric again and see to what extent your organization’s efficiency has improved on that front. Share the success with your team and your CFO…as quantitative KPI info like this is exactly what you need to justify the cost/time involved with future process improvements. The ROI is there when you can create a turnkey process based on sound fundamentals.

ExactHire’s hiring software applications help small and medium-sized companies automate and improve the recruiting and onboarding processes. For more information on how our tools can impact your time-to-fill KPI, please visit our resources page or contact us.

Which Recruitment Metrics Are Right For You – Cost Per Hire?

In the age of Big Data, we have access to crunch numbers and draw insightful conclusions in many situations. The recruiting and human resources realm is no exception thanks to ATS, HRIS, LMS…and many other alphabet soup acronyms. But sometimes having that much information at our fingertips can be disabling and intimidating if we aren’t sure which metrics are worth our attention for our specific company. And let’s say you do know which KPIs will serve you well…how do you then decide on appropriate benchmarks for each metric for your business?

It may not be as simple as relying on comparisons for your industry because many factors can come into play such as your company size, geographic area, organizational culture, compensation and benefits package, number of steps in the hiring process and brand reputation. But, you’ve got to start somewhere…and as my favorite high school Composition teacher Mr. Barlowe often reminded me, “you’ve got to know the rules before you can break the rules!” Or for our purposes…know the meaning of various metrics before deciding which ones to throw out the window.

With that in mind, this blog series will provide a run-down of some metrics, AND mitigating factors, that might influence your decision on whether each could be a powerful piece in your recruitment dashboard. First, we’ll examine…

Cost Per Hire (CPH)

The average costs associated with hiring an employee for your company are comprised of both tangible expenses and the opportunity costs of various individuals’ time tied up in the selection process. While its easier to calculate the former by tallying expenses such as external job board postings, staffing firm services and criminal background check fees, figuring the cost of your staff members’ time is a little trickier as it varies with individual role and employee. While I’ll focus on some quick basics in this blog, for a comprehensive look at the CPH metric, check out this collaborative effort between ANSI and SHRM.

Why Hiring Costs Matter

CFOs love numbers like this as it directly relates to the bottom line and, over time, can keep you honest if recruiting expenses begin to inflate without generating improved efficiency in the selection process and/or quality of hire. You can use it to look for trends over time and across positions, as well as give your hiring managers a gentle nudge urging them to make up their mind more quickly if their indecision (or lack of sense or urgency to responding to applicants quickly) affects this indicator. Here are just a few examples of items that may contribute to your cost per hire calculations:

The cost of time to…

  • Write a job description
  • Push a job listing to various external job boards (will vary depending on hiring software that may or may not be in place) – and maybe you’ll need time to research which job boards will be best suited for your role, too.
  • Review applications and conduct phone interviews. An applicant tracking system (ATS) – though an expense – might save one enough time in shortening the screening process to be worth it.
  • Develop interview questions
  • Correspond with applicants to schedule interviews and send rejection notices
  • Prepare materials to recap applicants’ initial pre-screen for hiring managers
  • Make up for any revenue lost from stakeholders involved in the process that were pulled away from any normal money-generating activities
  • Coordinate the logistics involved with onboarding a new employee prior to their start date

The hard cost for…

Mitigating Factors for CPH Benchmarking

There is a direct relationship between cost per hire and time to fill (another metric to be discussed in the next installment of this series). So, the longer it takes you to find someone for a position, the higher your cost per hire figure will climb. However, while keeping expenses in line should naturally be important, you probably don’t want to pinch pennies so much that you are unable to successfully hire the right individuals. Here are some potential factors to consider:

  • If you historically just can’t find enough applicants for a position that is open frequently, then it’s reasonable to expect that your company might need to fork up the money for paid job boards or booths at job fairs.
  • If certain positions in your industry are uber-competitive, then grab your share of the limited candidate supply by considering a signing bonus.
  • Despite time being money, if you have previously rushed through the selection process to fill a seat with a warm body, then slowing down to make sure you find the right candidate for not only the position, but the company culture, just makes sense.
  • If you are a small company, it may be hard not to have a CPH that is especially weighed down by the opportunity cost of employees’ time. With fewer people on the team, everyone must wear many hats and contribute a great deal of time to the hiring process. Each new employee is that much more critical in a small business that may not be able to afford to make hiring mistakes.

Cost per hire may very well be an important element in your analysis of recruiting efforts. Looking at the fluctuations to this metric over time for your specific organization will allow you to make the appropriate adjustments and decisions to propel your business forward.

HireCentric applicant tracking software from ExactHire is specifically geared toward the SMB market. For more information on how this tool can impact your CPH, please visit our resources page or contact us.

13 Reasons Why HR, Recruiting & Marketing Should Be Besties

There are times when the human resources and/or recruiting departments could use a little…er…makeover. Nothing too drastic…maybe just a new up-do or a shiny coat of polish. Or, maybe your HR team is on the verge of a surprise appearance (unbeknownst to you of course) on What Not To Wear when it comes to your recruiting and employee engagement techniques.

Regardless of the extent to which your department may need some dollin’ up, your dream stylist might be just down the hall. Yes. Your company’s marketing department could just be your potential new best friend and ticket to avoiding bad HaiR days. Consider the myriad ways in which their team may be able to help put a little groove back in your gait…

#1 – Attraction. Persuasion. Convincing Others.

Like recruiting, marketing deals in the trade of engaging and intriguing others to take action. The only difference is the context in which this occurs. Recruiting (hopefully) persuades individuals to apply and accept job offers with a company. Marketing produces content that helps to convince others (along with sales) to purchase products and/or services from the business. Though arguably, the scope of their activities may very well exceed the same efforts in human resources…as you may not always be hiring, and it might just be one item on your plate when you are in that mode. Sit down with your favorite marketer to find out about his/her department’s overall vision for attracting customers.

“Like recruiting, marketing deals in the trade of engaging and intriguing others to take action.”

#2 – Their Brand Strategy Leaves a Mark – & I Don’t Mean on a Cow

The marketers in your company are the keepers of the brand…fussing over every detail related to how people perceive not just the visual elements of your organization, but also how the brand makes them feel. I probably don’t have to tell you…remember when they freaked out about your email signature having hyphens in the phone number instead of dots?

Your employment brand is equally as critical as your company’s overall brand…and they should go hand in hand. Its important to think about how applicants and employees, especially, feel about the way you handle the selection process and your efforts to engage employees. A buddy in marketing can help you to think about the little details that will help to improve this brand…maybe even guide you in planning a recruitment-specific logo?

#3 – They’ll Blind You With Science Technology

Being an HR-type person myself, and arguably tech savvy, I do realize that there are of course some software-lovin’ human resources people out there. Though for me, I think my SaaS passion comes from my marketing/sales background…not from the fact that I have my PHR certification. And, I know that not every human capital expert is as comfortable using the latest social media sites and software applications as the majority of their marketing counterparts.

Especially when it comes to the latest social media trends, pick the brain of your promotions team for advice on how you can best utilize sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, etc. to create a following of people interested in all things “employment” at your company. Plus, they can probably let you in on a few integration tips so that you can automate the posting of job opportunities to your social profiles.

#4 – Their Packaging Creates a Special Delivery

You know the phrase…maybe you last heard it on an episode of American Idol or The Voice. “You’re really the whole package.” Marketing is more than a logo and a snazzy brochure. Its understanding the buyer experience and all that goes into it. Its intentionally crafting that experience to elicit the desired buyer behavior. The same applies for the recruiting process.

  • What expectations do you set with applicants about the interview process?
  • How do you package the career-related content on your webpage?
  • How does an applicant feel after receiving and reading an email notification in which they are ultimately rejected for the position?

Unless you already have a warm fuzzy about all these questions, get some constructive criticism from down the hall.

#5 – Targeted Recruitment Marketing Probably Can’t Hurt

If you’re a large enough business, then you may hire for positions ranging from IT to machine operator to administrative assistant. However, it’s unlikely that the applicants for these diverse positions will respond to the same types of call-outs, job boards and employee testimonials, right? That’s where audience segmentation can come in handy…and that should be old hat for your marketing peeps. They can walk you through the things to consider when creating your distinct lists (like previous behavior, for example), and then help you develop different sets of content/messaging that will suit the unique needs of each applicant population. Maybe even try out a retargeting campaign online…you know those ads for the amazing boots that follow you around on every website after you looked at them once on the Macy’s site two weeks ago. Yep, I bought the boots.

#6 – Because Pivot Tables Won’t Make Them Pivot on Their Heels

They should be no stranger to metrics and poring through different types of reports in the interest of gleaning data that helps make better, informed decisions in the future. And while hopefully you know what key performance indicators are important to the HR department already, that doesn’t mean that its always easy to get to that data without some Excel splicing and dicing. Your neighbors can be your tutor when it comes to mastering the spreadsheet.

#7 – They Can Sell…and Research

Job descriptions need a little pizzazz? Consider this…while the compliant HR side of you won’t neglect to include the workplace hazards chart on the official description, the marketing department can help you consider how to attract job seeker interest in the version of the job that gets posted on your careers portal and external job boards. Not only can they help dress it up to better engage the target audience for that specific position, but they can probably help you better optimize it for search engine rankings with strategic keyword placement. And speaking of search engine optimization efforts, don’t forget to get your company’s Google Analytics code from them so that it can be added to your recruiting software portal, too. That way, you can see all sorts of goodies about your job portal visitors…in addition to any analytics already available in your applicant tracking system (ATS).

#8 – They Know What a Hexadecimal Color Code is & They’re Not Afraid to Use It

Remember that part about branding being important? Keep it consistent by designing any web-based messaging you develop in such a way that it supports and reflects your company’s overall brand. And yes, that means using the same web-friendly colors that marketing uses on all other company materials. For instance, if you implement an ATS that includes a branded jobs portal, then make sure you involve marketing in the implementation process when it comes to deciding the style setting preferences for your careers site.

#9 – Because Stick Figures Just Won’t Do

When you need a neat-o graphic for your employee benefits manual so that you don’t have to use the Snipping Tool again (wait, what’s that?), just bribe them in exchange for their InDesign and PhotoShop expertise.

#10 – Focus On the People

Both camps certainly should have some stellar interpersonal skills…after all, you could probably mediate performance management reviews in your sleep, right? However, if you have been toying with taking your employee feedback solicitation show on the road, hit up your interdepartmental friends for any advice on staging successful focus groups. They might be ready to rattle off their do’s and don’ts list to you in no time.

#11 – They’d Be Willing to Write for You

If you haven’t picked it up from my subtle hints already, having informative, relevant and interesting career-related content available for your potential future applicants to consume is a critical component of your employment story. But maybe writing isn’t your thing. Your new friends can come to your wordsmithing aid…most likely to be your first volunteers for any job-related blogs, company culture case studies, or compelling employee testimonial write-ups.

#12 – Engage the Masses at Job Fairs

If you feel like the portable backdrop you are using to pull job seekers into your booth at career fairs is less than mesmerizing, then your new buddies might just have a list of trusted, credible trade show material vendors ready to dispense at a moment’s notice. Why reinvent the wheel when they are already pros at the conference prep game? They can probably help steer your design and messaging ideas down the right path, as well.

And Lucky #13…Two Peas in a Pod

Last but not least, why wouldn’t HR folks hang out with Marketing? We all have a lot in common! The majority of us tend to be on the social side…you know, people people. So there’s your opening…if you haven’t already, use your winning personality to open a dialogue with the dynamic individuals down the hall who just might help you raise your HR department’s game. Of course there are tons of skills HR can offer Marketing to return the favor…but that’s a blog for another time!

For more information about ExactHire’s applicant tracking system, please visit our resources page or contact us today.

Image credit: Besties by Darren Johnson (contact)

Checklist: Use Metrics to Improve the Applicant Screening Funnel

Efficiency is my middle name…or I strive for it to be anyway. I prefer to follow processes, and as my co-workers know, when they don’t exist, I’ll create my own even if they are only applicable to me. As you might guess, I’m an 8 (on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most likely to follow policies and work within the rules) on the Manageability scale of the ProfileXT (PXT) assessment. I love organization, spreadsheets and color-coding!

But why?

Of course I’m biased, but I’ll say because processes beget consistency, data and therefore the ability to benchmark. And, “big data” allows you to analyze and improve, right? Well, to some extent…but so often when we have the data, we fail to actually do something with it. We forget the improvement part in the strife to collect the data in the first place. We’re proud of our shiny color-coded bar graphs, but now we’re spent from all the data analysis effort.

Good news. Another great thing about processes is that you can put one in place for executing change as a result of your data analytics! Build it in as a step in your checklist and then it will more likely get done. In this blog, I’ll discuss executing change as a result of metrics you collect during each stage of an average candidate screening funnel when recruiting potential future employees.

First Stage – Screen Employment Application Answers

This is the step in which you, as the recruiter, review application submissions for specific positions by candidates in order to deem them qualified or not qualified for the position (i.e. do their answers indicate that they meet your minimum basic requirements for the role?). With the aid of an adequate applicant tracking system (ATS), and your own previous due diligence in thoughtful question design, you can include screening questions that prompt applicants to answer in such a way that will automatically qualify or flag them. Thanks to this automation feature, your time is optimized as you take a closer look at only the applicants who have met basic minimum requirements.

Your ATS will provide you metrics that quantify how many applications are being received, as well as how many make it past this initial screening stage (among other data). But now for the evaluation and improvement part…which applicants made it through the screening question filter, but based on your own personal review of data collected from their resume or other answers, are actually not qualified after all? Ask yourself the questions below and then use your answers to enact change with the goal of firming up this stage of the recruiting process.

Lessons Learned:

  • Did you include enough (or too much) information about the job itself in the job listing description? Could providing different information better set expectations with applicants about what is required and help them to self-select out of the application process if they are unlikely to have the qualifications necessary?
  • Did you gather information from the resume that made it clear that the applicant did not have enough previous experience in a certain area…information that you might have collected had you already put a specific required screening question in place that would prompt the applicant to provide an answer?
  • Where can you record feedback about these “misses” in terms of applicants that should have been flagged by the system? Use it as an opportunity to create additional applicant status codes/dispositions, if necessary, or record more applicant notes in your ATS.
  • Did you receive enough applications to offer you a sufficient number of qualified candidates at this stage of the screening process?
    • Do you need to push the job to more external niche job boards and/or social media sites? How will that impact your recruiting budget for future open requisitions? Do you need to redesign your job requisition form to prompt managers to allocate a portion of their budget to paid advertising for open jobs?
    • Do you have an employee referral incentive program in place? If so, consider bumping up the incentive for hard-to-fill positions, and ensure that your applicant tracking system makes it easy for applicants to name a referring employee during the application process. If you don’t have a referral incentive program yet, start one today!

Second Stage – Conduct Phone Screens

At this stage, recruiters have narrowed down their list of resumes and now must conduct phone interviews in order to determine which of the qualified applicants will be invited for an in-person interview. A great deal of “cutting” can occur at this step, depending on the number of applicants you have, and efforts should be focused on verifying, for each interviewee, that information on the employment application is true, as well as assessing the candidate’s likelihood of being a fit for the company culture. This will also be the candidate’s first opportunity to ask you questions; and, the quality and depth of these questions will often be a factor to determining the candidate’s likelihood of progressing in the process (i.e. based on the questions asked is it evident that he/she prepared; does applicant care enough to ask questions, etc.). Select the candidates who will move on to the next step and then take pause to evaluate your efforts.

Lessons Learned:

  • Which phone screen candidates should NOT have made it to this step of the process due to a lack of skills or previous experience? What about their answers or background could have been fleshed out at the point of the application?
    • Or, what other phone interview questions could be revised/added in order to more quickly determine that this candidate is not a fit earlier in the phone screen conversation?
    • Would the introduction of any job skill tests at the point of application minimize the misfire?
  • For the stars of this round, what makes them more qualified than the others? Where did the star prospects find out about the position so that you can replicate the use of that ad source for future positions?
  • Based on the questions that the interviewees ask you, what additional career-related content can your team create and share with visitors to your jobs portal? Use this technique as another way to better set expectations with future potential applicants, as well as a means to test whether interviewees take time to review resources available to them and prepare for an interview.

Third Stage – The In-House Interview

In this step, you and/or your hiring managers will meet with just a few final interviewees in person to truly understand how their past performance and experience will complement the needs of your open job. Candidates at this stage will have the right skills and experience, but now your team will need to better assess their runway potential and further clarify that their interests and motivations will allow them to thrive in the position. More exposure to this candidate during this step will allow your staff to feel more confident about whether the candidate’s personality and behavioral hard-wiring are well suited for the position and management structure in place. Depending on your company policy, you may or may not have utilized social media screening efforts to verify the candidate’s experience, values and attitude with mutual network contacts. When you are ready to extend an offer of employment, take time to gauge the effectiveness of this round.

Lessons Learned:

  • Were there any final interviewees that were out of place in this round and should have been halted at the phone screen phase? If so, for what reasons?
    • Reevaluate your phone screen questions to capture candidate feedback potentially related to such reasons next time.
    • Use manager feedback in survey form within your applicant tracking software to record peer ratings and comments, and then look for trends that allow you to unearth not-so-obvious missteps at the point of the phone screen.
  • Rather than go with your gut, is it time to introduce a cognitive and/or behavioral assessment to give you a window into more objective, validated information about the interviewee’s motivations, interests and tendencies going into the final interviews?

Fourth Stage – Point of Conditional Employment Offer

Now that you have selected a finalist, at this stage you extend a conditional offer of employment and hope for an acceptance. Depending on your organization, local laws and an evaluation of the job, you may opt to conduct a background check on the candidate with his/her consent.

Lessons Learned:

  • If he/she rejects…
    • What are his/her reasons for declining the offer? Based on trending in answers across various open positions, you might need to make some changes to a variety of areas such as job listing content, company benefits, compensation, management structure, time-to-hire and your overall recruitment brand.
  • If he/she accepts, but then later fails on the job…
    • At the point of failure, what do you know now that you wish you knew then during the interview process? Hopefully this circumstance is continuously minimized due to an ongoing attention to executing change as a result of recruiting metrics and exit interview data collected. This step incorporates all the previous considerations for tightening up the screening and interviewing process, but might also include:
      • onboarding process improvement
      • manager training
      • an adjustment to benchmarks in place for any skills tests and employee assessments
      • employee focus groups

Fifth Stage – Big Picture & Future Planning

It is evident that a sizable task list can be accumulated just from paying more attention to what isn’t working in your recruiting funnel. However, building this incredibly important exercise into your routine will make your work more productive and stress-free in the future as you more quickly engage top talent to join your team and stay for the long haul. But its not over after the post mortem following the offer stage, don’t forget to apply what you learned by making adjustments to the job evaluation process for your next open positions – before they are open and you get caught up in the hustle and bustle of filling numerous jobs at once. Update those job descriptions and screening questions now. Explore new job referral sources and look at the conversion rates for your existing ones.

Stay honest by sharing your milestone goals with other stakeholders and set yourself a deadline for each lessons learned goal. These process reengineering efforts can only improve the quality of candidate you are receiving relative to your time and effort spent, as well as your time to hire. Plus, gain the ability to better predict the number of adequate candidates you should expect at each stage of the funnel based on your first-stage numbers.

How do you keep yourself on task and accountable to enacting real change based on metrics in your organization? We’d love to know!

For more information about ExactHire’s hiring solutions, please visit our resources page or contact us today.

Image credit: Lighting Sequence by Kevin Dooley (contact)

2 Ideas to Get an Applicant Tracking System Approved by Your Boss

I regularly interact with human resource leaders, staff and recruiting teams as part of my efforts to offer our services to their organizations. Most of these folks work for companies in the SMB (small- to mid-sized businesses) space, where the decision to implement new HR and hiring technology is ultimately made by the president or owner of the company.

Inevitably, while the HR and recruiting team members readily see the benefits to applicant tracking software (ATS), their boss needs to be “sold” on the idea and the spend for this to move forward. As with any other purchase, that person’s job is to make sure the dollars are well-spent and that there will be a good return for the company.

To that point, below are two common elements for making this type of pitch to your boss:

#1 – Put it in terms with which the boss can identify

Most owners or presidents likely haven’t had much exposure to applicant tracking, so it’s foreign to them. Try using an analogy to something more familiar — two examples are CRM (customer relationship management) software and accounting software. Either will work and it doesn’t really matter which brand of each you use. The point is to help the boss understand that automating the recruiting/hiring process improves the business the same way automating those tasks does. It’s unheard of today for an organization to sit down and run an ROI analysis on whether to use accounting software or a manual ledger — it’s a given that using software is the answer. Likewise, rarely will an organization be without some type of CRM for current and prospective clients — that data is too valuable to risk losing in manual files or spreadsheets. Going down this path helps your boss better understand the big-picture benefit of bringing automation to your hiring process.

#2 – Make a true business case

The tip above is an excellent way to frame a discussion about ATS in a way your boss can appreciate. Now that the level of understanding is better, it’s time to take the next step. Most owners (and often their key staff) are focused on a core group of metrics that help them gauge how well the company is performing. At the root of most metrics is a common factor — people. While there’s nothing wrong with showing how an ATS can improve operating efficiency for the HR & recruiting team, tying this purchase to existing metrics will almost always result in success.

If an ATS is doing its job, managing the entire applicant process becomes more efficient. In turn, this allows both HR/recruiting and hiring managers to focus more quickly (and easily) on better-qualified applicants. Ultimately, this improves overall hiring results by eliminating the laborious (and unproductive) aspects of the process and allowing more time for better decisions. Finally, bringing better people into the organization on a regular basis will improve other operating metrics.

There are certainly other things that may aid your efforts to put ATS technology in place. These are simply two of the more effective strategies I’ve seen used to help HR teams win approval for their requests.

If you’d like to learn more about our HireCentric applicant tracking system, please visit our resources page or contact us today. –

Image credit: Watch your Head by Kenny Louie (contact)

25 Recruiting Process Resolution Ideas for the New Year

It’s hard to start off a new year without thinking of at least a few things you would like to improve or revisit in your personal and/or professional life. There’s something empowering about having a clean slate, but sometimes its a struggle to know what type of resolutions might have the greatest impact on your success in 2014. Consider this list of just a few ideas on how you might positively impact your company’s recruiting process in the next year.

1. Reevaluate the social media distribution channels you are using to promote open job listings.

While the corporate social media pages you have in place may very well continue to be critical (for example LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook), ever expanding networking sites such as Google+ or Pinterest might have a powerful impact on your particular industry or hard-to-fill niche positions. But before you dive in, do some research to make sure the move has the potential to be worth your time…there’s nothing worse than a social media profile that exists, but is hardly ever updated.

2. Proactively connect with hiring managers to better anticipate incoming job posting requests.

Let’s face it – recruiting can be a very stressful job when there are slews of open positions for which you must source an unending list of applicants. Utilize rare down time to reach out to managers to ask for insight as to whether near future openings are likely to be for brand new positions; or, for positions that seem to always be open. Based on the answers you receive, next steps might include undergoing job evaluation to create new job descriptions and/or taking a closer look at the competencies required for positions that are consistently on the high turnover list.

3. Double check job inventory levels with paid external job boards & review contracts.

If you pre-purchase units of inventory in bulk from third-party job boards, its a good idea to check your remaining inventory from time to time to make sure what you have in your notes reconciles with the vendor. This is a good way to avoid delays in posting jobs when you have a last minute request on Friday afternoon only to find out you are already out of job credits without a way to get them until Monday.

Also, review the fine print of your contracts with vendors to make sure you understand any restrictions on rolling over inventory from one year to the next as well as any annual increases.

4. Evaluate the effectiveness of sourcing channels with reporting tools in your applicant tracking system.

Speaking of job boards, when was the last time you took a look at your applicant source reporting tools to verify if the investment you are making in external boards is paying off? Not only should you verify that continued advertising with your current vendor list is appropriate, the near year is a great time to put some time into researching other job board and job aggregator options, as well. So many resources abound these days from boards that are diversity-specific, to regionally-focused, to profession-oriented.

5. Think about how others perceive your employment brand.

While you may have strong feelings about how you conduct the selection process, its important to take pause and ask others about the images and feelings they have when asked what its like to work for your organization. While it may be apparent that applicants and site visitors should be questioned, don’t forget about your own current employees and perhaps vendors/partners, as well. General sentiment can be monitored by trolling social media and perhaps implementing Google Alerts about employment at your organization, but for smaller organizations you might consider a good old-fashioned survey or focus group, as well.

6. Do a refresh on your careers portal.

Armed with feedback about your employment brand, its a momentous time to consider revamping content/design on your employment page, if it has been awhile or if what you currently serve up is not effective (which you could find out by reviewing site analytics for visitor traffic – i.e. time on site, bounce rate, etc.).

7. Update and/or create new employee testimonial videos.

If you don’t have any videos yet, what are you waiting for? Or, if you are in a pinch, at least have some quotations and head shots from your best internal brand ambassadors available for potential applicants to view on your employment site. Given the tools available in HireCentric applicant tracking software, its easy to embed a YouTube video on your ATS site, for example.

8. Do an audit of your existing hiring process practices.

Is everything on your hiring checklist getting completed for every applicant? For example, do you have a policy in place to determine when background checks should be conducted for certain types of positions? Is it being followed? Are reference checks being completed appropriately and in a timely manner, and is the information gleaned being used effectively?

9. Make like an applicant & complete your own employment application.

Hopefully you are not guilty of last updating your company’s job application more than ten years ago! On an annual basis, take time to complete the entire application on your own to make sure that questions are grammatically correct, job-related and legal. After all, employment law frequently changes and an effective HR person must keep up with relevant federal, state and local legislative updates. In addition to the aforementioned items, be sure that the time it takes for you to complete the application isn’t too long or too short. Make it enough of a speed bump to get qualified applicants, but not so long that people get frustrated and abandon the process early.

10. Start a blog about recruiting & employment experiences at your organization.

An effective way to generate interest in your organization’s employment opportunities is to frequently add engaging content to your website. An easy way to do this is by implementing a blog on which multiple authors across your organization can contribute. While it may initially be challenging to encourage others to write, this hurdle can be overcome with an interesting contest incentivizing others to write about the employment experience from their own perspective. Plus, if you do regularly blog take another look at Google+ as a social network…setting up Google Authorship for your contributors helps your search rankings and drives traffic to your site.

11. Clean up your status code list & add new dispositions, if necessary.

Just as a good rule of thumb for donating your clothes is to get rid of anything that you haven’t worn in a year, the same is true for your applicant statuses. So often clients get caught up in a status-generating frenzy when first implementing hiring software only to end up using a few select labels within a large list. Of course those subject to affirmative action plan reporting tend to have long disposition code lists out of necessity…but even then, give your list a quick look and clean it up if appropriate.

12. Be more involved in social media groups & “tweetups” for your industry.

While you may already belong to a number of subgroups on social media sites, how often are you actually engaging with others…within discussion groups, during tweetups on Twitter, sharing others’ posts, etc.? If you can legitimately connect with others, including potential future applicants, then when it comes time to push some of your own career-related content (like job listings), others are more likely to share it with their own networks and respond.

13. Archive applicant records & job listings you don’t need anymore.

When you are sourcing a high volume of positions all at once, it can be easy to leave ATS housekeeping type activities such as archiving until later. The problem is that “later” can sometimes turn into “not at all.” The beauty of archiving is that it can be reversed (unlike deleting records)…so never fear…clean up your hiring portals and look at dashboard data that is relevant to you in the moment!

14. Craft a more innovative message to applicants who don’t make the cut.

First off, please make sure that you are at least communicating to applicants (in a timely manner mind you) when they are not selected for a position. There’s no reason not to do this, especially with the automated, yet personalized, mass messages that can be sent from your applicant tracking system. However, so many applicants receive delayed messages from organizations…if they receive a rejection message at all. They may not be a fit today, but could be nurtured to be a fit for perhaps a different role tomorrow. Keep them engaged by considering a coupon in your rejection message (if you are a retail organization, for example) or dropping them into a drip campaign with messages about news at your organization or future hiring needs.

15. Analyze the impact of using employee assessments within your selection process.

Do some reporting to show how many of the new hires that completed assessments within your organization remained employed for certain periods of time. For those who have assimilated well and remain employed, look at their score results to create benchmarks for future candidate assessment invitations. If you aren’t already doing pre-employment testing, explore your options.

16. Check with others who interview to see how to better capture their feedback.

Is there room for improvement in terms of the efficiency with which ratings and/or comments are collected from hiring managers? If so, think about ways in which you might make this easier for others so that they are more inclined to consistently offer commentary. Enable managers to log into your hiring software to leave notes and/or implement custom surveys so that the type of comments they offer are standardized.

17. Audit your recruiting software portal users.

When was the last time you took a look through the list of your software application’s restricted users? There may be individuals who have moved on so credentials could be archived; or, others may have earned the right to be assigned to a different business unit’s applicants and job templates due to a recent promotion. Make sure you understand the type of access each user level affords someone and take advantage of new features as they may have been rolled out over the past year.

18. Consider new technologies like video interviewing.

If you find yourself challenged when it comes to arranging interviews with candidates out of town; or even candidates who are currently employed elsewhere and limited on taking time off to drive to your office to meet with you, then explore the many options for video conferencing and interviewing. If budget is tight, consider no cost options such as Skype or Google Hangout; otherwise, other options abound in the market.

19. Review the layers of approval in place for your job requisition requests.

At least once a year, its a good idea to glance at the levels of management that are arranged to review pending requisition forms for new job openings. Particularly, if the layers are predetermined, consult with those involved to make sure it still makes sense for them to have a say in the process.

20. Remind others about your employee referral policy.

Even if you do already have an incentive in place, it can be easy for employees to forget about it if your job postings aren’t top of mind for them. Set expectations about how you will approach referrals, and encourage people to continue sending them even if previous referrals didn’t make the cut (but make sure you are communicating with applicants that don’t make the cut a la item #14). Lastly, make it easy for employees to spread the word about your job postings on social media and ensure that your applicant tracking system has a field to allow applicants to name the referring employee during the application process.

21. Set goals for key recruiting metrics.

Hone in on the numbers that make sense for your organization, industry and corporate culture, and then utilize reporting features in your ATS to generate reports on demand periodically. Options might include time-to-hire and/or time-to-fill, retention rates, ROI for ad referral sources, offer to acceptance ratio, etc.

22. Update your applicant correspondence email templates.

It’s probably been awhile since you checked out the language used in all the templates you regularly use to message candidates from your hiring software. Go back through each of them, make any necessary updates, and think about you can make them more effective. Add new ones as appropriate, and archive ones that are now obsolete.

23. Revisit your job screening questions & update scoring & disqualification filters to make life easier.

In addition to an annual review of your standard employment application, don’t forget to scan the job-specific screener questions you attach to certain listings and templates. Are you incorporating automation filters to allow you to automatically score and/or disqualify applicants who fail to answer questions in a way that deems them eligible for a position? For example, HireCentric ATS allows one to quickly filter a candidate list to view only those applicants who answered basic qualification-type questions favorably.

24. Create lead-nurturing campaigns to stay in touch with passive applicants.

If you’re using any kind of technology for hiring tool, then you are collecting an ever-increasing number of applicants, as well as assigning statuses that allow you to know who you might consider in the future. For those high-potential people, send them career-related content about your organization periodically to engage them for the future. Sketch out a series of short messages that link to employee testimonial videos (ah-ha! #7) or blogs about company culture (that’s right…#10) and then “drip” on these candidates via email at fixed intervals.

25. Conduct “lessons learned” pow-wows to break down what went wrong when there are occasional bad hires.

Even the best of processes can sometimes result in an infrequent bad apple hire, but when they do its important to stop and take stock of what led to the issue(s). Look for trends related to such items as sourcing channel, assessment results for certain cognitive and behavioral traits, leadership style of assigned manager, productivity of peers involved in employee’s department, ease with which the employee was onboarded into the organization, and the degree to which the actual job’s demands were accurately portrayed in the job description and during the interviewing process.

Please feel free to share your ideas for recruiting resolutions in 2014 in the comments below, on the ExactHire Facebook page or via Twitter (@goExactHire).

For more information about ExactHire’s technology solutions for recruiting, please visit our resources page or contact us.

Image credit: Ungreen by Kevin Dooley (contact)

How Does Hiring Software Reduce Time To Hire?

Moving to a paperless hiring process can offer many compelling benefits to a small- to medium-sized organization such as the ability to access data in a web-based environment, easy accessibility to social recruiting and a reduction in the time it takes to hire employees. In this blog, I’ll specifically outline ways in which hiring software implementation can improve recruiting and employee onboarding efficiency, and reduce time to hire. I’ll consider the time to hire calculation to include all steps from the onset of the recognition for the need for a job opening to the time that the employee has started work and the initial onboarding process.

Automate the Job Requisition Approval Process

If your company requires various layers of management to approve new job openings before they may be posted to job seekers, then the requisition management feature of applicant tracking software can quickly speed up the time it takes new job openings to be posted live on your careers portal.

A web-based requisition form allows managers to quickly submit their reasons for requesting a job opening, launch a string of notification messages to managers who must approve postings, and then quickly adjust any final details on job descriptions before making a job available to the public. No more manual paper pushing between different departments or locations at a business – electronic access to the process can dramatically shorten the lead time between the layers of approval.

Easy External Job Posting

Can you quantify how much time you’ve spent uploading and formatting your job listings in external job board accounts in the past? And, I’m not just talking about the big paid boards like Monster, Dice and CareerBuilder, but also job posting portals at entities such as colleges and universities, as well as state workforce development and unemployment offices. An applicant tracking system should have an efficient means by which you can post your job listings to multiple external job boards with just a few clicks. Think about how much time this enhancement will save you when multiple job opportunities are available with your organization.

Source More Applicants Sooner With Social Media

Many times, organizations’ recruitment activities for some jobs can drag on multiple weeks, if not months, due to low applicant volume. If you are not receiving enough submitted applications, the odds are against you in terms of finding the right fit amidst a small applicant population. Utilizing social recruiting tools available in your ATS can greatly expand the reach and awareness for your job listings in a short period of time; and, since other potential applicants will hear about your postings from their trusted social media contacts/friends, you will be more likely to convert applications from this type of ad source.

Clarity For Your Applicant Management

Hiring software allows HR professionals to easily view lists of applicants for an employment opportunity in one screen, as well as narrow such lists using filtering criteria. This ease of use makes it quickly apparent which applicants have not yet been assigned a status to describe their level of qualification and/or placement in the selection process. Being able to quickly identify gaps allows recruiters to process applications in such a way that applicants won’t fall through the cracks and individuals can be moved through the process in a relatively short amount of time.

Be Responsive To Applicants So They Are More Responsive To You

Even if your company receives a particularly high volume of applicants for each job, it can still be easy to protect your recruitment brand by sending personalized correspondence to each applicant when using an applicant tracking system. Your hiring software application should allow you to select groups of applicants based on certain criteria, and to then send mass email messages using existing templates. These templates should include the ability to automatically insert personalization strings so that the applicant still feels like a person and not a number when interacting with your organization in regards to the all-important employment decision.

Automation tools that help you to communicate to applicants rapidly will only encourage the top applicants to afford the same courtesy of responsiveness to your organization, as well. And, the faster stakeholders communicate with one another, the faster the overall time to hire for a position will end up being, as well.

Incorporate Assessments Into The Process Earlier

Sometimes the number of interviewing stages involved in the selection process for a job can become bloated…this might occur when a business fails to get enough objective information about the candidate up front. Particularly for frontline roles in your company, considering an employee assessment that is embedded right into your employment application might be just the resource your recruiters need to unearth more job fit-related information about applicants near the front half of the hiring process. As a result, perhaps one or two extra steps can be eliminated from the recruitment cycle.

Receive Reference Check Results Quickly

While you should inform applicants of their responsibility to make sure that their chosen references take care to respond to your requests for information in an expedient manner, this part of the hiring process can really add some extra time when human resource staff play phone tag with reference individuals. Ask your ATS provider if they offer any way of streamlining the reference check process, such as the ability to launch surveys via email to all people named by the applicant. Once the respondents have submitted the surveys, their feedback automatically populates the applicant’s record in your application…shaving hours and perhaps days off the time to hire average.

Accessible Interview Feedback For Hiring Managers

It is hard enough to schedule interviews if you have two to three staff members involved, but it can be just as painful to get interviewees together to share feedback post-interview. A customized survey option in your recruiting software can allow managers to independently record answers to specific survey-style questions directly on an applicant’s record at their earliest convenience. These comments can be made visible to all participants and even provide score averages across all interviewees. Access to this data can move hiring decisions along more quickly so that the new employee can get hired as soon as possible.

Onboarding Process Head Start

Using employee onboarding software technology during the hiring process allows organizations to easily export, organize and process data that may be required for other HRIS and/or payroll applications in the company. By avoiding the pitfalls of manual entry, HR staff can operate more efficiently knowing that employee records won’t be missing required fields or have illegible information that requires more back and forth between the onboarding team and the new hire. After all, the last thing that a company wants to do during the onboarding process is take so long that the new hire starts to regret his/her decision to join the organization in the first place.

If you’d like more information about how ExactHire’s hiring software solutions might help improve your company’s time to hire average, then please visit our resources section or contact us today.

Image credit: Time by JD (contact)

Use Analytics to Convert More Career Site Visitors to Applicants

This is a topic that we hear a lot from newer clients and potential new clients. It’s a valid issue, as organizations certainly want to attract as many high-quality applicants as possible. If they’re making the effort to automate tracking all of their applicant activities through an applicant tracking system solution like ours, they’re usually interested in building a solid pool of talent that they can dip into when needed.

For that reason, the first step we always recommend for these purposes is to utilize the site analytics information available in our ATS offering. Much like your organization may look at website analytics for marketing purposes, these analytics from the recruiting perspective allow you to determine what’s working and what may need to be adjusted.

Mind Your Recruiting Metrics

Below are some examples of key metrics our clients may use to keep their career sites as productive as possible:

  • Number of visitors each day
  • Length of time spent in the careers site
  • Which pages were visited and how much time spent on each page
  • Number of “bounces” and at what point visitors tended to bounce from your site after visiting just one page
  • Where visitors came from (organic vs. referral)
  • Number of visitors who started the application process
  • Number of visitors who completed the application process

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of data that can be mined through these types of analytics. The list above is just a small sample of what may be pulled. However, understanding just these core metrics can help you to more quickly identify things you can adjust to keep your conversions of visitors to applicants high. For example, if you find that you have a high number of visitors who start the application process but don’t complete it, that’s likely a sign that you need to consider asking applicants for less information. Or, perhaps you need to change the format in which you gather that information.

Another example: if you see your daily visitors remaining stable but see the number of visitors beginning the application process drop, that’s likely a sign that your visitors are having trouble seeing quickly how to apply for an opening. Or, perhaps your job descriptions aren’t capturing visitors’ attention the way you’d like.

Recruiting ROI

The point I’m making is that the web is a constantly-changing environment. Unlike a few years ago, the goal isn’t simply to get more traffic to your site — for marketing or applicant purposes. The goal is to convert a higher percentage of that traffic to the actions you’re seeking. Your organization likely spends a good amount of time and money on these strategies from a marketing/sales perspective. We want to provide you the same opportunity to do this for your hiring needs.

If you’re a current client and you’d like to explore this further, please just let us know. This is a standard part of our offering and is available to you at no additional cost. If you’re not yet a client and would like to better understand how these practices may work for your organization, we’ll be happy to share more information with you.

Visitor our resources section for more information or schedule a live demo with ExactHire today to see how analytics tools in our applicant tracking software can help your organization assess its applicant conversion rate.

Image credit: Google Analytics Hacks by Search Engine People Blog (contact)

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