Recruiters and candidates have more ways to connect than ever before, all thanks to the growth of online recruiting platforms and social media. But, these technological advancements also mean that candidate sourcing has grown more competitive.
Candidates are spread out across many platforms making them difficult to pinpoint. And many recruiters on LinkedIn, for example, have found the leading platforms to be oversaturated.
In this new recruiting landscape, you must be strategic in your efforts to find candidates. It’s not enough to post job listings on the usual platforms and hope for success. You must inform your online strategy with highly-specific data– and that’s where web analytics come in.
The term web analytics refers to the collection and analysis of web data for the purpose of understanding and optimizing your online presence. Studies show that recruiters who use analytics significantly outperform recruiters that don’t use analytics (source). And, with tools like Google Analytics being completely free – you really have no excuse not to give it a try!
Today’s blog post will show you how to use web analytics to improve your recruiting strategy. Keep reading!
1. Determine your top traffic sources.
One primary function of web analytics is to tell you where your site traffic comes from. No matter how much traffic you attract to your careers page, if you don’t know how where your traffic came from, you won’t understand which of your campaigns and channels are effective.
Common traffic sources include:
- Organic traffic (from search engines like Google and Bing)
- Paid advertising
- Social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)
- Job boards
- Direct traffic (visitors going right to your website)
- And more.
Analyzing traffic source also allows you to set measurable goals, as we explain in the following example.
Example: A fictional HR company advertises their jobs across all of the aforementioned channels. They notice that their social media accounts bring significantly fewer visitors to their Careers page than the other platforms. Because of this, they decide to change their social media strategy by sharing more content geared toward showcasing company culture rather than just posting open positions.
2. Track conversion rates.
It’s important to remember, the channel that brings the most traffic to your site might not be your most effective platform. Your end goal is not to boost traffic, but to boost applicants. So, a channel that brings a lot of people to your site might seem effective, but if none of those site visitors submit applications, how valuable is it actually?
Analytics platforms allow you to set specific end goals– in other words, the action you want people to take when they visit your site. For recruiters, the end goal is a submitted application. Track this by placing a tracking pixel on your thank you page or by setting your thank you page URL as a goal in Goolgle Analytics. Then, you can see which platforms convert visitors to applicants at the highest rate.
Example: The HR company sees that a majority of their traffic comes from paid search ads. However, only a small percentage of those visitors submit applications. Conversely, LinkedIn brings in less traffic but yields a much higher rate of applicants.
The company pulls back on their paid search ads and invests more into their LinkedIn page. Their overall traffic sees a slight decline, but their total number of applicants rises significantly.
3. Get a full picture of the candidate journey.
Although channels and conversion rates will give you some insight into the candidate journey, it doesn’t paint a complete picture. In most cases, an applicant visits more than one source before they decide to submit an application. Google Analytics and candidate surveys can provide a full report of assisted or view through conversions– in other words, a comprehensive view of channels that influenced an application.
Example: The HR company has been running a paid Facebook ad campaign, but are disappointed with its conversion results. But, when they view an assisted conversion report, they see that a large number of candidates viewed their Facebook ads and then visited their Glassdoor page before applying.
They realize their Facebook ads were more effective than they initially believed. With this new understanding of their candidates’ journeys, they decide to add a direct link to their Glassdoor page in their Facebook ads.
4. Use the right keywords.
Keyword research is crucial to online recruiting. If you want candidates to find your job postings, you must use the keywords they are searching for. Use web analytics software, competitor research, and free online keyword tools to identify high-volume keywords to optimize your job posts for. If you’ve been using the same listings for a while, the best keywords may be different than the keywords you’ve been prioritizing.
Once you identify the top keywords your candidates search for, you can optimize your job postings and your careers page to include those keywords.
Example: The HR company is looking to fill a Junior Graphic Designer position. The job description lists user experience (UX) design as the top responsibility for the position. They look into keyword analytics and see that many of their candidates are searching for “UX designer”, rather than “graphic designer”. They decide to change the job title to “Junior UX Designer,” and they see a rise in qualified applications.
5. Learn what devices your candidates are using.
There has been a major shift in the recruiting world over recent years. More and more candidates use their mobile devices to apply for jobs. In fact, 78% of candidates say they would prefer to apply for jobs on their mobile devices (source). However, only 13% of organizations invest adequately in mobile recruiting (source).
Using website data and analytics, determine which devices your candidates use to find your open positions. If a specific page brings in a high percentage of mobile users, and that page isn’t mobile-friendly, you may be losing a ton of potential candidates.
Example: The HR company sees that their site visitors coming from Twitter have a very high bounce rate when they get to the careers page– and they want to understand why. They dig deeper into their analytics and learn that almost all of their visitors from Twitter are using the mobile app on their phones.
Using this information, they prioritize the mobile optimization of their careers page. Sure enough, their new, mobile-friendly page keeps more visitors on the site and ultimately leads to more applications.
Key Takeaways about Web Analytics and Recruiting
As you can see, website analytics can improve your candidate sourcing strategy in many ways. It may seem complicated when you first get started– but remember, analytics will help you achieve your primary goal of understanding your candidates and learning the best tactics to find them.
You might not be a master at data analysis, but with tools like Google Analytics, you don’t have to be. So, prioritize data analysis– you’ll be surprised at how simple changes can drastically impact your ability to recruit and retain high-quality candidates.
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