What are you doing to measure your social recruiting efforts?  Because if you aren’t doing anything to measure them and you’re  srs-2009-camerashot  telling the world that social recruiting works then you’re just winging it.  Or if you aren’t putting any effort in place to try and account for your efforts while squaking to your peers and colleagues that it doesn’t work – well, you’re equally as full of it.

This article is an entry for CruiterTalk.com‘s Recruiting Carnival and a follow up to last year’s entry where I had the honor of posting The Evolution of Recruiting. It covered topics related to how some companies are unwilling to let their talent seekers dip into social channels to source and recruit.  In summary my opinion was, and continues to be, that this is a short-sited response sprinkled with a dash of control issues and thrown into the #Fail bucket in the hopes that recruiters will stop asking about it or that it will simply go away.  But guess what?  It’s not going away anytime soon and recruiters are going rogue to get it done.  The best part?  Some recruiters are savvy enough to keep pushing forward and are finding ways to track their efforts in the hopes they’ll be able to come back to leadership/clients and tell a good story.  Boys and girls, it’s almost story time.

To reference, and get you caught up on the ramblings that bring us here:

I remember the deciding moment for me when I realized that job seekers simply can’t be trusted to tell us how they found or heard about jobs they were applying for.  I had pulled a “Hire Source” report that was from an ATS and sorted the hires by what they had selected from the drop-down menu that was available to them.  When I saw that I had two new employees in Dallas that credited their hiring to an ad that was run in a niche magazine (and that ran only in Alaska!) I knew I was done.  I’ve never pulled that report again and I continue to refuse to give validation to any report that leaves the hiring source selection up to the job seeker.  After all, isn’t this data a considerable factor in how we decide to spend our time and dollars?

As a recruiter we communicate our need to either the individuals or the masses.  Either way, and regardless of our style of communication, we issue to those individuals a “call to action.”  We ask them to check out a posting online or to head to X to get more information.  Sometimes we simply send them to our own  LinkedIn profile or a Facebook Fan page to stay in touch.

But whether we rattle it off of the phone, post it in a blog, text it via SMS or push it to our networks in a PM – there’s an opportunity for us to track what we’re asking them to do with just a little bit of effort on our part.

Some of us already use URL shortening services like Bit.ly or BudURL but aren’t making the most of them.  Over the course of last years events and conferences and webinars, I spoke with countless recruiters (and even sourcers!) that were using URL shorteners to do only that – shorten a URL.  What if I said that all you rogue (and social) recruiters could use free services like these to not only clean up your communications but to track “expressions of interest” from job seekers?  Okay well… I’m saying it.

So let’s assume I’ve a new job that I’m recruiting for.  Before I begin my recruiting and marketing I take a few minutes to create a BudURL  for each channel of recruiting I want to track – Voice, Email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and maybe even one for my blog.  This is quick and easy to do as it’s just a matter of copying and pasting the destination URL and either creating a vanity title for it or letting the service create its own.  The resulting URLs may look like http://service.com/234hs  or http://service.com/HotJob  – it’s up to me.

I will say that if I’m working on a job that warrants some special attention I might dress up the links so that they’re each attractive to the potential audience as opposed to just random characters – but hey, this article is about tracking the interest, not marketing the attraction. Whichever I choose, I now have maybe 5 links to my job posting that I can provide to potential candidates.

Now I simply begin my legwork and distributing the links via the correlating communication channels.  One of the great things  ch1 about  pushing these through social channels is that potential candidates have the ability to push (aka: RT/FWD) my links along to their networks.  And as long as my url is intact – I get the tracking that I’m after.  So depending on the tool used to create and track the URL’s, I may be able to see something as detailed as the following.

The above tracking was pulled just minutes after a simple tweet that pointed to a page on the internet I found interesting.  What it shows us is that people clicked on the link when it appeared on Twitter, Facebook (note that I can tell which pages!) and various pages/tools related to twitter.  While this example is not a job post, it’s a good example of some detail available on traffic and something I could share.

If you’re really a fan of analytics you can export your information easily to spreadsheets or, as is available with some tools, feed it into Google Analytics as it relates to your domain traffic.  An example of the end result is within the below chart.  This shows an overview of the traffic that was a result of using various URLs (as outlined above) for a particular job posting.  With some filter magic, analytical mojo and stripping of some other proprietary data, you’ll see that the result can be pretty impressive.  You’re now a few steps closer to either finding out if Social Recruiting channels are a complete waste of time or if you’ve something you can start to build a case to your clients/leadership with. (or if social works for Job Type A more than Job Type B or… you get the idea.)

ch2  There is something to keep in mind, however.  These are “clicks” or “expressions of interest” and are not applications.  To track the source of applications and hires in detail like this you’ll likely need more help and partnership from your leadership and/or ATS partners.  Remember that the idea of this article is to communicate a relatively easy way for passionate recruiters to begin and measure the value of recruiting in social networking channels.

Does this cover in depth the way in which sourcing practices that can be tracked without cost? No.
Does this cover how each of these efforts could be marketed?  No.  (but c’mon… just give this one some thought.)

What it does lay out is some (hopefully) thought provoking ramblings so that recruiters and sourcers trying to measure their social recruiting efforts might start down a path of discovery – and hopefully share what they find.  I know that it’s exciting when we can add a bit of science to a profession that for so long was thought of as simply an art – and sometimes dismissed from meetings or budgets as a result.

So what are you waiting on?  Get tracking!

About the author:


As a mobile marketing/recruiting evangelist and self proclaimed Social ‘X’ addict, Chris Hoyt has been pushing the boundaries of each aspect of full-cycle recruiting for over 14 years – most recently as the Associate Director of Talent Attraction at AT&T.

With a passion for breaking out of traditional recruitment practices and a background that includes training it’s no mystery that the combined teams of recruiters and sourcers working with Chris are constantly evolving and pushing the envelope of non-traditional talent attraction and recruitment.  Whether functioning as a coach, team lead, or individual contributor it’s his top notch results using ‘out of the box’ strategies that have established him as a recruiting expert amongst peers and clients alike.

In a time where the return on investment for social media struggles to be defined within the recruiting and staffing world, Chris moves forward in an effort to show impact, scope of reach and brand influence by engaging and tracking both the candidate’s involvement and experience.

By Noel Cocca

CEO/Founder RecruitingDaily and avid skier, coach and avid father of two trying to keep up with my altruistic wife. Producing at the sweet spot talent acquisition to create great content for the living breathing human beings in recruiting and hiring. I try to ease the biggest to smallest problems from start-ups to enterprise. Founder of RecruitingDaily and our merry band of rabble-rousers.