Measuring Recruitment Marketing Success.
By Paul Quinn, © 2003
In the first article of this
series, we discussed why you should measure the results
of your marketing efforts and what information you
should be looking to measure. In the second and final article
in this series, we discuss how you should go about
implementing an effective marketing measurement system.
How to measure marketing success
Without doubt, the easiest way to measure the effectiveness
of your marketing activities is to capture information about
how your clients and candidates came into contact with your
agency at the point of initial contact. For example, when
candidates apply for a role with your agency, it should
be mandatory for them to answer a question such as "Where
did you first see this job being advertised?" In phrasing the question in this way you correctly record
applicants that, for instance, may have seen your advert
in the newspaper but decided to apply via your website or
via e-mail. In doing this the credit for attracting the
candidate goes to the medium that initially enticed each
candidate to the role. Ideally, this information should
be recorded directly into your candidate database when the
candidate contacts your agency for the first time.
Below is a report (using fictitious data) that illustrates
the type of information that can be produced as a result
of capturing 'media source' information:
Source Effectiveness - Candidates
In answer to: "Where did you first see this job being advertised?"
Period: 1st to 28th February 2003
Media Cost Per Placement
|Word of mouth:
|Banner ads (on Yahoo!):
Please note that the data used in this table is purely
fictitious and is displayed for sample purposes only. ** "Our Website" costs should include site building,
hosting, maintenance and promotion costs.
Measuring ROI for Candidate Marketing Activities
It's one thing to know what media source attracts the majority
of your placements, but this information is even more useful
when analysed in conjunction with the cost of advertising
in a particular medium.
In the fictitious table above you can see that although
the Daily Telegraph attracts the second most number of placements,
the Telegraph's 'cost per placement' is $1,500 as opposed
to $104 per placement for the agency's corporate website.
In this case, Management might decide to reduce their Telegraph
spend in favour of driving more traffic to their own website
(although consideration should also be given to the additional
benefits newspaper advertising may provide such as access
to passive job seekers or raising the brand awareness of
your agency). By measuring 'cost per placement' data, you
can begin to make more informed decisions in situations
where you need to either cut back or invest more in your
current candidate attraction strategies.
Once your measurement system is established, you may also
wish to consider developing reports that show you which
media source delivers the highest number of 'quality' candidates
for various role types or locations. For example, you may
find that the Internet is more effective for filling customer
service roles and that the Sydney Morning Herald provides
better quality candidates for sales roles.
Measuring ROI for Client Marketing Activities
Think about this - does your currently agency measure which
marketing activities are the most effective in attracting
new clients? A simple question, but unfortunately most recruitment
managers don't measure this would probably have to rely
on 'gut feel' to answer.
To capture this information, a client's answer to the question "How did you hear about us?" should always
be recorded in your client database. By understanding whether
word of mouth, cold calling, print advertising, public relations
activities, your website, or some other marketing activity
is most effective in attracting new clients, you are armed
with vital information to help plan your next new business
The next step is to analyse the value of each new client
by reviewing their impact on current and potential sales,
and identifying any correlations between the media source
that attracted them. For example, are clients who are referred
to you by their colleagues of higher value to you than clients
who respond to a direct mail piece? Such information, when
collected accurately and consistently over a long period,
becomes a goldmine of marketing information that can be
used to help your organisation both reduce costs and increase
Tips and Traps
In establishing your marketing measurement system there
a number of actions that you can take to increase the accuracy
and reliability of your data. Below are some tips to help
you along the way:
all options. It is important to remember that marketing
measurement should be applied to all aspects of the marketing
mix - not just advertising. That means that candidates
and clients should be asked to specify the way they heard
about your agency from a list of all conceivable
options. You may also like to include an "Other"
field so clients and candidates can type in an option
that you may not have already thought of.
Be specific. Vague multiple-choice answers like "Internet"
can skew your results. For example, does "Internet"
mean a job board, a corporate website, or a lead from
a search engine such as Google? Ensure you offer candidates
and clients clear and specific options.
e-mail addresses or reference numbers. Use media-specific
e-mail addresses in job adverts to help the tracking process.
For example: Seek@youragency.com.au or TheAge@youragency.com.au.
Another variation on this is to use media-specific job
reference numbers (eg. add the letters "TA"
to the front of your job reference number for all advertised
jobs in the The Australian newspaper).
mandatory in all web-based application forms for clients
and candidates to tell you how they heard about your agency.
Some systems will even automate the process of entering
information from web-based forms directly (and correctly)
into your database. If you don't have an automated data
entry process, ensure that it is mandatory for your staff
to enter this information into your database.
Share results. It is important to distribute a high level overview
of the results of your measurement system to your front
line staff. In doing so you help them become more effective
recruiters by aiding their understanding of what media
sources work best for certain types of roles. You also
help avoid potential disappointment or resentment when
an under performing media channel gets cut from the advertising
mix. And finally, in sharing results you reinforce a management
ethos to staff members that is focused on maximising operational
Develop, review, refine
Whilst it is true that the impact of some marketing activities
are more difficult to measure and define than others, there
is still an element of science that can be applied to measuring
the results of any marketing initiative. The first step
is to develop a measurement system that works for you and
is simple to maintain. The next step is to ensure that you
review the data on a periodic basis and refine your marketing
efforts accordingly. In short, it pays to remember the old
adage, "You can't manage what you don't measure."
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