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Dear Workforce How Do We Calculate the ROI of Our Online Job Postings

We want to figure out the return on investment of our job postings, with the aim of cutting our recruitment costs. How do we go about trying to calculate this?
September 7, 2011
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Related Topics: Candidate Sourcing, Dear Workforce
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Dear Ruminating:

When analyzing return on investment, first understand your goals. It ensures the data you produce is meaningful and that the data can support an action plan to meet your goals. What other factors outside of cost-cutting are central to your organization and your recruiting goals? Once you have clearly outlined your goals, the next step is to identify metrics to help you assess how effectively you are spending your sourcing dollars.

A variety of metrics apply, including the number of views per posting, the number of click-throughs to the job description and the number of online applications submitted.

While these statistics may not be available for all sources, major job boards or job- posting partners such as eQuest, RecruitUSA, TruStar Solutions or Job VIPeR will be able to help you gather useful data. You also will want to consider the number of interviews, the number of offers and the number of hires per source.Quality-of-hire and retention data will make your analysis all the more accurate.

Looking beyond job postings, data on other sourcing channels will help you make a more comprehensive analysis. Unfortunately, obtaining quality source data is challenging because organizations often rely on self-reported data at the front end (when the candidate applies). How good your source-of-hire data is can depend on the job-posting approach, your corporate Web site design and your talent-management system. It may be best to have the recruiter verbally confirm the source of hire when the candidate accepts.

If possible, capture all sources that affected the applicant. Perhaps the candidate saw a banner ad directed to your job posting on a major job board and then went to your corporate site to for further investigation--resulting in a résumé submission on your corporate career site. Knowing the full story provides you with a better understanding of the traction you are actually getting from each channel. You may want to look at benchmark data available from the Saratoga Institute on "advertising hiring percentage" to see how your organization compares to others.

As you develop metrics to evaluate your sourcing investment, you'll need to determine the best way to classify the data you capture. It's easier to spot trends and issues if you capture data at a detailed level (division, region, business unit, etc.) rather than as an aggregate. Factor in the types of jobs you hire for and determine at which level you want to capture data, including discipline and level as appropriate. What is important is to define your metrics clearly, and consistently track the data.

SOURCE: Sona Manzo, the Newman Group, June 30, 2005.

LEARN MORE: Read aboutHallmark's quality-of-hire initiative or more oncandidate sourcing.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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