Social Media Recruiting and The Bottom Line

by The Red Recruiter on January 15, 2010

362201147_8bd2ef0dd8_b-300x300[1]At the age of 9, I realized that if I purchased a large bag of gum (100 pieces) for $5.00, I could sell the entire bag at school at a rate of $.25 per piece OR $25.00 per bag.  Kids would find me and purchase the gum right before my classes – perhaps an hour of work a week.  I liked my little gum business until the principal shut me down.

Last week, I moderated an online Twitter conversation (made possible through the use of a hashtag) called Talent Net (#TNL for those of you on Twitter!) thanks to an invite from Craig Fisher.

The conversation was geared towards 2010 being the year to start tracking your social media ROI.  Specifically, to explore what measurements, tools, techniques and methods recruiters (both corporate and agency) are using to figure out whether their social media time and resources are garnishing any financial benefits.

It’s important to know that I did not intend to provide the answers to these larger questions… the intent was to simply moderate a conversation.

Within a few minutes of starting, it became obvious that the group was waiting for all of the answers and that no one had the complete picture.

To make matters more complex, it seemed as if there was a true lack of consensus around what we (as recruiters) should aim to achieve… engagement, applicants, hires, clients – What matters most?

Measuring Social Media Effectiveness

To measure the results of our activity, we must start with what we are attempting to accomplish.  For every department, firm or independent, this metric/goal may vary.

Here are some potential goals for recruiters:

  • Increase # of Applicants
  • Increase # of Hires
  • Improve Employment Brand
  • Improve Candidate Experience
  • Increase # of Clients
  • Identify Hard To Find Candidates

What else would you add?

For every desired goal, we must establish a measure that will fairly represent success or failure in accomplishing said goal.  We must also account for the time spent or monetary investment towards the goal.

Let’s look at a couple of examples:

Goal:  Increase # of Applicants

Method:  Twitter

Investment:  5 hours per week

Tracking Tool:  Referral Source Field in Application

Desired Result:  More than one qualified applicant per week

If the dedicated recruiter earns $30 per hour, you have a weekly investment of $150.  Therefore, any result with less than $150 in return would prove less than desirable.

However, if your average cost per applicant acquisition is greater than $150 per person and your recruiter manages to engage more than one person per week, you are making a smart investment – well, at least until the next great thing comes along!

Any opportunity cost should also be taken into account… if you want to get really specific – if you know it, add it to the equation.

Another example…

Goal:  Identify Hard To Find Candidates

Method:  Facebook

Investment:  $50 Weekly Facebook Social Ad Campaign & 2 Recruiter Hours a Week ($5,720 per year)

Tracking Tool:  Referral Source Field in Application

Desired Result:  Reduce Recruitment Outsourcing by 3 Hires a Year (i.e. $45,000 in fees)

If over the course of the year, you can accomplish identifying three targeted hires by only investing $2,600 on a recruiting focused Facebook Social Ad and $3,120 of the Recruiter’s time… you are doing well!

Of course, if the recruiter can accomplish this faster and cheaper using another method, that would also have to be considered – hopefully you’re tracking it.

The possibilities for measurement here are endless… again, it all depends on what you want to accomplish and what tools/resources you are going to dedicate to the project.

Benchmarks have to be established before any comprehensive understanding can be reached.

Resources On Measuring ROI In Social Media

My opinion on this topic is just one of many… so, I’ve decided to gather a few of the posts that I encountered.  Opinions range quite a bit!

Social Media Recruiting Paying Off at Crowe Horwath – John Zappe

4 Ways to Measure ROI + Metrics of Social Media Recruiting… – by Jessica Lee

Trying to measure the ROI of social media is stupid – Stephanie Lloyd

Measuring Social Media Marketing – by Chris Brogan

Measuring the ROI of Social Networking as a Recruitment Tool – by Sean Hennessy

How to Measure Social Media ROI for Business – Aaron Uhrmacher

The goal of understanding and/or exploring this topic has everything to do with creating a relevant dialogue around the topic.

We, as a group, have plenty to learn – consider how fast Social Media changes… I doubt we even have the ability to stay up to speed with these changes without our collective and collaborative understanding.

It seems as though our key metrics in recruiting have remained fairly consistent, but our tools have and will continue to change quickly.  We have to adjust and adapt.

What do you think we should be measuring?

Do you think the measurements have changed or just the tools?

How do you measure success in recruiting with social media?


This article is courtesy of Michael Long and originally posted on Social Media Recruiting and The Bottom Line

Michael Long is a recruiter that wears red shoes every day.  Michael created “The Red Recruiter” as a way to help both candidates and recruiters.

Michael is consistently engaged in speaking and training around the country on the topics of social media, recruiting, employment branding and overall corporate strategy.  Visit his profile page to learn more, read additional posts or connect with him directly.

Posted in Blog, Social Recruiting.