How to Measure the Effectiveness of Recruitment Advertising - dummies

How to Measure the Effectiveness of Recruitment Advertising

By Richard Mosley

Recruitment advertising is the easiest employer branding marketing activity to evaluate, because it involves an investment in creative development and media buying and a return on investment in the form of applications for one or more vacancies.

Advertising costs in employer branding

Advertising costs include the expenses involved in creating and placing advertising content:

  • Creative development cost: The total investment in creative development and production of core advertising assets. These expenses apply to ideation, copywriting, photography, and the creation of advertising templates. Creative development cost is generally easier to identify if it’s outsourced to an agency; otherwise, you need to calculate the cost based on the time and materials used.
  • Variable advertising cost: Customization or adaptation of the advertising templates and assets to meet specific local needs. These expenses are for additional copywriting, design, photography, and so on.
  • Media cost: Investment in paid media channels, including online job boards, pay-per-click advertising, programmatic media buying, and so on.

Audience exposure to your employer brand

Audience exposure is a measure of the number of people an ad has been presented to or the number of times an ad has been presented, regardless of whether anyone notices it or acts on it. You can measure audience exposure in the following two ways:

  • Reach: The total number of people who’ve had an opportunity to see your message at least once through a specific channel. Where possible, measure reach in terms of key target audiences — the talent you’re trying to attract.
  • Frequency/impressions: The number of times an advertisement has been presented through a specific channel.

Engagement with your employer brand

Engagement is a measure of how effective an advertisement has been in achieving the desired objective. Two common measures of engagement in recruitment advertising are click-through rate and applications:

  • Click-through rate (CTR): The percentage of visitors to a web page who click on the advertisement to access your career site or job microsite or view other recommended content.
  • Applications: The number of applications generated by a campaign or a particular advertisement.

Source of application and source of hire

Source of application and source of hire are two metrics for tracking down and identifying the recruitment advertising campaigns, channels, messages, and formats that are most effective in achieving the desired objectives:

  • Source of application (SOA): The advertisement that sparked a prospect’s interest in the company, which ultimately led to the prospect submitting an application. Because prospects typically investigate a range of employer sources before making an application, SOA can be a complex metric. However, the increasing sophistication and use of cookies (a tiny piece of data sent from a website to a user’s browser to record a trail of sites the user visits) have increased the ability of applicant tracking systems (ATSs) to identify the SOA.
  • Source of hire (SOH): The advertisement that sparked a prospect’s interest in the company, which ultimately led to the prospect being hired. Similar to SOA, SOH provides clearer insight into the quality of the applicants from each advertising channel and campaign, particularly when combined with quality-of-hire data.

Analyzing the effectiveness of recruitment advertising

After gathering the data related to advertising costs, audience exposure and engagement, and SOA/SOH, analyze it carefully to answer the following questions:

  • Which media channels, recruitment marketing messages, and formats (text, photos, videos, and so on) are most effective in generating the most applications from qualified candidates?
  • Which media channels, recruitment marketing messages, and formats are most efficient in terms of cost per applicant?
  • How does the total ROI of recruitment advertising compare to that of other sources of applications, including referrals, recruitment agencies, internal recruiters, and investment in search engine optimization (SEO)?