Quotes about success often include ideas about reflection, don’t they? Reviewing past experiences and learning from them.  Self-improvement.

It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure”Bill Gates*

Whether it’s software development, baseball or online recruitment, the principle remains the same. Evaluating past performance is key to delivering better results next time.

As we career into the second month of this New Year, have you had chance to review your 2015 online recruitment campaigns and processes?

The first question to ask is: What defines success?

We are very aware that each organisation is unique, and that you’re going to have different expectations and results to the next person reading this article.

So let’s focus on what successes we can measure more simply and effectively.

Two key reasons for using an online recruitment system are to save time and to save money during the recruitment process. Measuring your time-to-hire and cost-per-hire, therefore, can be significant indicators of success.

Take-away: Define what success looks like for your team and make those your measurable success metrics.

The second question: How do we measure these metrics?

If you’re using online recruitment software, you should have a suite of standard reports. You can use these to measure your time-to-hire and cost-per-hire per vacancy.

Another helpful report your online recruitment system should offer is source reporting.  When you run a multi-platform campaign, such as one encompassing job boards, online advertising and social media, it’s essential to evaluate which sources are delivering the most suitable candidates – and at what cost.

You can then review on which channels you should be focusing your efforts and budget for particular vacancies in 2016.

Take-away: Familiarise yourself with your recruitment software standard reports. Does your system offer bespoke reports? Are you comfortable with the different parameters you can use for reporting?

The third question: How do we make sense of it all?

The data from your online recruitment system won’t hold much meaning unless you review it against a wider context.

This is why defining those success metrics we discussed in Question 1 is so important – otherwise what are you measuring the data against? Running a report to understand your cost-per-hire will hold little value unless you have a target or previous figures to compare it against.

Looking deeper into what your data is telling you is also important.

If you’re running a time-to-hire report in your online recruitment system, for example, you should be able to choose between two different parameters. One should be the time to hire from when the job was first created and the other from when the job went live.

If you’re seeing a particularly long time between the job creation and going live, it could indicate an internal bottleneck in your vacancy approval process.

Another example is using a ‘recruitment activity’ report.  This report allows you to view your jobs, so you can draw comparisons between them at a glance, such as why some are performing better than others.

By drilling down into one particular job, you can start to draw deeper conclusions. A job may appear to be more ‘popular’ in terms of number of candidates, but if only 3 out of 300 applicants progressed to interview, perhaps the suitability of candidates wasn’t as high as for other opportunities.

This insight can help you make decisions such as utilising more effective screening questions or tools to filter unsuitable candidates.

Take-away: Don’t jump to conclusions before you have fully explored your options. Make sure your online recruitment data is offering you a well-rounded view.

The big question: How successful was your online recruitment in 2015?

To answer this question, you need to pull together:

  • Your definition of success – which could alter between different vacancies – and how you plan to measure it.
  • All your relevant online recruitment data and reports in a format that is easy for you to review – whether it’s a table, spreadsheet or chart.
  • Any wider context or information, such as historically challenging vacancies to fill, a change in processes or reshuffle of your team.

Next question: What about this year?

We’re already in February – so if you haven’t already, it’s time to determine your success metrics and targets for 2016! This time next year you’ll be pleased you did…

*Original source – Brainy Quote.

Find out more

The 3 ATS reports you need to be using

Source reporting: The lowdown

3 ways online recruitment software can save you money

About the author

Tristan Potter

Tristan has a decade's worth of experience writing content and copy for organisations across Bristol and the Southwest of England. He has written on a diverse range of topics, including technology, philosophy, politics, and recruitment. His writing has appeared in The Drum, HR Grapevine, and The Guardian, among other publications. He joined Hireserve in March 2022.