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Is Source of Influence Tracking The Answer?

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There is a bit of talk out there about “Source of Influence” and how one needs to understand the entire candidate journey with all of its touchpoints. And while it’s true that today’s candidates act like consumers (with an average of 12 touch-points before making a decision) it’s still not clear why “Source of Influence” alone is important for recruiters. Source of influence shows what candidates did before they applied to your job or joined your talent community, but it doesn’t provide any insight in regards to what happened with the candidate after that (the result).

So while the idea behind it is meaningful, it is useless when not applied to the full power of a CRM and ATS. Engagement is certainly designed to be influential and since there are costs associated with engagement (time, energy, ad fees, etc.) one hopes these efforts are applied based on the results, i.e. who actually gets through a hiring process.

However, by reducing Source of Influence to a simple media tracking exercise, the concept becomes flawed – it’s challenging to measure the source of influence due to two main reasons.

First of all, it’s impossible to track and report on all touchpoints that a potential candidate has with an employer brand — and that means the conclusions you draw from the data could be incorrect. There are no reliable means to track touchpoints that are outside your career portal, social media sites, paid ads or job boards where you specifically have tracking code embedded.

Cookies are needed to collect data on people’s journey through the Internet, and soon, based on existing and upcoming data privacy regulations, a great deal of tracking is going to be easily opted out from. That alone means no company would make this a type of tracking central to their strategy for success.

The fact is, there is always going to be a lot of online interaction that gets missed. The internet is a self-service content production machine — you don’t have control over all the content and opinions that are out there about your brand.

Plus, it’s complicated to discern the candidate’s motivation or intent from multiple separate, seemingly random walks through the Internet, and, taking it a step further, how those observations would change your marketing behavior. Instead, what you want to know, is how did a person respond to your information — this can be concrete with a good CRM system.

Considering the challenges of tracking online data points, you can imagine the impossibilities of tracking offline interaction. What about the neighbor telling your potential candidate that they had a horrible experience applying for a job on your career site or, even worse, a bad shopping experience with your company? Or, your potential candidate reads something about your company in the newspaper (yes, the actual, physical paper). Or they hear something on their favorite podcast. The list goes on, but you get the idea. So showing a complete and holistic candidate source journey is just not possible (unless our world becomes truly Orwellian).

Second, while in theory it would be nice to learn about the candidate journey before they actually convert (e.g. apply to a job or join a talent community), it is still not enough to completely dictate future advertising or content generation. Are you really interested in learning about the journey of each and every candidate, or rather of the the ones that you would like to hire? To learn about the results of high quality candidates we need additional metrics, such as recruitment effectiveness backed up by conversion rates and quality of hire.

In the end, everyone wants to hire the right people. Understanding who is actually getting hired, where the top talent is, and what your recruitment team needs to do to convert them is the key to the success of your recruitment business. For this, you need to look at a variety of sources and activities, including data from the ATS system. Let’s break it down.

Most companies use at least a few of the following channels to find and attract talent:

  • Recruitment Marketing campaigns (e.g. Social Media, Email, Landing Pages)
  • Talent community sign-up pages
  • Career site
  • University events
  • Sourcing on job boards and open web
  • Proactive outreach via phone, email or text

In order to get true insights on recruiting effectiveness it’s paramount to see information on all these channels and activities in a centralized dashboard. And when you combine this with conversion rates (1) and quality of hire metrics (2) you can determine the ROI of your marketing and sourcing efforts.

Two quick caveats at this point:

(1) The funnel is a known and popular metric and probably most of our readers are already measuring conversion rates to some degree. However, the crucial part is getting the full picture (from lead to hire) and, ideally have all this information in the same system, avoiding missed information and integration pain.

(2) Quality of hire is an important metric that is both complex to measure and heavily dependent on each company’s business strategy. Avature provides you with different approaches to assess and quantify quality of hire: you can ask your Hiring Manager after 3, 6, and 12 months how the hire is doing using Avature’s native survey capabilities to conduct Hiring Manager satisfaction surveys. You can get turnover and retention rates from your HRIS, or connect to your Performance Management system to capture performance related stats.

Recruitment effectiveness can only be evaluated using a wide array of inputs: Conversion rates and quality of hire are key indicators, but they need to be weighed against source channels, recruitment activities and candidate interaction to provide clear information on to what extent the business goals of a recruitment organization are being met. In short, relying on a single variable (Source of influence or otherwise) to assess what is effectively a complex process can lead to wrong decisions — and bad results.

If you’d like to learn how Avature can help you gather all the relevant recruitment information and leverage a state of the art recruitment marketing solution, click here, or dig into some of our blogs below.

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