Have you ever wondered why that seemingly perfect campaign drove very little traffic?

Perhaps you saw lots of interactions, but few applications with no obvious reason?

Maybe your campaigns generally feel unpredictable?

I guess you have asked yourself, “What’s going on?”

The answer is simple: Chaos.

But what does ‘chaos’ actually mean?

Merriam-Webster defines the Chaos Theory as, “a branch of mathematical and physical theory that deals with the nature and consequences of chaos and chaotic systems.”

That may be true, but I like to think of it as the slightly catchier ‘Science of Surprises’; the cause of unpredictability.

Butterflies and Balloons

You’ve heard of The Butterfly Effect, where something as minute as a butterfly fluttering its wings at a particular moment in time can eventually lead to a hurricane several weeks later, right? Well, Chaos Theory is the idea that small actions can have the potential for huge consequences later on.

Imagine releasing a bunch of helium balloons together. They float high up into the air, over the roofs of houses, getting smaller and smaller – until they start to lose their helium and head back towards earth.

But where will they land?

It doesn’t take a genius to work out they won’t land all in the same place.  

The same philosophy applies to your potential applicants. To start with, and for whatever reason, they all land on the same place on your careers site. Yes! You’ve got them! That’s great, right? 

Not necessarily.

Digital Strategist (Metrics & Campaign Management) Patrick Welch, revealed that based on three million page views, over a six-month period, forty-four per cent of potential applicants who visited a global technology’s career site left after just one visit and without taking any action.

It could be the initial look, or complexity of the site. There are a host of reasons why.

So what about the remainder who do stay? Well, their pathways will all be slightly different.

Chaotic Route

Candidates will all differ in the way they search. What they are each looking for will mean they will each follow their own individual paths and create their own pathways.

The situation is similar with your job advertisements. Your potential applicants could start by seeing your ad on a job board, but they will all react in different ways.

Some could leave without even clicking on your ad. (But you’d find their reasons for leaving would be very different.)

Some could click on the ad but the destination site could put them off.

But then some (you would hope!) could click through and apply straight away.

It’s easy to see how quickly their paths can change.

By recognising that every person, and indeed the world we live in, is chaotic, you can gain a whole new insight.

A pilot can steer a hot air balloon to a desired location by better understanding the complex dynamics of the atmosphere. But without this knowledge, he has only educated guessing and optimism to help him land successfully. The less knowledge he has, the harder it is to steer the balloon and the more chaotic the flight path becomes.

Now, imagine each of your potential applicants is a balloon. By better understanding them, for example, what content is of most interest, what type of ad best suits, the reasons they apply or don’t apply, how they interact with our campaigns and so on, you too can help better steer them through to the process, so they are confident and excited to apply.

The Takeaway

One detail that may seem small in the grand scheme of things could prevent a person from applying for a role.

By our very nature, human beings are complex and chaotic. It’s vital you understand as much as you can about your potential applicants when planning all aspects of a campaign. That way, you can pilot your candidates and make sure they not only land on your careers site safely, but do exactly what you want them to do when they get there as well.

Metrics Analyst

As a Metrics Analyst at AIA Worldwide, Emma is responsible for tracking and reporting on clients' campaign data, from basic website analytics to fully fledged cookie based tracking. With a passion for numbers and a background in mathematics, Emma loves analysing and applying mathematical theories to real world data.