If you had an easy way to know where your applicants are coming from you’d take a look, right? Most of us have Google Analytics on our career sites, which as surprising as it might be, CAN provide you with this data. 

The real question is around the how can we find this information.

After you’ve decided that it’s time to create a robust strategy based on data, it’s time to look at what resources you have to provide you with this information. Potentially you may not know if you have Google Analytics or another web analytics tool on your site, and that’s perfectly okay! Stop what you’re doing, and ask your data/web team if you have it and they will be able to give you this answer.

Action Item: Email your web team to ask if you have Google Analytics on your site.

If for some reason you don’t have a tool implemented, I’m going to let you in on a secret; Google Analytics is free! Which means, you really have no excuse to not use this resource to measure how your career site and recruitment strategies are performing. 

Action Item: If you do not already have Google Analytics, implement it today. Simply visit https://analytics.google.com for more information.

In order to really understand your applicant journey, you’re going to need to look a bit deeper than the overview page.

The basic metrics in Google Analytics are something you can simply look into today. Let’s discuss a few basic metrics that can help us learn a bit more about our users behaviours. If you’re not familiar with pageviews, sessions, users etc., please reference Google’s glossary

I usually look at the Source/Medium level to first understand where my applicants are coming from. The Source/Medium level can be found under the Acquisition tab. This provides you with the number of sessions, number of users, number avg. session duration, and as I have custom goals setup, the number of full applications submitted. (Yes this is full application submission. Comment or message me for more information on setting this up.)

Obviously it’s great to know how many people are coming from each source, if they are returning, and more importantly the rate at which they are applying. But mentioned before, having data is great, though it’s a lot more informative if we have a bit more context and story behind it. One of the easiest ways to provide more context, is to simply use the secondary dimension feature.

By looking at the data at a more micro scale, we are able to start better understanding what media works best for what specific areas or demographics. In the example below, you can see that by simply adding an additional dimension, we can better understand how Indeed works for different cities.

Action Item: You can also setup custom campaigns, utilising UTMs.

Not only is Google Analytics a free software that provides you information about top pages, cities, basic referral site information, but you can also use it to easily setup your own hiring campaigns using UTMs; to easily track applicants coming to your site from job boards, social postings, or even programmatic media campaigns. 

Now, this type of tracking does require a bit of manual work, but by implementing some simple tags on your postings URLs, you can specify your own source, medium, campaign, and more. An easy way to start setting up your own campaigns, is using Google’s free URL Builder.

We can now post the above URL on any site or include in a newsletter, where when it is clicked on your own Google Analytics will understand that this person came from the “campaign” email alert. For a real example, take a look at the video below.

I know that this is quite a bit of information, but reach out to your web team as they should be able to help you implement everything that we talked about today. If you have any additional questions, please reach out directly or comment below.

Digital Strategist, Metrics & Campaign Management

With more beans than a quadruple espresso, Patrick is constantly driven to explore and learn. After a sporadic journey working in video and digital healthcare marketing, he finally found his way and passion helping others to analyse and interpret their own data. As a Digital Strategist at AIA, Patrick works with clients to help them better understand how their recruitment strategies are performing, from basic website analytics to full-fledged cookie based campaign management efforts. 

Say hi to him on Twitter, where he's happy to chat data, tech, branding and where to find the best coffee in London.