What Do Your Job Candidates Really Want?

What Do Your Candidates Really Want?

You’re probably already measuring source of hire. You can see which percentage of hires come from job boards, LinkedIn, referrals and recruiting events. And you also employ multiple recruitment marketing tactics like a careers site, a Glassdoor profile, employer brand videos, an email nurturing campaign, a job seeker newsletter, a talent network, paid search and press outreach. These top-of-the funnel activities probably don’t show up on your ATS. How do you know if they are working?

Source of Influence shows you how. In a recent webinar, The Key Recruiting Metric You're Not Tracking: Source of Influence, Kirsten Davidson, Glassdoor’s Head of Employer Brand, and Elyse Mayer, Content Manager at SmashFly, shared information about what source of influence is and what insights it can give you. Here’s a summary of what we learned:

What is source of influence?

Online comparison shopping and reading product reviews is now normal behavior before making purchases, and candidates behave the same way. Research from Inavero shows that job seekers use an average of 18 sources before applying, up from 10-12 a few years ago. At the same time, talent acquisition is engaging in multiple activities that nurture a candidate to the apply stage, when they typically enter your tracking system. Source of influence measures everything that happens before candidates apply.

Why source of influence matters

Recruitment marketing and source of influence go hand in hand. Without a window into source of influence data, you simply won’t know which of your many recruitment marketing activities work best to attract the candidates that turn into hires. Once you have this data, you’ll be able to get a sense of the entire candidate journey. Then you can target your efforts to the channels that work best for specific candidate audiences. Remember, some channels (e.g., social media) are meant to nurture candidates by giving them compelling information about the company and what it’s like to work there, while others (e.g., job boards) are more likely convert them to the application stage.

Davidson shared data that time to hire has increased significantly in recent years. Candidates have more time to research your company during that time, apply to other jobs and finally make an informed decision.

The importance of targeting

Do you know which of your recruitment marketing efforts work best to nurture relationships with engineers, veterans or customer service agents? All candidates are not created alike, and you may find that what works for one may not work for another. When you understand source influence, you understand their motivations and behaviors, and take guesswork out of the picture.

Mayer shared an example of a company that began measuring source of influence and found that social media was ineffective at engaging with the veteran target audience. This information allowed them to allocate more social media posts to other targets, and engage in other ways of reaching veterans.


How to get started

If you don’t yet have the budget to measure source of influence with a recruitment marketing platform, Davidson shared strategies on how to get started, and eventually build your case to management. She suggested that you start with research with your current candidates and recent hires. Both surveys and focus groups will help you answer questions like:

  • How did you learn about our company before you applied? Respondents might mention social media, Glassdoor or news mentions. They may have received a compelling nurture email that contained a Glassdoor review or seen a post of a volunteer event on Instagram.
  • Why did you apply/why did you accept the offer? This could give you key insights into your recruiting process, and what makes your company different.
  • What do you like best about working here/what makes you want to work here? Use this information to decide what content to include in your social media posts or your nurture emails.

Once you have this information, then you can make sure you’re measuring interactions on each of these channels to the best of your ability. You may uncover hidden gems that will help turn leads into applications and applicants into hires. After showing the results from making adjustments from what you learned, you’ll be armed with evidence you need to invest in technology to help you.

To learn more about source of influence and how it can help your company attract better candidates and make more quality hires, view the webinar recording, or check out the slides of our webinar, The Key Recruiting Metric You're Not Tracking: Source of Influence. We also wrote the eBook on source of influence with SmashFly, The Guide to Source of Influence: What, Why and How.