Social Recruiting and Social Media ROI

It is said in business you measure what matters.

The same can be said for the implementation of social recruiting/social media. Basically its use is designed to positively impact your business. The only way to ensure that this is in fact the case is through clear and focused measurement.  Measurement also allows you to adjust your approach along the way. Spending too much time in one area without a positive return? Then measurement will help you understand how to make changes. Finally measurement is part of reputation management, as the only way to understand your online reputation is to measure what is being said, it’s also the only way to really manage your corporate brand online.

The measurement process does not need to be complex. However it does need to allow you to understand the impact on your business.

I also believe there is no right way of measuring the return on investment for use of social media in business. Why? Because the objectives for using social media are different. 

Lets look at Quantitative Measurement.

Quantitative measurement is required when you are looking to measure hard numbers such as increases in candidates or sales, site traffic, speed to hire, reduction in calls to your customer service staff. To measure the results you will require tools and services that provide you information on your program success.

As part of regular business operations you should have tools to measure your sales, time to hire etc but what about measuring your activities online and your reputation?

Here are a eleven free tools to get you started:

  1. Post Rank
  2. Post Rank is a free service that measures social engagement on online content produced in RSS feeds such as blog posts or news stories. This is done by measuring the type and frequency of your audience’s interaction with the content, for example bookmarking, commenting, blogging about the post.

  3. FeedBurner
  4. FeedBurner is an essential free RSS distribution service that provides detailed blog readership measurement and engagement metrics. Using FeedBurner you can measure the number of subscribers to your feed, gain an understanding as to which blog posts are popular and also measure users who have taken action based on your content.

  5. Google Analytics
  6. Google Analytics is another essential tool for any web site. Google Analytics provides sites traffic trends, search keywords, conversion measurements, time spent on your site and the number of pages viewed. Google Analytics provides a professional level of information for free in an easy to use and understand layout.

  7. Xinu
  8. Xinu measures the status of your site in several search engines and social media sites. It also provides some simple diagnostic tools to allow you to improve your site.

  9. WordPress Popularity Contest plugin
  10. If you are using WordPress as your blogging tool of choice installing the Popularity Contest plugin by Alex King is highly recommended. This plugin measures views, comment etc are tracked and provided point values to determine popularity.

  11. Google Alerts
  12. Are email and RSS updates of the latest Google results based on your specific watch list words or topics. You can subscribe to each alert through email and RSS. The alerts track blog posts, news articles, videos and even groups. Set a “comprehensive alert,” which will notify you of stories, as they happen, for your name, your topic, and even your company.

  13. Technorati
  14. A free blog search engine that amongst other things allows users to create custom watch lists of words of topics. When one of your terms appears Technorati will add it to your customer RSS feed for that watch list.

  15. Yahoo Pipes
  16. A free service from Yahoo that allows users to build very complex aggregation tools, called Pipes. The Pipes can be either kept private or shared publically. Yahoo Pipes is a very comprehensive tool, however I would not recommend it for someone without significant technical skills.

  17. TweetBeep
  18. A tool that reviews the content of public Twitter updates, Tweets, and based on your key words will send you an email either hourly or daily as people discuss your keyword. If your business is locally focused the alerts can also be restricted to specific locations so you do not get overloaded with irrelevant information.

  19. Social Mention
  20. A free search engine that aggregates information across many different user generated contact sites such as blogs, comments, photos, voting, tagging and micro-blogging. Users can subscribe to the watch lists by either RSS or email.

  21. BackType
  22. Most of the above tools do not allow you to see the comments left on sites that might mention your terms. This is where BackType can help. BackType allows you to receive updates whenever your terms are mentioned in a comment, once again subscribe via email or RSS. 

Another tip, all of these tools can be used to source candidates, plug in a keyword and “automagically” you get feeds of potential candidates. More on how to manage that information flow later.

Inspired in part by Jim Durbin’s post yesterday on Sodexo’s activities.

Update: Here are 3 more tools Radian6Techrigy, or Spiral 16 

10 Recruiting trends for 2009

As the world economies seems to be collapsing around us what will be the best practices in recruiting for 2009? Will video resumes be the killer app? Will niche job boards take over from the big boards? Will social media be the killer app?

Nope, none of these alone will get you the best candidates. Sorry.

If the economies do completely collapse there are a couple of outcomes; unemployment will rise as companies go under and people in secure jobs will be less likely to want to move. At the same time companies will need to do more with less and work hard to keep good talent.

So where should you focus?

  1. Quality of hire. Some people looking for jobs will be B grade, from layoffs, while some will be A grade. Given companies will be operating on thin margins you cannot afford to recruit the wrong person, ever! 
  2. Time to hire. While there will be more candidates to choose from, as with quality the time to hire will still be critical. 
  3. ROI, ROI, ROI. Every single recruiting activity must provide a positive return on investment. You can no long afford to just engage agencies to find candidates, it must be justified and most likely a last resort.
  4. Use your talent pool. Following on from the previous point companies that leverage the data in their talent management systems will reduce the time to hire and cost to hire. 
  5. Look for innovative and cost effective advertising. Post 10 job ads on the biggest job board for $1,000 might seem easy but is it the best use of the $1,000? Maybe providing micro-sponsorship to an industry event will get you in front of better candidates.
  6. Branding. Everyone is talking about it, but it is true. If people want to come ane work for your organisation you are half way there to hiring them. The best people want to work for the best organisations, no matter what the economy is doing.
  7. Referrals. Time and time again referrals provide the highest quality hire at the lowest cost.
  8. Social media. While it will not save you, social media will help. Look at social media to help improve your brand, and engage with top talent.
  9. Social networking. As with social media it will not save you but it will help you find candidates and improve your brand. Not to mention the ROI is very high.
  10. Learn to use search engines to find candidates.

You might look at the list and think, so what’s new? Well not a lot. It is just how you apply the processes which differs.


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