Social Recruiting Metrics & Measurements


When I talk to HR professionals about social media tools and social recruiting, I’m always asked, “What should we measure?”

Back in the day, I learned about corporate recruiting from HR professionals who were rooted in the manufacturing industry. Recruiting was an extension of the supply chain. Demand planning principles were invoked. We used math. (Well, they used math.) Some forecasting involved. Recruiters worked like cost accountants and forensic scientists to understand how headcount was tied to the business. A workforce plan was created, and it was aligned with products and services. No one assumed that headcount lasted forever. You weren’t entitled to replace an employee who left your department. You budgeted for your headcount like you budgeted for the cost of paper, chemicals, and supplies. Then entry-level Corporate Recruiters, like me, would have to fill openings that were approved through the workforce plan.

I realize that no one does recruiting like that, anymore. Corporate leaders hang onto headcount with ever fiber in their being. Those slots on the org chart might be lost through attrition, but no one in marketing will give up headcount to sales or IT. That’s just not how the world works.


So when I’m asked what HR should to measure when it comes to their social recruiting efforts, I shrug my shoulders. What’s your brand strategy? What is your organization trying to accomplish? What do you need to learn? What’s the time frame? What story are you trying to tell?

You can’t measure anything until you have a recruiting strategy, and you can’t have a recruiting strategy until you understand how your hiring process links into the way you operate your company. You can’t operate a company by hiring people through job boards, employee referrals, and social media tools and THEN ask, “What should we measure?”


Unfortunately, corporate strategery is hard and everyone likes a road map and a list. So here are some ideas of what you can measure to determine if your social recruiting strategy is working. There are 1,000 more ideas. Suggest some. Please.

  • Speed/length of recruiting cycle
  • Source of hire
  • Time to fill
  • Quality of hire: skills and cultural fit
  • Online viewing patterns/behaviors
  • Conversions from blog/email/twitter campaigns to candidates to hire
  • Career site conversions from passive viewer to candidate to hire
  • SEO/Job Board/Advertising campaigns, conversations, and conversion to hires
  • Costs for traditional recruiting events versus enhanced online presence.
  • Retention rates based on sourcing methodologies
  • Sentiment of candidates sourced online — positive v. negative experiences
  • How interactive tools on your career website are being used
  • Subscribers to career website blog/email/newsletter
  • Comments/engagement on posted material on career website
  • Number of downloads of career materials
  • Inbound links to career website/blogs
  • Fans/followers/group members for corporate social profiles
  • Lawsuits
  • Workplace violence incident ratios
  • Turnover
  • Ennui

What am I missing?

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