Every recruitment marketer knows the importance of having a career site. Whether it’s a small piece of your corporate website or a large site with its own domain, your career site is a place to host all of your job openings and give job seekers a peek behind the curtain at your company’s mission, values, and culture.
You spent so much time and money getting it launched. However, once you’ve established your career site, how do you know if it’s successful? Sure, you can measure based on the number of applications you receive, but it’s so much more than that. You need to know how long job seekers stay on your site and what content makes them stick around.
It’s time to dig into all of the essential details that will help measure the success of your career site:
Setting Your Goals
Before you dig into your career site analytics, it’s critical to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. First, you need to identify your career site goals. This includes your goals for the site overall and any additional content pages. Define the purpose for every page on your site.
For example, your overall site might aim to create awareness for your employer brand and convert job seekers into applicants. You may have a page about employee benefits within your site that is primarily for awareness and a page with job postings that aims to convert.
Another goal might be to reduce the need for talent to learn about your company culture from third-party review sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed.
Whatever your case, create a map of all of these goals so you can measure your site’s success more accurately.
Next, it’s time to start reviewing your metrics. There are many key performance indicators (KPIs) to help you assess the goals you set. Here are some metrics to consider as you evaluate your goals:
Tells you the amount of time a user (or average of all users) spends on your career site.
Goal: Time spent on site is a measure of awareness and engagement. This is important on pages where you have a lot of content, such as a company culture page or recruiter blog. A longer average session duration means your content is engaging.
Bounce is a single-page session, such as when a user opens a single page on your site and then exits without interacting with anything else during that session.
Goal: Bounce rate is a measure of engagement. It tells you whether the page they landed on is what they expected when they landed there. For example, if the bounce rate is high on your job postings, you may not be effectively describing your jobs in your recruitment marketing or the job description.
Simply, a view of a page on your site. If a user refreshes a page, this is also counted as an additional pageview. If a user navigates to a different page and then returns to the original page, another pageview is recorded. A unique pageview aggregates pageviews that are generated by the same user during the same session. A unique pageview represents the number of sessions during which that page was viewed one or more times.
Goal: Similar to session duration, page views measure awareness and engagement. They show you how many different pages job seekers viewed within your career site. Pages with higher view counts may be more engaging or have content that is most important to candidates.
When a user’s cookies track that they visited your website in the past and are back again, this is considered a return visit.
Goal: Again, this metric is another way to track the success of your career site. Return visits signify that a candidate is still interested in your company after their first visit to your site.
When a candidate applies for a job or signs up to join your talent network, this is a conversion. Conversion rate tells you how many people applied (or opted in) compared to how many people visited your site total.
Goal: Conversion and conversion rate are the primary metrics to track for your career site. All of your other content aims to encourage people to apply to your jobs, and conversions show you how successful you are in that goal.
Traffic Drivers by Source
If you want to get even more granular, you can measure how people arrived at your site, rather than just how many. You can find out whether they directly typed in your website URL, came from a referral link on another website, social media, a search engine, etc.
Goal: This metric is less about the success of your career site itself. Instead, it provides insight into your recruitment marketing success. You can tell which marketing levers are successful in landing job seekers on your career site.
Conversions by Source
You can also narrow down your source metrics to see where your applicants came from.
Goal: If you’re getting lots of traffic but low conversions, this may signify a disconnect between your recruitment marketing and your career site content. It shows that people do not see what they hoped they’d find when they clicked on your career site.
In addition to the in-site metrics, you’ll also want to review how well your site ranks on search engines for your key search terms. This is important for how people find your site based on the content you have within it.
Tip: In addition to engaging candidates, all of the content you’ve added to your site should help your career site’s authority on search engines. If your content doesn’t have high engagement like you imagined, but you are ranking well in search engines, all is not lost.
Benchmarking Your Metrics
Once you’ve compiled all of your metrics, how do you make sense of the numbers? How do you know what bounce rates and conversions are successful?
There are two ways to benchmark your results: within your team and with the rest of your industry.
Start by comparing your career site to itself. Month over month, you can see how your page views and bounce rates compare. This is the easiest way to see your improvement.
For example, if your bounce rate decreases each month or your conversion rate increases, you know what you’re doing is working.
At the end of the day, your site is there to pull in applications, quality candidates, and hires. If your site is not meeting your recruitment needs, then you know it needs to improve.
The longer your site exists, you can switch up your measurement from monthly to quarterly to see a more aggregate view of your success. Eventually, you’ll be able to see how you performed year over year throughout your hiring seasons.
External benchmarks are trickier to come by, as every career site has different goals and sizes. One way you can benchmark your career site success is if you work with a career site vendor. These companies may share average benchmarks based on their work with all of their other clients in similar industries to yours.
Outside of that, you may be able to find up-to-date reports on some benchmark metrics by searching online. For example, CareerPlug released a 2020 benchmark report featuring specific data for several industries. Their recommended benchmark for page views to application rates ranges from 15 to 20% based on their findings. They advise that companies target at least a 10% conversion rate from job views to clicks.