One of the most important metrics you can measure is Visits (defined simply as the number of times people came and ‘visited’ your career site). This metric is important because it tells you how many opportunities you had to turn a job seeker into an applicant. Tracking visits over time can tell you whether your SEO and other promotional efforts are working (or not). Comparing Visits with Visitors (also commonly called Unique Visitors) can give you an idea about how often people return to your site. If you have 100 Visits in a week, and 50 Visitors, that means that many visitors are visiting more than once. When it comes to Visits, more is generally better.
The next step beyond visits, is to look at what those visitors are doing. On a career site, one of the most important actions that visitors can take is viewing jobs. After all, that’s why you put the jobs out there in the first place, right? You want people to see them. Assuming that’s the case, more job views (or increasing job views) are better than less (or declining) job views. However, don’t forget that job views will be affected by things like the number of jobs on the site, as well as things like the time of year. Not many people look for jobs towards the end of December, for example. You can also do a quick calculation to figure out how many jobs your visitors view on average: Just divide Total Job Views by Total Visits to see how many jobs people look at during the average visit (300 job views / 100 visits = 3 jobs per visit).
This is the all important number. It’s all well and good that people are visiting your site and looking at your jobs, but it’s all for naught if they aren’t applying for any positions. Tracking applications, monitoring them over time, and looking at application rates (visits/applications and job views/applications) all help to provide you with a clear view of the effectiveness of your career site and your recruitment marketing campaigns. Tying applications back to their referring source, if your tracking system allows, makes this metric even more valuable. If you know that you got 5 applications this month from visitors that came from Job Board X, you can calculate the value of the job postings there.
Speaking of sources, most analytics systems will show you where your traffic is coming from, even if they can’t tie an individual application back to the source that brought it in. Traffic sources generally fall into two main categories: search and referrals (there’s also direct, which is basically a catchall for all the visits that come in with no detectable source, like type-ins or bookmarks).
Search traffic, not surprisingly, comes from search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. There may also be keyword data associated with this traffic which will allow you to see which search terms people used to get to your site. Referrals are the result of people clicking on links to your site on other, non-search, sites. Learning about your traffic sources can help you understand the value of your various recruitment marketing efforts, including any SEO work (which should result in growing search traffic over time).
To wrap things up, here’s a couple metrics that are commonly used to measure “engagement”—or the typical level of interest a visitor has in your site. Average time on site gives you an idea of how long people spend browsing around on your site. Average pages per visit gives you an idea of how many pages people view when they visit. The assumption here is that people who spend more time, and look at more pages, are more interested in what you’re offering. Typically, engagement can be improved by adding more relevant and useful content. For a career site, that might include things like meatier job descriptions, employment videos, or in-depth content on benefits and company culture.
Ultimately, the purpose of tracking these metrics is to help you assess the effectiveness of your career site and recruitment marketing efforts. Once you know where you’re at, and where you’ve been, you can take action to improve your results and ensure that your changes have the desired effect.