Aligning Recruitment Tools with TA strategy

Are your recruiting tools delivering ROI?

In these series of blogs in partnership with, I’m exploring a number of topics that should be on every in-house talent acquisition (TA) and recruitment teams’ agenda in 2019. Following on from last week’s subject of the partner ecosystem, this week I’m focusing on assessing TA and recruitment tools and their Return on Investment (ROI).

Measuring hiring success 

In talent acquisition and recruitment, hiring success metrics are traditionally measured through a combination of time-to-hire, cost-per-hire and quality-of-hire; in my experience, companies have also used metrics such as the velocity of hiring, percentage of agency-spend, and cost-per-recruiter-seat against overall annual spend to further the assessment of successful hiring. 

Establishing the metrics for success early on will enable the TA function to illustrate the value they provide the individual hiring manager, the team and overall business. Without the agreed method of evaluating success, how can either party know what success really looks like? – having been part of a team that made this mistake (very early on in my career), I can tell you that the process of reviewing data sets that could, depending on how they are interrupted, result in the success or failure, really doesn’t make for a fun workshop. 

In short, get your baseline agreement of what success looks like and bake that into your recruitment strategy and then use this data to accurately report to the business. 

From team to tooling

The overall cost of a TA function is a combination of the people, platform and tools and agency-spend; it’s rare – in my experience – that tools are singled out for their specific ROI. 

With TA budgets allocated by the majority of CFO’s under the banner of ‘cost to the business’, reviews of the ‘spend’ are either quarterly or half-yearly. Red flags seem to be in the form of increased agency spend or low recruiter productivity with less focus on the tools they use daily. 

Exceptions to this are when the subscription is up for renewal or where there is an increase in the subscription fee; at that point, the question default is ‘do we really need to use this tool?’ or ‘is there a cheaper alternative?’. 

How then, do you assess the tools a TA or recruitment professional uses on a day-to-day basis for their ROI? 

The following are suggestions for you to consider and discuss within your TA team:

    • measuring the candidate attraction and engagement across the platform or via the tool through the use of the native analytics (i.e. candidates viewed, messages sent, response rates); 
    • measuring the conversion rates from each platform in terms of candidates identified, engagement and then moved into the formal recruitment process;
    • calculating the cost-per-candidate acquisition in terms ‘sourcing time’ which is a combination of identifying a shortlist of individuals and then securing that initial acknowledgement (message accepted) or response;
    • tracking the number of relevant individuals within the audience you have access to through the tool or platform-specific to your hiring needs is key (i.e. specific skills, industry sectors, geographic location);
    • requesting feedback from candidates based on the first contact via the tool or platform which could provide further insight into how to maximise the usage;
    • actioning a quarterly review of the cost and functionality of the tools against other new tools and platforms will provide an updated market overview.

What’s the next step? 

If you’re in the process of reviewing the current suite of tools you are using within your TA function, it would be easy to simply sign up to the ‘industry standard’ platforms and tools. 

The advantage you have at this stage is the ability to experiment with a combination of options and demo them before you invest your budget. Aligning your tools to your TA strategy will allow you to execute the strategy more effectively.