Social media is quickly becoming a way of life for recruiters. It’s the hottest topic at recruiting trade shows, such as the recently held ERE Expo. While many are venturing into this space, we still don’t know very much about the effectiveness of social media efforts. Most of the statistics quoted to date are around the number of candidates generated and share of conversation. These numbers tell the story about increasing the candidate pool size, but they don’t answer the question, ‘are we attracting the right candidate?’.
We recently got our hands on some data that begins to shed some light on this question. For one of our clients, we received a large data extract (over 20,000 candidates) from their Applicant Tracking Systems that included among other things recruiting source, one of which was social networking site. We were able to link this data to quality of candidate indicators: 1) overall job-fit scores on our pre-employment assessment and 2) conversion rate. By conversion rate, we mean what percentage of candidates that were hired from each source. We looked at this data for two different managerial jobs.
For the entry-level managerial job, candidates sourced through social media performed below average on the pre-employment assessment and had a lower conversation rate than other sources. These candidates were seen as less capable and it was reflected in the low hire rate. For the mid-level managerial job, candidates sourced via social media performed above average on the pre-employment assessment but had a below average conversation rate. This candidate pool for the mid-level job was obviously lacking along other criteria in spite of performing well on the pre-employment test. Taken together, these results suggest that social media isn’t generating the quality of candidates that this company is looking for.
While social media holds tremendous promise in the talent acquisition space, better and smarter data will help us apply these technologies in a way that truly impacts the bottom line – by connecting recruiters to great fit, rather than great volumes of candidates.