#136 Data-driven recruitment marketing – 4 steps to adopting the data-driven approach talent acquisition

Blog header #136 Data-driven recruitment marketing – 4 steps to adopting the data-driven approach talent acquisition - Building a modern, magnetic employer brand podcast with Susanna Rantanen

Data-driven recruitment campaigns are key especially in difficult talent acquisition cases.

We all know how difficult and gut-wrenching talent acquisition can be. 

The pain of not knowing where to find potential applicants or are you even going to get applications can be extremely stressful.

There is this one specific area where you have a huge, yet frequently unused opportunity to impact the outcome of your recruitment campaign and drive the results you need from your recruitment marketing investments. That’s the data-driven recruitment marketing.

Susanna Rantanen

What strikes me odd is that hardly anyone working in talent acquisition seems to realize that there is this one specific area where you have a huge, yet frequently unused opportunity to impact the outcome of your [recruitment] campaign and drive the results you need from your recruitment marketing investments.

When you advertise and market your job opportunity, it should not be a passive time for you. You should not “just wait” to see whether anyone becomes interested and sends their application.

Data-driven recruitment campaigns – an untapped opportunity to drive the results you expect

Data-driven approach to talent acquisition, the short-term recruitment campaigns and long-term employer brand activities, is key in accelerating and elevating your overall HR marketing success and delivering you the goals your business needs.

Not only will you use data to learn how to improve your marketing to improve your results, you are also in charge of the outcome of the on-going marketing efforts.

And you don’t have to wait, for example until the end of the recruitment campaign to see whether it went okay or not.

Wouldn’t you want to become the pilot of your talent marketing plane and firmly steer your marketing efforts and investments in delivering the business expects from you?

You are saying yes, I can hear it! 

#136 Data-driven recruitment marketing – 4 steps to adopting the data-driven approach to talent acquisition

Welcome back to the Building a Modern Employer Brand podcast!

In this episode, I’m going to excite you to want to learn the data-driven approach to talent acquisition. When you realize how obvious it is that this is the way you must work, you wonder why you didn’t think about this before and can’t wait to start!

My name is Susanna Rantanen, and this podcast is for those who want to learn how to use branding, marketing and communications in talent acquisition, employer branding and personal branding as an HR Industry professional.

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What is data-driven talent acquisition?

Let’s first make something clear. Data-driven approach is different from checking your campaign analytics after the campaign. 

When you work with the data-driven approach, you take the steering wheel of your marketing and drive the results to the expected end goal.  You leverage data and analysis making sure your marketing ends up delivering you the goals you set for it.

The data-driven approach is very much part of professional talent marketing supporting your talent acquisition and long-term employer brand value conversions.

And the same goes for personal branding you as the subject-matter expert, go-to recruitment / career coach or whatever you sell within the talent market landscape.

Driving the success of your talent marketing and campaigns with data

If anywhere, you should at least adopt a strict data-driven approach in your recruitment campaigns. Those are short-term enough to get the hang of it and not get bored, if you are more motivated by fast results.

Data-driving your recruitment marketing tells you how to make most of your campaign budget and resources used in your recruitment marketing campaign while you can still impact the outcome.

What’s really great about this approach is that it teaches you too so that you can plan your next campaign even better and be prepared for accelerating better results from it.  

This approach can be quite addictive, I must say!

What do you do exactly when you drive the recruitment marketing results with data?

All you need to do to get started is become specific about what the expected success looks like for your recruitment campaign or your employer brand marketing and communications.

When you know what you expected to see as results, it is not difficult to look at data and see what it tells you about how far or close you are from achieving those goals.

The problem is most recruiters and employer branding professionals seem to focus on metrics only and when you only think about metrics, you will for sure get overwhelmed by data.

Did you know there are tons of metrics and indicators in the world of data and analytics? Like tons.

It is like a vast and deep ocean of data where you drown for sure unless you know where your islands are.

Your islands are the specific objectives keeping your head above the water and guiding you on your way to the end destination, that is your end goal.

4 steps to data-driven recruitment marketing campaigns

Because it is easier to start with data-driven recruitment marketing as you get much quicker results, I’m going to explain how to start driving your recruitment marketing success.

So, what exactly you do is:

#1 Set a numerical (measurable) end goal for your recruitment marketing campaign

Separate your recruitment marketing end goal from your selection process end goal. And, separate also the selection process end goal from the overall talent acquisition end goal.

As a talent acquisition professional, it is incremental to your success and in the best interest of the employing company, that you understand that these [parts of the over all process] are very different processes, hence making the end goals for each very different from each other.

Achieving each of them successfully requires very different sets of skills and an understanding of how the processes are very different. 

The different end goals in the over all recruitment process

  • Your recruitment campaign goal will always be a reasonable, yet enough applications received by the end of your campaign. This is where quantity is the goal. You should not confuse quality with your recruitment campaign goal because it is not something you can assess and drive during the campaign. Unless you are assessing all of your applicants one by one during the recruitment campaign.
  • The goal of your selection process is to recognize and engage your best available candidates for the assessment and interview rounds until you are ready to make your hiring decision. This is where quality is the goal.
  • The goal of your overall talent acquisition is to convert the cost of employment into more lifetime value delivered. In other words, gain more business value out of the hire than it costs to employ them. 
  • And the goal of employer branding is to increase competitive advantage for the business on its markets through the talents your company can attract and sustain to deliver your customer promise and create your business value.

You will fail data-driving and accelerating your talent acquisition success if you mistakenly believe there is just one overall goal, to sign a contract. 

Your recruitment campaign goal is always receiving a reasonable number of applications

I can reveal to you, your recruitment marketing campaign goal is always to get applications and you want to give it a number. You expect to get for example 20 applications for the role. 

The number goal is of course dependent on how difficult this specific hire is or has been for you.

You should also put a goal for those campaigns that you expect to deliver you tons of applications because it is not economic for the business to receive 150 applications for one role.

Not only will managing all those applications and ensuring great candidate experiences increase the cost of the hire, if you don’t ensure great candidate experiences, you disregard an excellent opportunity to build great employer reputation among a very active and warm huge audience who will spread the word of a great candidate experience.

And even worse, if you neglect them and leave them with poor experience, you have a hot vast audience who will also tell their peers how bad experience they had with your company.

My message is that the data-driven approach helps you also limit your applicant size to a number that allows you to do your work as expected and not ruin the company reputation.

Why your recruitment campaign end-goal is never the quality of applications

Your recruitment campaign end-goal is never the quality of applications because you are not hiring an application but a person.

You want to hire a person who has all the chances of succeeding in the role.

Any experienced recruitment professional knows that the quality of the application and the quality of the applicant are two very different things.

A person can buy someone to design and copywrite their application to perfection but that has nothing to do with how great of a hire they can be.

Or someone who will be your star employee may fail in putting the required info on the application and it takes a good selection process and an experienced recruiter to see behind the application and recognize potential and likely match in the person.

So, the quality goal is not a goal for the recruitment campaign but for the selection phase. 

This is vital knowledge in the data-driven approach because your goals emphasize what makes the quality for the overall process and helps you understand in which areas of the overall process you are the strongest and the weakest.

You will not improve your overall talent acquisition success unless you break the entire process into tiny particles and see where your weak links are.

That is the whole point of working with data.

The amount of information we have at our hands in this digital world is incredible, yet we miserably fail to take advantage of it.

Even if a lot of it is free and the cost is the time, we spend on becoming good at reading it and making decisions based on it.

#2 Reverse-engineer your chosen recruitment campaign end goal to data-driven recruitment marketing objectives

Objectives are the island, your milestones.

Measurable objectives are elementary in driving your recruitment campaign success towards the expected end goal.

Each time you hit the milestone, or you see clear improvement in the metric connected to the milestone, you know your campaign is working well and you are likely to reach your end goal.

And when you detect your campaign is not working as well as you assumed, you still have time to maneuver it and make changes before the deadline for applications.

If you are our client (at Employer Branding Agency Emine) or our coaching student (at Talent Marketing School), we help and guide you to select and set your objectives. 

#3 Select your recruitment campaign metrics based on your recruitment marketing objectives

Next, you select only the most important recruitment campaign metrics based on what objectives you set for your recruitment marketing.

You don’t want to waste time wondering about any other metrics.

Keep your eyes fixed on those islands, your few chosen objectives only, and don’t let yourself drown in the vast see of marketing metrics. Because it’s deep.

I recommend setting yourself a simple excel sheet to track and analyze your chosen metrics every other day to at least weekly.

The frequency of data tracking and analysis depends on the length of your recruitment campaign.

If you have a short two-week campaign and only check your data once in between the start and the end, you cannot do much of anything to accelerate success.

I recommend check daily for campaigns that are only 2 weeks long and every other day to three times a week for campaigns that are 2-4 weeks long.

Do you run longer than four week recruitment campaigns? Track and assess your data on a weekly basis.

#4 Document, analyze and learn to read your KPI recruitment marketing data

The KPI data, Key Performance Indicator data tell you the progress of your campaign performance. Is it going to the direction you expect?

You want to document, analyze and learn to read your KPI recruitment marketing data for your chosen campaign metrics actively to help you see how your campaign performs.

It’s only a few metrics per campaign and activity. It’s not a big job yet gives you a considerable amount of value. Much more value than the time of evaluating it costs for your business.

And if you sell this as a service (recruitment consultancy), the value for client is greater than the time you spent on it as a talent acquisition professional, meaning you can charge more for your work. It is time well spent.

The data tells if your marketing actions are working and what exactly is working, as well as what isn’t.

You then do more of what works and drives your results favorably and stop doing what is only wasting your budget but not helping to get you to your end goal.

I can’t recommend short recruitment marketing campaigns, like only two weeks, because if that’s all the marketing you do, you don’t have enough time to convert the best available candidate options.

Not to mention, how small your available pool of relevant active job seekers will be.

In the Instant Employer Brand Accelerator™️ Program we restructure the marketing of your entire talent acquisition process so that you will have more time to grow awareness, build your relevant recruitment audience and maximize both your recruitment campaign and your overall talent acquisition success in each recruitment process, with data-driven marketing.

Episode 51: How to measure success in a recruitment campaign

The value of the data-driven approach goes beyond one recruitment campaign

Why would you change the way you hire and add this extra element that takes even more of your time and probably learning new skills?

The most valuable part of this approach is that you learn.

You learn to do better the next time.

And that’s exactly the value you need to carry from each campaign to master recruitment marketing campaigns.

Every single data-driven recruitment campaign teaches you how to plan better and what to do better, more and less next time to pump up the return on investment and results.

Every single data-driven recruitment campaign teaches you how to plan better and what to do better, more and less next time to pump up the return on investment and results.

Susanna Rantanen

When you open your heart for data, I can assure, you learn to love it. It will give you tremendous insight and be your teacher motivating you to focus on what works and showing you what you can ignore or needs fixing so that you don’t continue to waste time and money on it.

I can’t imagine how one can succeed especially in employer branding without a data-driven approach!

Why you need data – badly

Due to the nature of employer branding, being such a long-game, I call it a marathon, unless you know what success looks like and track your employer branding performance regularly, you have no idea if your employer branding actions deliver the results expected by the business or not.

Also, we all know how difficult and gut-wrenching talent acquisition can be.

The pain of not knowing where to find potential applicants and are you going to get anyone to apply can be extremely stressful.

Hardly anyone working in talent acquisition seems to realize that there is this one specific area where you have a huge unused opportunity to impact the outcome of your campaign.

That, when you advertise for your job opportunity, it should not be a passive time for you, where you just wait whether anyone becomes interested and sends their application.

That you can do a lot to drive the results you want for the campaign, and that every time you do this, you learn and know how what it takes to achieve even better campaign results the next time.

Based on my experience, too many talent acquisition, HR and employer branding professionals are scared of working with data and driving the success of their employer branding and recruitment marketing activities because they don’t know how to set goals and objectives or analyze data.

There is nothing to be scared off!

Accelerate your success taking your recruitment process from passive to data-driven talent acquisition

It really isn’t a complicated world when you know what your playground is.

And that’s something I can teach you when you join the Instant Employer Brand Accelerator™️ program or become our client at Employer Branding Agency Emine.

And, in our Instant Employer Brand Accelerator™️ program, you will also learn how to apply the same data-driven approach to employer brand marketing, and even the selection phase of your recruitment process, if you want!

The Instant Employer Brand Accelerator the framework is customized to your company’s needs and process.

And we can even leverage this approach to your onboarding! To make sure your onboarding process is not leading to your new employees leaving your company too soon making the entire talent acquisition process turn into an expensive exercise!

For the business, you want a seamless operation that builds competitive advantage on the market. Imagine, if you were able to prove your boss or the top management the real measurable value of your work and how the entire business could be more competitive if this part was taken care of at a level where you can own the word professional in your title?

How does that sound to you?

If you want to learn more, be in touch and let’s talk about applying the Instant Employer Brand Accelerator™️ Framework to your recruitment processes.

Ok, that’s all for this week my friends! 

Thanks for listening, and until next time, happy data-driven talent marketing!

Moi moi!

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Let me know by rating my podcast on the app you use or sharing feedback on social media for me .I’d really appreciate it! Hearing that your work matters to people is important to everyone. Me included.

Come back next week for more branding, marketing and communications’ juice to keep you going with employer branding, recruiting and personal branding! 

My name is Susanna Rantanen, and I teach branding, marketing and communications for the HR Industry professionals who want to build a successful career and get the life you deserve! Simply contact me if you are looking for a modern employer branding agency or a coach who is known as the most experienced professional in this market in Finland and one of the top ones in the world. That’s the feedback I keep receiving. I’ve worked in this business for 23 years now so I do have had lots of time to learn, experiment, teach, share my knowledge and get results for my former employers, my companies and most importantly, for our clients who want to be top of their game in their industries.

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