talent February 3, 2020

How the right metrics help you achieve your tech recruiting goals

When consulting to the companies advertising on the Talent platform, we see a repetition in most pressing challenges across industries and company sizes. We might hear from recruiters “We need to find more (quality) candidates.” A sourcer might say: “We need to find talent with a limited recruiting budget” or talent acquisition managers tell us…
Avatar for Medi Madelen Gwosdz
Content Strategist

When consulting to the companies advertising on the Talent platform, we see a repetition in most pressing challenges across industries and company sizes. We might hear from recruiters “We need to find more (quality) candidates.” A sourcer might say: “We need to find talent with a limited recruiting budget” or talent acquisition managers tell us “We are not getting good applications,” and if a company should be so lucky to have an employer branding department, their difficulties center around not being well known among the tech audience.  So how do you get from this ‘pain’ to a goal and a measurable metric?

You should start by brainstorming the things you really would like to know about your tech recruiting efforts and their impact, and then try and turn those into actionable key performance indicators (KPIs) to work towards. 

We need to find more (quality) candidates >> Grow the developer pipeline 

For this one, you will probably need to drill down into which open roles you are looking to fill, then repeat the exercise for all of them. This will be one of the examples where “more developers” isn’t specific enough, and you would be well served to explore in more detail how open roles connect to what different teams specifically need. Let’s say, for instance, engineering leadership has told you to anticipate a future need for Database Administrators. Now the next step would be to create tactics to increase that number of ‘warm’ leads in your network. You might define “Attend x amount of database-specific technology meetups per quarter” as a goal. You might then monitor the metric of how many passive candidates your dev team and recruiters meet, with an overall goal to increase your network of candidates by x% by a certain date.

We need to find talent with a limited recruiting budget >> Reduce tech recruitment spending 

For many companies it often feels like the spent for recruiting is increasing but the number of hires is decreasing. With many platforms and job boards running at the same time, there are many factors at play. The metric you might want to track is the cost-per-hire for each developer role. Here some planning arrives at the catch 22: we need to move away from ad-hoc spending on recruiting agencies, but we don’t have the money to do anything more strategic, because we spent it all on those much-needed hires. No surprise, your metric needs to be about figuring out which are your most profitable channels for quality candidates. So start by getting feedback on the candidates that impressed your team the most and figure out how they arrived in your hiring pipeline. At the very least, ask all candidates who make it to the screening interview stage, where they have seen your ads. 

We are not getting good applications >> Generate more developer applications 

Similar to the problem of recruitment channels, it’s never easy to pin down all the effects one job ad has. Sure, you should A/B test different job titles in ads, but it’s not always as clean as just a click-through-rate on your job application portal. Many of the touchpoints are softer and add up: A developer who saw a talk by one of your tech employees might remember it fondly when seeing your banner ad somewhere, then apply a few days later when they have some free time. On Stack Overflow, you can advertise your job listings and employer brand in the context of a developer’s daily work. As the developer’s “second screen,” Stack Overflow Talent consistently gets you in front of developers at the moment they are searching for tools, answers, and knowledge. But this also means they might see your job ad at their current job. Instead of hitting apply straight away, they might navigate to your careers page over the weekend.

Stack Overflow can identify when users navigate to your desired page within 30 days of seeing the ad. When factoring in influenced applications, Stack Overflow ads drive six to nine times higher conversions than clicks alone. So this serves as a reminder that many touchpoints all factor into your ROI. 8 Note One of the overlooked metrics when you are looking to increase developer applications is the size of the candidate pool. You might be the best at attracting devs within a given bucket. But if you are recruiting for an Amsterdam head office and you are only open to people from the Netherlands, your pool might just be too small. In those cases, look into the benefits of remote work or increase your relocation packages. 

We are not known among the tech audience >> Improve awareness of your company 

In the early days of establishing your company as an attractive employer, it can be hard to know which strategy you should begin with. Think about it this way, developers want to have an idea of what it’s like to work at your company before they spend their time interviewing. Now your job is to find the most cost effective ways to make that happen. Start by asking: Can the relevant information even be found online? It sounds simple enough, but it’s astonishing how many companies have lackluster Careers/Work Here pages on their website. Aside from listing out your open positions and office locations, consider adding the following: 

• Employee testimonials (in any format – text or video work well) 

• Company mission statement and values 

• List of benefits (tech-specific ones, too) 

• Clear photos of the office space/desk setup of employees 

• Sections for each team (potentially with photos or a description of each) 

If a redesign of your entire careers page seems daunting, try and find a quick fix, like a “Work here” series of blog posts on a tech recruiting blog. On Stack Overflow Talent, companies can create a Company Pages to host a wealth of technical and editorial content. Get inspired by some of our favorite examples. An easy way to get enough content is to rely on your current tech team. This developer-generated content can include photos, projects, or testimonials from them. Ask your developers, “If you were job hunting and came to our profile, what would you want to see?” KPIs here can be Create x amount of developer artifacts (talks, videos, slideshares, conference write-ups, or other blog posts). If you have developers with followings on social media, recruit their help to grow the social media following of your company by x%.

Podcast logo The Stack Overflow Podcast is a weekly conversation about working in software development, learning to code, and the art and culture of computer programming.

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