Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Advice on the ROI of Social Media Recruiting

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In What's the ROI of Social Recruitment? Bucky Couch does a fine job of painting the complex picture of recruitment.  Hundreds of millions of people, plus companies, populate the likes of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+, so the advent of social media has made information on both candidate and employer far more accessible.  Engagement is more of a necessity than ever before, and consequently branding as a major vehicle for engaging is crucial.  These points have made recruiting via social media an imperative.

Curiously, however, Couch doesn't even touch on ROI.  Perhaps not surprisingly, because it seems like an even more daunting task to explicate the what and how of ROI vis-a-vis social media recruitment.  It is complex, but because managers, professionals and consultants alike don't have a good grasp of ROI, it seems even more so to them.  

Here are a handful of points to consider:
  • ROI always - always - accounts for both benefits and costs.  In fact, ROI is measured as benefits weighed against the costs of producing these benefits.
  • We begin with the end in mind.  As an employer, what are you trying to accomplish with your recruitment in general and via social media in particular?  
  • The end in mind may be about hiring more enthusiastic, more capable staff who can raise levels of engagement and performance for the company.  
  • While ROI is mainly quantitative in nature, it is also non-quantitative or even experiential and perceptual.  A manager, for example, wants to feel good about his or her hire.  
  • Clarifying the end in mind sets up not just the objectives but also the metrics for ROI.  Next is to determine what it will take to realize the end and hit these objectives.  
  • How much will it cost to do what it will take, and what time, effort and resources are necessary as well?  It isn't just about cold hard cash.  It's also all that is in fact invested to gain those benefits.
  • You may need to consult with your accounting colleagues, as they can draw on the right equations for calculating ROI.
  • To emphasize, measuring ROI must be set up from the outset, and mustn't be an afterthought in the midst, say, of a social recruitment effort.     
In Three Challenges of Return on Investment, I go into greater depth on ROI.  So I invite you to read this article as well.

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