Last week we wrote about the 5 basic metrics for your careers site. The article was inspired by two talent leaders we talked to who are using Google Analytics to better understand their careers site and candidate experience.
As a follow up, we invited these two talent leaders to share more about how they got started using Google Analytics, and the specific metrics they look at when using the platform. First, a little background on the two talent leaders:
- Dustin Carper is the Employer Brand Strategist at Groupon. He’s an accomplished recruiter, and has spoken at events such as the Social Recruiting Strategies Conference. Dustin is passionate about candidate experience, and has been a big contributor to Groupon’s exponential growth in staff.
- Michelle Shea is the Recruitment Program Manager for Charles Schwab. She is a veteran recruiter with expertise in data analytics and competitive intelligence. Michelle sees a future in which job descriptions will be visual, and the candidate experience will be much more engaging. She believes data analysis is critical to driving candidate experience and engagement.
We asked Dustin and Michelle four questions that we often hear from talent leaders regarding Google Analytics. Here’s what they had to say.
1) How did you get set up with Google Analytics?
Dustin: “Our career site is built on WordPress so our internal Communication Engineering team hooked us up to GA when they created our site. We also have GA on our People Blog and Engineering Blog to track visitors and traffic sources so it just made sense. Plus, it’s all in one place for me now.” – Dustin
Michelle: “Initially I started using Google Analytics in partnership with DirectEmployers (DirectEmployers Association is a nonprofit HR consortium of leading global employers formed to improve labor market efficiency through the sharing of best practices, research and the development of technology). We built 26 different microsites to help build our employer brand and SEO strategy. In order to monitor the success of those sites, DirectEmployers introduced me to Google Analytics. Once I was set up with Google Analytics, I reached out to our Public Relations team and realized we were also using it on our external career site. They set me up to monitor the external career site with Google Analytics as well.” – Michelle
2) What are the top metrics you look at in Google Analytics?
Dustin: “Aside from the standard Traffic sources, I’m really starting to dig into our mobile stats. Mobile career site traffic is rapidly increasing for us (visits up 32% and applies up 165% QoQ). I also like to look at page drop-off rates on our home page, job description pages, and apply pages. Also the in-page analytics is really great. Geographic information is fun too. How else would I know that visitors from Croatia and Tunisia actually spend the most time on our site per visit?” – Dustin
Michelle: “Top metrics include visitors vs. unique visitors, average visit duration, and mobile traffic (which helped drive our decision to make our online submission process mobile friendly). Lately I’ve started looking at the acquisition traffic in more detail; what channels drive our traffic, what is the difference between new vs. unique visitors from each of those sources, and time spent on pages based on the driver. Behavior traffic is also a key metric that has affected decisions around redesigning and changing the content on our sites.” – Michelle
3) What are the top ways you utilize the data you obtain from Google Analytics?
Dustin: “The data is informing our decisions on features and functionality of our career site. First off, we are using the mobile stats to make a strong case for getting responsive design for our site. I’ve also used the drop-off rate statistics to rewrite a few job descriptions. We were noticing that a few of our JDs were getting great traffic but that the drop-off rate was much higher than other jobs. They were also not getting the applies, so we decided to beef up the job description to make it more attractive and noticed an almost immediate increase in performance. Drop-off rates dropped, more time was spent on each page, and we started seeing the applies come in. We’ve also recently used data from the in-page analytics to rearrange the menu options on our career page and have noticed a 2x increase in clicks overall in just 1 month of testing.” – Dustin
Michelle: “The data from Google Analytics allows us to analyze how we are using our career site as well as our microsites and the candidate behavior on both. It allows us to see where we are successful with the content on our site and what candidates find relevant to their job search. I’m able to look at different pages on the career site and microsites to see where the pages are performing very well vs. the pages that have high drop off rates. We can then look at those pages more strategically to determine why they are successful or unsuccessful. It also allows us to look at specific job description pages and those that have a higher traffic vs. those that are not performing well. We implement best practices around writing job descriptions based on this data. Finally, it allows us to provide supporting data to our long term goals and initiatives when it comes to continued branding and redesign of our career content as well as our mobile strategy.” – Michelle
4) What advice do you have for other Talent Leaders getting started with Google Analytics?
Dustin: “Do it. As with most things, you can’t break the internet if you hook up to GA, so just take the plunge. Start small. Start out by looking at traffic sources and what keywords people are using and go from there. Decide what you can do with that data and go from there. Then start playing around with other data you can find and you’ll soon find yourself making connections in your head and creating your own datasets. Google (obviously) is also really great with training and there are tons of videos and tutorials online. I just started going through the self-directed courses on Google’s Analytics Academy as well. Great stuff.” -Dustin
Michelle: “My advice would be to start small, but to definitely start using it! Have a starting sense of what you are looking for and hoping to accomplish, what problems you are trying to solve; otherwise the vast information within Google Analytics can be overwhelming and consuming. As with anything, it will take time to learn what is available through Google Analytics, but using a piece or two of the information is better than ignoring it. Start by looking at the overall stats of your site then start diving deeper into the analytics for continuous improvement. The vast amount of information that is easily available to you through Google Analytics can be a great resource. In addition, there are various training sessions available on the internet around how to use Google Analytics and every day scenarios that could be valuable. Start small and work your way up through the information. But the bottom line is to start somewhere.” – Michelle