How to measure the return on investment (ROI) of recruitment website marketing
If you’re reading this, you’re likely to be considering switching to a dedicated recruitment website platform because you want recruitment marketing ROI. That’s understandable. Maybe your current website isn’t delivering the volume or quality of candidates you require for your clients. Possibly, your digital presence isn’t supporting your business objectives to win new clients or attract internal talent. These are all factors to consider when analysing the effectiveness of your recruitment website.
In this article we look into the considerations for making the leap to a recruitment website SaaS platform, and answer the ultimate question, what is the return on investment?
How to calculate return on investment (ROI)
Calculating return on investment is an extremely helpful metric to devise whether to invest in a particular technology. Consequently, it’s being increasingly used in recruitment agencies globally to assist – directly – with decision making. Before you invest, you can devise what you need to achieve to therefore seat your investment.
Net income (over a stated period) / cost of investment x 100
How can an optimised recruitment website reduce candidate acquisition costs?
As we know, the recruitment landscape today is incredibly competitive, and speed is of the essence. Agencies are competing for available candidates to fill their roles. Post COVID, candidates savviness has matured and they realise their worth. Technology is now the beating heart of any agency, and through front-office and back-office solutions, agency’s agility has increased and therefore they can fill their open roles.
Another trend we’ve seen post-COVID is how agencies are turning their backs on job boards, which was historically the principal method used to attract candidates. This is in favour of techniques which remain within the control of the agency. Job board credits have increased in recent years, meaning it costs more to attract and place a candidate, and that eats into the margin the agency earns. Return on investment (ROI) is getting harder in this sphere. Agencies are looking for more recruitment marketing ROI. The more costs the agency can control, the better the chances of success. The landscape and the competition is changing recruitment from its previous reliance on traditional methods.
There are many ways an agency can reduce their candidate acquisition costs – advocacy, referral bonuses and more. These are all valid but can be somewhat inconsistent when it comes driving a continual stream of talent to put in front of your clients. Your website is the key to attracting more candidates. Data and reporting is playing an even deeper role in the delivery and management of agencies globally. At the core of any successful marketing strategy is the ability to analyse past performance and make informed decisions about future strategy. We need more candidates – lean on your website and the tools available within the platform to work with search engines and social media to attract more.
There’s always been a ‘fingers crossed’ approach to job board advertising because recruiters rarely see the data of how many people saw the ad, they can just guess and see if valid applications come in.an SEO optimised recruitment website – under your control – you can post, review the data and drive efficiencies making you far more effective. And there’s more advantages to your recruitment marketing roi than just attracting candidates, as we will discover below.
How can an optimised recruitment website help to attract clients and consultants?
Agency life now is multi-faceted. Candidates are important to the vitality of your operation, but you need to also keep a watchful eye on attracting clients and engaging potential consultants. Here, your recruitment website can also provide the leverage you’re seeking.
Digitally, your agency has the opportunity to attract stakeholders interested in your services and your website is the key to this. Through SEO tools you can track your keywords and see how your performing organically on Google and Bing. Undertaking your keyword research ensures you can track what clients and future consultants are searching for so you can start to work with them. The reporting metrics from your website will tell you a whole story of where you are a success and where you need to focus your efforts. It’s this management information which will be revealing in detailing recruitment marketing roi.
Just one of the elements of today’s cutting edge recruitment website platform is its in-built reporting suite that provides a comprehensive toolkit to ensure marketers track clients, consultants and candidates through their lifecycle. This will be from attraction to conversion to gain a holistic view of your website’s marketing performance to help delivery of the overarching marketing plan.
Measuring the ROI of a recruitment website
Step 1: Calculating the cost of investment
The beauty of investing in a dedicated recruitment website is that you are totally in control. It can stand static and be a shop display to your services, or proactively, you can invest time and effort to ensure your website is working 24/7 on your behalf.
If you opt for the latter, you’ll need to consider a number of costs which need to be built into your marketing budget, which includes:
Your platform of choice. Read our article on ‘how much does a recruitment website cost in 2023?’
Web hosting and SSL certificate
A member of your team to create and maintain content
SEO external agency costs – you might be looking at organic and paid advertising to grow your digital presence
Design and build time costs can vary. Some typical costs depending on the site type are:
Templated Website | £1,000 - 4,500
Bespoke Website | £2,500 - 45,000
SaaS Website | £250-899* per month
* more customisable solutions will add further costs to your monthly expenditure
SaaS-based recruitment websites usually provide more services, such as website hosting, that are included with the monthly cost. If you go with a bespoke or do-it-yourself option, there are likely to be ongoing costs.
£2 - 400 per month
£12 - 21,900 per month
£5 - 876 per year
Time to add content
Average weekly hours of content team X Pay
Time to maintain site
Average weekly hours of IT team X Pay
Some of these expenses will vary wildly, based on the size of your company or the cost of work from your in-house teams. If you decide to work with a website platform that uses contracts paid through monthly instalments, it might be easier to calculate these costs and plan budgets.
Once you've put together the initial plus ongoing expenses of keeping a recruitment website, you'll have the Cost of investment.
Undertaking your research on your chosen platform will take time and with a number of vendors out there to choose from, you can have some productive conversations to help inform you. The options are limitless, from the free option and one built by a friend to the bespoke build and the Subscription as a Service (SaaS) option. Costs will vary and some of these ask for a large capital outlay, whilst the SaaS platform is a monthly consideration. As you can see, lots to consider which will all need to be factored for calculating recruitment marketing ROI.
Websites have been a part of your agency operation since the early 2000s, so as a business paying for hosting and secure certificates is annually scheduled, this won’t come as a shock.
If you opt to build your website with an agency, you are likely to have to pay for them to make updates as and when you need them on an ad hoc basis, which makes budgeting challenging. With a SaaS website provider, you will likely get ongoing online support included, and you may elect to have a customer success package that gives you greater peace of mind and will support your website optimisation strategy to drive continual performance. In this case you will pay slightly more each month knowing that you can access expert advice to help you if you require it.
Where your website could make the difference is the human resource you allocate. Generating and maintaining content will take someone writing and uploading the content, and then sharing it socially. They can also manage the performance (embedded reporting and Google Analytics) with an external partner. Engaging an SEO agency – for organic and paid digital growth – can help the technical SEO work to engage with your content, boosting your presence and attracting more candidates, consultants and clients.
Whichever direction you take, a website needs to be developed so you can glean and develop success from it. Analytics can help optimise your website by providing clear directional signposting to how you can be even more ‘sticky’ to your chosen stakeholders.
Step 2: Calculating the net income from the website
As a business leader, you're likely to want a measure of how recruitment marketing ROI translates into value added to your company. When your agency is focused on making placements while minimising spend, it’s important to know what leads to quantifiable, useful results. Importantly, analytics can help optimise your website. Such analytics are now at your fingertips.
Your recruitment website leads to income in the form of placements, i.e., how many candidates will work for your agency and how many clients will pay you to fill roles at their company.
Looking in more detail, you’ll want to know how much money do you spend to source and place candidates via which methods, and how effective is this spend at creating income?
Try answering these questions by referencing some key website analytics which will help you understand net income:
a. UTM Source | A good recruitment website can track the numbers of completed applications you get from different sources. Use this to compare how much you spend on each source versus how much income was generated from placements.
b. Total Job Applications| This metric can tell you how many times a candidate who has already worked with your agency comes back to be placed again. This could be especially helpful for Temp staffing agencies, in order to understand the value generated by redeployed candidates.
c. Conversion Reports | A conversion percentage shows you how many candidates visit the site versus the ones that go on to placements. This is a solid measure of how your recruitment marketing gets returns in the form of placements. Your recruitment website can take these metrics and present them automatically - without you needing to jump between different analytics tools.
If you're interested in seeing how an Access Volcanic recruitment website can help measure net income, take a look at our websites' reporting suite.
As we know, Google’s influence over how we use websites is growing every day. The data-suite from Google provides a healthy area to track management information and build insights to help you track ROI. From Google Analytics (GA), you can see a wealth of data in almost real time. Exploring audience demographics, behaviours and goal completions you can shape your content and expectations based on the visitors are you are attracting.
Looking more closely, Google Analytics goals help users – like you - track visitor actions including page views, pages per visit, view duration, and the bounce rate. Ideally, for example you want to see page views, view duration go up, yet you’ll want bounce rate to reduce. These are the visitors who come to your site but almost instantly leave. Understanding all the data from GA goals will help you understand what content, blogs and what to include in your jobs pages. Google Analytics is incredibly insightful to the growth and prosperity of almost all the sites that use and access its data. This is incredibly insightful when measuring website roi.
When speaking to vendors, one of the questions you might consider asking is about the data you can extract from your website. This, again, will help you assign KPIs and calculate net income. On the Volcanic platform, for example, you can, from the reporting option, two key candidate conversion metrics – Job Applications and Registrations (unique new candidates). This will be illuminating in itself. Equally, you’ll want to see these figures trending up. Net income will be indicative when calculating metrics such as job applications because you’ll be able to see if a placement was made. However, longer term you maybe looking to grow your talent pool. This will make net income figure longer to determine, but if you know what you’re targeting this can be factored in.
Step 3: Calculating ROI
Measuring website ROI is a process which you’ll want to undertake on a monthly basis to ensure you are extracting the most from your digital platform. To get here, you’ll need the net income (over a stated period) / cost of investment then multiply by 100. Here you can see how your website is actively providing a source of income to your recruitment agency.
So, let’s take an example:
With the hard part of collecting your facts and figures done, you can calculate ROI. As an example, we'll show you how the (completely fictional) ABC Recruitment agency calculated their ROI, using the Net income / Cost of investment x 100formula. ABC Recruitment found their Cost of investment: £500 per month for their website £800 per month for their creative team to update SEO and add relevant content £1,500 per month for their technical team to maintain site security and work on updates As the agency use a SaaS recruitment website, elements like web hosting and CMS integration are included with the service. Their total Cost of investment is £2,800 per month. Then ABC Recruitment got their Net income: They spend £5,000 per year, or £417 per month, for 300 job posts on Job Board A UTM tracking showed that 5% of roles posted to Job Board A convert to placements, which led to £7,500 in fees per month Subtracting their costs (£417) from their income (£7,500) gives their Net income of £7083. ABC Recruitment's ROI is £7,083 / £2,800 x 100 = 253%. While this example is highly simplified, it’s one look at how facts and figures around your recruitment website can impact your business. What these formulas don’t account for, however, is the power of branding and credibility. When you have a recruitment website properly set up, it creates a venue for candidates, clients and new consultants to get to know your company. Good reputation can lead to higher rates of attraction – for any new people who will become involved with your business.
By dedicating time to such important reporting will directly assist in understanding average recruitment cost per hire stemming directly from the website. Consequently, you’ll clearly see a number of further developments you’ll need to evolve the website further, plus put a spotlight on which recruitment technology you’ll need to integrate with.
This article has explained how to measure the recruitment marketing ROI and help you directly attribute measure website ROI. As we’ve outlined in this article ‘How much does a recruitment website cost in 2023’, Access Volcanic is one of a number of vendors you could talk to about your new website requirements. Volcanic offers a recruitment website platform that enables you to create and maintain a high-performing website for your agency with a fully integrated reporting suite. Contact us today for more information or take a look at our platform tour.
Websites are more than a shop window and need to work continuously to attract candidates, engage clients and build your digital profile, so with these needs in minds, do give consideration to the reporting and optimising potentiality from your new website. It makes measuring recruitment ROI and calculating the average recruitment cost per hire that much easier – and that’s going to make you look really good and your agency perform even better.
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