By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Social media is an enormous part of your social recruiting strategy, but it is just one piece of a social recruiting strategy and it has to make sense in the grand scheme of your goals. I talked in part one of this series about identifying your strategy so you’ll know what metrics to use, and then in part two about using relatable metrics to help you and business leaders understand its value, and here I’ll share the last piece of the puzzle: qualitative metrics.

In the journey of social recruiting, social media all too often is seen as the destination when it is merely a vehicle for getting us to our destination or goal. Too many of us develop our entire strategy around social media and off the advice of others, not necessarily questioning our efforts and not even realizing that there’s a much bigger picture. Social media is a channel that helps you source and engage the most qualified candidates, but don’t lose sight of the fact that the ultimate goal is successfully hiring and retaining a talented workforce. In order to do so, you’ve got to be smart about engagement efforts.

Qualitative metrics
To help you see the entire picture, look beyond just the quantitative metrics, or the numbers. Quantitative metrics have their place, but qualitative metrics are the listening portion of your self-evaluation. This is where you ask questions, get answers that can’t be averaged and divided, and gain insights that help you make sense of the quantitative metrics.

Think critically about what’s working and why, starting with these four critical questions:

Are your efforts resulting in higher quality candidates?
Your social media efforts may be brining in more applicants, leading to more interviews and quicker hires, but what level of candidates does your social-media sourcing yield? Are these candidates likely to be the future leadership of the company, the ones who will take initiative and the ones who are skilled in their jobs when they get to you?

Are current candidates feeling more satisfied with the hiring and selection process?
Your social media efforts should be doing more than providing you with candidates. It should also be enhancing your hiring process from the candidates’ view. Is the increased engagement and easier access to job postings and company information helping to create a better experience overall? Are they feeling involved in the process or did your engagement with them greatly decrease after you received their application?

Are the increased social media activities improving my candidate reach?
Where are the candidates you’re reaching coming from? Are they the type of candidates you set out to reach (is your aim good or are you pointing towards the wrong target?) Additionally, are your social media efforts helping you reach candidates you wouldn’t have otherwise reached or are you finding that the candidates could have been reached through another recruiting channel outside of social that you’re already engaged in?

What is my cost per hire by source for each recruitment activity, including social?
Making a company page on Facebook may be free but we all know that the cost of engaging in social is far from free. For instance, advertisements, sponsored job postings and our time add up. How does your cost per hire through social compare to traditional recruiting cost per hire? Is it worth your investment?

By thinking beyond the numbers, you’ll be able to see what’s working, why it’s working, what needs to change and what direction to go in the future. It helps you connect the dots and gives that “ah-ha” moment that comes when you see where social media fits in your overall social recruiting strategy.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

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