How Small Conversions Equal More Candidates!

Have you ever tripped walking into a supermarket?

I mean really wiped out – went sprawling on your face, broke your glasses and twisted your ankle?

I hope the answer is no, but imagine for a moment that you had – would you be likely to buy something or rush to leave the store?

Odds are, the answer is no. Which begs the question …

In an online hiring environment, in which everybody is obsessed with the Applicant Tracking System process, why isn’t there more attention given to candidates as they’re making their way onto your career pages?

I’m talking about micro conversions – getting your career site visitors to take small actions, like clicking on a link, visiting one of “why work at your company” pages, or watching a video. These are small things, but they can add up to big apply/hiring conversions…

Macro Conversions, Micro Conversions

Let’s start by defining our terms: what’s a macro conversion, and what’s a micro conversion?

Macro conversions are the end goals. This is what we usually think of when we’re thinking about conversions – the checkout at the supermarket. Signing up to an email list, sharing with friends, and of course, making a hire. These are very important – more conversions equal more talent in your pipeline and lower recruiting costs in a very direct sense.

Micro conversions are the steps along the way. In the supermarket, they’re the entrance, the brochure pick-up, the food tasting stations, and the different product aisles. These are actions like visiting certain pages on your website, filling out a contact form, clicking on a link, watching a video, or interacting with an online application.

These are often overlooked by Talent Acquisition Pros, but they’re critically important, because your micro conversions, like page and video views, add up to more than the sum of their parts – they add up to macro conversions… like applies, ATS applications and eventual hires.

Let’s explore how you can tune your micro conversions to increase the speed of fill rates and lower your overall recruiting costs…

Tracing Your Candidate’s Path to Apply

In order to optimize your micro conversions, you first need to map out your candidates’ “path to apply.” In order to do that, you need to answer two questions: (1) Who are the candidates, and (2) Where are they coming from?

Who are the candidates? How old are they? Are they male, or female? What niche fields do they work in? What do they like? What do they care about? What do they need? In the supermarket context, are they single moms? Bachelors and bachelorettes? Families? Are the kids along for the ride? Rather than thinking about a faceless group of people, create candidate profiles for each market segment that you are targeting – a picture of just one person, including information about demographics and psychographics, as well as needs, wants and desires. This post isn’t about customer profiling, but you still need to know who you’re targeting!

Where are they coming from? In the supermarket context, are they just arriving as part of their regular routine? Are they tourists who found the place when driving through town? Did they come because a friend told them about a special? For your career website, the question is: How are they finding you, and what websites are they likely to have visited and considered – both immediately before visiting your site, and in the days, weeks and even months prior? This is important information, because it will create the context of their visit to your site, and inform the questions that they will want answered.

Having answered these two questions, you should know who you’re targeting, and where they’re coming from. You should also know what actions you ultimately want them to take (your macro conversions). Now you need to trace a path from the starting point all the way to the end goal. For example:

  1. Candidate arrives on your company home page and clicks careers, after doing a Google search.
  2. Candidate watches your embedded video from your hiring manager or employee to see testimonials.
  3. Candidate clicks on your social widgets to find how they can see your jobs on their personal social channels.
  4. Candidate scrolls to review testimonials.
  5. Candidate looks for your jobs on their mobile devices — are your ready for them?
  6. Candidate searches on your jobs, clicks to engage and then applies.

Of course, this is just an example, and there are likely to be multiple possible paths through the career site, depending on the different viewer in question. You might end up with a paths diagram that is quite extensive.

Hypothesis Testing

Mapping out your customer’s paths to purchase is a great start, but the work isn’t done yet, because your map isn’t reality – it’s just your best guess about what reality might look like. The next thing that you need to do is to measure and see if your guesses about the paths that your customers take are validated by empirical data.

This is done by measuring micro conversions.

Each step in the path, and each arrow in the diagram, is a micro conversion. Which steps are your candidates really taking? Which aren’t they? Are they really stopping at your engagement destinations and does that make them more likely to apply for the specific job? Or is it just distracting them?

This is the sort of information that you need a premium analytics solution to track; free options like Google Analytics will tell you how many people visited each page, but you won’t get a lot of the detailed information that you need in order to really track your candidate through each step in your funnel.

Once you start gathering data, you can start making decisions based on your assumptions – if you find that a certain step in the process is critical to making the apply/hire, then explore ways of funneling more people to that step. On the other hand, if a step is not important, then maybe it is interfering with your conversion process, and needs to be removed.

Measuring micro conversions is key, because by even just making a small improvement at each step in the chain, the cumulative affect on your macro conversions (applies) can be dramatic.

Over to you – do you track micro conversions on your career website or HR blog? Why, or why not? Which metrics do you follow? Who keeps your metrics?

If you want a virtual meeting with me to discuss your social and mobile career acquisition strategies tied to analytics simply email or call 952-417-6955.

SourceMob provides your organization with Passive communication solutions that are proven to capture candidates at a Cost of Apply (CPA) up to 50% less than your current rate.

ABOUT SOURCEMOB: SourceMob integrates Internet, social, talent community and mobile recruiting solutions to help talent acquisition professionals recruit the very best candidates for tough-to-fill positions. SourceMob’s IT, Analytics and HR Media Services distributes job content and conversations providing a job posting springboard to over 3.5 million candidate profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and all of the major search engines. We help you engage with your candidates and capture niche Passive candidates. Our solutions also enable Mobile Quick Apply and candidate application management services to create efficiencies and lower recruiting costs.

Looking forward to hearing from you,



Jeffery Giesener



Twitter: @sourcemob


Post by Danny Iny appended for HCM by Jeffery Giesener