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Getting started with Web analytics for recruiters

By ZoomInsights staff

Analytics have become a fairly common part of our Web-centric world. Website owners can learn just about everything about their visitors in general. And you, as a recruiter, can know a lot more about the way potential employees are interacting with your job sites. The more you know about the way that site is being used, the more you can improve it, and, ultimately, make better hires.

The basics

As with most things related to recruiting on the Web, third-party sites and your own job page are not created equal – the two different kinds of sites offer different metrics. When it comes to job boards and aggregators, you probably already know what you should be looking for. As John Zappe, an online media consultant and professional, wrote on ere.net, “No doubt you know the number of hires, the time to hire, hopefully the source of hire, and likely the full cost of hire. Those are the kinds of metrics every recruiter should monitor regularly.”

If you’re just getting started, and don’t know where to start, there is one number you should be paying attention to above all others. “Ideally, the most important (metric) would be source of hire,” Zappe told ZoomInsights. This is harder than it might seem, because on a Web form, candidates often select the last site they visited. But that doesn’t always paint the whole picture. So it might take more than a drop-down list of options to capture a true picture of where your candidates come from.

When it comes to your company’s career site, you’ll want to know:

  • Where is your traffic coming from?
  • How are visitors moving through the site?
  • Are they abandoning the application process?
  • What’s your bounce rate?

Answers to these questions will shed some light on the effectiveness of your site and even tell you where you might be losing potential candidates. But keep something else in mind, Zappe warned: Your company site is also about “employer branding,” and it needs to paint a picture of your corporate culture for potential candidates. Figuring out how your company is being perceived by visitors is possible through metrics, though it’s a bit beyond the beginner level.

The tools to use

There’s little excuse for being without the analytics you need to be successful. “This is the hottest space within recruiting technology ... almost all ATS (applicant tracking system) vendors have a solution that gives us more insight today than we had three years ago,” William Tincup, SHRM, told ZoomInsights.

Zappe said that for most people, the ever-popular (and free) Google Analytics will do just fine. This will give you “as many of the metrics as you would need.”

A wide array of tools will help you break down the basic numbers even further. “Are you looking at how well the market perceives you? What is your employers’ brand perception?” Zappe suggested as questions to ask. Then you might need to be looking for tools that analyze those things for you, like Klout. But unless you’re a large brand with a big budget, the “fundamental analytics tools work just fine.”

Analytics make it possible to spend your budget wisely and improve your ads and your own website. The main tool you need is free, so there’s no excuse to operate in the dark.


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