ROI – Social Media Recruitment – A How-To

Social Media ROI

A couple of days ago I read a very well written article on social media ROI written by J-P De Clerck who can be found on Twitter at conversionation.

The article raised some good questions and got me thinking about a blog on social media recruitment ROI.  Below are some quick thoughts on how I measure some of the ROI of social media recruitment.

First my buddy @fondalo the CEO of Bundlepost and a master of social media has taught me that it is critical for any user of social media to clearly articulate why they are on social media in the first place. Is it to make new friends, learn and share your passion or is it like most people to generate revenue for your business? For those of us in the business of recruiting it’s about profit, so let’s focus our ROI efforts here. Remember that although your social media efforts could be realized in future months or years, you really should measure your initial efforts in the fiscal year where the costs incurred. So in your first year of social media recruitment, the ROI will typically be lower due to higher front end costs and investments.

Here are some simple things you must capture before you identify your metrics:

  1. Timeframe (fiscal year)
  2. Total number of hours invested in social media:
  3. Average hourly spend $
  4. Other investments (ie: technology, software, training, licensing, etc):

Here are some metrics and example data I capture for clients:

Metric                                   Target            Actual            Note
# of Hires                                10                     15                  Av. cost saving of $2500
# of new clients                     10                     22                  With business avg. of $12k
# of other jobs                        3                       5                    Jobs avg of 7.5k

Therefore ROI calculations would be:

Hire cost savings of  $37,500 + $264,000 + $37,500 = $339,000

Costs for this client were:

880 hours (4 hours per day x 220 working days at $35 an hour) + $10k in other social media investments = $40,800

So the ROI in this particular case is $298, 200 ie: $339,000 – $40,800.

Not all social media recruitment ROI efforts are so impressive, but if the efforts are contained, the audience is targeted and specific, these types of results are possible.

What kind of ROI are you seeing on your social media recruitment efforts? Maybe it’s time to put some structure to your efforts.


About attackdefenddisrupt

An executive with over 20 years providing recruiting, talent management and IT solutions to corporations and government.
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4 Responses to ROI – Social Media Recruitment – A How-To

  1. Yes, I have read the article by J-P De Clerck at Conversionation. But I would like to thank you for this brilliant example of how one can calculate the ROI of Social Media. Because one should not blindly invest in a technology. At times, calculating ROI of Social Media activities become tough but this example helps a lot. Thanks!

  2. Damiana,

    Interesting post.

    Part of my work isI training companies in the art of social recruiting and the biggest challenge is always building the initial business case to justify the resource required to recruit effectively on these channels.

    Agree that ROI on social media generally can be hard to calculate, but in recruitment we’re lucky to be able to show a direct return in the form of successful candidates.

    What kind of opportunities are you looking for in the sector?


    • Stuart,

      Thank you for your post and comments. I am currently helping companies that do recruitment, HR or other businesses build their social media presence to either increase their business growth, customers and or reputation. I represent a number of companies on those fronts. I am always looking for a few more.

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