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Glossary: HR & Recruiting Definitions

What is channel effectiveness?

Channel effectiveness is a recruiting metric that provides insights into which of the recruiting channels a company uses are most effective in generating qualified applications.

Channel effectiveness: Definition

To address as many qualified candidates as possible with their job advertisements and to motivate them to apply, it is common for recruiters to use several channels.

With the help of the recruiting KPI “channel effectiveness”, they can see at the end of the recruitment funnel how effective the selected recruiting channels have been and whether it was worth investing in them.

The effectiveness of a particular recruitment channel is measured by how many applications were submitted through that channel. Meaning, how many candidates were converted.

Typical recruiting channels

Depending on the position, industry, company size, and target group, different channels can be used.

Typical recruiting channels that are used as part of any hiring process include the following:

In addition, trade fair appearances, print advertising, TV, cinema, radio advertising, and the connections of a personnel service provider or referrals from the company's own employees can all also be used to generate applications.

Read more in our article on cost per hire.

Why is channel effectiveness important?

Finding talent through different recruiting channels can cost companies a lot of money. But not all channels work equally well.

When this is the case, there is hardly anything more annoying than investing money in channels that end up bringing in no applications at all, thus driving up recruitment costs for nothing.

This is where channel effectiveness comes in: It helps to identify which recruiting channels are worthwhile and which are not. This in turn enables companies to recruit more cost-effectively.

How can channel effectiveness be measured?

There is no need for a complicated formula to measure channel effectiveness. However, unfortunately, each recruiting channel used must be evaluated individually.

Different metrics can be used for this purpose. The most common are the following:

  • Impressions: How often has the job ad been displayed in search results?
  • Views/clicks: How many potential applicants have viewed the job ad?
  • Conversions: How many of them actually submitted an application?

Ultimately, the most important measure of channel effectiveness is the number of submitted applications (conversions).

However, the other metrics are also interesting because they, in turn, allow conclusions to be drawn regarding:

  • What reach has been achieved
  • Whether the right target group was reached
  • Whether there may be weaknesses or barriers that often lead to application drop-outs

We will look at how channel effectiveness can be measured on the different channels in the next two sections.

Online recruiting channels

Fortunately, there are useful tracking tools that allow you to track (online) channel effectiveness. However, these again vary depending on the platform used:

  • Career site: Since it is part of the company's own website, Google Analytics is particularly useful here.
  • Social media: These usually have their own analytics function, but social media management platforms, such as Hootsuite, can also be used for this purpose.
  • Job boards and portals: Here, too, most providers already have integrated analytics functions.
  • Search engine advertising: To test the effectiveness of paid search engine advertising for job ads, Google Ads is the best place to start.

But newspaper ads, radio ads, and the like are still relevant for some target groups and should not be overlooked.

Let's now take a look at how channel effectiveness is measured for such offline channels.

Offline recruiting channels

It gets a bit more difficult when offline channels are used. Here, we distinguish between digital (e.g., radio or TV) and analogue channels (e.g., newspaper or posters).

Unfortunately, there is only the option of manual tracking for measuring (analogue) channel effectiveness. To make this possible, there are two simple options:

  1. Ask to name the source: If a job advertisement is printed in a newspaper, for example, you can ask to mention it as a reference in the cover letter.
  2. Application form with selection option: Alternatively, in analogue recruiting channels, reference can also be made to an easily accessible online application form. With the help of a dropdown as a mandatory field, the actual source of the application can also be queried here, and thus better conclusions can be drawn about the channel effectiveness.

On the other hand, it is easier with digital offline channels. Those who use TV and radio to advertise their vacancy usually receive insights into the audience ratings and can thus gain the necessary insights into the reach and effectiveness of the measure.

JOIN as an all-in-one solution

The more different channels and tools are used in recruiting, the more difficult it becomes to track the effectiveness of the individual channels. But this does not have to be the case.

At least the online channels can be kept in view with just one tool—for example, with the intuitive Applicant Tracking System (ATS) from JOIN.

Recruiters not only receive data-based suggestions as to which job boards, networks, and portals are suitable for addressing the talents they are looking for.

The number of clicks and incoming applications per online recruiting channel (including career site) can also be easily and clearly tracked at any time with the help of our applicant management system.

You can find even more useful functions and advantages of JOIN in our feature overview.

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