Social Media, Work

Social Recruiting – ROI [CaseStudy]

Social Recruiting is the future. In fact, for many organizations, social recruiting is becoming the norm – moving away from recruitment agencies, HR firms and Head hunting firms to search, interview and get on-board the best candidates for their specialist requirements.

But why is Social Recruiting better than head hunters scouting for talent? 

Rather recently, I came across an organization which needed some fresh blood in their teams in one of their remote locations. Instead of looking for recruitment agencies, and outsourced HR companies which is still the norm of hiring in India, the organization decided leveraging Social Media for their internal recruitment needs. Here’s the Case Study in a nutshell:

1. Social Networking site targeted – LinkedIn

2. 5-Job Pack purchased: USD 150.00 for 5 job postings; each job with 30-day validity.

3. Jobs posted: 5 (Social Media Community Manager, Perl Developer, Software Developer, Customer Support Engineer, Test Engineer).

4. Number of applications received:

  • Social Media Community Manager = 275
  • Perl Developer = 33
  • Software Developer = 241
  • Customer Support Engineer = 64
  • Test Engineer = 101

Total applications received = 714

5. Thus, 714 applications received in 30 days for 5 positions.

Investment = USD 150.00
Cost per job posting = USD 30.00
Cost per job application received = 0.21 cents
Brokerage fees = USD 0.00

6. Total number of candidates hired after multiple rounds of interview = 7

7. Effective social media ROI = (return – investment) / investment %, wherein, return in this case would be the difference between forecasted brokerage fees and actual brokerage fees for recruitment agencies; had the organization opted for the traditional model of hiring. In this case, since 7 professionals were hired, the average brokerage fee for each could be assumed to be USD 600.00 (an average standard in India); thus, for 7 employees = USD 600.00 x 7 = USD 4,200.00

=> Effective Social Media Return on Investment = (4,200 – 150)/150 = 27 X 100 = 2,700%*

Please note: This method of calculating return of social media is very identical to ‘sales gap analysis’ and ‘support call gap analysis’ methodologies.

In a nutshell, with more and more organizations worldwide opting for social recruiting, i.e. using platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and others for their internal recruitment needs; its getting an uphill task for dedicated outsourced HR companies, recruitment agencies and moreover, B2B2C portals like to sustain themselves in the current economy.

Thus, the question is – Is YOUR organization using the inherent power of Social Media to connect with prospective employees, and use platforms like LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter/StumbleUpon effectively to find those gems?

*Thanks to Chris Kieff for pointing out I missed a multiplication by 100. Thanks, Chris

11 thoughts on “Social Recruiting – ROI [CaseStudy]”

    1. Hi Suraj, extremely good question. But as it so happens, doing a general study of the quality of applications is extremely difficult. Cause the word ‘quality’ is very relative. I may add – for example, if a company puts up an advertisement for ‘sales manager’ on LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter, am sure they would receive a few hundred thousand applications in 1 week, in a country like India; but the quality of apps wouldn’t be very good. For the 5 job applications above as well, if you rate them in terms of quality – then it becomes very difficult to measure one against the other. For example, in social media community manager, there were some exceptional candidates, but either they didn’t wish to work in US timings or work in shifts or wish to relocate etc. Thus, where to keep them? qualified or non-qualified candidates? And moreover, the ratio of 1 round, 2 round, final round candidates etc. to total candidates is very difficult to measure qualitatively. Maybe seasoned HR professionals with experience in calculating the quality of apps received in social media recruiting can guide. 🙂

      1. Agree with your point. My guess is that % qualified applicants received on LinkedIn would be greater than a generic job portal such as Monster or Naukri. Would be great to see some insights on this (perhaps from seasoned practitioners in the field). If yes, then social recruiting would have another feather in its cap, along with the ROI proposition.

  1. @Suraj: Definitely yes. A job post in a general job board, a newspaper advertisement or magazine advert, and LinkedIn – am sure 1000%, the ROI and effective quality of candidates applying for the openings via LinkedIn would be much higher than the former ones. Especially, if its a senior management position or niche skill – ROI from LinkedIn is impeccable.

  2. Interesting point of view! Though, just to be the devil’s advocate and to add to your brain wave, I’d like to emphasis the fact that the quality of response is directly proportional to the network of Influence i.e., to be successful on Social Recruiting one has to primarily define the type of network and then start networking. Now this is a time dependent process with an average of 30 – 60 days TAT, which can hypothetically be even taken as the ROI time period.


    1. @Viral: good point raised but it doesn’t apply in this case. the reason being – network of influence works when you’re doing outbound marketing, e.g. HR professional/consultant headhunting for a CEO for a technical firm. But for inbound marketing – size of influencers doesn’t play such a vital role. in this case, when the org in question put up 5 job ads on LinkedIn, they were not using PPC ads or Banner ads or Email marketing or LinkedIn updates for attracting applicants. In fact, there was no marketing person behind the recruitment drive. Just 1 person who put up the ads, and sat and received the applications. Thus, time dep is only 30 days which is time period for the application in LI.

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