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What’s Your Measuring Stick?

December 20

It's that time of year again. The time when we all take a moment (and really, probably not more than a moment) to reflect on the past year and everything we've accomplished. When you take that moment, how good do you feel about those accomplishments? Are they anecdotal, qualitative or quantitative? What was your measure of improvement? Is this something that you can build upon for next year? After all, our minimal effort at reflection is primarily driven by our need to lay out the goals and objectives for the coming year.

More and more, we're driven to be results- and metrics oriented, but without some baseline or benchmark, our measurements don't have enough contexts to provide any valuable insight into performance. It's critical that you build a benchmark based on your own performance to really be able to grasp that insight. Texas Children's Hospital, based in Houston, Texas, is a TMP client that did just that.

Texas Children's Hospital engaged TMP to implement a sustainable strategy that provided cohesive, effective and creative messaging; with consistent candidate attraction and measurement tools. The key priority was to ensure that the hospital would be poised for the growth initiatives that were taking place within the organization by maintaining an active candidate pipeline.

Texas Children's Hospital implemented the campaign management tool in 2010. By Q4 2010, enough data was collected to establish benchmarks and goals for 2011. Those goals were to reduce overall cost per application and to increase the "click to apply" conversion rate. Key activities that contributed to their goal attainment included:

  • Creative Messaging—A message platform was built that would distinguish them as an employer of choice through their unique culture and dedication to healthcare. The campaign highlights the dedication and empowerment of employees in a family-centered healthcare model—one that helps provide support, inspiration, compassion and comprehensive care—from start to finish.
  • Candidate Attraction—Texas Children's Hospital media campaign was retooled to include a broader mix of media to reduce dependency on one-off postings. This allowed Texas Children's to hold a stronger and more consistent presence in niche media, thus building brand awareness and making it more likely that a click would convert to an application.
  • Candidate Destination—All candidates were driven to the Texas Children's Hospital TalentBrew site (jobs.texaschildrens.org). The job search process on this site is easier than their career website, so there was less candidate drop-off (after clicking on an advertisement). This had a direct impact on conversion. Additionally, as the site continued to increase its search rankings, applications increased, while the cost of the tool remained fixed. This helped to reduce the cost per application.

Nine months later, Texas Children's has reduced their overall cost per application by 75% and increased conversions by 8%.

In the spring of 2011, TCH needed to fill a large number of CVICU and PICU openings and to begin staffing their new Pavilion for Women. Utilizing the core elements from our strategy, we:

  • Added content to TalentBrew
  • Built a campaign based on our creative concept
  • Added a custom landing page for each specialty to allow for candidate data capture
  • Added placements to top-performing media and layered on new elements for more specific targeting

As a result, hiring volume and advertising has increased, but at a significantly lower CPA than had been seen previously. Because of this, Texas Children's Hospital can continue to evolve their strategy to meet the demands of the ever-changing recruitment landscape. A foundation has been established which allows us to improve and enhance strategic direction while creating additional metrics and validation.

In establishing your own benchmarks for 2012, remember, goal setting involves setting specific, measurable and time targeted objectives. They also need to be relevant. You must know what you're really affecting when you reach your target. Determine which activities, within your control, will have the greatest impact on your goal and make a plan for implementation. And lastly, check in regularly, so that modifications can be made if your numbers aren't moving enough or even in the right direction. Ready to get started? Here are some ideas on where to begin.

  • Time to fill/start
  • Cost per hire
  • Employee engagement
  • Employee turnover
  • Clicks and impressions
  • Conversion rates
  • Quality applications
  • Cost per application
  • Cost per hire
  • Quality hires
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