Tracking 101: How to Gain Data Insights Across the Job Seeker Journey

Tracking 101: How to Gain Data Insights Across the Job Seeker Journey

In today’s competitive hiring landscape, effective recruitment involves much more than placing a series of ads on a job board and hoping for the best. Companies must plan and execute a targeted strategy for reaching the right job seekers at the right time, or risk losing top talent.

Part of any successful strategy includes using utilizing available data and tools for tracking job seeker insights. This essentially involves monitoring all stages of the recruitment funnel and converting the insights into actionable plans.

Implementing an effective tracking setup is easier than it sounds, especially given the available platforms on the market today. Perhaps the most challenging part is understanding exactly what can and should be measured, and why.

Tracking for recruitment: Understanding the job seeker

In order to best understand the scope of job seeker tracking, it helps to look at it in two categories: internal and external.

Internal tracking centers on the recruitment analytics measured within a company or on hiring team. Setting up analytics to track candidates and job seekers is essential for companies that have outlined goals and targets for hiring. This may be in the form of tracking costs associated with a campaign, or clicks across the application funnel. Whatever the means, internal tracking is an essential aspect of data-driven recruitment that helps align all of recruitment’s moving parts with a company’s set targets.

Equally as important is external tracking, which involves getting into the minds of job seekers and gaining insights into how they look for jobs. The data gleaned from this process allows hiring teams to know where applicants are coming from (attribution) and why they enter the recruitment funnel.

The pillars of successful tracking

Gathering reliable data about job seekers is an ongoing process, and one that is best carried out from multiple angles. Companies that utilize only one type of data or data from a single source are more likely to receive unreliable information, rendering their strategies ineffective. A combination of end-to-end tracking and first-party data collected by the company is a solid foundation for successful tracking.

End-to-end tracking

End-to-end tracking is a means of gathering data along the entire job seeker journey, from start to finish. For example, one valuable source of data is a job seeker who enters the recruitment funnel and eventually converts into an applicant. End-to-end tracking tools include the introduction of persistent cookies, as well as the development of UTM parameters for session tracking, so that recruiters can follow these types of job seekers.

Using cookies, recruitment marketers can engage in targeted ad campaigns, personalization, re-targeting and profile-building. Parameters for end-to-end tracking can be set up manually, or through Demand-side Platforms (DSPs). DSPs offer a host of additional features and time-saving automation.

Companies should be mindful that cookies and/or Google Analytics data isn’t always as clear-cut as it may seem in a third-party dashboard. Potential misleading figures can come into play when looking at data for users, sessions or interactions. For example, the user ID in a persistent cookie, not the commonly used client ID, is probably the most accurate way to track a single user across multiple devices or browsers.

First-party data

First-party data is valuable to companies which are working with hiring budgets, but which are also looking to gain insights from their existing campaigns. It includes any information a company collects straight from job seekers or candidates. Because it’s direct from the source, it’s often the most accurate and it’s free to collect.

Companies can take advantage of first-party data gathered from proprietary websites, apps, CRM, subscriptions, social media or customer feedback surveys. After a certain amount of data is amassed, it can then be used for audience modeling and profile-building to better target ideal candidates. Once again, DSPs can be of great help in this process.

Bottomline: Data gathered from tracking helps to optimize recruitment campaigns, and ultimately improve the hiring process.

Tracking job seekers across the recruitment funnel is an important method for gaining valuable hiring insights. Through the analysis of data from end-to-end tracking and first-party collection, recruiters can optimize both their internal campaign strategies and better source quality candidates. Not only does this allow companies to gain an edge in the talent wars, but it keeps them in-the-know about the triumphs and pitfalls of their current recruitment outlook.


Perengo is a programmatic recruitment platform.

High-growth businesses and Fortune 1000 companies use Perengo DSP to solve their recruitment challenges at scale. The platform provides tools for recruitment automation and business intelligence.

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