Jobs2Web Expands Its Resume With Robust, Client-Facing Analytics

Recruitment Technology Provider Hires WebFOCUS to Enhance Online Job Marketing

Jobs2Web provides an interactive recruitment marketing platform, which helps power the way Fortune 500 companies and smaller enterprises find, engage, and market to prospective job candidates. Based on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, Jobs2Web captures its clients’ open requisitions and then connects these job opportunities to relevant candidates in many different online channels. Jobs2Web also measures which channels drive the highest quality applicants – essentially helping its clients market their open positions in a more systematic way and find the best candidates in an expanding universe of online sources.

With thousands of open positions at any given time, some of Jobs2Web’s clients spend millions of dollars marketing their jobs via CareerBuilder, Monster, and other websites, including social media sites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Most of these clients could not adequately measure and monitor the effectiveness of their recruitment efforts. Now, using Information Builders’ WebFOCUS business intelligence (BI) platform, Jobs2Web offers customer-facing BI tools. WebFOCUS dashboards and reports help clients analyze the return on their investments as measured by the total number of hires they receive from each individual channel.

“We help clients determine which sources are working among the vast number of recruitment options they have at their disposal,” says Stephen Shaffer, chief financial officer at Jobs2Web. “Our service goes beyond just measuring web clicks. We take into account the quality of a visitor and track employees who are hired from each channel.”

An Open Rec for Data Analysis

When Jobs2Web first began helping clients streamline their recruiting efforts, the company’s focus was on filling open positions faster and with better candidates. They built a system that indentifies online candidates and directs them back to client-branded landing pages hosted by the Jobs2Web platform. The platform then collects a small amount of data from the candidates and adds them to the client’s talent community. This enables the client to re-market jobs to them in the future by sending automatic e-mail updates when a new job requisition matches their particular interests.

With this portion of the business running smoothly, Jobs2Web saw an opportunity to give clients access to something they never had before – a way to analyze the effectiveness of its recruitment efforts. The company knew that by providing data analysis tools on top of the large amounts of transactional data it was already collecting from candidates, it could create a measurement and analysis system that went above and beyond anything currently offered in the field. All it needed was a powerful and flexible BI tool that would convert the raw data into dashboards and reports.

Shaffer and his team evaluated some open-source BI tools and a few packaged reporting solutions, hoping to find an easy-to-use BI development environment that could perform complex analysis in a simple, intuitive way. WebFOCUS immediately caught their attention. Shaffer was impressed with how quickly Information Builders was able to plug WebFOCUS into their existing data set during the proof-of-concept (POC) process. Since Jobs2Web serves dozens of external clients with varying needs, he also liked the flexibility of the WebFOCUS environment and its powerful ad hoc parameterized reporting capabilities. 

“WebFOCUS is like a Swiss Army knife,” says Phil Schrader, analytics manager at Jobs2Web. “I don’t have to rely solely on the data that’s in the cube; I can connect WebFOCUS directly to the SQL tables as well. We can now deliver standard reports or custom reports for individual clients, and weave in different data sources as necessary.”

Moving Up the Ladder With WebFOCUS

Jobs2Web used WebFOCUS to create Advanced Analytics, a robust BI environment that complements and extends its standard Recruiter Dashboard. As the lead developer on the project, Schrader took advantage of Information Builders Education classes to learn more about working with the new BI tools. He used a standard WebFOCUS dashboard template as a starting point and then developed variants for particular clients based on their specific needs. The dashboards connect to Microsoft SQL Server production tables and a Microsoft Analysis Services multidimensional cube.

“To Information Builders’ credit, we didn’t need a lot of prior experience with WebFOCUS to be successful in our development efforts,” Schrader says. “There’s a lot you can do with the tools, but you can also get by with some pretty basic concepts.”

WebFOCUS allows clients to drill down into the information by source, job category, and geography to look at their returns in an organized way. Whether they are examining social media sites, job boards, or another type of source, they can see which options drive the most clicks. Clients can also analyze qualified applicants and hires from each channel to find out where they were referred from, how long they’ve been in the talent community, what types of jobs and locations they are interested in, and more.

The main dashboard uses graphs and pie charts that reveal which sources are performing best. Users can also see trending information and quarter-over-quarter statistics, and they can browse through the data using dynamic reports to drill into departments, campaigns, or date ranges.

Jobs2Web can customize the look and feel of the BI environment to suit the needs of individual clients – even down to applying the client’s own internal labels to the different business unit headers. The dashboard employs WebFOCUS Active Technology to allow users to filter, sort, summarize, and regroup the data as they see fit within their browsers, or export it to Excel.

Distributing client data via WebFOCUS Active Technology reports simplifies security, since clients don’t have to reach across the firewall to get the information they need. WebFOCUS selects the subset of data that is pertinent to each client and includes it with the Active Technology report. Jobs2Web uses WebFOCUS ReportCaster to send these reports to clients at regular intervals.After a one-hour overview, most clients are up and running with the Advanced Analytics tool. “With this system, clients have more than just a viewer or a cube-browser. They actually have the tools they need to look at the data in different dimensions,” says Shaffer. “WebFOCUS makes all of these robust capabilities easy. It would have been doable with our standard reporting solution, but we would have had to create those routines ourselves. With WebFOCUS, we can let clients see both the high level strategic view and the details. WebFOCUS offers summary-to-detail level parameterized reporting as part of the basic environment.”

Promoting Advanced Analytics to a Lucrative Position

As of this writing, roughly one-third of Jobs2Web’s existing clients have opted to pay a premium for the Advanced Analytics product, and more than half of all new sales include the advanced BI tools. Clients use these intuitive reporting capabilities to see where new hires are coming from and to gauge the value of their internal career sites. “They love being able to toggle between a summary view and a detailed view of the data, so there’s no guessing about who the 50 new hires in a summary report might refer to,” says Schrader. “They can drill down with one click, and this level of transparency helps them make meaningful choices about their job marketing strategies.”

“WebFOCUS has become one of our key differentiators, and we think it plays a part in those sales,” adds Shaffer. “We have received a lot of attention for our BI capabilities in the Wall Street Journal and other publications, highlighting the power of Advanced Analytics to showcase important recruiting metrics. Clients use Advanced Analytics to optimize their online strategies, market to potential candidates, build proprietary talent communities, and measure which initiatives are working.”

Adjusting the mix of recruiting sources even slightly can more than pay for the cost of the Advanced Analytics package. Some clients have trimmed six figures off of their recruiting or media budgets by eliminating sources that weren’t performing. Shaffer estimates that the additional sales they have won since they began to offer the Advanced Analytics option has paid back their investment in WebFOCUS several times over.

Jobs2Web will continue to add more robust reporting and analysis tools, along with enhanced customization options. It plans to offer WebFOCUS InfoAssist to provide custom reporting capabilities to experienced users. The company is also enhancing the scheduled reporting system to automatically send key performance metrics to clients.

“In just a few years, the analytics package has gone from an idea to one of the most successful initiatives we’ve undertaken,” concludes Shaffer. “WebFOCUS is a fundamental building block of our business strategy, and we can’t wait to see where it takes us next.”