How to get started with A/B Testing in Recruitment

As the world of recruitment and marketing slowly converge, there’s a couple key learnings for recruiters. Marketers A/B test EVERYTHING. If you’ve never heard of A/B testing, it’s basically  an experiment where two or more variants of a page/email/button are shown to users at random, and statistical analysis is used to understand which one of the variations perform better from a conversion standpoint. A fun story about A/B testing at scale is when Marissa Mayer, during her time at Google ran a test on 40 different shades of blue that would be randomly shown to each 2.5% of visitors. Google would then note which color received the most clicks. Now the color you see in Google Mail and on the Google page is a direct result of this test. 

How can we take advantage of this in recruiting? Well for any list of candidates (ideally ~100) you have sourced and plan to contact for a given job order, just split the list into two campaigns. For this use case let’s just A/B test the subject line. This means that the first list of candidates will receive one subject line and the second will receive a different one. When I’m A/B testing subject lines, I usually make one that I think is funny (though no one has ever said “hey man, hilarious subject line!” so might need to work on these), and one that I deem ‘professional’. Craft 2 identical campaigns with only the subject line being different and send away! 

After the campaigns have run, you can start to decipher which subject line is garnering more open rates. Once you feel like you have enough statistical inference, your next entire campaign should only have the highest conversion subject line a part of it.

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