What is an apply start? The newest recruitment advertising metric you need to know about

What is an apply start? The newest recruitment advertising metric you need to know about

February 28, 2023
Job Board Advertising

Indeed introduced the ‘apply start’ metric to their campaign dashboards in June 2021 and have been rolling it out to accounts ever since.

‘Apply start’ isn’t just another number on your dashboard - it’s an important measurement that can tell you a lot about your recruitment and even help you optimise your advertising.

But it isn’t just a like-for-like replacement to measuring applications. Here’s everything you need to know:

What is an apply start?

It’s all about keeping track of the number of people who click on the ‘apply on company site’ button on a job.

This button appears on roles if they are set up to direct applicants to your website (as opposed to candidates completing the application entirely on Indeed).

Clicking the button signals that the jobseeker is starting the application process, but there’s no guarantee that a candidate who presses this button will go on to apply for the role. 

That’s why there will be a difference between the number of actual applications a job gets in contrast to apply starts, since some candidates could close the page before finishing and submitting their applications.

Why measure apply starts for a job?

An apply start can tell you more about the actual recruitment results your advertising is generating, compared to other metrics like impressions and clicks which don’t show a conversion.

It can be useful for tracking performance when you’re unable to monitor applications due to third party cookies being blocked. Recent changes to internet privacy rules affected Indeed’s ability to track conversions on third party sides, meaning this is now the most reliable option of measuring the conversions Indeed advertising has generated.

Can I still measure applications?

If your campaigns are set up so that Indeed takes the application within the platform (using Indeed Apply), then you can continue to measure the exact number of applications that have been completed rather than apply starts.

What other metrics are available?

You will also see some other associated metrics available on your Indeed dashboard as part of tracking apply starts. Just like with the ‘applications’ metric, you can use this data to measure the success of your advertising and inform decisions to optimise future campaigns.

Look out for additional metrics such as:

  • Apply start rate - This shows the percentage of job seekers who start an application after clicking on the job on Indeed
  • Cost-per-apply start - This is the average amount of money spent to generate an apply start for a job.

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