If you are responsible for recruiting at your organization, I hope you are paying attention to your yield ratios. At its core, yield ratios tell you how the various sources you target for recruiting (i.e., newspaper ads, job postings, college job fairs) are delivering candidates that you hire at what cost.
The National Guard has been under fire of late for its excessive spending. One area what the National Guard has been particularly profligate has been its sponsorship of NASCAR. According to Justin Boyer in yesterday's Washington Post:
USA Today reported the Guard spent $26.5 million to sponsor NASCAR in 2012, “but failed to sign up a single new soldier to its ranks,” according to Senate documents. Between 2011 and 2013, the Guard spent $88 million, but “it is unclear how many new recruits, if any, signed up because of it.”
“How can you justify the fact that nobody is getting recruited?” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in hearings. “The facts speak for themselves. The data is very clear. You’re not getting recruits off of NASCAR.”
Tom Vanden Brook at USA Today noted:
The Guard received 24,800 recruiting prospects from the program in 2012, documents show. In those cases, potential recruits indicated the NASCAR affiliation prompted them to seek more information about joining. Of that group, only 20 met the Guard's qualifications for entry into the service, and not one of them joined.
In 2013, the number of prospects associated with NASCAR dropped to 7,500, according to briefing materials for the Senate subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight led by McCaskill. The National Guard needs 1 million leads to meet its annual recruiting goal of 50,000 soldiers.
Landing only 20 potential candidates out of nearly 25k, and actually hiring none of them is a yield ratio no one should be happy about.
So, what might be responsible for generating such poor return on that recruiting investment? Age of the audience:
"The Army, the Navy, the Marines and the Coast Guard all canceled their sponsorships with NASCAR due to cost, ineffectiveness and difficulty in measuring results," according to the briefing document. "The Army specifically stated that NASCAR was declining against the Army's core target audience and that NASCAR sponsorship had the highest cost per engagement in the Army's portfolio of sponsorships — three times the next highest program."
About one-third of NASCAR's audience is aged 18-35, the Guard's target audience for recruiting, according to the document.