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Recruiting Metrics: Understanding Source of Hire

There are a number of metrics we should be following in our recruiting efforts, as mentioned broadly in Must-Have Recruiting Metrics to Show Off to Your Boss. Each metric has specific benefits when it comes to setting goals and analyzing results, and each can be leveraged in reporting to company leadership to demonstrate recruiting ROI. In this post, we’ll focus on source of hire, or what applicant sources are performing the best across the board, by position and among recruiters.

Recruiting Metrics: Calculating Source of Hire

At the fundamental level, tracking source of hire (SoH) will help you distribute your hiring resources to the most effective recruiting channels. Calculate this metric by dividing your recruiting source yield by number of applicants from the recruiting source. Use this metric to determine which sources, job boards or websites are most effective for hiring for your business.

Depending on the type of ATS you use, it should record the application source a candidate entered your pipeline from through automated tracking. Create and review a report to view the distribution of candidates and hires among different sources. You can also collect this data via candidate surveys or using a drop down self-selection menu as part of the application although these two are not as reliable because the candidate is providing the data and information. Source of hire shows what percentage of your overall hires entered your pipeline from each recruiting channel or source (e.g. job boards, referrals, direct sourcing). This information can help you allocate your recruiting budget more effectively and direct more resources to the most valuable channels.

One example: According to an iCIMS survey, more than 65% of employers agree that employee referrals fit better with their company culture. If you discover through data that referrals represent a significant percentage of hires, it might be worthwhile to increase (or add) a bonus for employee referrals.

If you discover that a recruiting channel isn’t working as well as you predicted, you can drop or adjust these sources. For example, if promoting a job opening on your own social channels with a small budget is being outpaced by a job ad on another channel, you can rapidly redirect the social budget and step up your ad budget.

Better Recruiting Data, Better Recruitment and Hiring Decisions

One of the methods to measure source of hire is self selection at the beginning of your application process. Candidate self-selection is the moment during the application process that the candidate is asked “How did you hear about this job opportunity?” The candidate then selects from a drop-down list that includes your career site, employee referral, specific job board, and other sources. This response is then collected by the ATS for reporting.

While this is valuable information, there are some problems with reliability of data collected. The limited accuracy might lead you to make decisions about your source of hire that are less informed.

In the early part of your application process, the candidate is more focused on submitted their resume and references, and a high number of candidates may report the wrong source when asked. Additionally, candidates may have discovered your job posting through multiple sources and may in turn be confused about what to select from your drop down menu. A more flexible solution should be implemented in order to capture tracking from multiple sources, for example, if a candidate decided to seek out your career site based on seeing a listing on LinkedIn and on a job board (and perhaps also an employee referral).

With the technology available to us today, there are better ways to track source of hire than a self selection drop down menu. We can use cookies on our career site and technology that tracks a candidate from interest to application. Tracking traffic to your career site based on sources is likely be more accurate than a self selection report, if the data you want to collect is purely analytical for source of hire. You can have reports on both self selection and traffic source, and analyze both for their results and standard deviations from each other.

Source Code Tracking to Drive Recruiting Results

Most modern ATS solutions provide the ability to do source code tracking. This ensures that the correct source automatically gets passed into the system for candidates that apply without candidate involvement.

This type of source tracking can also be referred to as a pixel. A candidate’s visit to career site is tagged by Talroo’s tracking technology allowing you to better manage, measure, and understand your source of hire. That way, you can see how we’re performing for you, measure your ROI, and reinvest in what works. No matter who you work with, make sure you have a partner who can help you prove success.

However you choose to measure your source of hire, know that what drives results is unique to your organization although benchmarks and best practices do exist. Most importantly, recruiting metrics help you understand your unique human capital needs, communicate your opportunities and successes, and forecast your recruiting spend and candidate flow in the short as well as long term.