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Source of Hire is a key business barometer. It matters greatly to you, to your candidates, and to your executive leadership including, those responsible for marketing and advertising spend.

And yet, Source of Hire is very hard to pin down.

  • Some experts argue that Source of Hire is an intrinsically flawed metric in today’s hyper-connected world. While employee referral programs often are cited by candidates as leading sources of hire, it’s essential not to disregard social media, job boards and others.
  • The data is imperfect, but it’s critical. Virtually every candidate uses multiple sources to reach your job posting. Asking them to pin this data down can be difficult, especially since 49 percent of individuals have been in the job market for over a year. In addition to surveying candidates, it’s advisable to invest in robust research related to your targeted employee population and then engage in the right tactical measures to track them.

Effective Data Management

There are numerous data management systems available that can track your job postings up to and beyond your applicant tracking system. You can easily create a career site, post jobs and send them out with a single click to various end recruiting systems.

The information is out there. The real questions are: How are you going to get the specific data you need? And what will you do with it?

The latest industry research spells out the demise of simplistic views about Source of Hire tracking. It validates the theory that the right data is neither clean nor easy to pinpoint. If you’ve been recruiting for more than a decade, you probably know that things weren’t much better before the Internet began driving hiring activity. But now, the mere quantity of available data has imploded.

These trends have been clearly identified:

  • Internal promotions or transfers continue to account for the most overall hires. Companies should dedicate resources to seek out qualified internal candidates. This is a solid strategy on many levels as it enhances morale and also positions your company as an employer committed to career growth and development. This resonates well with high-performing candidates and helps boost both recruitment and retention efforts.
  • References accounted for 23.4 percent of external hires in 2012. This was followed by job boards at 18.1 percent. Other sources lagged far behind, ranging from direct sources at 6.8 percent, colleges at 5.5 percent and rehires at 3.3 percent to career fairs at 1.2 percent and walk-ins at 0.3 percent.
  • Social media took a dip. In 2011, social media accounted for 3.5 percent of external hires. This fell to 2.9 percent in 2012. While social media wasn’t necessarily a strong source of hire, 7 out of 11 employers believed it help drive and influences other sources.
  • LinkedIn led the way. Not surprisingly, LinkedIn was the most effective social site impacting hiring. Two more categories that scored high were customized landing pages and SEO/SEM campaigns on search engines.

Key Questions to Ask Yourself

As you strive to get a handle on your Source of Hire data, ask yourself these strategic questions:

  • How comfortable am I defending my current hiring plan and budget based on my current data?
  • How much of an emphasis should I place on improving my collection and analysis methods?
  • Which of my hiring sources interact the most with each other?
  • How can I most effectively collect, analyze and apply Source of Hire data?

Working with a professional recruiting firm can help you answer these and related questions about Source of Hire data and how to make it work to your benefit. To learn more, contact the team at BrainWorks today.


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