Source of hire matters. It matters to you, it matters to your candidates and it matters to whomever in your company is the boss of ad spend. But for all the reasons it matters, it’s remarkably hard to pin it down. Some would argue that source of hire is an intrinsically flawed metric because of our hyper-connected world and the constant influx of employee referral programs that have entered the market (Employee referrals are often cited as the top source of hire.) However, if you want to know how and more importantly where you are being assessed and “seen” online, source of hire is still the big 500 pound gorilla of metrics.
Because employee referrals often top the source of hire lists for organizations, it’s easy to see why the venture capitalists and multiple established ERPs began investing in technology to supplement that, automate that, create that out of thin air. However, as we saw with top player Top Prospect last year, headlines and revenue do not always go hand in hand. While the concept is deeply rooted in fact and backed up by at least five years of survey data, the automation of employee referrals has proved to once again, dilute the effort itself.
New data from CareerXRoads not only confirms that source of hire is an important metric that nearly every organization should explore, they also uncovered that in an increasingly social world, more and more sources of hire touch on some new forms of employee referral. And this sort of attraction, the “employee ambassador” hybrid is even more difficult to pin down. While referrals and social get all the press, it’s good old job boards that are still performing traffic-wise, but it may not be the behemoths that you’re used to hearing about.
Source of hire means precisely that, and not, as some platforms would have you believe, source of traffic. There are few recruiters who appreciate being drowned in ill-fitting resumes on Day 1. With much power comes much responsibility and with all our new tools and tactics, source of hire has become infinitely more complicated, but also more trackable.
Firms like OptiJob and Jobs2Web offer to track your job posting all the way up to your ATS and then even after. You can now create a career site, post jobs and send them out with one click with end to end recruiting systems like JobScore, ZIPRecruiter and SmartRecruiters. Recruiting agencies like Hodes, NAS and TMP all offer advanced analytics and reporting as well. The information is out there, but what are you going to do with it?
How can recruiters effectively use this data?
Gerry Crispin, whose company, CareerXRoads, listed above, does a yearly survey on source of hire among a limited sample of Fortune 500 companies said, “This should serve as a wake-up call regarding the importance of tracking your hiring resources. I would encourage HR professionals to ask every candidate how they found you and understand that they use multiple resources.”
Every candidate uses multiple sources to get to the job posting on your career site (NOT a source of hire by the way), application process, interview process and more. Expecting them to pin it down may be a bit difficult, especially when you consider that many active jobseekers have been looking for…quite some time, with 49% looking for longer than a year:
“A majority of jobseekers felt they would find a job in six months or less. That is a pretty realistic assessment, stated a survey of 600 job seekers conducted at the end of last month by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray Christmas. In a healthy economy, a successful job search might take two to three months. In a tight job market, such as the one we are in now, it is not unusual to see even high-quality candidates take four to six months.”
It’s possible that those folks will remember the likely web-based or social ephemera that led them to your career site, but it is also not likely. If source of hire is important to your recruitment spend (hint: it is!) invest in quality research about your target employees and then engage in tactical measures to track them online.