When it comes to recruiting analytics, candidate sourcing metrics can be hard to pin down. Sourcing is a function that is increasingly being brought in-house for many corporate recruiting organizations as candidates get harder to attract, but what should we be measuring to understand the value of our sourcing efforts and optimize it?
We’ve written about source to hire analytics and how important they are to your ability to get more of the best candidates as efficiently as possible. These are great metrics and at a high level they provide a fantastic tool for optimizing your recruiting. But let’s dive into sourcing specifically to look at some key metrics you should be considering:
Candidates added to talent pool. Part of optimizing your sourcing function is developing a centralized talent pool that you can leverage for continued sourcing in the future. To be effective you need to ensure sourcers and recruiters are adding candidate profiles into your talent pool (typically your Candidate Relationship Management System – CRM). You want to make sure that your sourcing function is supporting that goal by cost-effectively growing your talent pool as they source for open positions.
Candidates reviewed. Dropping large numbers of candidates into your talent pool to be lost forever does not support your goal of developing a rich source of future applicants. To be effective you need to ensure sourcers and recruiters are evaluating and segmenting candidates as they source. So measuring how many candidates are reviewed, tagged, and pipelined is a key indicator of the health of your sourcing programs.
Candidates invited to apply. This one is a no brainer. The foundation of the sourcer’s job is to engage and invite candidates to become active applicants.
Number of applicants and applicant conversion rate. You should be measuring how many new applications are generated by your sourcing activities. Notice we didn’t say new applicants. The reason for focusing on applications rather than applicants is that you want to incent sourcers to access past applicants for open positions, and measuring new applicants wouldn’t account for this rich source of future hires. You should also measure the percentage of candidates invited to apply who actually complete applications. This indicates the effectiveness of the channels and messaging used to engage and convert candidates to applicants. Higher conversion rate means better quality engagement. To this end, it’s best to measure open, click, and apply rates for each sourcing campaign and individual email.
Sourced applicant to interview conversion rate. Because there are many factors that go into who gets hired and who doesn’t, it is good to pick a broader metric to measure quality of the applicants generated by sourcing activities. After all, once a sourcer submits a candidate they have little control over what happens next. Measuring sourcing effectiveness solely by the number of hires generated doesn’t give a full picture of the value the sourcing function is adding. By the same token, if the sourcing function is consistently handing off applicants who don’t get hired, there is clearly a lack of alignment. Evaluating your sourcing effectiveness by measuring the number and percentage of candidates who reach the interview stage is good compromise to measure the broad quality of the candidates coming from your sourcing activities.
Number of sourced hires. Measuring the number and percentage of sourced candidates that ultimately get hired is arguably the most important metric for evaluating the effectiveness of your sourcing efforts. It’s where the rubber meets the road for both quality of sourced applicants and alignment between sourcing, recruiting, and hiring managers.
Quality of sourced hire. There is no one-size-fits all method of measuring quality of hire (QOH), but typical methods include retention rate, hiring manager satisfaction, and performance ratings. Whichever method you use, quality of hire is often called the Holy Grail of recruiting metrics, so you should be looking at QOH for sourced candidates along with other sources of hire.
Having the ability to measure, analyze and refine your sourcing function is a key component to optimizing your entire recruiting operations. With solid strategies, defined processes, capable CRM and sourcing technology and thoughtful analytics, sourcing can become a core competency for any organization.