Driving your candidate sourcing – Metrics to move

Written by on February 8, 2018

Beyond ‘open positions vs positions filled’

Candidate sourcing metrics aren’t just about ‘open positions vs positions filled’! The ultimate goal of candidate sourcing is to build a competitive edge by bringing in great talent, at a wise budget. To do that, you need to run a complete diagnosis of your sourcing process and find every scope for betterment.

Linked study - candidate sourcingA study by LinkedIn shows that the biggest challenge recruiters have to beat is the competition for talent. That’s why you constantly (i.e. every other day) have to be doing something better, different and efficient to stay ahead.

This blog highlights the diagnostic metrics you should track and the actions you should take to pull them in your favour.

Metric 1 : Time to hire by source

The metric is the time taken to hire a candidate from the time the candidate was sourced.

By tracking this metric, you can:

  • Allocate your resources to the channels that yield profitably
  • Find and unblock bottlenecks in the hiring pipeline
  • Adjust or drop channels that have long hiring periods

Time to hire by source - Freshteam

Moving this metric:

  • Once you break down the details, you can pinpoint sources or titles that take long hiring periods.
  • Try to understand where the problem is – scheduling, screening or availability of the interviewers or candidate’s interest. After locating the bottleneck, address the issue. For example, if you see that the process is delayed because of inadequate interviewers, then bring in more help to interview candidates until your pipeline is ironed out.
  • Your issues might not always be internal. Let’s say, you observe that candidates sourced from Facebook take longer to respond to interview schedules. Then, it’s possible these candidates are not keen in pursuing the offer. Now, that might be a issue with the source itself.

Metric 2 : Cost per hire by source

Cost per hire by source = Total internal and external recruiting costs / Total number of hires from the source in the same period  

Internal recruiting costs can include recruiter salaries, employee referral bonuses, interview costs (number of hours X hourly salary of interviewer or hiring manager) and fixed cost such as physical infrastuture (e.g, office rent).

External recruiting costs will cover your agency fees, advertising costs (e.g., job boards), technology costs (e.g., recruiting software), career fair / recruiting event costs, travel costs, facilities costs, relocation costs and signing bonuses.

Remember the goal of tracking this metric is not cost cutting. It is to figure out how, when and where to allocate your budget to attract and hire great talent.”

For example, if you invest in a new software, or try a particular advertising method, your cost per hire might see a spike. But in the long run the new software or approach will win the metric in your favour.

Cost per hire curve - candidate sourcing

Improving your cost per hire:

A study by SHRM reveals that the average cost-per-hire for companies is $4129. However, every firm is unique in terms of their needs, sources and budgets. So, it is hard to put an ideal figure on this metric. While helping your cost per hire, your objective is a cost per hire curve that is steady and well-justified.

Moving this metric

  • Be active on your sourcing platforms – Unlike in the times old, the cost of posting adverts online is much lower. So, make as much use of job boards, social media channels, and your career site to build a steady, stable and proactive candidate pipeline. The key here is to be active on these platforms. If candidates enter a career page and notice job adverts from last year left with no response, they are simply going to find it stale and flee. On the other hand, an active platform attracts and anchors candidates!
  • Leverage your referrals – They are not only cost efficient but they also ensure to attract high quality leads. A survey by Linkedin showed that referrals led to 48% to quality hires. They are faster to hire, perform better and stay longer in the company.
  • Take a ride on the general marketing efforts – If your company is running a campaign or doing a press release or any branding activity, take a ride on it and leverage the publicity for your hiring as well.
  • Invest in helpful tools and softwaresApplicant tracking systems streamline your process and bring order to it, saving you money, effort and time and pulling down your cost per hire drastically over time.

Note : Your cost per hire can also be inflated by the type of role you are hiring for and job boards you choose to advertise with.

Metric 3 : Effort for conversion 

Roughly, the number of conversations and interviews that happen before a candidate is hired from a particular source.

If your ATS has the ability to track all conversations with a candidate from a single place, compare how much effort goes into converting candidates from different sources.

Converstions tab - Freshteam

Actions to take based on this metric:

  • Make use of canned responses and templates to minimise effort in communication.
  • Keep track of all conversations with the candidate in one place. This makes collaboration easy. And anybody can start the communication from where it was last left.
  • After you’ve done all you can, if you still notice that efforts and yields don’t add up, then reduce investing in those channels or cut them off entirely .

Metric 4: Funnel throughput of the candidate pipeline

Funnel throughput of the candidate pipeline is the conversion rate at each recruiting stage.

The metric helps you with insights on the quality of sourced candidates. It makes more sense for roles in which you hire many or hire often.

Pipeline funnel by source - candidate sourcing

Observe which source has a higher throughput in the pipeline – referred candidates, sourced candidates, applicants or any other. If referral drives are bringing in good candidates for you then bring it to the attention of your hiring team members and direct your efforts there.

When you know joboards are working well for you, drill further down and identify the specific ones. For us, Linkedin i had higher conversion rates when compared to all the other job boards we were investing in.

Note :
Candidate sourcingpipeline funnel - Freshteam The metric can also be read through job status, job role, job type, experience, recruiter, source or medium for deeper and actionable insights.

Moving this metric

Screening: Interviews

  • A high drop off at screening can be an indication that your JDs are misleading. So, go back and put down the role and responsibilities clearly.
  • Clarify your expectations to the candidate sourcing team, make sure everybody understands what you are looking for.

Interviews: Hire

  • Get feedback from the interviewers on why candidates were dropped off and address it. Encourage your interviewers to prepare a bit for their interviews and use scorecards to stay objective. This will help you identify the reasons for high drop offs quite quickly.
  • If there are bottlenecks around the interviews, bring in more resources or see if there is room for improving the efficiency by scheduling differently.

Hire: Offer accepted

  • The only concern here would be candidates are turning down your offer. We’ll talk about this a little elaborately as a separate metric in the next section.

Note : The main goal of moving this metric is not to increase your throughput but to understand the quality of the sourced candidates. The other objective could be to have a ‘healthy’ throughput. Meaning, you don’t want to push a lot of candidates through your pipeline without necessity, this would only exhaust your resources rapidly. But at the same time you need to have a good number of candidates organically going through your pipeline because it indicates the quality of candidates.

Metric 5 : Offer declined reasons

It’s a lot easier and beneficial to get a hired candidate to accept your offer than to go hunting again. Hired candidates turn down offers for various reasons. Pull out a report for why your offers were rejected and find how you can persuade them to take it.

Offer declined reasons report - Freshteam

We observed that ‘required to relocate’ was the primary reason our offers were rejected by candidates who we sourced from other cities. Understanding this, we focused on policies that motivated candidates to relocate. We covered their moving cost and gave out an attractive signing bonus.

Some companies even go as far as hiring an agency to help them move, find their spouses a job in the same city and put their kids in school.

We hope you found this useful. These metrics are not mutually exclusive. When you study them side by side, they’ll point you to the best candidate sourcing decisions you’ll ever make. Additionally, you can always get feedback from your hiring managers, candidates and your sourcing teams (who play vital roles in the process) to get their perspectives and ideas to improve your candidate sourcing.

May the metrics be ever in your favour!

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