Recruiting Analytics: Candidate Sourcing Metrics

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, but what should we be measuring to better understand the value of our sourcing efforts?

We’ve written extensively about recruiting metrics and how they can help optimize your ability to attract more of the best candidates as efficiently as possible. These are great metrics and, at a high level, they are an important tool for optimizing your recruiting. But when it comes to sourcing specifically, there are several key metrics you should be considering.

Candidates added to the talent pool. One critical part of optimizing your sourcing function is developing a centralized talent pool that you can leverage for ongoing sourcing. To be effective, you need to ensure that sourcers and recruiters are regularly adding candidate profiles to your talent pool (typically housed within your CRM).

Candidates reviewed. Adding vast quantities of candidates to your talent pool doesn’t support your goal of developing a rich source of future applicants if they just end up in a black hole. In order to be effective you need to ensure sourcers and recruiters are evaluating and segmenting candidates as they source. Be sure you’re measuring how many candidates are reviewed, tagged, and pipelined as 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 applications. 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 tap into past applicants for open positions, as well as new applicants. Measuring new applicants only would fail to account for this rich source of future hires.

Applicant conversion rate. You should also measure the percentage of candidates invited to apply who actually complete applications. This indicates the effectiveness of the channels and the messaging that are being used to engage and convert candidates to applicants. A 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 determine who gets hired and who doesn’t, it’s smart to take a broader approach to measuring the quality of applicants generated by different sourcing activities. Measuring sourcing effectiveness solely by the number of hires doesn’t provide a complete picture of the value the sourcing function is adding. On the other hand, if certain sourcing activities consistently generate applicants who don’t get hired, there may be a lack of alignment. Evaluating sourcing effectiveness by measuring the candidates who reach the interview stage is a good compromise.

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.