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Candidate Sourcing Metrics: How to Measure and Apply Proper Channel Attribution

Source of hire metrics can tell you where your candidates come from, which channels yield the highest quality of hires, and which of your marketing efforts are most effective at attracting candidates into your talent pipeline. 

Although channel attribution has its origins in the marketing world, it’s an important analytic for any hiring team. Channel attribution can do more than just tell you where your candidates are coming from;  it can give you detailed analytics about all the touchpoints they went passed through on their way to your job post or application page. 

Below we’ll look at how to use sourcing metrics to measure and apply proper channel attribution. 

What are candidate sourcing metrics?

Candidate sourcing metrics help you assess the health of your pipeline and identify key channels for sourcing candidates. Some metrics can tell you how cost-effective a channel is, quality of hire rates by channel, and the kind of candidates (by position or demographic) you are likely to find on a specific channel. 

The most popular sourcing metrics are source of hire, source quality, sourcing channel cost, and percentage of referred hires. We’ll take a closer look at these metrics below. 

Understanding candidate sourcing channels

The most popular sourcing channels include job boards, talent databases, referrals, and social media platforms. 

  • Job boards: Job boards are some of the most popular candidate-sourcing channels, including platforms like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Monster, and Glassdoor. 
  • Talent databases: Talent databases, which include talent pooling, can be accessed through your own recruiting tools or by outsourcing a talent pool. Crosschq, for example, has an opt-in talent pool network of highly qualified candidates you can access through Crosschq Recruit
  • Referrals: There’s a reason why referrals have withstood the test of time in the recruiting world. Referrals work so well that organizations have made employee referral programs–with incentives and bonuses–standard hiring practices. 
  • Social media: Social media platforms are the new frontier for hiring and marketing. Hiring platforms, like Crosschq, make it easy for you to make updates and share job posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. 

Part of what makes candidate sourcing difficult is that a lot of these channels are interconnected. Candidates may pass through several platforms before they eventually reach your application page, which makes it harder to measure where candidates are hearing about your post on their digital journeys. 

This is why channel attribution is so important for candidate sourcing.

The importance of channel attribution for candidate sourcing

Channel attribution can segment data to help and give you different tracking models to accompany your candidate sourcing metrics. Different models place different values on the various touchpoints a candidate passes through to eventually reach your pipeline. 

A U-shaped attribution mode, for example, will give the most credit to the first and last touchpoints. If a candidate sees a hiring ad on Facebook that eventually takes them to your job post on LinkedIn, the attribution model would give credit to Facebook and LinkedIn as the highest priority channels for attracting talent. 

Different models provide different levers, and success in candidate sourcing requires you to work closely with your marketing team to optimize each of your recruiting campaigns and generate the best results. 

How to measure candidate sourcing performance

Candidate sourcing performance comes down to which sources provide you with the most quality hires at the cheapest cost. To measure candidate sourcing performance, you need to measure source quality, source effectiveness, and source cost alongside one another. Sources that require higher costs may be worth the investment if they produce quality hires at an accelerated rate.

On the other hand, sources that bring thousands of candidates into your pipeline but don’t convert those candidates into hires aren’t the most effective channels, even if they’re cheaper. 

Candidate sourcing metrics

Let’s look at and define some of the most important candidate sourcing metrics you should be measuring today. 

Source of hire

SoH, in its most basic form, shows what percentage of hires entered your pipeline from a specific recruiting channel. For example, an SoH breakdown might show 30% from a talent database, 25% from referrals, and another 25% from job boards, 20% from LinkedIn. These numbers can paint a general picture of which hiring channels have the most active candidates and where you should be allocating your resources. 

Effectiveness of Source (or source quality)

Effectiveness of source (source quality) gives greater insight into your engagement rate. It might sound great that one channel has a 90% engagement rate, but if that platform converts a small percentage of hires, that level of engagement won’t amount to much. 

Source quality metrics can also tell you which channels yield the best quality hires, and it breakdown each channel by position. While you may have found a number of tech-related quality hires from your talent pool, you may be better off landing managerial positions from a specific job board platform. Your source quality metrics can make those distinctions clear and easy to identify 

Cost of source

Cost of source is important to understand your marketing and channel attribution ROI. A true source channel cost will also include your retention rate and churn rate, taking into account the cost of a bad hire along with how much you invest in quality hires. 

A simple formula for source channel cost will look at how much you spend on advertising a role divided by the number of successful hires per platform, but the true cost will also consider churn rates, retention, the cost of a bad hire, quality hires, and other key factors. 

Using Crosschq to measure candidate sourcing metrics

Crosschq was designed to give you the most out of your analytics, including your candidate sourcing metrics. With Crosschq, you get insights into the diversity of hire by source, quality of hire by recruiter, demographic breakdowns (hires by gender, age, ethnicity), and sourcing cost metrics. 

Click here to try the demo and learn more about how Crosschq can advance your candidate sourcing metrics.

Mark Ko

by Mark Ko

Content Writer

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