Recruiting Sources: How to Evaluate Their Effectiveness



When it comes to recruiting sources, it’s not only important to find and try new ones, but to evaluate their effectiveness.

Last year, I attended a  panel discussion led by Tim Sackett, president at HRU Technical Resources and author of the book “The Talent Fix”.  During the session, Sackett asked panelists how long they gave a new source to prove itself. Most panelist were comfortable saying a year. It’s possible that in today’s challenging recruiting market, some recruiters might not have the luxury of waiting that long to determine the effectiveness of a source.

So, here are five steps to consider when evaluating the effectiveness of a recruiting source.

  1. Decide what effectiveness means for you. This may not be as easy as it sounds. Does being an effective source mean lots of applications? Or a lot of interviews? Or a lot of hires? Maybe it means not only quantity of hires, but quality after the introductory period has ended. Does it include cost-per-hire? Each organization needs to define what effectiveness means for them. Recruiters will need to know this information and be consistent.
  2. Get management to buy-in.  Recruiters will want to make sure that hiring managers are on the same page when it comes to the effectiveness of sources. If managers think a great source is one that supplies piles of applicant flow and HR thinks it’s about quality over quantity, there it could be a challenge getting buy-in for a particular source. Or changing sources if results aren’t being achieved.
  3. Agree on time frames, data collection, and reporting. In some organizations, it’s possible that a source will get one try.  It might not seem fair, but that was what senior management was willing to finance. It’s equally important to make sure that everyone will accept the data regarding sources. The good news is that many recruiting technology solutions can supply this data, so there shouldn’t be too many questions about its validity.
  4. Determine the consequences. Okay, so you’re measuring the effectiveness of sources. That’s great. What happens if a source isn’t cutting it? It makes no sense to track effectiveness if nothing is going to happen to ineffective sources. This is going to put some pressure on recruiters, because sometimes doing something…anything…is better than nothing. Even if it is a less than reliable source.
  5. Let source providers know. If the company is using third-party sources like job boards, career fairs, search firms, etc. for their recruiting, it’s only fair to tell these providers that if they aren’t effective, the company will have to reevaluate the partnership. That’s not a mean thing to do. In fact, it could make some sense to share the metrics with your third-party sources. Maybe they have some ideas to improve effectiveness using their product or service.

Talent is a key differentiator for businesses. Finding excellent sources translates into finding the best talent. But, recruiters need to constantly evaluate sources to ensure they remain competitive. Because when recruiting is competitive, the organization is competitive.



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