Recruiting ROI: How Are You Tracking Candidate Application Source?

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Tracking candidate application source shows what percentage of your hires entered your pipeline from job boards, referrals or other sources. Knowing which sources your hires are coming from helps you effectively distribute your recruiting resources. You can use the data to direct more resources to the most valuable sources and adjust or drop consistently lagging sources.

Determining Candidate Sources

To begin tracking candidate application sources, define which sources you are using. For instance, separate internal and external hiring by inbound, outbound, and familiar sources. Also, track individual sources, such as Job Board A and Job Board B, and/or their categories, such as job boards, referrals or agencies. Whichever measure you decide to use, measure it consistently for more accurate results.

Gathering Data

Use your ATS to record the source a candidate entered your pipeline from, then print a report to view the candidate distribution and hires among your sources. Use recruiting marketing platforms such as SmashFly or Symphony Talent to track candidate engagement across channels. Additionally, assign UTM codes to your job ads when posting on job boards or social media, then use Google Analytics to track how much traffic each posting brings. Keep in mind these methods are not mutually exclusive. Combining data from various methods will increase the accuracy of your candidate application sources.

Improving Accuracy

Because candidates pass through multiple, interdependent sources, the source from which a candidate entered the pipeline may not be where they initially found the job posting or the one that encouraged them to apply. In many cases, candidates may have seen an ad on social media and applied through other sources. To overcome this issue, implement a recruitment marketing platform that can provide insight into a candidate’s interaction with your company before applying. Or, complement your ATS reports by sending new hires a survey. Ask how they were made aware of the job opening, what most influenced their decision to consider the position, and which source they applied from. Use the same questions for each new hire to cross-validate data from other collection methods for more accurate reporting. Also, if you focus on only the sources your hires come from, you miss out on other sources that brought in candidates who came very close to being hired. To address the issue, break down your candidate application source tracking by hiring stage. Focus on sources of qualified candidates who advanced to a first interview and source of qualified candidates who advanced to the final round.

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