SilkRoad 2016 Sources of Hire Report
The 5th Annual Report: Covering More than 13 Million Applications, 600 Thousand Interviews, 300 Thousand Hires.It’s been five years since SilkRoad began publishing its Sources of Hire study, and in that time, the world of work has shifted. We’ve witnessed a surge in hiring, intense competition for skilled candidates, a wave of employer branding, and the rise of technologies that have reshaped the talent management landscape. You might think that if your sourcing strategy “isn’t broke don’t fix it.” However, new sources perennially emerge, so talent acquisition professionals have to stay current to be competitive. As you’ll see in this report, the popularity of several sources changed year over year. Annual source analysis can reveal hidden opportunities and trends that your organization can explore. That’s why annual yearly review of your recruitment marketing mix is so crucial.
Change has demanded that talent management adapt—especially regarding candidate sourcing. The explosion of online recruitment sources is an especially thorny issue for professionals. In this brave new world of recruiting, candidates are “always on,” seeking experiences such as social networking or digital video chat. It’s as if job seekers are perusing a menu with hundreds of choices—accessible anywhere, at any time, and from any kind of gadget: computers, tablets, phones, or even watches. From a universe of sources, professionals are challenged to make intelligent selections to tap the right talent pipelines and optimize their recruitment budgets.
In this year’s report, we share an analysis of millions of applications and hundreds of thousands of interviews and hires extracted from companies’ applicant tracking software systems. Objective and comprehensive in scope, this report examines the top sources of hire to guide you in developing smart recruitment strategies for your organization.
We recognize that no two companies are alike, and what works for one, might not work for another. Still, we believe that there’s something in this study for every professional. Read on, enjoy the report, and please share it with your colleagues.
What Sets This Report Apart? Quantitative Data, Objective Analysis
In this report, SilkRoad uses quantitative methods to analyze business data from millions of applications, and hundreds of thousands of interviews and hires. All the numbers are data-driven, derived from SilkRoad recruiting applications, aggregated, and quantified. Unlike smaller scale studies based on surveys or interviews of HR managers, this report eliminates subjectivity and bias, by identifying reports and sources with our software system.
We believe that successful talent acquisition strategies and practices demand a numbers-driven approach, grounded in objective data collection and analytics. This method helps professionals and the C-suite gain deeper insight into the quality of their sourcing strategy, and its impact on the bottom line. Advances in analytics and in ATS technology, like SilkRoad Recruiting, now enable companies to dig into massive data sets and harness them for better business decision making. These trailblazing technologies transform the way companies identify, source, and hire talent.
Key Metrics: Interviews and Hires
Based on our discussions and interviews with talent acquisition experts in a wide variety of organizations, this report uses two vital benchmarks for source effectiveness: interviews and hires.
For many companies, interviews and hires are the starting points in the practice of evaluating recruitment effectiveness. Some organizations factor in applications; others measure offers to candidates. Recruitment professionals can also add other measures to the basic metrics of interviews and hires, such as time and cost of agency fees, internal staffing, or physical infrastructure. Finally, coupling all these benchmarks with other data on retention rates, employee time-to-productivity, and quality of hire, professionals can gain a sharp picture of the ROI for their recruitment dollars.
How Automated Source Tracking Works
Reliable recruitment analytics are vital in determining the most effective sources for hiring. More importantly, objective recruitment analytics can help recruitment and HR leaders demonstrate ROI and strategic alignment with company goals. To get a valid measure of effectiveness, it is essential that recruitment source metrics be drawn from an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) that tracks results as accurately as possible. Reliability must be built in at the origin of primary data collection.
Applicant tracking systems interoperate with recruitment advertising sources to ensure that automated tracking works. In most cases for online sources, the source site needs to pass along a value in the job URL that identifies the source. When this is done effectively, the option for candidate self-selection is removed, eliminating questions such as “Where did you first learn about this position?” The source is “passed” into the ATS automatically, so that more valid source data is obtained.
The data presented in this report was obtained from the SilkRoad Recruiting ATS in exactly this manner. The SilkRoad ATS works directly with recruitment sources to support accurate tracking: It provides URL tracking values to sources for each job feed whenever that is possible. The benefits are:
- More accurate recruitment source data
- More objective data to measure sourcing effectiveness
- A speedier application experience for the user
Companies also vary in their methods for tracking sources. Even when an ATS provides automated source tracking, some employers might not leverage its full capabilities. For example, organizations may omit tracking a data element, such as interviews, because they don’t take the time or don’t consider them a critical piece of their talent acquisition strategy. Although the applicant tracking system continues to operate properly and support recruiting and hiring efforts, the company chose to omit tracking for the interview stage of the process. Still, accurate measurement of interview source data is important for recruitment budgeting—and even vital for companies that face newer, stricter federal compliance requirements regarding groups such as veterans. So, in some cases, a lapse in tracking interviews can put a company at risk for loss of business.
Best practices must also be used in classifying source data if companies are to gain real business intelligence from it. For example, sometimes data elements are coded so generally as to be unusable. For example, our analysis of this year’s customer data showed that a number of interviews and hires were attributed to “Other.” In this case, the employer might not have kept up with the expanding variety of sources, and so offered “Other” as a fallback choice from a drop-down list. Clearly, this is not the best approach for employers who want well-defined benchmarks and precise data about sources. Learn more about SilkRoad Recruiting.