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Do You Know Where Your Best Hires Are Coming From?

Chris Lennon
Aug 08, 2018

Learn the benefits of tracking and then leveraging your best hiring sources.

There are good employees, and then there are employees who shine. Do you know how to attract more of the latter? Your recruitment methods can make or break your team. What do your best recruits have in common? It may be the place you found them.

If you’re having trouble finding the shining stars you need to fill your team, you may need to look into where your best hires are coming from. Read on to find out the benefits of tracking your best hiring sources and learn how to leverage your findings.

Benefits of tracking your hiring sources

The cost of turnover is no joke. For someone making $50,000 per year, it costs about 20 percent of their salary to replace them. For C-suite-level executives, it could cost double their salary in recruitment costs and other associated expenses. It’s worth your time to figure out where your best hires come from. Time and energy saved during recruitment translates to money saved. When you track your best hiring resources, you can:

  • Stop allocating your budget toward the efforts that are least effective.
  • Identify the key characteristics of your ideal candidate; i.e., if your best hires come from mobile apps, you should be targeting tech-savvy candidates.
  • Make your hiring process more efficient.

How to track the source of your best hires

You can measure your best hiring sources through a combination of manual and technology-driven methods. The method that’s right for you will depend on budget, staff and the volume of hires you need to track. Three of the most effective means of attributing a source to a hire are:

  • Creating a unique application code. If you are a new startup or working with a limited recruitment budget, this old-school method is a good place to start. Ask applicants to include a specific code in their application or include a unique code in the job title. You can then manually track which of your most successful hires come from which source.
  • If you’re working with a partner platform, such as Indeed or LinkedIn, encourage applicants to apply within the partner site. This creates silos for your applicants and makes it simple to track which candidates came from which partner. Most hiring sites have an onsite apply option. Not only does it keep your data parsed, but this method of tracking is seamless for your candidates.
  • When you have a lot of new hires coming in, it may be time to work with an applicant tracking system (ATS). This solution establishes a centralized place where you can sort all candidates by their referral source in the same place you track their hiring status, demographics, and other important data.

Get more qualified candidates from your top referrals

With an idea of where your best hires are coming from, it’s time to tap into those sources to get even more talent. Why not keep going to the same well if it’s sending you quality hires? To get additional hires from your best referral sources:

  • Give your job descriptions a makeover. In addition to listing the skills your ideal candidate should possess, list several expected outcomes for the position and the type of personality that thrive in the role. Get the input of people who will work alongside the new hire and gain insights from outgoing employees when possible. A compelling job description brings in the best-matched candidates. Generic ads result in a lot of resumes from unqualified applicants.
  • Refine your pre-screening process. Narrowing down your best referral sources is only one way to whittle the field. Once you have a qualified pool of candidates in front of you, come up with new and improved telephone pre-screen questions.
  • Up the ante on your presence in the places your top candidates congregate. Are most of your qualified hires coming in via LinkedIn? Buy more ads there and increase your networking efforts. Invest in promoted posts on the platforms that are most fruitful.

Tap into new venues to reach more talent

Just because you’ve identified a few good sources of top talent doesn’t mean the hunt is off. It’s always possible to uncover new means of connecting with great employees. If you’re in the market for a few good employees, consider:

  • Taking advantage of your current employee networks. Who can your best hires connect you with? Begin a referral incentive program and use inbound recruiting to find potential employees who are already connected to people who work for you. Even people who say they’re not looking for a job may be convinced to apply by a former colleague they trust.
  • Leverage your professional associations. Are you a part of an industry group that holds conferences, networking meetups or has online job boards? Make the most of your association benefits by cultivating relationships with members. Pass along job descriptions to members who might be a good fit.
  • Don’t doubt the power of organic search. Optimize your website’s job listing page so that people who are looking for a role in your city can find you on Google. While you’re at it, make sure your brand is represented consistently so that potential hires remember who you are.

One of the biggest challenges employers face is how to get good employees – and keep them. It all starts with knowing where to look for candidates who will thrive. Start small, tracking application codes by hand, and build your way to a comprehensive ATS when you’re ready.

Knowledge is power, and it can turn your team into a regular band of rock stars!

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Chris Lennon
Chris Lennon is Vice President of Product Management at BirdDogHR. Chris is an active participant in the talent management community bringing over 18 years of experience to BirdDogHR. He has presented at numerous industry events and has been quoted as an industry expert in leading publications like SHRM, CEOWorld Magazine, TLNT, HR Daily Advisor, and more.