team of hr tracking the source of the company hires

Why You Should Start Tracking Source of Hires Today

It’s no secret that hiring is one of my favorite subjects, so it shouldn’t surprise you to know that I fly all over the country to speak on hiring to hundreds of Human Resource professionals. A few weeks ago in Phoenix, I found myself in a room full of HR people discussing hiring and strategies to better their current process. Well right up there with hiring, another favorite subject of mine is metrics.

Metrics is defined as a method of measuring something, or the results obtained from this. A couple common metrics in the hiring world are time to fill, quality of hire, cost per hire, source of applicants, and most importantly source of hires. A quick raise of hands showed me that most people in the room were tracking source of applicants, but almost no one was tracking source of hires.

To say I was I was surprised to find out that source of hire wasn’t a core metric being talked about in most HR circles is an understatement. I view source of hires as one of the most telling and most important metrics for the growth of your organization. In order to drive quality hires in your company, you have to be able to tell where the majority of your hires are coming from.

When presented with this information, I had a couple of questions on why tracking source of applicants wasn’t good enough. Most applicant tracking systems have a report that can be pulled that shows the source of every single person that applied for the job. Once you pull that you can go through and sort it and see where the majority of your applicants are coming from. While it’s good to know that information, unfortunately it doesn’t amount to much if you don’t know how many of those applicants you’re actually hiring.

If your jobs are getting a large number of applicants from one specific source, but time after time you don’t end up hiring any applicants form that source then it really isn’t doing you any good. For example, you may be getting tons of applicants from free job boards but none of those applicants are ever qualified for your jobs, so they don’t end up getting hired. Whereas you may only get 4 or 5 applicants from employee referrals but you almost always end up hiring one of those candidates.

Still not convinced source of hires is worth tracking? Take a look at three more reasons this should be your most tracked metric.

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3 Reasons to Track Your Source of Hires

1. Tracking source of hires tells you what’s working.

As I previously mentioned if you’re not tracking source of hires, you don’t really know what is working. You may be putting all of your efforts into a source that is only giving you garbage applicants.

2. Tracking source of hires shows you where to focus time and money.

After you figure out what’s working you start allocating the majority of your time and money to that source. Now I’m not saying stop posting to everywhere except your main source of hires, but instead focus more attention on your best source of hires.

3. Tracking source of hires gives you options to improve.

Now that you know what’s working and what’s not, and you’ve fueled up what is working best, you can start looking at other options to improve. In order to have a balanced applicant pool, you need quality applicants coming in from multiple sources. You can take this opportunity to look at the sources that haven’t been supplying hires and find ways to adjust so you can start receiving quality applicants from them.


Start today in tracking your source of hire to make sure you’re getting the most out of your recruiting budget. Tracking these metrics is not only going to help your hiring process but also help you clearly illustrate why you’re spending the resources you’re spending.

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