This guest blog covers a subject very close to Evenbreak’s heart – about employers and recruiters tracking where candidates come from – and has been written by Hireserve.
With social media, multiple job boards, careers sites and more, it can feel like there are a million and one ways to promote your vacancies and attract the attention of candidates.
Of course, this also means that there are now a million and one ways to spend money doing so – and as such it’s essential to understand which platforms are proving most effective in delivering you suitable candidates.
So what is source reporting?
If you’re using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), it should come with a suite of standard reports. From time-to-hire to overdue workflows, these reports allow you to pull out valuable candidate and job data to help you better understand the outcomes and processes of your recruitment activity.
Source reporting does what it says on the tin really – it tells where your candidates have arrived from, be that LinkedIn or the Evenbreak job board.
And why is it important?
This insight is vital when you’re evaluating the success of recruitment campaigns, as it can demonstrate which sources are delivering the most candidates.
At a deeper level, source reporting can also offer you information about your candidate attraction strategy for specific jobs. Let’s say you’re hiring an engineer and an advertising executive for the same company. Two very different roles and therefore two very different target audiences.
Source reporting should enable you to draw conclusions about which platforms are most effective at attracting the different candidates – so you might find, for example, that a high volume of engineer applications are arriving direct from your careers site, whilst advertising executives are more likely to find your opportunities on a job board.
The old saying ‘quality over quantity’ is quite apt when we’re talking about source reporting. It is important to understand which sources are delivering the highest volumes of candidates, but it’s also essential to find out which are delivering the most suitable.
Let’s go back to that example of the engineer and advertising executive vacancies. It could be that although a job board is producing the highest number of applicants, the majority of them are not making it through your first round of shortlisting, due to not meeting the criteria for your job spec.
In this case, focus on those candidates that you’ve shortlisted for interview. Which sources have they come from? It’s likely that these sources are the ones which are most worthwhile for you to continue investing your time, recruitment budget and resources in.
What are the alternatives to source reporting?
If you don’t have an ATS, it’s still important to find out where your candidates have found out about your vacancies. One alternative is to ask candidates at interview or selection – but this of course can run the risk of forgetfulness! What’s more, if you’re waiting until the hire stage to ask someone about the source of their application, you’re only getting one person’s worth of data. In terms of making future decisions about your recruitment spend, this may not be as valuable as multiple responses.
If you have an ATS or some form of online recruitment which is not integrated with Google Analytics, the other options are to add a drop-down menu or a free text field to your application forms so candidates can choose or type in their source. However, you may inadvertently limit your candidates’ choices if your drop-menu doesn’t include all your sources, and free text fields can be open to human error or misspellings, which can skew your data.
Final question – what are the top three benefits of source reporting?
Generally your ATS source reporting feature should be integrated with Google Analytics, which means you can be assured of accurate, reliable and relevant information. To base decisions on ATS reports, you need to be confident of the quality of data, so do check with your supplier how they’ve built their source reporting capabilities to be on the safe side.
Because you’re running your report in your ATS, the results can be shared quickly and easily with your colleagues. Instead of emailing round a complex Excel spreadsheet that only make sense to you, an ATS report is uniform, clearly presented and can be shared with authorised members of your team.
Running a source report in your ATS means you can also compare it with other reports for a fuller picture of your candidate and job landscape. Combining source reporting with cost-per-hire, for example, can help you to understand the relationship between your spend on sources and your overall recruitment spend for a particular hire.
Whether you’re using various job boards to reach a mix of candidates or are trialling LinkedIn advertising for the first time, source reporting can help you to evaluate – and then improve – your use of recruitment advertising and promotion channels.
Established in 1997, Hireserve creates leading recruitment software. Trusted by organisations across the UK and Europe, including CERN, Arriva and Cranfield University, Hireserve ATS is agile, intuitive and powerful.
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