3 Sourcing Metrics to Optimize Your Sourcing Strategy

Successful sourcing is easy to define—it’s finding candidates that fit the requirements of your open roles, right?

It sounds like a simple concept, but it takes a lot of work and planning to create a sourcing operation that’s humming with efficiency and helps you pinpoint the right people to fulfill your open roles. The key to shaping an effective sourcing strategy is to work on constant improvement by carefully monitoring your team’s performance.

To optimize your sourcing strategy and process, be sure to track the following 3 sourcing metrics:

1. Candidate source

Where do the best candidates come from?

It might not be a question that you can answer right now, but after tracking candidate acquisition for a while you should have a very clear idea of where to find great candidates for different roles. To track candidate acquisition accurately, you need to record the source of every candidate that you add to your spreadsheet, CRM, or applicant tracking system (ATS). By tracking these candidates through the screening process to the offer stage, you’ll get a firm idea of which sources result in the most hires.

For instance, superstar sales reps could be found on LinkedIn and top designers, on Dribbble. You might find that all of your best tech candidates come from attending local tech-related meetups. If you can get a clear picture of where top talent is hiding, then you can optimize where your recruiting team spends its time and resources.

2. Your pipeline speed (aka time to hire for sourcing)

As a slight tweak to the classic time to hire metric, tracking the speed of your sourcing pipeline will show you how long it typically takes for candidates to go from the “first contacted” stage to the coveted “hired” stage.

Pipeline speed for sourced candidates needs to be tracked from the moment you first contact or interact with them—not from when they enter your ATS like traditional time to hire metrics. This is because there is an entire process of outreach, nurture, and qualification that a sourced candidate goes through before they’re ready to apply. By tracking pipeline speed, you’ll get insight into how efficient and effective your team is when it comes to sourcing and engaging candidates.

By tracking the speed of your sourcing pipeline, you’ll learn:

  • How many messages it takes to get an initial response from a candidate

  • How long it takes to nurture a candidate and motivate them to apply for a role

  • Whether candidates that you’ve sourced move through the screening and interview process faster than general applicants

3. Quality of screening feedback

Sourcing is a quality—not a quantity—game.

It doesn’t matter how many people your team adds to the pipeline every week if the quality of candidates is poor. To make sure your team is identifying the right kind of candidates, you should focus on metrics that specifically point to quality.

Tracking screening feedback is a simple way to measure quality.

Candidates who have been sourced by your team have already been vetted to some degree, (you’ve reviewed their information on sites like LinkedIn, GitHub, and Dribbble), and they should be a great match for open roles (you’ve cherry-picked them; they’re not random applications).

If your team is finding the right kind of candidates, then you’ll get positive feedback from recruiters that are conducting phone screens.

On the other hand, if the candidates you’ve found can’t even make it through the screening process, then you need to take a good hard look at your sourcing process and maybe even sit down with your team to ensure that they know exactly which candidate persona they should be looking for. Sometimes, this is where the disconnect lies. If it’s not addressed, your sourcing efforts will continue to be futile.

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Ben Slater is VP of Growth at Beamery, a recruitment CRM that connects to your ATS and enables you to attract, source, and engage talent that hasn’t directly applied. Beamery is Greenhouse’s only CRM partner. Connect with Ben on Twitter.

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Candidate Sourcing