outsourced recruiting

How to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Your Recruiting Sources

May 14, 2018

Instituting new business processes can be a laborious and lengthy task for any organization so when one is implemented, it can be easy to fall into “set it and forget it” mode. However, it is important to continuously evaluate these processes and find new products that can improve efficiency. This idea holds just as true for evaluating recruiting sources. While new sources can be found and implemented, it takes time for the source to prove itself. AI tools are a great example of a new source to use in recruiting. Organizations should be sure to evaluate them constantly and ensure they are used to their full capabilities.

College career fair season is upon us and graduation will be here before we know it. That means a slew of fresh college grads are entering the workforce and looking for employment. More than ever, this time of the year puts the effectiveness of your recruiting sources to the test. Are they up to par, or are you missing out on great hires?
The recruiting market today is challenging and ultra-competitive, so it is essential to have a clear process in place for evaluating recruiting sources and their effectiveness for your organization. To help, we have put together six steps to guide you through the source evaluation process.

1. Determine key metrics for measuring source effectiveness.

What is effective and most important to one organization may not be relevant to another. Do you want your resource to:

  • Fill positions as quickly as possible?
  • Gather numerous applications?
  • Lead to many interviews?
  • Bring forth a bounty of hires?
  • Attract diverse talent?
  • Provide hires that quickly assimilate to the office environment and assigned work?
  • Include or reduce cost-per-hire?
  • Reduce time to hire?
  • Save in-house recruiters time?
  • Source from unique places?

If you want all of these things, it’s time to narrow your list. Once you have narrowed your list, prioritize it. Aim to be able to list the top three key metrics you want your recruiting source to improve.

You may want a recruiting source that checks a number of these boxes, but determining what is most important for your organization provides a fair measuring stick for any new recruiting source you try. Set a KPI that you can revisit monthly, or weekly and share this all-important metric with your recruiting team, as well as the vendors that you might be evaluating as part of this process.

Remember, you can’t measure something without a measuring stick. Don’t skip this crucial step.

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2. Collaborate honestly with your management team.

If recruiters and hiring managers disagree on the effectiveness of a recruiting source, conflict is bound to ensue. Waves resulting from this conflict could make your recruiting team much less effective, so tackling this issue head-on is a must.

Ensure that management is receiving an honest picture of the recruiting sources. Some recruiters are exceptionally selective about the quality of candidates they pass along to hiring managers. In this case, managers may not be seeing many applications and might assume that it’s due to a poorly performing recruiting source. In reality, the source may be functioning perfectly, but recruiters are just screening candidates thoroughly before passing applications on. That hiring manager may simply want to see applications come through, providing peace of mind that there is interest in the vacant position and that the recurring source is capable of supplying applicants.

By continuously being transparent about your process, it is easier to get management buy-in and agree on whether or not sources need to be changed if goals aren’t being met.

3. Be clear on logistics and reporting.

A strict budget and strong-willed executives may determine that a recruiting source only has one opportunity or a limited amount of time to prove its worth. Executives may not account for implementation and training time. Most sources require time to fine-tune and experiment with before they can deliver outstanding results. To no fault of recruiters, sources will consistently underperform when they are not given enough time for these activities.

Because of this, it is vital that executive and recruiting teams are clear on the time frame that this source will be in place prior to its first formal review. Only at this time should the source be evaluated. They also must agree on the way data will be collected and the type of reporting that is expected.

Recruiting technology solutions typically provide consistent, valid data that makes certain that evaluating the effectiveness of the source a breeze. When creating your KPIs, make sure you know who is compiling data and from where and when, so it’s an apples to apples comparison.

4. Establish a plan to effectively manage results.

Be sure that you don’t find yourself in an “analysis paralysis”. Prepare yourself to receive an abundance of data. Many sources collect so much data that digesting it and discovering actionable insight from it seems almost impossible. To avoid “analysis paralysis” have a plan in place to manage the results, otherwise, the data points are useless and you can forget assessing the value of the source itself.

Remember that data collection means nothing if you can’t interpret the data and use it to guide your decisions.
If you take time to track the effectiveness of a source, you must have a plan in place to handle those that are not up to par. By establishing a plan, recruiters can rest easy knowing that they are armed with the ability to do something about an ineffective source rather than continuing with a source that is not achieving the desired results.

You’ve taken the time to set a KPI to evaluate effectiveness, but what you do with it next is what matters. If you have a wildly successful campaign or source, do you plan to redouble efforts in that area? If a certain source proves slow but crucial, how will you manage that piece? Coming up with solutions before you get your results will help your decision remain objective and strategic and reducing the time to assess.

5. Make your plan known.

Many companies use third-party sources such as job boards, search firms, and career fairs to aid their recruiting process. By being transparent with third-party sources regarding your effectiveness evaluation process, it ensures that no one is taken off-guard if partnerships are reevaluated or terminated. Sharing reports of the key metrics on which you are evaluating the source fosters mutual understanding and can even help the source improve their product or service.

6. Evaluation Outcomes, You Have Options

After analyzing the data you’ve collected and discussed it with your team, choose a course of action. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking there are only two options; keep it or replace it. Present all of these options to your team to get the most out of your time and investment.

Continue using this source in the same way.

  • If the source is meeting goals or exceeding them, continue in the same fashion.

Use only part of the capabilities of this source, and supplement with an additional source(s).

  • If your team enjoys components of the source, but not all of it consider using just what works and seek out another source to account for its shortcomings. This method can be costly, but can also be a great fit.

Connect directly with the providers of the source to work through small issues.

  • All it takes is a little communication sometimes. If you are experiencing small issues, consider speaking with your provider. They may have quick tips to make your source more effective.

Give the source more time to prove itself. Meet again after a set amount of time has passed to re-evaluate.

  • It takes time for a source to prove its worth and the team to adjust to it. Don’t be afraid to allow extra time, especially if implementation took longer than expected.

Reimplement this source. Start fresh with in-depth re-training.

  • When sources are implemented too quickly, training is rushed and not taken seriously. This results in the misuse or underuse of the source.

Opt to not use this source anymore.

  • Sometimes it's just not a good fit. In this case, it’s best to cut your losses and find a source that works for your organization.

Excellent recruiting sources are key to finding exceptional talent to take your business to the next level. It is crucial for recruiting teams to evaluate current sources and explore new ones if they want to have a competitive edge. Use these six steps to start evaluating your sources today and get ahead of the pack.
Looking to try a new recruiting source? IQTalent Partners, your on-demand recruiting partner, is a effective source for optimizing recruiting efforts. Book a consultation today!

Post Updated on April 23, 2019.

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