Source of Hire

What is Source of Hire?

Source of Hire in HR refers to the origin or channel through which a candidate is first introduced to an organization’s recruitment process and ultimately hired for a position. It provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of various recruitment sources and helps organizations allocate resources and optimize their recruitment strategies.

Source of Hire Key Features

  • Identification: Source of Hire identifies the specific channels, platforms, or methods through which candidates become aware of job opportunities within an organization, such as job boards, career websites, employee referrals, social media, or recruiting agencies.
  • Tracking: It involves tracking and recording the sources of candidates throughout the recruitment process, from initial awareness to application submission, interview selection, job offer acceptance, and ultimately, hiring.
  • Analysis: Source of Hire analysis involves analyzing recruitment data to determine the most effective and efficient channels for sourcing and attracting qualified candidates, allowing organizations to allocate resources strategically and optimize recruitment strategies.
  • Performance Metrics: It serves as a key performance indicator (KPI) for evaluating the effectiveness of recruitment sources, measuring metrics such as cost per hire, time to fill, quality of hire, and candidate conversion rates.
  • Decision Making: Organizations use Source of Hire data to make informed decisions about resource allocation, budgeting, recruitment advertising, employer branding, and sourcing strategies to improve recruitment outcomes.

How Does It Work?

  • Data Collection: HR collects data on the sources of candidates through various stages of the recruitment process, capturing information such as the referral source, application source, interview source, and ultimately, the source of hire.
  • Tracking Mechanisms: Organizations implement tracking mechanisms, such as applicant tracking systems (ATS), recruitment software, or custom tracking codes, to capture and record the source of candidates accurately.
  • Attribution: Source of Hire attribution involves assigning credit to the primary recruitment source that led to the candidate’s successful hire, considering factors such as the first touchpoint, most recent touchpoint, or the source with the greatest influence on the hiring decision.
  • Data Analysis: HR analyzes Source of Hire data to identify trends, patterns, and correlations between recruitment sources and hiring outcomes, identifying top-performing sources, areas for improvement, and opportunities for optimization.
  • Reporting: Organizations generate Source of Hire reports and dashboards to visualize recruitment data, track key metrics, and communicate insights to stakeholders, enabling data-driven decision-making and strategic planning.

Source of Hire Best Practices

  • Consistent Data Capture: Ensure consistent and accurate capture of Source of Hire data across all stages of the recruitment process, using standardized tracking mechanisms and data entry protocols.
  • Comprehensive Tracking: Track multiple touchpoints and interactions with candidates to capture the full recruitment journey and identify the primary source that contributed to the candidate’s decision to apply and accept a job offer.
  • Regular Analysis: Conduct regular analysis of Source of Hire data to evaluate the performance of recruitment sources, identify high-performing channels, and adjust sourcing strategies based on data-driven insights.
  • Benchmarking: Benchmark Source of Hire metrics against industry standards and best practices to assess recruitment effectiveness relative to peers and competitors and identify areas for improvement.
  • Integration: Integrate Source of Hire data with other recruitment metrics, such as cost per hire, time to fill, and quality of hire, to gain a comprehensive understanding of recruitment performance and inform strategic decision-making.


Common sources of hire include job boards, career websites, employee referrals, social media platforms, recruiting agencies, career fairs, university partnerships, and direct applications through the company's website.

Organizations can improve their Source of Hire metrics by optimizing recruitment advertising strategies, investing in employer branding initiatives, nurturing employee referral programs, leveraging social media and professional networks, and implementing data-driven sourcing and targeting techniques.

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