Call today on 877.218.3390

LinkedIn YouTube Google+ Newsletter

Free weekly business tips for managing employees, time saving tips and more. Subscribe today!

Posts by Category

Symmetry Authors

Symmetry Video Series


Motivating Employees: HR tips for getting employees motivated and engaged with your company.

Sourcing and Hiring Employees: What Works?

Looking for guidance about how and where other employers are successfully finding candidates for jobs? SilkRoad released its second annual Recruiting Marketing Effectiveness: Meaningful Metrics Straight from the Source, a report based on its applicant tracking data. The study reveals the most successful sources for generating candidate interviews and hires.* These findings can be particularly useful to employers who are looking for direction about how best to recruit.

Talent management professionals often do not have facts to help them identify the most effective sources for employee recruitment. Automated applicant tracking systems (ATS) and the Web allow Human Resources staff to identify where applicants and hires originate, whether from a job board, a search engine, the company’s career site, a print ad, or a referral.

SilkRoad’s Source Effectiveness Report: Insights on Recruiting
SilkRoad’s report was designed to help HR staff understand the employee recruitment sources that other organizations are using. From this, they can assess their own recruiting efforts.

These are the significant findings from the study:

  • Interviews and hires are the most important metrics that clients use to determine how effective a source is. 
  • External sources provided 56% of interviews compared 44% from internal sources, which provided 44%. For hiring, though, internal sources produced 58% of the hires. 
  • Among external sources, online sources constituted 87% of interviews and 80% of hires.
  • is the leading external source of interviews and hires. It provided almost double the number of hires and almost two and a half times more interviews than the next largest source of employees, Career Builder. These top two sources were followed in order of effectiveness by:

    --Campus recruitment
    --Unspecified job boards
    --Craig’s List
    --Job fairs
    --Print advertisement


  • With a 44% hire rate, referrals are the strongest source of all of the internal recruitment marketing sources for new hires. Internal hires followed at 26%.
  • Referrals and company career sites tied for the number of sourced interviews at 36%.
  • Employee referrals remain the strongest source for recruiting in terms of hires (44%).  They were tied with company websites for interviews (36%).
  • Referrals, company websites and internal hires led to 93% of interviews and 94% of hires. 
  • Among online sources, both internal and external, provided the largest percentage of interviews (27%). Company career sites accounted for the largest number of hires (30%). Company career sites appear to be critical vehicles for employee recruitment.
  • Postings on job boards provided 54% of external interviews. Job search engines produced 33% of interviews. Job boards provided 56% of hires, whereas job search engines provided 24%. This can be partially explained by the fact that there were dozens of job boards in the study versus only two job search engines.
  • and Simply, the search engines, are very influential in recruitment activity. These two engines account for 38% of external online interviews and 29% of external online hires. CareerBuilder was the leading source of interviews and hires among the job boards. It provided 127% more interviews and hires than the next largest source.

What should employers do with this information?

Here’s what you can learn from the study:

  • Include online in your recruiting. Otherwise, you are missing a huge source to find and hire talented employees. Increasingly, the web is a significant source for talent. Online sources led to 65% of all interviews and 48% of all hires this year. Last year, online sources provided 42% of all interviews and 28% of all hires.)
  • Online recruiting includes your career website, job boards, and job search engines.  It also encompasses social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and BranchOut.
  • Job search engines, and, are increasingly sources for both interviews and hires. Don’t ignore the job search engines that consolidate listings from across the web. You should also continue to use job boards that provide you with candidates for interviews and hiring, or that specialize in the kind of employees you seek.
  • Spend energy and resources to make your recruiting site effective in appealing to prospective employees. Use your site to share your work environment and culture, your benefits and employee perks, and appeal to the prospective employees who you most want.
  • You need to give more attention to internal applicants for positions and make sure that you have internal candidates available for promotion and transfers via activities such as career planning and succession planning.
  • Tap your current employees and their online social networks as a resource for recruiting and hiring. While you don’t need to pay for employee referrals , you should have a systematic referral process for soliciting them. Train your employees how to attract talented prospects through their online networks and make sure they know what happens when they refer a prospective employee.

*SilkRoad Methodology
Data provided by the SilkRoad OpenHire ATS allowed researchers to identify sourcing patterns in records for over 300,000 interviews and more than 150,000 hires. Data was gathered and analyzed from:

  • 245,595 job postings
  • More than 10 million applicants
  • More than 300,000 interviews
  • More than 150,000 hires