There's no such thing as a single source of hire: Crispin
In a new ERE.net webinar commenting on the 2012 source of hire survey released in February by his company, CareerXRoads, Crispin said all the various sourcing channels – referrals, social media, job boards, agencies and so forth – were intertwined.
From the moment a candidate heard about a job to the point they applied, was a multi-faceted process and attributing a hire to a single source was "a serious mistake", he said.
"These [sources of hire] are all interdependent and influence each other.
"We're convinced that we should be looking at the whole channel – how different sources influence each other – so that when you in fact make an investment in one, you are considering the additional investments you might make in others so that they can be combined for maximum effect."
He said in its latest survey, CareerXRoads asked employers if
they knew how much each source tended to be influenced by other sources.
For instance, when it came to hires that were classified as being sourced from job boards, 48.3% of companies said the most important secondary source for these hires tended to be the company's own careers site.
When it came to social media-sourced hires, these also tended to be influenced by both the careers site (51.9%), and direct contact from the company's internal recruiters (40.7%).
"It's a testable way of going after your own hires and trying to find out, what are the other pieces or factors in that channel that's driving them to you?
"It [involves] more complexity from a measurement and analysis point of view but we think it's well worth doing."
Ignore the vendor snipingCrispin said he had heard a lot of "sniping" in the market about the fact that most source of hire data came from "self-report" systems in which the candidate provided the information.
While it was true that self-reporting didn't provide a complete or reliable picture of source of hire, it was still valuable and should be used in combination with other techniques, Crispin said.
He acknowledged that every single source of hire study, "up to and including and beyond ours" was seriously flawed.
However, criticisms of self-reported data from ATS vendors that claimed they could use IP addresses and cookies to map the entire sourcing process, were "all a lot of BS".
A simple and effective way to get more meaningful data was for a company to ask its ATS provider to reconfigure the self-report form so that instead of being asked to tick one box to describe how they came to the job, a candidate was able to select two or more options.
"Almost all the ATSs are capable of doing this – I would ask them to reconfigure [the system] so it asks if there is a second source: 'Is there something else… that you used to get this job?'"
If a company could afford to invest in using IP addresses and cookies to track how the candidate came to apply, "that's wonderful and you should do that – but don't assume that's the entire story".
Another important tool was new hire surveys in which the new line manager took down information about the source of hire in a face-to-face interview where there was room for a more detailed discussion, Crispin.