Why Our Hiring Sources Shouldn’t Be a Secret

There may be a disconnect between candidates and employers, an incongruence in where candidates and employers spend time searching each other. This is quite a surprise in the age of information and transparency.

Research like that from Hinge Research Institute’s Employer Branding Study shows that there’s a difference between the top sources candidates are using to apply and search for jobs vs. the top sources employers are using to find candidates and advertise (see chart).

For example, 63 percent of the candidates tend to apply through the firm’s website. Only 45 percent employers spend time reviewing candidates from this sources. Instead, employers may be spending more of their time and effort on sourcing from LinkedIn or employee-referral programs. This means that both sides might be wasting time, money, and energy in what seems like pure inefficiency because they are not aligned.

Candidates spend time applying through job sources that get less attention from the employer. In turn, they unknowingly reduce their chances of being hired. As long as source-of-hire trends remain invisible to candidates, this difference would be slow to correct itself.

What could we as employers do to reduce this difference, improve the candidate experience, and reach a wider audience? Advertise their source-of-hire success metrics. These are the percent of candidates hired from each source. Candidates would have better information as to how to apply and what works for a specific employer. It would take out the guesswork for both sides, reduce waste, and allow everyone to focus their energy correctly.

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To put it differently, a lot of sourcers and recruiters have a place they feel they’re getting the best people. It may be the monthly pizza speaker/networking night at your company. Or, a tech-hiring website. Or, a certain university. Or, something even more far-flung (recruiters source from everywhere … Airbnb, Bumble, Lyft rides …).

What I’m suggesting is this: tell people what you’re using.

This could result in fewer sources of hire eventually, and perhaps a loss of a little competitive advantage. Still, having a clear alignment between the sources used by candidates and those used by employers is a simple change that could make candidates more content and employers more successful.

Efrat Dagan joined Lyft to head the talent-acquisition team in the autonomous vehicles division. Previously she managed staffing teams for Google in EMEA and in the U.S. for over a decade. In her last role at Google she was a global staffing leader at headquarters. Earlier she led staffing for six of Google’s offices in Europe, including Israel, Russia, and Northern Europe. She has also managed recruiting for WAZE since it has been acquired in 2013. She has been selected as one of Israel’s Most Prominent Human Resources Leaders in 2014. She speaks and writes about the Future of Work, and she is an advisor to professionals, entrepreneurs, and companies.