make your hiring better with Axterior

Contact us now

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Optimizing Your Hiring: Best Sources for Top Talent

min read
Jun 11, 2024
Optimizing Your Hiring: Best Sources for Top Talent
Get Google Doc Copy

Optimizing your hiring process is crucial for securing top talent. One key aspect of this optimization is perfecting candidate sourcing. Understanding the best sources for hiring and effectively tracking them can significantly enhance your recruitment strategy.

Mastering Candidate Sourcing: Identifying the Best Way to Source Candidates

Effective candidate sourcing is the cornerstone of successful recruitment. By mastering the identification of the best hiring sources, organizations can attract top talent more efficiently and improve the overall quality of their hires. Understanding where to find and how to attract the most qualified candidates is essential for staying competitive in the job market. Here are key strategies for identifying and utilizing the best hiring sources.
What Is the Source of Hire?

Candidate sourcing is the process of identifying and attracting potential candidates for job openings. Mastering this involves knowing where to look and how to attract the best talent. The most effective sources of hire include:

  1. Job Boards and Career Sites: Platforms like Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor are prime locations for finding active job seekers.
  2. Employee Referrals: Employees can refer potential candidates, often leading to high-quality hires.
  3. Social Media: Utilizing social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can help reach a wider audience.
  4. Recruitment Agencies: These agencies have extensive networks and can help find specialized talent.
  5. Company Career Pages: Direct applications through your company’s website often yield candidates genuinely interested in your organization.
  6. Networking Events and Job Fairs: Engaging with potential candidates face-to-face can create strong initial impressions.

Why Is Source of Hire Important?

Understanding the source of hire (SoH) is crucial for optimizing your recruitment strategy. By identifying where your best candidates come from, you can streamline your hiring process and improve overall efficiency. Here are several reasons why tracking the source of hire is essential:

  • Efficiency: Knowing which sources yield the most and best candidates allows you to allocate resources more effectively.
  • Quality: Different sources may provide candidates with varying levels of skill and fit for your company culture.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Some sources are more cost-effective than others. Tracking the source of hire helps in budget optimization.
  • Time-to-Hire: Identifying the most efficient sources can reduce the time it takes to fill a position.

Benefits and Challenges of Tracking the Source of Hire

By understanding where your best candidates come from, you can optimize your hiring process, allocate resources more effectively, and improve overall recruitment outcomes. Here are some key benefits of tracking the candidate sources.

Improved Recruitment Strategy

Data-Driven Decisions: By analyzing SoH data, HR can make informed decisions on where to focus their recruitment efforts.

Targeted Recruitment: Identifying the most effective sources allows for targeted recruitment strategies, enhancing overall efficiency.

Enhanced Candidate Quality

Source Analysis: Different sources often yield varying levels of candidate quality. Tracking SoH helps pinpoint which sources provide the best candidates in terms of skills and cultural fit.

Better Fit: Focusing on high-performing sources can improve the overall quality of hires.


Budget Optimization: Understanding which sources are most cost-effective allows HR to allocate recruitment budgets more efficiently, reducing waste on underperforming channels.

ROI Measurement: Tracking SoH enables the measurement of return on investment for different recruitment sources, ensuring the best use of financial resources.

Reduced Time-to-Hire

Efficient Sourcing: Identifying the most efficient sources can significantly reduce the time it takes to fill a position, speeding up the hiring process.

Quick Turnaround: Streamlined sourcing leads to quicker candidate identification and onboarding.

While tracking the source of hire (SoH) offers numerous advantages, it also presents several challenges. These challenges can complicate the tracking process and impact the accuracy and effectiveness of your recruitment strategy. Here are some key challenges of tracking the candidate sources.

Data Accuracy

Multiple Touchpoints: Candidates may interact with multiple sources before applying, complicating the tracking of the initial source.

Self-Reporting Errors: Candidates may not accurately remember or report how they found out about the job, leading to data inaccuracies.

Integration Issues

System Compatibility: Combining data from various sources and platforms into a cohesive tracking system can be challenging.

Technological Limitations: Not all Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and recruitment tools have the necessary capabilities for detailed SoH tracking, requiring potential customizations.

Resource Allocation

Complex Analysis: Balancing investments between different sources based on performance data requires sophisticated analysis and may be resource-intensive.

Dynamic Trends: Recruitment trends and source effectiveness can change over time, necessitating continuous monitoring and adjustment.

Privacy Concerns

Data Handling: Collecting and storing SoH data must comply with privacy regulations and standards, ensuring candidate information is handled securely.

Ethical Considerations: Transparency about how data is collected and used is essential to maintain trust and adhere to ethical recruitment practices.

By understanding and managing both the benefits and challenges, HR professionals can optimize their hiring processes and achieve better recruitment outcomes.

How To Calculate the Source of Hire?

To calculate the source of hire, follow these steps:

  1. Track Application Sources: Identify where each candidate found the job listing.
  2. Analyze Hires: Count the number of hires from each source category for a specific time period (e.g., monthly, quarterly, annually).
  3. Calculate the Source of Hire for Each Source: Divide the total number of hires from a specific recruitment method by the total number of job applicants from that channel, then multiply the result by 100%.
  4. Analyze the Data: Analyze the percentages of each source to determine which recruitment sources are the most effective. To calculate in a few clicks your top talent sources use Axterior's Free KPI calculator. HR can use this data to better allocate time and resources to these specific channels and identify areas for improvement. Read more about recruitment KPI here.

For example, if you hired 50 candidates and 15 came from job boards, the source of hire percentage for job boards would be 30%.

Methods To Measure Source of Hire

Tracking your Source of Hire (SoH) is essential for optimizing your recruitment strategies. Here are several ways HR professionals can effectively measure this metric.

1. Applicant Tracking Systems: Utilize the built-in functionalities of your ATS to track and categorize applicants based on their source of hire. Axterior ATS can generate reports showing the number of hires from each recruitment source and key performance metrics such as hire date, department, or role. 

Discover how to effectively utilize the performance board to enhance team productivity and streamline performance reviews.

2. Recruitment Analytics Tools: For advanced capabilities and insights into SoH data, dedicated recruitment analytics tools can provide detailed metrics on candidate engagement, application stages, final outcomes, and costs per channel. These tools also offer data visualization features, making it easier to compare different recruitment channels.

3. UTM Parameters: By adding shortcodes (UTM parameters) to URLs and job posting links, you can track the source of website traffic for your online recruitment campaigns. This method helps assess the number of candidates per source (e.g., targeted ads, social media campaigns) and is particularly effective for measuring the success of specific online recruiting efforts.

4. Candidate Surveys: A simple approach to capturing SoH data is by asking candidates how they learned about the position. Including a question in the application form can help capture sources that are not easily tracked (e.g., job fairs, networking events, word-of-mouth).

5. Recruitment Team Insights: Recruiters and hiring managers can provide valuable insights into recruiting sources as they often track how they source candidates. For example, many recruiters use LinkedIn data to measure candidate engagement, conversions, and new hires.


Optimizing your hiring process by identifying and leveraging the best sources for top talent is essential for staying competitive. By understanding where your most qualified candidates come from and using tools like Applicant Tracking Systems, you can improve the efficiency, quality, and cost-effectiveness of your recruitment strategy. By addressing the challenges and capitalizing on the benefits of tracking your candidate sources, you can significantly enhance your talent acquisition efforts, leading to better hires and a stronger workforce.

Professional Recruitment Platform 14Professional Recruitment Platform 70Professional Recruitment Platform 71Professional Recruitment Platform 72Professional Recruitment Platform 73
Professional Recruitment Platform 25

Bring Recruitment To The Professional Level!

Build a long-term relationship with candidates and hire best talents in the shortest term while Axterior automates the entire hiring process at your company.

try for free now

No credit card required