Candidate sources. Job boards. Postings. Just a few words that can evoke a range of emotions and reactions across your talent acquisition team. With the recent acquisitions of major job boards and Google’s entry into the job posting space, these platforms are at the top of mind in the HR space right now. As a talent acquisition professional or leader, one of the most important things you can do for your team is to keep track of the sourcing landscape and be ready to adapt as the market changes. But, if you’re not also looking at your source performance on a continual basis, what happens in the marketplace may not matter for your team’s results.

At Kinetix, we place a strong emphasis on evaluating our metrics and optimizing our ROI for the sources we choose to spend money on. One of the ways we do that is by annualizing our spend across each job board or aggregator and calculating our cost-per-applicant, cost-per-quality-applicant, and cost-per-hire using the data pulled from our ATS. At a high level, cost-per-applicant gives us a good view of the overall success of both our posting and sources efforts. This is how most companies evaluate their spend and can be extremely useful in creating a baseline and setting an overall sourcing budget.

But, to really evaluate performance, cost-per-quality-applicant is the metric you should be using to evaluate your sourcing ROI. If your ATS keeps track of your submittals to hiring managers, calculating cost-per-quality-applicant is a piece of cake. Simply divide your spend on a particular source for a fixed amount of time by the number of submittals made during the same time period. Your formula should look like this: spend / # of submittals.

Cost-per-quality-applicant will yield a much better picture of a source’s effectiveness over simple cost-per-applicant. For example, Indeed may be your number one source in terms of applicants due to its 50%+ market share in the job board/aggregator space. But if you calculate cost-per-quality-applicant, the results may paint a different picture.

Evaluating your sourcing ROI using this metric is a great way to identify pivot points to either cut, maintain, or diversify your spend. Take a lesson from others and don’t get stuck using the same ineffective platforms or sources year after year. Keeping track of what’s working and what isn’t will lead to better data, better hires, and ultimately a better bottom line for your company.

Patrick Ward

Patrick is the Marketing Communications Lead at Kinetix, specializing in marketing campaign delivery and analysis. As a data junkie, he can be found in the lab looking at charts, spreadsheets, and campaign results while blasting Radiohead on his headphones. Want to chat? You can find Patrick on Twitter or LinkedIn or contact him via email.