Jobvite’s 2017 Recruiter Nation Report reflects the opinions of more than 800 recruiters. One of the questions asked was for recruiters to identify the best and worst sources for talent. For each source, this graph breaks down whether recruiters identify the source as yielding high- or low-quality candidates, using a five-bin sliding scale. Darker colors indicate better talent.
Talent sources vary significantly in terms of quality. Some may be more attractive due to ease of use, keeping costs down, or prior familiarity. But identifying the best candidates early in a talent search can save a lot of time and money down the road.
Of course, not all recruiters agree about which sources are the best, but there are some definitive trends in this graph. Employee referrals and internal hires are the clear leaders when it comes to top quality talent. This suggests that we trust our current employees, and feel that they themselves, or someone they recommend, would be best suited for the job. If you have to go out of the company network, using social and professional networks is your next best option. Job boards and direct applications are seen as roughly equal, middle-of-the-pack sources.
The weakest sources are recruiting agencies and mobile career site applications. This poor assessment of recruiting agencies is a common theme among recent recruiting and HR surveys, suggesting that recruiters may be losing faith in these outside agencies, which are often the most expensive sourcing option.
If you have flexibility in how and where to search for candidates, take advantage of your internal workforce for referrals, or stick with tools that allow you to explore professional networks. Both of these options can give you a deep knowledge of candidates’ abilities. You’ll likely be happier with the quality of candidates that end up in your pipeline.