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Effective Recruitment Strategies, Part 1: How Did You Hear About Us?

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Lisa Harpe
on November 07, 2012

In this first installment of our three-part series, we examine the issue of data collection.

Almost every recruiter will ask a job applicant: “how did you hear about us?”

In asking this seemingly innocuous question, the recruiter gathers data that provides a wealth of information on the effectiveness of a company’s recruiting efforts. However, this same information can facilitate compliance with affirmative action regulations and enhance a company’s diversity efforts.  With the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) growing scrutiny of good-faith efforts, organizations have no choice but to get serious about measuring the effectiveness of recruiting. But you need good data for meaningful measurement. Here are four basics to get you started:

  • Be Specific – Rather than asking applicants, “How did you hear about us?” take matters one step further and ask “How did you first learn about this job?” Get granular when collecting information. Find out exactly which career site the applicant discovered your organization and job posting. The more you know from the start, the better off you’ll be if you need detailed records for analysis purposes or an OFCCP audit.
  • Confirm Data, Again – Sure you’ve already asked how they heard about you but go ahead and ask again. By asking once during the initial application and again during a phone screen or face-to-face interaction, organizations increase their ability to validate the accuracy of the information. Should the applicant’s answer change, be sure to update his or her file accordingly.
  • Record the Basics – Those optional, yet significant, questions of race and gender become important when tracking applicants from first inquiry through interviews. Make sure recruiters correctly track or disposition job seekers who do not meet the basic qualifications of a position and, for all others how far they proceeded in the hiring process and what happened to them. In particular, demarcating job seekers from qualified job seekers and identifying those who withdrew from those who were rejected is important. So, create a good record.
  • Examine Diversity - While the Supreme Court continues to debate affirmative action, organizations need to examine the diversity of their recruiting efforts. Once data exists for each job seeker, applicant, offer, and hire, it’s time to analyze. This means breaking down the data by race and gender and then further analyzing job seekers by their qualifications to determine the most effective recruiting sources.

The ultimate goal of recruiting software is to help you hire the most qualified candidates from the best, most equally accessed recruitment sources. Take the next step toward effective, compliant recruiting by quantifying and analyzing the entire applicant pool.

Stay tuned for part 2 of Effective Recruitment Strategies: Looking at the Data to Lessen Liabilities.

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