Talent sourcers have a demanding, fast-paced job. One of the biggest challenges they face? Lack of speed and responsiveness in moving candidates all the way through the funnel, says Karen Antrim, former National Director of Talent Strategies for Trinity Health System.
Antrim, who’s spent her career in the talent sourcing field, developed a tool that her teams have successfully used to measure activity and progress of candidates and colleagues, providing a way to remove roadblocks for faster hires and fewer missed opportunities.
During our virtual IAMHR conference, Antrim shared the secret to her success — plus practical ways to manage process workflows, measure recruiter productivity, track candidates, and increase transparency among team members.
The Fundamental Challenges of Talent Sourcing
Whether your team is comprised of dedicated talent sourcers, or recruiters who are responsible for sourcing, finding and engaging top candidates to fill the talent pipeline for specific roles is a skill unto itself.
Antrim has spent her career in the talent sourcing field, and identifies these fundamental challenges:
Finding talent for hard-to-fill job categories
Moving candidates through the process quickly enough to prevent losing them to another opportunity
“One of the biggest candidate complaints… is lack of responsiveness and speed through the process,” she pointed out. “How do we measure that from the very beginning — from our first interaction with them — all the way to disposition?”
Throughout her career, Antrim has focused on solving this issue as a talent sourcing function, and realized measuring talent sourcing activities is critical to the process.
The Benefits of Measuring Talent Sourcing Activities
The two primary benefits of measuring talent sourcing activities, according to Antrim include:
Recruiter recognition and development. Antrim often found sourcers and recruiters were so strapped for time that it was difficult to squeeze in all the activities related to finding and rediscovering talent in the CRM, while prescreening and submitting prospects.
She wanted a way to reward wins and encourage improvement. “What gets measured can get managed,” she pointed out.
Identifying and communicating process gaps. Having measurements in place for the sourcing pipeline helps talent leaders point to facts rather than opinions when it comes to answering questions from hiring managers and other stakeholders. “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions,” she asserted.
When hiring managers want to know where their job candidates are or why it’s taking so long to deliver talent, you can eliminate speculation and pinpoint bottlenecks that are based on hard data, she explained.
A Resourceful Solution: The Sourcer Scorecard
How exactly does one measure sourcer activity, productivity, and success?
Antrim and her team developed what she refers to as a Talent Sourcer Scorecard, a tool that helps garner the information they need by uncovering issues throught the entire recruitment cycle — not just sourcing and top-of-funnel activities.
The Talent Sourcer Scorecard features these key metrics:
Submissions to recruiter/hiring manager
The most important performance metric to emerge from using the scorecard was the Submit-to-Interview Ratio — the number of candidates submitted to either a recruiter or hiring manager that go on to be interviewed by the hiring manager.
A low submit-to-interview ratio raises an important question, according to Antrim: “Why aren’t we interviewing more of the candidates we work so hard to source and engage?”
A low ratio typically indicates one or more of the following issues:
The right candidates are not being submitted for the job req.
The right candidates are being submitted – but are not moving through recruiters quickly enough. They move on to other jobs, requiring additional sourcing.
Hiring managers are not interviewing candidates quickly enough, so candidates find jobs elsewhere. Recruiters have to conduct further sourcing.
Everything is happening correctly, but the hiring manager keeps asking to see more candidates. (In this case, you’ll need to coach hiring managers on the need for efficiency in keeping candidates moving through the process, Antrim said.)
Using the Sourcer Scorecard, Antrim’s team tracked metrics month over month. The scorecard was formatted as a spreadsheet, and each recruiter had their own workbook that was used like an individual CRM, tracking candidate information and workflow dates that they moved through the metrics.
The problem? The same challenges that plague spreadsheet users everywhere: They were maintained separately by individual recruiters, stored on separate hard drives … and involved a lot of copying and pasting. Plus, it was very difficult to mine the scorecard for marketing purposes, she added.
How Phenom Helped Trinity Automate the Sourcer Scorecard
Antrim searched for a solution that would allow her to integrate the metrics and process workflow she knew worked. The two most important elements included:
Customized workflow. Measuring sourcing from the entire funnel and other outbound sourcing activity to produce the metrics on Trinity’s Scorecard was a must-have for Antrim. “I’ve worked with lots of other CRMs, and none of them think about measuring sourcing from this part of the funnel or in an outbound way the way we were allowed to create this within Phenom,” she revealed.
That’s one reason Phenom’s Talent Experience Management solution proved so valuable for Trinity: They were able to preserve the functionality of the Sourcer Scorecard tool – and get rid of the spreadsheets and disparity.
A “Pipeline Req” for each sourcer. Creating a Pipeline Req for each sourcer or recruiter within the Phenom CRM was key in allowing Antrim to continue the metrics collection she relied on.
“Because of the flexibility within Phenom to create the Pipeline Req and custom status for candidates assigned to it, we could mirror our best practices for workflow and metrics collection – all with the power of being in the same CRM, sharing candidates, building campaigns, and watching the candidate progress to disposition,” Antrim said.
Here’s how Trinity Health put the Pipeline Req feature to work:
Sourcers “assigned” candidates to their Pipeline Req and began moving them through statuses based on where candidates were in the process.
Each time a candidate status changed (e.g., contacted to prescreened), it was recorded for reporting at the end of the month. Candidates identified as a poor fit for a specific req re-entered the database for other prospective positions.
Phenom could fully integrate with Trinity’s ATS, providing visibility to all candidate activity from the Pipeline Req. Sourcers could update status and keep metrics up to date, maintaining full transparency.
The Pipeline Req also solved the “candidate confusion” problem, which occurs in disjointed talent systems when a candidate has been submitted for more than one position by multiple recruiters. A transparent view of each candidate’s place in the system helped establish “rules of engagement,” Antrim said – preventing recruiters from chasing the same candidate.
Key Takeaways to Optimize Talent Sourcing
As you look to maximize your own talent sourcing strategies, consider Antrim’s concluding takeaways:
To improve talent sourcing productivity, leverage a CRM that has the flexibility to measure top-of-the-funnel activities.
Use a Sourcer Scorecard to uncover potential process issues in your recruiting cycle. (Watch your Submit-to-Interview ratio!)
Use the Pipeline Req technique to improve candidate tracking and engagement through to disposition.