Distribution of hires by recruitment source, including referral, rehire, agency, etc.


Hires . [Source group] / Hires * 100


Recruitment Source Breakdown presents the composition of hires by the recruitment channel through which those hires first learned of the job opportunity. Note that the channel through which an employee first learned of the opportunity is not necessarily the same channel through which that employee submitted an application.

Graphically, the data is presented as a percentage of total hires, i.e. a stacked bar graph.

Candidates may hear about job opportunities from a variety of sources, including:

  • current or former employee
  • career centre
  • contacted by someone
  • informational interviews
  • recruiting event
  • newspaper ad
  • employment website
  • recruiting agency or headhunter
  • third-party employment website.

While a sourcing channel may not have a significant impact on the performance of new staff, certain channels may be leveraged to increase retention.

The channels most likely to impact an employee’s intent to stay with the organisation are current or former employees, informational interviews, contact from someone at the organisation, the organisation’s website and a recruiting agency or headhunter.

Therefore, organisations may wish to monitor Recruitment Source Breakdown to ensure leverage of sources that can impact retention. Organisations can also track this measure to help monitor vendor relationships and technology investments.

For example, if an organisation sees a growing proportion of hires sourced from its own website, it may wish to invest more resources in posting timely and accurate information to the site and investigate whether its website technology is sufficient to handle increasing traffic.

Recruitment Source Breakdown can also help organisations to monitor recruitment costs, as costs can vary widely across channels.

Data Sourcing

Organisations typically source data related to recruitment sources-that is, the source from which a hire first heard about the job opportunity – from a recruiting system (such as The information might be gathered from the employment application or from orientation or onboarding surveys of hires. If an organisation does not capture the source from which the employee first learned of the job opportunity, it may instead track the channel of application to implement the variation measure Recruitment Source Breakdown – Applications.


Organisations can analyse Recruitment Source Breakdown by various job characteristics to assess how channel sourcing varies among job type. Dimensions for such analysis include occupation, employment level, job function, job family, job title and pay grade.

Organisations can analyse the measure by organisational unit or location to determine how sourcing differs across talent pools or across decentralised recruitment functions.


Recruitment Source Breakdown only indicates the sourcing of hired applicants; it does not indicate the applicant volume from any channel. While various sources will tend to incur higher operational expenses than others, this measure does not provide actual recruitment cost data. Recruitment Source Breakdown does not indicate the recruitment cycle time of any channel or the satisfaction of hires with the recruitment process.


As this is a breakdown measure, targets for Recruitment Source Breakdown would be necessary for the individual channel components.

In setting targets for those components, organisations are likely to consider the relative costs of operating through various channels, including vendor fees, commissions, technology expenses and the productivity costs of internal support of the channels.

Organisations should also consider the historical yield of hires from each channel, as well as the performance and retention experience of hires from those channels.