TA Leaders Talk Recruiting Metrics, Referral Programs, and Candidate Experience

50 recruiters walk into an office. I forget the punchline, but the result is an afternoon of rich conversation surrounding recruiting metrics, setting up referral programs (anyone know a good tool for that?), and creating a reliably strong candidate experience. First on the docket was some hiring pipeline data collected from real talent teams, hot off the presses from Lever:


Most Efficient Recruiting Channel Data


Conventional recruiting wisdom rings true: sourced candidates are more likely to close than applicants. Despite the lower conversion rate, you can’t afford to ignore the channel. Sourcers can be creatures of habit, resulting in them fishing in the same pools for candidates. Keeping your careers page and job descriptions inclusive are a great way to ensure a wide swath of applicants still make their way into your process.

According to the same data, Lever found referrals to be the most efficient source of hire, with reqs closing after getting just 12 total candidates in pipeline. Referrals don’t just happen, though, and to make sure you’re getting the most out of your employees’ networks, you have to develop a program that works for your organization. We made sure to ask our panelists about their company’s referral programs, as well as metrics, candidate experience, and much more, and we’ve pulled out some of our favorite answers below.

Here’s the lineup:

Alex Lebovic, Head of Talent, Caffeine

Danielle Layous, Recruiting Operations Manager, Quantcast

Heather Doshay, VP of People, Rainforest QA


What are the most successful employee referral strategies you’ve enacted?

Heather Doshay: To encourage referrals, we looked beyond the lump sum referral bonus. We found many people weren’t referring candidates because they weren’t sure if they would make it all the way to hire. We started by incentivizing behaviors to help build the top of the funnel, such as smaller prizes just for the act of referring people, or slightly bigger ones for the stage of the process the candidate makes it through.


What are the most important metrics or KPIs to measure?

Heather Doshay: If you’re series A, keep a finger on the pulse of as much as possible, but don’t hold yourself to numbers too strictly. You have to test and experiment, that way you’ll know what really needs fixing and what you can iterate upon. Aside from that, track number of hires and offer acceptance rates. It’s also good to know how much of your pipeline is coming from referrals, but it’s really a lead indicator for HR as it more closely represents a happy, engaged workforce as opposed to a talent team that’s cranking.

Danielle Layous: I would say be hyper focused on candidate feedback and drive that up. That’s usually something you can control no matter your size by focusing on candidate experience and doing comprehensive kick off meetings. Recently, we implemented hiring manager feedback, allowing recruiters and recruiting coordinators to rate hiring managers. This is a good way to demonstrate to higher-ups how invested hiring managers are in building their individual teams.


What are some changes you’ve made to improve candidate experience?

Alex: We started holding ourselves accountable to candidates and outright telling them “We will not go 5 days without contacting you”. Once you make that commitment and set that expectation, talent teams will hold to it.

Danielle: In addition to tightening up our goals for recruiting coordinator SLAs, we started giving non-updates to candidates. We would call them just to check in even if there was no change on our end, just to let them know where they were in the process and what the holdup was on our end, if any.

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After the panel, our guests broke out into discussion groups of their choice to cover how to maximize employee referrals, key recruiting metrics, build a diverse and inclusive culture, and ensure great candidate experience. Unlike the Lever data and panel info above, if you were unable to join us for the event, then you totally missed out. But don’t panic! We’re going to have plenty more recruiting meetups, and we’d love for you to join us. Subscribe to the blog via below and you’ll be the first to know when we open up the Teamable doors.

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