Source of Hire

What is Source of Hire (SoH)?

This metric shows you where the people you hire are finding your role(s). You can also apply this formula to understand where all of your candidates are coming from and the impact across stages.

How to calculate Source of Hire (SoH)?

To calculate Source of Hire as a percentage of hires from a channel/ source e.g. job board, referral, careers page, you would use the following formula:

# of hires / total # of candidates from a particular source = % of hires from a particular source

You can also track total number of hires, applicants, or interviewees per source.


Source of Hire data can provide insights on where you can reduce costs, how to best allocate your advertising budgets, how effective your hiring team is, and which recruiting platforms or agencies to invest in.

For a more comprehensive understanding, it is useful to break down the Source of Hire percentage by team and roles.

The same formula is used to track total number of hires, applicants, or interviewees per source. It can also be used to track effectiveness of each hiring stage e.g. applications, interviews, offers.

It’s up to you how granular you want your sources to be. Breaking down by each individual job board or platform for example will give you a detailed sense of what’s effective. You may also wish to look at the bigger picture and break down your Source of Hire by what is also known as Origins: whether your hires applied directly, were sourced (i.e. someone on your recruiting team approached them about the role), were referred (i.e. someone on the wider team recommended them), or have come via an external recruiter/agency.


Sometimes Source of Hire may introduce bias into the selection process. To avoid that, consider tracking Source of Hire for every hiring stage. For example, if you’ve hired a few good employees through a particular external recruiter, you may always turn to them, in which case your Source of Hire metric will be influenced in favor of that recruiter, but your company may be missing out on talent from other sources. Also, it’s always useful to pair Source of Hire with other metrics, such as Time to Fill to be able to make better decisions.