Sourcing candidates is second most common origin of hiring

For companies of all sizes, applicants are the biggest source of hire, followed by sourcing, and then employee referrals, a study shows.

The report, produced by Lever, aggregates data from over 4 million candidate considerations, tens of thousands of hires, and approximately 1,000 Lever customers, from August 2015 to July 2016.

Recruiting is the top role for sourcing, with 39 percent hired in this way, and Engineering is the second likeliest role to be sourced (37 percent). Just 38 percent of engineer hires apply for roles.

A small company with 100 or less employees reportedly sources 33 percent of candidates, a company with between 101-1000 employee’s sources 32 percent of candidates, and a large company of 1001+ employees’ sources 24 percent candidates.

The data suggested that smaller companies focus more heavily on proactive sourcing, while seeing fewer referral hires. Sourced candidates, which the data showed have become a mainstream source of hire, are more than twice as efficient as applicants.

So is your current hiring process working for your company’s size and stature? To improve on your hiring metrics, consider investing in strong job descriptions that encourage the right candidates to apply, and try streamlining processes for your highest converting sources of hire.


It could be time to outsource an executive search recruitment team. Ataris Search provides clients with trusted, effective and innovative solutions for any required recruitment assignment. To find out more about our services, please call 01925 839829 to speak to a friendly member of the team, or email

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