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Jan 17, 2018
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

Every talent acquisition team is tracking various types of information about their applicants, from which website the candidate came, how long the registration process took, how long the candidate is in the process for this particular role, time to fill, cost per hire, etc.

All these statistics and data are helping recruiters to identify weak points in their process and recruitment strategy. They are also able to quickly understand which sources are working the best and if they are spending their budget efficiently on these sources.

But is the source of WHERE candidates are applying still the essential information that recruiters need to track? Admittedly, it’s always important to track the source, but it should not be more important than the reason behind WHY people apply.



When people look for a job, they might search in various ways that will lead them to your job advertisement. You are posting your job ads on your career page, LinkedIn, different social sites (Twitter, Facebook) and your jobs also are shared by your employees and other people (company fans or random people) who are sharing with their friends through their social sites.

Candidates are finding your ads in various places, and sometimes they come from sources that you cannot influence, like from the Facebook profile of a random person. If somebody you do not know shares your job posting on their Facebook profile and you get three candidates from it, that’s something you can’t influence, and the source in your system will be Facebook and not John Doe’s Facebook profile.

If you got the right candidates and the right hires from it, it does not matter if a candidate found out about the job from some random person. It is much more important that the candidate is interested in your job offer and applied. Seeing the job advert is not only the motivation for people applying. That’s why it’s important to start tracking “WHY” these candidates applied for the job you posted.



Are they attracted by the company brand? Would they like to be working with talented people from your company or with some specific person? With the technology that you are using? Do they wish to work for the money you are paying? Is the job and activity domain of your company suitable for their dream career?

If you ask people why they applied for the job you may hear a lot of interesting and even awkward answers. Some would state that they just tried their luck and never expected to be scheduled for an interview, while others would do almost anything to get hired.

Finding the thing that made people apply for an open job will help you in many ways. It will help you to craft better ads that will strengthen the reasons why people are attracted to your company. It will also help you to see whether a person wishes to have just some job or they chose you for some specific reason, and it will also help you to create new strategies to attract people.

Still, make sure not to disregard the so-called “passive” candidates. They are the ones that may have applied for your job because they considered it interesting enough, just to see if they have a chance at getting an interview, but are relatively content with their current positions.

These candidates should probably not be ignored because they might be just the talent you are looking to get for your company. Your biggest challenge, as employers and company owners, is to stir their interest more in your company and to convince them that it will be a wise decision to take the chance of joining your company, to the detriment of their current jobs.

But, again, we go back to the importance of finding out why they decided to apply. Why do they want to work for your company? Why do they consider this job suitable for their careers plans? These are two of the questions you should ask when interviewing a candidate, to see the roots of their applications.

The source of your candidate is not relevant because talent can be found in various environments and may come from where you least expect it. So don’t waste time focusing only on this aspect.

While it is true that most people are looking for a job so they can get paid, because without money there isn’t much you can do in this life, see if they are motivated by anything other than financial benefits. Going to work every single day just to cash your paycheck at the end of the month will not make your company’s performance increase.



Besides money, a candidate should also be motivated by his or her professional advancement, by the opportunities to grow and become better, so that he or she will give the best of them each day at work. This is how a company can achieve results and grow successfully.

Of course, a company’s culture can influence this aspect a great deal, but the reason a person decided to apply and try his or her chances in landing a particular job can also provide a lot of details concerning their future performances and journey in your company.

Advertise an open position on as many websites as you’d like, and using as many methods as you can think of, to make sure you have a wide variety of talent and have the chance to find the right talent for your company. But, once you start interviewing, see why people applied for the job and why they would like to work for your organization. This will give you a better idea of “WHY” they are applying.

The source of candidates is slowly becoming less relevant, but what made a person apply is as relevant as ever!


This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.