Employee Referrals Remain King, Delivering One-Third of All Hires

SilkRoad, a global leader in talent activation, has released Sources of Hire 2017, its annual report designed to guide companies in finding the best candidates. Analyzing millions of data points collected through the SilkRoad Recruiting Applicant Tracking System (ATS), SilkRoad’s Sources of Hire 2017 delivers the definitive view of talent acquisition sources and strategies for today’s complex modern workforce and talent market.

Click to download Sources of Hire 2017 here.

Highlights include:

  • Employee referrals remain the top source of hires, delivering more than 30 percent of hires overall and 45 percent of hires from internal sources, an increase of 5 percent year-over-year
  • Indeed produced twice as many hires (65.27 percent) as all other top-branded external sources* combined, with CareerBuilder the next top source (10.65 percent)
  • External sources are less efficient than internal sources for hiring, requiring approximately four times as many applicants to reach the interview stage and twice as many interviews
  • Despite interviews decreasing 4 percent year-over-year, hires from campus recruiting increased 14 percent
  • LinkedIn and CareerBuilder deliver the most interviews (45.9 percent and 24.84 percent respectively) and hires (29.31 percent and 38.9 percent respectively) among branded job boards

*Top branded external sources include job search engines and job boards

“Modern job seekers view their interactions with a company – from recruitment to retirement – as a single integrated experience, and companies need to adopt an approach which matches that way of thinking,” said Amber Hyatt, Cice President, Product Marketing at SilkRoad. “The data in SilkRoad’s Top Sources of Hire report offers compelling evidence that companies should build a hiring strategy around five best practices: know your audience; create a persona; develop your employee value proposition; evaluate the current candidate experience; and connect the candidate to company goals. By following these steps, companies can improve their sourcing effectiveness and deliver an amazing personalized candidate experience.”


SilkRoad conducted the Sources of Hire 2017 research by analyzing data that was aggregated from more than 1000 participating companies. The companies in the study ranged in size from as few as 100 employees to mid-market companies to large employers. Combined, the aggregate data enabled SilkRoad to gain insights into 14,000,000 applications, 655,000 interviews, and 329,000 hires. The applicant tracking data from the SilkRoad ATS for the report came from more than 11,000 sources. The data was anonymous and contributed in aggregate and no company names or numbers were used. Data was analyzed by two key benchmarks to evaluate source effectiveness: interviews and hires.

About SilkRoad

SilkRoad provides talent activation technology enabling forward thinking HR organizations to go beyond today’s talent management offerings to deliver modern, personalized talent journeys across a unified talent acquisition, onboarding and development process. SilkRoad activates the workforce, empowers HR and informs business leaders to drive better business outcomes.

Published by Conselium Executive Search, the global leader in compliance search.  

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