The top nine criteria when choosing a sourcing partner


Recruitment challenges evolve continuously. Amidst a ceaseless war for talent, it is more important than ever for the talent attraction department to measure performance indicators and optimise recruitment budgets, based on a keen understanding of candidate behaviour, and the potential of new technology.

As a result, choosing the right partner for your recruitment sourcing can be a matter of commercial life and death. There are nine key factors that should be kept In mind when choosing the best recruitment service or technology.


Ease of implementation

The impact of any new technology or service is determined by its uptake.  That uptake is determined by the ease of use and even before that, in the ease of implementation.

A tool that is too complex will hamper employee adoption and an implementation that is too time-consuming will add cost and delay the recruitment of key talent.

The ideal solution must be easily integrated into existing processes, it must be quickly operational and easy to use for employees.

Key questions that can reveal how easy a new tool will be implemented and used include:

  • Once the contract is signed, how will the solution be implemented?
  • Does the partnership include support and training?
  • How easily can it sync with existing technologies)?


ATS integration

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is an industry-standard tool that helps a business manage the talent funnel. It is vital that any news sourcing solution must either provide its own ATS or seamlessly connect with existing software and processes.

To ensure that a new sourcing solution will fit smoothly into existing recruitment processes, a business needs to address the following questions:

  • What support is available for the current ATS?
  • Is the prospective sourcing solution already integrated or can integrate with an existing ATS?
  • How quickly can this integration happen?


Candidate insight

It may seem like stating the obvious but knowing your candidates is critical and it begins from the very earliest stages of sourcing. Candidate data analysis enables a business to make informed decisions and optimise investments based on understanding candidate behaviour.  Any talent sourcing partner should support this by showing how to reach the right candidates, at the right time, on the right medium, with the right role.

This can be evaluated by asking:

  • Does the solution allow the business to track candidate involvement throughout the candidate journey?
  • How does the tool compare the performance and costs of different resources?
  • What KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are available?


Industry expertise

Deep domain expertise has ever been more important.  The knowledge of the specific challenges of a given industry is a keen competitive advantage.  Any recruitment strategy must be adapted to these challenges, especially in competitive industries or for premium roles.

Employer-branding can then be used to differentiate a business from its competitors – but this will be in vain if the talent sourcing tool or service is too generic.  This can be determined by asking

  • What is the talent partner’s DNA?
  • Have they fully understood the challenges of a given business or industry and tailored their recommendations?
  • Have they had experience of working with competitors in a given industry?


Account management and support

The quality of the support offered by a sourcing partner goes a long way in ensuring the success of campaigns. Support should include system training, monitoring the campaigns, regular meetings to discuss campaign performance, reporting and insight.

Questions to consider here include:

  • Does the service or tool make recommendations to improve performance?
  • Is the partner well informed about the nuances of your industry?
  • What resources (human and material) will be made available in the course of the account?


Measure the success

With the emergence of Pay per Performance recruitment media in the last half a decade it has become critical to measure the performance of all recruitment sources. The accuracy of any recruitment campaign is defined largely by the ability to assess the performance of a given source of candidates. Typical metrics may include:

  • The number of impressions
  • The number of clicks
  • The number of CVs submitted
  • The number of qualified resumes
  • The click rate
  • The application rate
  • The cost per qualified candidate


This then necessitates some key initial questions:

  • Does the business accurately track campaigns and sources already?
  • What metrics are tracked and what do they mean to the business?
  • Do the reports provided by your suppliers align with yours?


Optimisation using tech

Performance-based technologies such a programmatic recruitment can replace traditional  “post and pray” methods of sourcing. These solutions go beyond tracking performance by using AI to introduce optimisation and adjust campaigns in real time.  To evaluate the optimisation capacity of a sourcing partner, consider the following:

  • What KPIs are they able to optimise?
  • Can you differentiate between Cost per click or Cost per Application?
  • Is the optimisation automatic or does it require manual intervention?



An ideal sourcing platform should take the guesswork out of the channel distribution by being based on data.  It should be able to show the best performing channels and highlight underperforming ones.  Agnostic delivery is closely linked to multi-channel distribution – that is, depending on the role or the skill set required, the most effective acquisition source will not always be the same.

Diverse channel options enables a business to adapt to changes in candidate behaviour and ensure the right type of hiring. The ideal platform should enable  a business to adjust investments to trigger the right channel at the right time and for the right person.

This can be examined by asking:

  • On which channels can a business advertise roles through the new tool?
  • Does the solution offer access to all the performance indicators per channel?
  • Are the channels included in the offering tried and tested?


Employer branding

Companies with a strong employer brand reduce their recruitment costs by up to 43%  and this begins with the approach to candidates at sourcing. All communication channels must reflect the employer brand strategy. This can be assessed by asking:

  • Does the solution envisaged provide an employer-branding service?
  • What distribution media are being proposed?
  • What performance indicators do they monitor?


Golden Bees is hosting a webinar on how to apply these points to the search for a sourcing partner on 11th May 2021.  To register your interest, please visit: