How many CVs does your Sourcer [really] need to make?

This makes me crazy: some recruiting leaders determine totally ad-hoc productivity targets for sourcers, often, without understanding what the business really needs and what can be a realistic requirement. Ridicule! It looks like sourcing is only a number game and these leaders love to hear those (usually super rare) stories when sourcers make 20 (or even more) qualified, interested and available candidates (QCV) on each and every week.
Très bien… listen to me: in some cases, yes, making 20 or even 30 QCVs/week is not an issue, however, and this is my point: you do need to understand when and why this is doable. Unless you cannot clearly articulate these reasons I am afraid you don’t know what you say – do you?
Take my help. The below simple sourcing productivity calculator can be easily used both for corporate, RPO or agency sourcing. Just answer the below 5 questions and voilà! you will get a highly realistic productivity target.

  1. How many final candidates does your HM usually interview to make 1 hire? – bear in mind: the more candidates are required the more difficult a business is. A difficult business then will impact both the recruiter’s and sourcer’s life (and productivity).
  2. Out of 10 QCVs from your Sourcer how many can you pass on to the HM (as an average)? – here we ask about the Sourcer’s delivery quality
  3. Out of these “passed-on” QCVs how many do get rejected by the HM? – so this is paper reject by your Hiring Manager
  4. What is the direct sourcing fulfillment rate on your positions? – if the sourcer can only do head-hunting-type sourcing (only passive, hard-to-find, niche candidates) use that figure but then be frank at the end measurement as well
  5. How many hires can one Sourcer realistically make with you in a month? – this is a critique point in the whole story. If you see that the # of hires expectation would create an unrealistic sourcer productivity target (QCVs) you do need to change your mind

If you fill out all the orange cells below you will get the productivity target in cell D9 (in grey). [update: I mean, do feel free to type into the orange cells below – the rest is protected but the orange is for you to play with!]

If this number is high (say, higher than 15 QCVs/week) think about the below:

  • Is it realistic to hit? Is the candidate market big enough to achieve this number?
  • Does the sourcer have every tooling in place (including access to job board databases, branding and recruitment marketing etc.) to make these numbers?
  • Often, in these cases it is not solely a sourcing issue but a more complex one. Check how you can change the current conversion rate.
    • Maybe less HM interviews?
    • Maybe a better brief to the sourcer to provide higher quality CVs?
    • Maybe you need to better sell the direct sourcing candidates to the HM so they will want to less rely on third-party agencies? Don’t throw all the stress to the sourcer’s shoulders, s’il vous plaît!

If the number is low (say, around 4-6 QCVs/week) then you probably have a solid conversion rate in place so you need fewer candidates to make a hire. In this case you can have the sourcer making more hires so steer the # of hires cell to the optimum level.
This is it – you find it helpful? Would love to hear your comments.
Au revoir!

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      1. Hi Balazs! My colleague in Budapest Adrienn forwarded me this. I think the numbers are fairly correct but there are SOOOOOOOO many variables, including location, availability of talent ( I mean there just aren’t THAT many people that have Hadoop or Big Data skills, all fairly new “industries”), and yes my favorite- a great employer brand and company culture which I firmly believe will help the numbers. Also great relationships with Universities offering STEM degrees (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). And of course, REALLY great sourcers and recruiters who understand the candidate experience and the space they recruit in.
        And hope to meet you #IRL in BP in the Spring, BTW 🙂

      2. Hey Suzy – welcome on my blog 🙂 I certainly agree with all the above performance modifiers and that’s why I am praying (at least trying to pray) to set realistic targets. If you see that to make X number of hires your sourcer would need to make 4-5 QCVs/week AND this number is not realistic to constantly make on a certain market (your sample with Big Data and Hadoop) well… in this case your sourcer will need (to be expected) to make less hires. (Or your direct sourcing fulfillment rate must be higher.) So I think this is the way how these things certainly do link to each other. Would love to hear a real HUN sample calculation from you – you’d share with me?

  1. Hey Balazs! Well, to answer your question- what exactly is a real HUN sample calculation? As in: How Cloudera Budapest is doing things? I cannot answer that question (publicly), I don’t think. There are some other sites that point to some metrics:
    Here is Travis Windling’s take ons sourcing metrics
    Part 1: http://www.eremedia.com/sourcecon/how-to-set-goals-for-sourcers-part-1-by-traviswindling/
    Part 2: http://www.eremedia.com/sourcecon/how-to-set-goals-for-sourcing-part-2-by-traviswindling/
    And of course Glen Cathey’s methodology:
    Hope this helps and keep the great tips coming!

    1. Hi John,
      Direct sourcing usually has two definitions:
      1) it is everything which is not an agency hire (alternatively: not an agency, nor internal mobility, nor employee referral hire)
      2) it is only those hires which are coming from a direct search activity. In this case we do not count with hires here coming from agencies, advertisement, career site/ATS, internal mobility, employee referrals etc. Only those that have been passive candidates so either the sourcing team or the recruiter had to proactively source for them.
      Makes sense for you?