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Rumblings in the hiring ecosystem: what the Source of Hire data tells us

Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler have been conducting the landmark CareerXRoads Source of Hire survey for over a decade. In my mind, that’s useful data. They’ve just come out with the 2012 edition, and it’s absolutely worth a look. The top four sources of hire include referrals (28%), job boards (20.1%), career sites (9.8%), and recruiters (9.1%). (Where’s the data coming from, you may ask? They surveyed 36 companies who filled 213,375 openings; the companies employed from 1,500 to 10,000+ employees. In other words, mid-to-large sized companies).

Crispin/Mehler also tried to dig into the interrelationships between the various recruiting channels – for example, we all know that job seekers visit our sites to research companies and industry sectors, but we also know that many of those ‘tire-kickers’ become actual applicants, albeit at a company’s career site.

So what does the survey data mean for job boards? (and again, I encourage you to look at the data for yourself):

  • Job boards account for 1 in 5 hires – but most likely have a much larger influence overall by providing visibility, distribution, and branding for their employers
  • Of the largest job boards, CareerBuilder, Dice, Indeed, and Monster are generating the lion’s share of hiresbut smaller sites appear to be providing significant hires as well, particularly for those companies with 25% or less of their hires originating from job boards
  • Many sources of hire have been remarkably unchanged for years, including print, temp-to-hire, career fairs, and rehires
  • After several years of use, social media comprises just 3.5% of hires – but Crispin/Mehler suspect it has a larger influence than that number indicates
  • An interesting statistic: 10.4 referrals are needed to make 1 hire, on average
  • LinkedIn appears to be most useful to companies as a place to search resumes and post jobs – in other words, as a job board
  • 45.7% of respondents are using job boards for job ads – not resume search
  • How are employers (and remember, these are fairly large companies) tracking their sources of hire? Umm….66.7% are relying on candidates ‘self-reporting’ – which can be an unreliable metric
  • Another important response to note: when asked what they plan to change for 2012, many responded ‘decrease dependency on job boards
  • 50% of respondents did not have a candidate relationship management (CRM) system

Very interesting stuff. As always, I think the job board industry has done a poor job of making the case to employers for how important their services are – in a recruiting ecosystem, we drive the key variable: candidate activity.  It’s my hope over the next year that each of us continues to focus on making our sites produce better results for our employers – and communicate how crucial our role in the recruiting ecosystem is for them.

(Thanks again to Gerry and Mark for this incredible report!)

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1 comment… add one

  • niall kelly

    February 24, 2012, 7:57 am

    Nice one Jeff, much better to read the main points above as I found the report by Gerry fairly confusing. Aside from too many stats / Pie charts & not being easy to read / absorb main points, , etc…I think they missed some good questions such as “how much pressure are you under to reduce recruitment agency costs” “do you think Job boards provide good value for money” – “do you think your time spent on social media recruitment is well spent for the results” etc?

    Niall

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