THE TECHNACIOUS RECRUITER NEWSLETTER

August 1, 2004   view past issues

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Feature: Make Sure You Budget for Success

In the space of less than a decade, the Internet has gone from a techno-novelty to an integral component of the recruiting profession. In HR-speak, it’s become a core competency of what we do. As with any standard operating procedure, however, it’s important to step back and take stock from time-to-time, just to make sure we’ve got it right. We need to know if we are using the technology to its best advantage and, equally as critical, if we are investing our limited financial resources so as to prioritize those best practices. To help with that periodic assessment, we at WEDDLE’s have been conducting an on-going survey of recruiters’ activities and success on the Web since 1996. Our most recent findings are based on responses submitted by over 500 recruiters during the first six months of this calendar year. Here’s what they told us.

We are now sourcing better than 20% of all new hires by posting our openings on a commercial recruitment site. Almost 40% of the respondents in our survey hire more than a quarter of their new employees (26%+) from the vacancies they’ve posted at job boards. Even more impressive, more than half of the respondents bring in 21% or more of their new hires that way. At the other end of the spectrum, just 9% of the respondents fill 5% or fewer of their open positions by posting them at commercial sites.

Niche sites are increasingly viewed as a key source of quality hires. In our survey, we asked respondents to select the most productive sites from among the following choices: general purpose job boards, job boards at their own corporate site, niche sites that specialize by career field or industry, and niche sites that specialize by geographic focus. More than three quarters of the voters (78%) selected niche sites that specialize by career field or industry, 17% gave the nod to general purpose job boards, and a disappointing 3% selected their organization’s own Web-site.

Searching resume databases has not been as effective a recruitment method as job posting. Almost six-out-of-ten respondents (57%) said they sourced 15% or fewer of their new hires by searching an online resume database. While such modest results may be due to our own database searching skills, I think it’s more likely that the databases, themselves, are the key causal factor. Why? For several reasons:

  • First, most passive, “A” level performers do not have a resume so they have nothing to put in a database set up to accept only resumes, which is, more often than not, the case.
  • Second, even if they have a resume, they are unlikely to submit it unless the site takes proactive steps to protect their confidentiality (typically by controlling access to their name and contact information).
  • Until resume databases (a) become repositories of employment records, (b) support an individual’s easy and rapid development of their record (i.e., with a resume or an ad hoc profile), and (c) guarantee the privacy of every person’s record as a matter of course, they are unlikely to live up to their potential as a source of quality applicants.

    Corporate career sites yield fewer than half the new hires generated by commercial job boards. An astonishing 51% of the respondents in our survey reported that they acquire 10% or fewer of their new hires from their own corporate career sites. A humbling 13% actually said the site produced no new employees, while just 16% said they achieved the same 26%+ level of hiring delivered by job postings at commercial sites. This finding is consistent with the results of every poll of job seekers and recruiters that we’ve conducted since 2001. It doesn’t mean that corporate career sites can’t produce a high volume of quality hires or that they should be abandoned as a bad idea. It indicates, instead, that the current state-of-the-art in corporate career sites needs to be advanced before companies will see the kind of return on investment that justifies them. [Please click here here to read my June 15, 2004 column on job seeker’s views of corporate career sites and my suggestions for improving the effectiveness of those sites.]

    We may not be investing our financial resources so as to maximize our ROI, our return on the Internet. The survey’s respondents used the Internet frequently and often tapped several resources at once in order to optimize their yield. More than half of the respondents (56%) posted jobs nine or more times per month at a job board. And, almost half of the time (42%), they used between two and five sites to do so, a rate that was three times greater than those instances in which just one site was used for posting. Most importantly, they were pleased with the results: 78% of the respondents felt the Internet was “very helpful” in their recruiting efforts, and another 19% said it was “somewhat helpful.” But, here’s the rub: we’re investing only a small percentage of our recruiting budget in online activities. The largest single cohort of our survey’s respondents (24%) spent just 1-10% of their budget online. While some spent more, even much more, many also spent less, and 5% actually spent nothing at all.

    So, here’s the bottom line. While it’s easy to get caught up in the head-long rush of day-to-day activities in recruiting, our success is as dependent on our working smart as it is on our working hard. For that reason, we should periodically ask ourselves two questions:

  • Are we using the online recruiting practices that will best help us fill our vacancies with high quality hires?
  • and

  • Are we allocating our budget so as to prioritize and use those best practices?
  • If you can answer “yes” to both of those questions, then you’re undoubtedly having success online. If, on the other hand, your answer to either question is “No,” you are probably shortchanging your effectiveness and, ultimately, your return on the Internet.

    Thanks for Reading,

    Peter

    A Final Note I hope you’re finding your WEDDLE’s newsletter to be thought-provoking, helpful and informative. If that’s the case, please tell a colleague about it and encourage them to subscribe, as well. I’d be very grateful for your support.


    This Issue’s Sponsor: NicheBoards.com

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of NicheBoards.com.

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    Click here for profiles or send an inquiry to marketing@nicheboards.com.


    Section Two: Site News You Can Use

    Allied Van Lines released its findings from a national survey of workers and their families. It reports that 77% of women in the poll said they would locate to support their husband’s career, while just 58% of the men polled would make a similar sacrifice. Other than a reason to have a conversation with one’s own spouse, what do these findings mean for recruiters and HR professionals? Basically, they suggest that the best way to hire top talent is to recruit the entire family. While local hiring is still the preference among employers, relocation is on the upswing as companies search for new employees who have rare skills or are superior performers. For any opening, but especially one where a move is required, selling the spouse as well as the candidate can mean the difference between an offer that is accepted and one that is not. What’s the best way to get that family recruitment started? Create a special area for candidate spouses and the kids in the family on your corporate career site. Then, use testimonials from the family members of current employees to set the tone and illustrate the values of your organization.

    CareerBuilder.com launched a new Resume Database Web Service that enables employers to search the site’s resume database using their own applicant tracking system (ATS). The feature lets employers bypass the CareerBuilder.com site and view candidate resumes directly; they can then export records of interest directly to their own ATS via industry-standard XML data or by creating custom reports in MS Word, MS Outlook, MS Excel or other programs.

    The Florida Times-Union opened the doors on an enhanced recruiting area at its Web-site, Jacksonville.com. In addition to job posting, the site now offers online screening and assessment tools for recruiters and a job agent for job seekers.

    Nielsen NetRatings announced that traffic to commercial recruitment sites rose 30% over the same period a year ago. A total of 27.2 million people visited such sites, representing just under one-fifth of the entire Internet population. The next time some hiring manager whines about putting an ad in a professional journal or you have to defend your online recruiting budget to the CFO, whip that little fact on them. There’s simply no more cost-effective way to reach large numbers of job seekers and especially the best and brightest who are most passive.

    Yahoo! HotJobs added yet another voice to the chorus of surveys indicating that employees are about to leave their current organizations in unprecedented numbers. Almost half of the 2,646 respondents to the survey said they were already looking for a new position or planned to begin doing so in the next 12 months. Similarly, a recent survey by ExecuNet found that 68% of 278 employed executives were unhappy in their positions and that 94% of them planned to change jobs in the next six months. While eleventh hour retention programs may be akin to sticking your fingers in the proverbial dike, it is important to act. What should you do first? Ask those who know best: your employees. What would convert their angst with your employer into assent? The first and most important step is to acknowledge the sacrifice many employees have made (in extra hours worked, vacations missed, salary raises deferred) over the past two or three years. Then, take whatever steps you can to address their concerns. The key is action; don’t wait until you can afford the perfect solution. Act now to let them know you listened.


    Section Three: Site Profiles

    Site Insite … how well do you know the Web’s 40,000+ job boards?

    1. Your corporate site needs an overhaul, but the IT Department laid off its only Web programmer. Which of the following sites would put a bug in your search for a replacement?

  • OneSmartClick.com
  • Developer.net
  • Dice.com
  • TechVibes.com
  • 2. You need a new director of security for your company. Which of the following sites would be a safe bet for great candidates?

  • RehiredBadge.com
  • Insecure.org
  • SecurityJobs.net
  • SecurityJobsToday.com
  • 3. You’ve decided to release a print catalog of your products and need a good free lance photographer. Which of the following sites would underexpose your opening?

  • StraightShooters.com
  • PicturePerfect.com
  • JustLenses.com
  • Talentx.com
  • (answers below)

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2004 Guides and Directories

    The Blue Line: Police Opportunity Monitor

    www.theblueline.com

    A WEDDLE’s 2004 User’s Choice Award Winner

    Post full time jobs: Yes

    Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes – Part time

    Distribution of jobs: National: USA

    Fee to post a job: $150-200/posting

    Posting period: 60 days

    Can posting be linked to your site: Yes

    Resume database: No

    Number of resumes: N/A

    Source of resumes: N/A

    Top occupations among resumes: N/A

    Other services for employers: Banner advertising, Status reports: banners, postings

    Answers to Site Insite

    1. OneSmartClick.com, a site providing interview questions for candidates in select IT fields.

    2. All of them would be appropriate for your search.

    3. All but Talentx.com, which is the only recruitment site.


    This Issue’s Sponsor: NicheBoards.com

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of NicheBoards.com.

    Save Time and Money. Get Focused, Go Niche.

    Post Jobs on these Recommended Leading Niche Job Boards.

    Gateway to 3 Million Quality Targeted Candidates

    Call Center CallCenterJobs.com

    Finance / Accounting jobsinthemoney.com

    Health / Science Jobscience.com

    Hispanic / Bilingual LatPro.com

    Human Resources Jobs4HR.com

    Insurance GreatInsuranceJobs.com

    IT Professionals Computerwork.com

    Logistics / Transportation JobsinLogistics.com

    Marketing / Sales MarketingJobs.com

    Military Transitioning DestinyGroup.com

    Retail Management / Hourly AllRetailJobs.com

    Telecom / Wireless TelecomCareers.net

    Click here for profiles or send an inquiry to marketing@nicheboards.com.