THE TECHNACIOUS RECRUITER NEWSLETTER

September 7, 2005   view past issues

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Feature: The Source of Employment Survey

There has traditionally been a good deal of attention focused on the source of organizational hires. Surveys poll recruiters on where they acquire the talent they hire, and that information is then used to determine recruiting strategy and investments. And in many cases, unfortunately, it sends us off in the wrong direction.

For example, if a candidate is hired by submitting their resume through an organization’s Web-site, the recruiter thinks that site is the source of hire. It could, however, just as easily not be. Perhaps the individual heard about the opening from a friend who works at the company, and would never otherwise have even visited the Web-site. Or, it may be that the person saw a banner ad promoting the organization’s brand at a job board, and it was the ad that induced them to visit the corporate site. In both cases, the recruiter’s perception of the source of hire would have been inaccurate, and basing strategy and investments on that perception would likely have diminished the organization’s recruiting effectiveness.

So, what’s to be done? I think we need a new metric that addresses the issue from a different perspective. I call it the source of employment. It is based on a survey of those who have been hired, rather than those doing the hiring. It enables us to determine where the best candidates first became aware of the employment opportunity for which they were ultimately selected. It identifies the touch points in the sourcing process where the organization was able to inform and influence the person they ultimately chose to employ. That information, it seems to me, is the best guide for our strategy and investment decisions.

We at WEDDLE’s have just concluded the first of what we expect to be an annual Source of Employment Survey. Here’s what we found:

  • More than one-third (34%) of the respondents said they found their last position on an Internet job board. That was three times greater than the second most prevalent source of employment which was a call from a headhunter at 10%.
  • Networking came in a close third at 9.3%. What kind of networking worked best? According to our respondents, networking at a business event was twice as effective as networking at a social event … if you’re looking for a job.
  • Fourth on the list was a referral by an employee of the company at 8.7%. While this could be considered a form of networking, we set it apart in order to gauge the effectiveness of current employee referral programs.
  • And, in a surprise finish-at least if you buy into all of the gloom and doom recently offered by pundits-newspapers rounded out the top five most effective sources of employment with the votes of 8% of the respondents.
  • What did the survey reveal about the least effective ways to find top prospects? Our respondents identified the following as the least helpful ways to connect with you and the jobs they want:

  • An ad posted on a company’s Web-site, which was identified by just 2.6% of those in the survey, and
  • An ad in the publication of their professional association, which was reported by an almost invisible 0.6% of the respondents.
  • In fact, neither of these sources was even as helpful as starting one’s own company to create your own job. That strategy garnered 3% of the votes.

    Equally as important, job seekers seem to be learning from their experience. When asked where they expect to find their next job, they overwhelmingly gave the nod to the sources that were most effective in finding their last job. According to our respondents, they’ll use:

  • Ads posted on an Internet job board (69.7%) and
  • Networking at work or another business location (7.8%); just 1.9% said they would rely on networking at social events.
  • All of the other methods and sources of employment garnered less than 4% of the responses. For example, responding to ads posted on a company’s Web-site picked up the votes of just 3.2% of the respondents; that was even less than those who said they were simply going to send a resume to an employer, which attracted 3.9% of the votes.

    What do these findings suggest for our sourcing strategy and investments in the future?

    Number 1. The Career areas on corporate Web-sites need immediate and substantial upgrading in order to be an effective source of talent. Until those investments are made and improvements completed, there are other, more effective ways to reach employment prospects.

    Number 2. Job boards can be a rich source of talent, if we use them effectively. To do that, we must get out of the habit of using the same old sites for each and all of our requirements and, instead, identify those job boards that can best connect us with the specific demographic required by each opening.

    Number 3. Don’t ignore newspapers. In fact, make them an integral component of your strategy. Our research indicates that the best ads are those that merge print and online media into a single solution that takes advantage of the inherent strengths of each.

    Number 4. Don’t forget to pick up the phone. A well executed call from a recruiter can have a powerful impact on even the most passive of prospects.

    Number 5. Beware the so-called silver bullet. Don’t rely on a single source for candidates, but instead, use an array of strategies that will most effectively reach into your target population.

    Recruiting is an exercise in selling, especially in the War for the Best Talent. And to sell effectively, we need to know where our prospective customers are most likely to interface with the recruiting messages and outreach activities of our organizations. That’s what the Source of Employment Survey tells us. It is our window into the behavior of the talent we want to employ.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    P.S. Please tell your friends and colleagues about WEDDLE’s newsletter. They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness and benefit from your recommendation.


    This Issue’s Sponsor: NicheBoards.com

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    Section Two: Site News You Can Use

    The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners revealed that owners and executives committed 12.4% of the acts of fraud reported by commercial organizations. This criminal activity costs their organizations an average of $900,000 a year, which is six times the losses attributed to managers and 16 times those attributed to employees. That may be why a recent survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management found that four-out-of-five of the respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that personal ethics should have an impact on a person’s employment. Admittedly, it’s not easy to confront a senior executive about ethical lapses, but shareholders and employees deserve no less. Indeed, the response of the organization to such behavior will determine its standards of behavior throughout the organization. Don’t do as one VP/HR recently suggested and give executives a pass, letting “the person go with his reputation intact.” Her rationale-“If Joe Blow is fired, it’s one thing. But when a top person gets bounced for misconduct, the whole organization is tainted.”-has it exactly backwards. The whole organization is tainted if the senior executive isn’t bounced, or to put it another way, you get the organizational behavior you model.

    The Conference Board released a new publication entitled Corporate Governance Handbook 2005: Developments in Best Practices, Compliance and Legal Standards. What’s its basic finding? As an expert from the Global Corporate Governance Research Center put it, “To ensure maximum board effectiveness, boards need to shift their entire emphasis. They can no longer be just advisors who wait for management to come to them. Their new role requires that they provide active oversight of the company’s business to minimize corporate risk and promote creation of shareholder value.” That’s fine, but how exactly does a Board make that happen? One step that would have a real impact and send a powerful signal to the rest of the enterprise-particularly in light of executive ethical lapses cited above-is add a VP/HR to the corporate Board. Assuming they show the courage we urged above, their participation would help keep organizational values and leadership alignment with them on the agenda.

    (Oh, and speaking of the Conference Board, it has now expanded its traditional measure of economic growth-newspaper recruitment ads-to include …. that’s right: job postings. How many were there in August? According to the Board, there were 2 million openings posted online during the first week of August-traditionally, a slow employment month-and that was up from 1.8 million in April.)

    DigitalMediaJobs.com launched its site as a resource for those seeking candidates in the following fields: Internet, mobile/wireless, online marketing, search engine-related, Web design and development, digital audio and video, interactive, and games and entertainment. It joins its sister sites: OnlineMarketingJobs.com and JobsinSearch.com.

    The HealtheCareers Network announced that the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) has joined its network of 65 healthcare associations. AANEM has 5,000 members specializing in neuromuscular, musculoskeletal and electrodiagnostic medicine.

    The Interview Exchange introduced an employee referral and networking portal and service called ReferredHire(tm). It’s designed to tap employee social networks as a source for talent. The new service can be used as a stand-alone module or be integrated into an existing talent management system. It provides applicant tracking, screening, communication, EEOC reporting, hiring metrics and job advertising tools.

    Search Consultants International, Inc. and its CEO, Joe Baker, have graciously offered office space and support in Houston, TX to Gulf Coast headhunters displaced by hurricane Katrina. If this offer could be helpful to you (or you know of others who might benefit from such assistance), please contact Joe at 713.622.9188 or at jobaker@searchconsultants.com. Kudos to Joe and to everyone else out there lending a hand to our colleagues as they deal with this tragic situation.


    Section Three: Site Profiles

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

    1. Your best recruiter has just announced that she’s been selected to appear on Martha Stewart’s new TV show and must resign immediately. Which of the following sites would add the wrong ingredients to your search for a replacement?

  • RecruitersWorld.com
  • RecruitersNetwork.com
  • BestRecruiters.com
  • HotJobs.com
  • 2. Your telecom employer is expanding rapidly, and you need to find a new manager with experience in field operations. Which of the following sites would connect you to top prospects?

  • TelecomCareers.net
  • NationJob.com
  • MyTelecommunicationJobs.net
  • TopUSAJobs.com
  • 3. You’ve run out of office space for clerical workers and want to give telecommuting a try as you expand your staff. Which of the following sites would put your search on hold?

  • tjobs.com
  • HomeWorkers.org
  • Workaholics4Hire.com
  • TeleWorker.com
  • (answers below)

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2005/6 Guides and Directories

    Jobwerx Manufacturing Network

    www.jobwerx.com

    Post full time jobs: Yes

    Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes – Contract, Consulting

    Distribution of jobs: International

    Fee to post a job: $250-$650/posting

    Posting period: 30/60/90 days

    Can posting be linked to your site: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    Number of resumes: 16,109

    Source of resumes: Direct from individuals

    Top occupations among resumes: Engineering, Manufacturing, Operations

    Other services for employers: :Listserv for networking, Assessment instrument(s), Automated resume agent, Banner advertising, Status reports: banners/postings

    Answers to Site Insite

    1. BestRecruiters.com, the site of a company that publishes a directory of recruiters.

    2. All of them.

    3. TeleWorker.com, the site of a software company specializing in “informed telework decision-making.”


    Support Our Sponosr: NicheBoards.com

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

    Military Transitioning: DestinyGroup.com

    Retail Management / Hourly: AllRetailJobs.com

    Telecom / Wireless: TelecomCareers.net

    Click here for profiles.

    marketing@nicheboards.com