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State of the War for Talent

Every year since 1999, WEDDLE’s has conducted a survey of the behaviors and beliefs of recruiters and job seekers. For recruiters, it’s a kind of state of the War for Talent. It indicates what’s working and where in the ongoing quest for the best candidates in the workforce. What follows is a summary of the first quarter results from our 2011 survey. A full report on the findings and their implications will be available in about three weeks.

The first insight we wanted to collect was where recruiters were focusing their recruiting efforts. Or, to put it another way, “Which sourcing strategy provides the best quality applicants?” The largest single response, cited by better than four-out-of-ten of the survey participants (40.7 percent) was “Posting jobs on a commercial job board.” The rest of the top five responses and the percentage of respondents that cited them were as follows:

  • Your employee referral program – 12.9 percent
  • Posting jobs on your own Web-site – 11.1 percent
  • Using social networking sites – 9.3 percent
  • Using a staffing firm – 5.6 percent (tie)
  • Advertising jobs in newspapers – 5.5 percent (tie).
  • Given the expressed preference for online recruiting, the remainder of this column will focus on that strategy. The survey asked “What percentage of your total openings are posted online?” More than three-quarters of the respondents (77.3 percent) said that they were now posting over half of their vacancies online. More than a third (34.8 percent) were actually posting ninety-one percent or more. And, just 6.1 percent weren’t using the Internet at all.

    How efficient was that online strategy?

    Over half of the respondents (50.8 percent) are now hiring over half of their new employees online. And, an astonishing 25.4 percent were hiring nine-one percent or more of their new workers on the Internet, while just 11.1 percent were hiring five percent or fewer. While it’s still very important to use an array of sourcing and recruiting techniques, it’s now clear that the Internet is a particularly efficient medium for acquiring talent.

    How effective was their online recruiting?

    The survey asked “How would you rate the caliber of your new hires sourced online?” Over half (54.1 percent) described them as either Above average employees or Among our best employees. Not quite a third (31 percent) said they were Average employees, and a miniscule 1.6 percent called them A hiring mistake.

    The survey also probed the Internet’s ability to help recruiters achieve compliance. It asked “Of the openings posted online, how would you rate the diversity of applicants?” Over a third (33.9 percent) said diversity was Average. Over a quarter (28.8 percent) described it as Above Average, and almost a quarter (22 percent) described it as Excellent. Only 8.5 percent said the diversity of candidates sourced online was Below Average, and just 3.4 percent described it as Poor.

    Which online tactics did the respondents use in their recruiting efforts?

    The survey asked respondents “Of the openings posted online, where are the majority posted?” Better than four-out-of-ten (41.7 percent) posted their vacancies at one or more job boards. More than a quarter (28.3 percent) posted them at their own Web-site and one or more job boards. Fewer than one-out-of-ten (8.3 percent) posted their openings at their own Web-site and one or more social media sites. And, just 15 percent posted their openings only on their own Web-site, while even fewer (6.7 percent) posted them exclusively at one or more social media sites.

    Which tactics produced the best results online?

    We asked respondents “How many different job boards and career portals do you use for job posting and/or resume search?” The largest single response was 2-5 sites which was selected by almost six-out-of-ten of the respondents (58.6 percent). Just one-out-of-ten of the respondents (10.3 percent) said they posted on only 1 site, while exactly the same number (10.3 percent) said they posted on 11 or more sites.

    Finally, we asked the respondents to tell us a little about themselves. They reported that they were all exceedingly good looking and top performers at their jobs. The truth, however, was that the survey didn’t give them those options. Instead, it asked for their gender, where they reported that they were 57.4 percent male, 42.6 percent female. And, interestingly enough, when we asked about their age, over half (62.5 percent) opted out of the question. Of those who did respond, the largest group was 51-55 (35.6 percent) followed by those at 31-40 (28.9 percent).

    There you have it. The first quarter results of WEDDLE’s 2011 Survey of Recruiting Trends. We hope the information is helpful as you continue your efforts to recruit top talent for your employer or client.

    Thanks for reading,


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    Recruiter Resources That Work … Best

    You need the best resources to recruit the best talent. No matter how good you are, if you don’t get the support you deserve, your performance will be undermined.

    What are the Recruiter Resources That Work … Best? They are:

  • WEDDLE’s 2011/12 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. This 10th edition of the Guide called the “Zagat of the online employment field” includes The Top 100 – our pick of the elite among job boards and social media sites – and The Best & The Rest – a directory of over 10,000 sites organized by the career field, industry and location in which they specialize.
  • WEDDLE’s Guide to Association Web Sites. The key to the “hidden talent market” online, this book details the recruiting resources and capabilities that are available at the Web-sites of over 3,000 professional and technical associations and societies, the gateways to some of the best talent on the Web.
  • Finding Needles in a Haystack. Optimize your results when searching resume databases or social networking sites, get one, two or all three volumes of this extraordinary reference that provides over 25,000 keywords and keyword phrases, across 5,400 job and position titles in 28 industries and professions.

    Get The Career Activist Republic Today!

    If you read only one book this year, this is the book you should read!

    The Career Activist Republic takes a frank, provocative, yet ultimately hope-filled look at America’s workplace in the 21st Century. It describes a new cross-generational class of Americans that is wresting control from their employers and charting a destiny that works for them in the one-third of their life they will spend on-the-job.

    If you want to know:

    ” How America’s workers are being tortured with “employment waterboarding,”

    ” Whether the American Dream is turning into the Chinese Dream,

    ” What a growing number of Americans are doing to achieve real (and sustainable) security at work,

    then get The Career Activist Republic today.

    Clink on either of the links above or visit the secure online bookstore at

    Pre-Order Your WEDDLE’s 2011/12 Guide Today

    The American Staffing Association called it the “Zagat of online recruiting.” Published every other year since 1999, WEDDLE’s Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet is the Gold Standard of guidebooks to the 100,000+ job boards, social media sites and career portals now operating on the Web.

    In these challenging times, being a smart consumer of employment sites is a core competency of recruiters. Make sure you measure up. Get WEDDLE’s all new 2011/12 Guide today.

    Order now and save $5.00!

    That’s right; if you order right now, you can save over 10% on your purchase. So, come on! Add WEDDLE’s 2011/12 Guide to your bookshelf. Get your copy today.

    Sorry, this special deal is available only at WEDDLE’s and only by old fashioned telephone order at 203-964-1888.

    Or, you can skip the $5 discount and pre-order online. Just click here.

    The 2011/12 Guide will be published in mid May of 2011.