The Mobility Environment is Not Having Much of an Effect on Recruiting and Hiring, with one Possible Exception
The economy is slowly improving as of this writing, though it is still not as robust as one might like (especially employment levels). Still, HR professionals feel that the current mobility environment has had little if any major impact on the ability of their companies to recruit (see figure 1).
And for any company claiming the mobility environment has had a negative effect on recruiting, there’s another company asserting the mobility environment has had a positive effect on recruiting; essentially the negatives and positives cancel each other out!
There is one notable exception to this pattern: companies with over 10,000 employees. A large percentage (almost twice the average) of these mega-companies feel that the current mobility environment has had a negative impact on their ability to recruit and hire (see table 1).
Among the 20% of companies reporting that the current mobility environment has a negative impact on their ability to recruit and hire, the most common consequences are (see figure 2):
• Settling for candidates who are not their first choice
• Geographically restricting search efforts and focusing more on recruiting locally
• Extending recruiting lead times
Things Are Heating Up
Even though according to the 2013 Allied Mobile Workforce Mobility Survey, the mobility environment is not having much of an effect on recruiting, the economy has affected it tremendously. As the economy slowly improves, so have the recruiting efforts of many companies.
• Over seven in 10 HR professional (72%) say that their companies’ recruiting activity over the past year (2012) was either extensive or moderate – levels a touch higher (3 percentage points) than reported for 2011 (see figure 3).
• Recruiting is particularly hot in mega-sized companies (more than 10,000 employees), where nearly two out five (39%) report extensive recruiting efforts (see table 2), 6 percentage points higher than what companies of this size reported last year. This level of activity is particularly impressive considering that
mega-companies are more prone to say that the current mobility environment is having a negative effect on their ability to recruit! (see table 1).
Despite the revving up of recruiting activity, all is not rosy.
• Though lower than last year, a sizeable 28% of companies report little if any recruiting activity going on (see figure 3).
• Further, small business, often touted as the driver of the economy, lags far behind larger companies in their recruiting efforts (see table 2).
Pride In One’s Recruiting Program Runs High
According to the 2013 Allied Mobile Workforce Mobility Survey, HR professionals tend to believe their recruitment programs are a success.
The vast majority - nine out of ten - of our Gold Standard HR professionals report that their companies’ recruiting program is at least moderately successful, with an impressive proportion (41%) reporting a high degree of success (see figure 4).
Mega-sized companies in particular are patting themselves on the back for the job they are doing at recruiting prospects (see table 3).
Two likely contributors to a company’s reported success in recruiting is the extent to which the company:
• Lands its recruit of choice.
• Quickly secures the recruit.
When we examine these two factors, an interesting pattern emerges, suggesting that one is more critical than the other.
A Better “Batting Average” Contributes to Reported Success
Not surprisingly, the higher the proportion of job candidates a company hires, the higher the reported success of the recruiting program.
Nearly 80% of companies reporting highly successful recruiting programs land their ideal candidate, while those with unsuccessful programs or no program at all hire the person they are after less than 60% of the time (see figure 5).
Flipping things around, while highly successful companies “whiff” on their ideal candidate one time out of five, unsuccessful programs “swing and miss” over two times out of five – more than twice the “miss rate” of successful recruiting programs.
Speed Alone Not Necessarily a Hallmark of a Successful Program
On average, HR professionals say it takes about a month-and-a-half to fill a position. The average is 47 days (see figure 6). This average is four days shorter than reported in 2012.
Interestingly, there’s no apparent connection between how long it takes a company to fill a position and how successful its recruiting program is.
Companies with successful recruiting programs are really no faster than companies with unsuccessful ones! Further, companies with moderately successful programs take the longest to land a candidate – 53 days.
Apparently, then, it’s not how fast it takes to fill a position that is a major contributor to a successful recruiting program, but the frequency with which a company fills a position with its candidate of choice.
Employees Are Excellent Recruiting Resources
HR professionals have a variety of sources at their disposal for identifying talented job candidates. Which ones do they deem most effective?
Overall, mega companies were stronger than others on having a telecommuting policy in place, but it wasn’t a strong recruiting tool. Other factors such as healthcare benefits, company culture and retirement benefits were more important to them.
Our Gold Standard HR professionals tell us that the best sources for recruiting start at home -- with their own employees (see figure 7).
Over seven in ten professionals rate employee referrals as “excellent” or “good” sources for identifying job prospects, far outpacing the next best sources -- college programs, career websites and job boards.
However, “inside sources” only go so far. Internal recruiter referrals, which was second only to employee referrals in 2012 as a strong source for recruiting, has slipped behind college programs, career websites and job boards.
It should also be pointed out that HR professionals are not exactly blown away by things like career fairs, industry events and social media. Sizeable majorities rate these three recruiting resources as being “fair” or “poor.”
External recruiters have about as many detractors as they do fans.
Quality of Enticements Needs a Boost
One gets the sense that HR professionals wish they and their companies could do more to entice promising candidates to make the leap. Asked to rate how strong their companies are on 14 recruitment factors.
Only four factors are judged to be key strengths by more than 20% of HR professionals (see figure 8).
• Health care benefits
• Company culture
• Quality of the executives and the workforce
• Retirement benefits
In addition to rating their companies’ strength on various recruiting factors, HR professionals were also asked to spontaneously respond to the question: “What are your best practices for recruiting and securing your ideal candidates?”
No Single “Best Practice” Rules the Roost
No one best practice dominates the recruiting scene (see figure 9). In fact, the most frequently mentioned best practices come up only around 20% of the time. They turn out to be two inter-related areas: one that attracts candidates, the other that helps “vet” them:
• Interviewing process
In Recruiting Money Doesn’t Always Buy Happiness
The HR professionals in the 2013 Workforce Mobility Survey say their companies spend, on average, $4,315 for recruiting each job candidate, not including relocation costs (see figure 10).
However, this average does not tell the whole story. Figure 10 tells an interesting – and counterintuitive – story. There is an inverse relationship between how much a company spends per hire and how successful its recruiting program is!
Organizations with highly successful recruiting programs actually spend less per candidate than do organizations with unsuccessful programs.
HR professionals who say their recruiting efforts are unsuccessful not only spend more per candidate, they also, as discussed earlier, are less likely to secure the talent they seek (see figure 5). As such, these companies are getting much less “bang for their buck” than are companies spending less but succeeding more in hiring the candidates they want.
Mobile Access Not a Big Winner Thus Far
Last year’s Workforce Mobility Survey reported that social media and social networks had not yet captured the interest or enthusiasm of many HR professionals, despite all the hype. The same is generally true in this year’s study.
As reported earlier, “social media” is rarely mentioned by our Gold Standard respondents as an excellent source for recruiting job candidates (see Figure 7).
Let’s take a deeper dive and examine what HR professionals are saying about mobile access and social media and what resources in this realm they are – and are not –using.
When it comes specifically to “mobile access,” just a little over one-third (36%) of HR professionals use it as a tool for recruiting and job postings.
Further, adoption is proceeding slowly: of those HR professionals who currently do not use mobile access, only about one in four (26%) plan to use it in the upcoming year.
Social Media Slowly Taking Root
While mobile access has yet to take off in a big way as a source for recruiting and job listings, it doesn’t mean social media – broadly speaking – is a flop. In fact, there are glimmers that it is slowly, albeit inconsistently, taking hold as a recruiting tool.
First, HR professionals were asked, “What social media methods or approaches have been successful for recruiting” at their organizations. This is an “open-ended” question for which survey respondents could mention whatever social media came to mind (including none) that they felt worked well.
As table 4 shows, a sizeable number of our Gold Standard HR professionals – from those in companies with highly successful recruiting programs to those with reportedly unsuccessful ones – spontaneously mention LinkedIn as a valued recruiting instrument, followed by Facebook. Other resources are spontaneously mentioned at markedly lower levels.
However, when asked to rate ten specific social network sources on how well each one performs on “job advertising and recruiting,” the social media picture broadens a bit.
As with their open-ended, top-of-mind responses, LinkedIn rises to the top of HR professionals’ ratings list; but now CareerBuilder and Monster also figure prominently. When it comes specifically to “mobile access,” just a little over one-third (36%) of HR professionals use it as a tool for recruiting and job postings (see figure 12).
It is interesting to point out that companies with strong recruiting efforts tend to view sources such as LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, Monster and Indeed more favorably than do companies with less impressive recruiting efforts (see table 5).
Though cause and effect is difficult to determine, it may be the case that companies which value social media more highly are also taking advantage of its various resources more regularly and know how to best use them as recruiting tools – thus contributing to those companies’ recruiting success.