What’s the Best Way to Attract Talent in 2013?

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businessman sitting at desk holding help wanted signThis is the question that all employers should ask themselves at the beginning of each year. Why? Because we are seeing massive changes in the way that candidates look for jobs in terms of mobile and social media adoption, and we are seeing changes in the make-up of the candidate marketplace as Baby boomers begin retiring and more and more Millennials start entering the workforce. And it seems not a month goes by without some disruptive little start-up deciding to shake up the sourcing marketplace with some exciting new sourcing tool that we simply can’t wait to get our hands on.

Amidst this excitement and chaos of experimentation with disruptive sourcing technologies, it can be easy to take your eye off the ball and lose sight of the important question, which are, “Among all these sourcing options, which is proving the best way to attract talent? Has it changed since last year, meaning I may need to adapt my talent attraction strategy to stay competitive?

To help us answer these questions, each year since 2005, CareerXRoads has produced its Annual Source of Hire Study, which outlines the most influential forms of hire over the past year. Some of the results are discussed below:

Some of the main takeaways from the research for talent acquisition professionals and recruiters:

1. Word of mouth is still the best way to hire

Employee Referrals and word of mouth still lead the way as the most influential source of hire with 24.5 percent of roles being filled this way. Referrals have led the way in being the most effective source of hire since 2005. This means that if you haven’t done so already, there’s compelling evidence to suggest that you should begin incorporating hiring via word-of-mouth into your resourcing strategy. This is straightforward in its implementation, simply requiring the establishment of an effective employee referral scheme with some great incentives, which motivates your employees to spread the word about vacancies in your firm and make qualified referrals to your business. These schemes have become much easier to administer thanks to the arrival of a whole army of employee referrals apps, such as Jobvite, GooodJob, BullHorn Reach and Meshhire, which leverage the power of social networks.

2. Corporate career sites bounced back with a vengeance

Last year’s figures may have caused some of us to speculate that career sites are dead. The influence of corporate careers site on hiring slumped to an all-time low, accounting for just 9.8 percent of hires, nearly 8 percent below the 7-year-average. But, this year, corporate careers site have bounced back with a vengeance, accounting for 23.4 percent of hires. So, did you let your career site go to rack and ruin last year? If you did, it might be time to give your career site an SEO, social media integration and employer branding overhaul to fully leverage your career site as a recruitment medium.

3. Jobs boards are alive and kicking

With the arrival of social media, there have been some suggestions that jobs boards might be dead. However, even though the influence of jobs boards as a source of hire has been declining since 2010, (24.9%, 20.1%, 18.1%), with 18.1 percent of roles being filled via job boards, it is still the third most influential form of hire and still way above the 8-year-average of 15.65 percent. Clearly, it’s too early to be giving up on jobs boards, with Indeed and SimplyHired accounting for 35 percent of all job board hires. But, with this latest downward trend on job board influence, it would be a high risk sourcing strategy to be solely dependent on job boards as a means of attracting talent. It should be combined with some of the other channels mentioned above.

4. Social media hiring is not dead

And finally, just a quick mention for social media, which seems to have a strange lack of influence on hiring, apparently accounting for just 2.9 percent of hires. This is a classification issue. Social media hiring is thought to drive, combine and influence 7 out of the 11 sources of hire in this survey, but its influence is not easily measured. And, if CareerXRoads could get a measure on the exact influence of social media it might be credited with a much higher impact on sources of hire. So, despite the paltry hiring influence figures, social media is not dead; its influence is just not easily measurable and you should, of course, continue full steam ahead with your social hiring efforts in 2013!

By Kazim Ladimeji