The Reality of Online Recruiting in 2012 8 Comments


Remember 15 years ago when the experts were scaring everyone with “the war for talent”? Saying by 2010 unemployment would be at historic lows? How about a little over a decade ago when job boards and applicant tracking systems would forever change a recruiters life (and make it simpler)? Or when 8 years ago when your corporate career site was touted as one of your most significant recruiting assets? Or 4 years ago when social recruiting was “in”.

Through the evolution of recruiting and online channels, little has changed.  Sure, SEO is more important today than it was back then given candidates online search behaviors and having a social presence matters more now. (or does it)?  What hasn’t changed much through all of the change the effectiveness of these channels – and the candidate experience.

I recently had the opportunity to spend part of a day with a dozen other corporate recruiting leaders and we discussed the experience and results from online recruiting (while these results may or may not be comparative to yours there was representation from a variety of industries and company sizes).



Here are 6 of the key online recruiting topics / trends discussed:

  • Candidates really don’t care that much about all of the shiny objects talked about by the experts.  They just want to quickly be able to find a job, a streamlined application process, communication, and to be treated with basic courtesy and respect throughout the process.  Sorry, they don’t care about following you on twitter or liking your page on facebook.
  • Job boards, social channels, and aggregator sites have the highest number of visit to hire ratios, and the lowest “qualified” ratios, and the lowest “interview” ratios.  The reality is these are part of most recruiting strategies – and they have a place.  How big of a place and how they are deployed depends on your organization.
  • More Resume’s come from the large job boards compared to other online sources.
  • The interview to hire ratio is better for niche job boards compared to the big ones.
  • Candidates coming from search engines have a higher likelihood to complete the application process once they click apply compared to the other online channels.
  • The average of corporate career site visitor to apply ratios was between 10%-20%.  This had the largest variance compared to the other trends – by industry.

Most of this isn’t surprising in a lot of ways, and hasn’t changed a lot over previous years.  The buzzword over the past 12 months thrown around (and it will increase even more) is.. analytics.  Without it, your blindfolded.  Management reporting is basic, just as is ensuring you have the right technology (applicant and source tracking) in place to measure the KPI’s for each step of your recruiting process.

In the end remember data just is, what it is..  It’s just data.  Having it and acting on it is what matters.  Oh, and I almost forgot – if you really want to hire someone, just recruit them.

About Jason Buss

Talent HQ’s creator and editor is Recruiting & Diversity Leader, Jason Buss. Talent HQ is a premier online news and information channel for the Recruiting and Human Resources community.

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  • Posted on: Sunday, January 29th, 2012