9th Annual Source of Hire Report

Industry heavy weights Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler will be releasing their 9th Annual Source of Hire report on Friday US time on the CareerXRoads web site. I was lucky enough to be sent an advanced copy by Gerry.

Once again the reports details where corporations in the US found their employees during 2009, this year they look at 176,420 hires.

While the report is not generally available I will share some of the results with you below. However beforehand please note the the quote from Gerry and Mark that appears at the beginning of the document:

If the reader assumes that the data sliced and diced in this whitepaper is truly representative of where firms find their hires in the US, then you will have missed our point entirely. Indeed, this whitepaper, which we have published now for nearly a decade, is constructed as a lab report to examine the problems and the promise of how well corporations measure one part of the staffing process.

Our intent is to hold up a mirror so firms can look at themselves and their increasingly critical and vulnerable supply chain. Vendors can help, but only if staffing leaders are disciplined enough to do their part and get vendors to focus on needed changes as a priority.

So on with the results.

Internal Hires

51% of all hires were internal movement or promotions. Indicating the continued trend of internal talent management activities around succession planning and development. The report highlights that one of the stated employee value propositions (EVPs) of most organisations is to develop their employees. A result of around 51% of hires through internal placement tends to indicate that these organisation are fulfilling this development promise.

The bad news in Australia is when compared to the 2009 Sources of Talent Report it was found that only 6.29% of hires were through internal promotion. What does this say about how Australian employers fulfill their EVPs?

External Hires

75% of all external hires came from 5 sources:

  1. Referrals
  2. Career Site
  3. Job Boards
  4. Direct Sourcing

Referrals have been consistently the number one source of external hires for the last five years.

When comparing to the Australian report referrals were the number four source of external hires, at only 7.57% of all hires. Once again there is a huge opportunity for Australian organisations to increase their use of employee referral programs instead of continually relying on the “post and pray” approach through job boards. Don’t know how to do referrals, check out our ebook.

Direct Sourcing/Internal Recruiters

One very interesting area of the report is where they try and define what is direct sourcing. As part of the survey they asked the participants what do they consider direct sourcing to be, the options:

  • Mining our internal ATS for candidates who have not applied
  • Mining external candidate databases for leads we can convert into prospects and candidates
  • Researching profiles on social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook etc
  • Developing Search Engine Marketing campaigns to create prospects from leads
  • Cold Calls/contacting individuals from internal or external research

The results are shown in the table below.

Direct Sourcing

Given internal recruiters are the second largest source of hire in Australia what do you consider direct sourcing?

Further Thoughts

Throughout the report Gerry and Mark write about many of the same challenges Phillip Tusing and I encountered when preparing the Australian report. For example, the devil is in the detail and it is very hard to keep everyone working on the same definition of each source. And even if you place a job in print it will still end up online, so is that a job board or print source. What is a source vs a channel, or a tool vs a process?

At the end of the report that provide some good suggestions on how we can all improve the tracking and usage of source of hire data. These include:

  • Fixing the inherent issues with candidates self reporting source
  • Deciding where the source starts, in the channel or at the destination
  • Look at additional methods to capture source of hire data to supplement self reporting
  • Understand patterns in your source data
  • Implement more discipline in process and practices

I would highly recommend you go and download the report when it is available.

Follow up on the sources of talent report

It has been an interesting week or so since Phillip and I released the sources of talent report for Australia. We have had both positive and negative feedback, which is to be expected.

Some of the commentary available online:

I would like to review some of the concerns raised over the accuracy of the data, the process we used and the outcomes.

One concern was how do you define the original source of talent. A very good queston. If an candidate sees an add on job board, then contacts an agency directly is this an agency hire or a job board?

Another concern raised was were we double counting hires? Were agencies providing information on the same candidates that employers were? Our survey did not cover this, but it is a great question, although solving this is not easy either.

Carey Eaton from Seek wold like to see us separating the tools, and resources, from the processes used by organisations.

There were also questions around should all of the organisations who participated been allowed to participate. My understanding is some people would like us to only looking at large employers, like the US report. Unfortunately in the Australian marketplace there are a huge number of employers in the sub 250 employee bracket.

To be honest I agree with most these concerns. However the fact is, we can now have conversations about these issues and work as an industry to resolve them. Generating this conversation was one of the underlying goals of the survey.

Phillip and I will be starting plans for the 2010 report while we are at RecruitTech this week in Canberra so if you have some thoughts leave a comment or drop us an email.

Sources of Talent in Australia

Back in April I had one of my many wild ideas, undertake a sources of hire survey for Australia, I mean how hard can it be?

The idea was triggered by a post from Phillip Tusing from Destination Talent so after chatting over a few days we decided to join forces and get a survey done.

The decision to do something was easier than the process.

We site up a site and grabbed a domain name, http://talentsource.com.au/, it took about 6 weeks to draw up the survey and lock in some sponsors. We ran the survey for about 5 weeks, receiving 409 completed responses. Then we started the report portion, I had thought would be easy but how wrong was I. It has taken about 6 or 7 weeks to get the report done, and I have to say without the tremendous work by Phillip it would have taken a lot longer. In fact I want to publically thank Phillip for his work in pulling the report together.

As mentioned 409 organisations of varying sizes, industry backgrounds and regional locations completed the survey. A total of 92,136 hires were recorded using seventeen identifiable sources of talent for the period July 2008 through to June 2009.

The key findings of the report include:

  1. Source of talent varies across Australia with seventeen identifiable source of talent.
  2. Job boards, in their various iterations, take a leadership role being the predominant source of talent in Australia with 29.64% of hires attributed to them.
  3. Perceptions of the most effective sources of talent by recruiters differ from the reality of where talent is sourced.
  4. Different industries use significantly different sources to find talent within Australia.
  5. The different regions of Australia also seem to source talent differently, for example in the ACT 49.70% of talent is found through internal recruiters.
  6. Referrals as sources are not as developed as expected being only the fourth most successful source at 7.57% of hires.
  7. Print media while having a reputation of an archaic channel still exists as the seventh most successful source of hires.
  8. Employers and agency recruiters differ in how they source talent with agency recruiters relying heavily on job boards.
  9. Social media is in its infancy ranking last as a source talent in Australia, with usage higher in smaller organisations.
  10. Data collection is poor with over 7% of organizations have no reliable method of tracking their source of talent.

We are also indebted to Gerry Crispin for providing a comparison to US figures and Dr Ian Williamson for his insights into retention and alumni programs.

There is a lot more in the report so go download it and have a read, we hope that the report stimulates further discussions within the HR and Recruitment industries.

Do you know the Australian Sources of Talent?

Over the last couple of months I have been working with Phillip Tusing from Destination Talent to look at the most successful channels for finding talent in Australia. Our initial thought was how hard could it be to pull a survey together and send it to a few people. We were a little mistaken, but finally the survey is ready.

I am very happy to announce the launch of Australia’s first Source of Talent Survey!

If you’d like to contribute to this, as well as receive a free advance copy of the report, click here to begin our short online survey (it takes less than eight minutes to complete). You’ll also go into a draw to win a Nintendo Wii or one of five book vouchers.

While there are international results on sources of hire by Gerry Crispin we are very interested to see the results from Australian organisations. For example, do Australian organisations collect this information, if so what systems do they use, and are they experimenting with social media as a source of talent.

This is a joint project between myself (Inspecht) and Phillip Tusing from Destination Talent, with support from our sponsorship partners: JobAdder, JobGenie, PageUp People and PeoplePulse.

To find about the survey and the report visit our microsite http://talentsource.com.au for more information.

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