Search Firms Claiming Smaller Piece of Recruiting Budgets

May 27, 2015 – According to a highly-anticipated Bersin by Deloitte research report just released, U.S. companies increased their average talent acquisition spend by seven percent in 2014, with healthcare organizations reporting the largest increase among industries. But a closer look at the study’s findings shows that executive recruiters are taking a significant hit along the way, claiming just 18 percent of typical recruiting budgets in 2014, down from 38 percent just three years ago.

By contrast, social media and professional networking sites are seen as rapidly rising segments of corporate hiring plans, going from four percent of recruiting budgets in 2011 to 12 percent on average in 2014.

Despite the increased spending on professional networks, the research shows that company websites drive more hires than other sources, followed by job boards, and internal candidates. Overall, companies are finding that it now takes 52 days on average to fill open positions—up slightly from 48 days in 2011. In many cases, according to similar research conducted by Hunt Scanlon Media, executive recruiters are taking as much as double that time to fill positions for their clients.

Robin Erickson Ph.D., who directs Bersin by Deloitte’s talent acquisition research practice, said that companies recognize that spending money strategically on recruitment, as well as on employment branding and sourcing, is now more critically important – and more effective –  than ever. “Company websites drive more hires than other sources,” she said. As such, a must-have skill set for any talent acquisition professional today is digital brand management as much as it is having a keen understanding of recruitment expertise.

“It boils down to this—candidates are not simply coming along for the recruiting ride,” said Ms. Erickson, “they’re driving the car now that the Internet has revolutionized their ability to search for jobs and market their skills.” As a result, she said that job candidates can learn detailed information about an organization just by performing a quick Internet search. They can find open positions located anywhere in the world, and those with critical skills in scarce supply can easily find organizations willing to pay them more money to switch employers.

“Further, with the advent of social media came the ubiquitous ability to passively look for jobs (even when happily employed) by posting one’s employment experience on a social or professional networking site.” Talent Acquisition Factbook 2015: Benchmarks and Trends in Spending, Staffing, and Key Recruiting Metrics includes responses from 412 organizations and was conducted via online surveys.

According to similar research conducted by Hunt Scanlon, 15 percent of open positions are now filled using professional networking sites. “This figure will substantially increase in the next five years, as more companies bring their recruiting functions in-house and build them out,” said Scott A. Scanlon, editor-in-chief of Hunt Scanlon’s In-House Recruiting: Best Practices Redefining Talent Acquisition research report due out next month.

The trend to go in-house is advancing, reports Hunt Scanlon. “Ninety percent of talent acquisition professionals now use in-house recruiting methods to fill at least some professional level positions,” said Mr. Scanlon, who was allowed exclusive access to the confidential recruiting programs at Microsoft, Standard Chartered Bank, LVMH, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Walmart, Nike, Time Warner, Philips, Cardinal Health, Cognizant, Cleveland Clinic, Unidine Corp., Gartner Group, Deutsche Bank and scores of other leading companies to form the basis for this year’s ground breaking talent acquisition study.

Anyone interested in purchasing a copy of the 2015 report can click here: http://huntscanlon.com/talent-leadership-reports/in-house-recruiting-best-practices-redefining-talent-acquisition/

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media

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2 Comments on "Search Firms Claiming Smaller Piece of Recruiting Budgets"

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Retained Search Guy
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Unfortunately, the commoditization of search means that price will drive the process and quality will be marginalized. The big, sales-driven search firms will still convince their big clients to buy the Mercedes and not risk their business by buying the Honda. Simultaneously, social media (the Yugo?) is making it easier for the in house recruiters to find the candidates.

Anonymous
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What is sad about the decreased spending on a percentage basis going to executive recruiters is that many of the large and global search firms that you like to cover still have plenty of buyers, some in the companies in your article, give them searches, even KNOWING that the consultant that sold them the search is not executing the search, and that those consultants routinely carry 8+ assignments at once. In house recruiting functions have their place, and some companies do it very well. There will always though be places and needs for objective, high touch, domain expert search firms… Read more »
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