Companies Outsource Recruiting For Hiring Speed

Nearly two-thirds of all companies outsource all or some of their recruiting, with larger firms the ones most likely to turn to outside vendors for help. And when they do, by the far the number one reason is speed; they want to get the job filled fast.

Those are two of the findings of a SHRM survey of some 400 HR professionals from companies in a wide range of industries, size, and location. A near majority of respondents (49%) told the Society of Human Resource Management that the need to hire quickly was why they went to outside recruiters. The next leading reason, cited by 36%, was to gain access to an agency’s talent and recruiting expertise.

In all, SHRM found well over a dozen specific reasons why so many companies outsource recruiting, which should be good news to search firms and RPOs. However, know that when they do turn to you for help, a majority of these employers have very likely already searched LinkedIn for themselves and are expecting more from you.

With 37,000 total Talent Solutions accounts, there’s little doubt that corporate recruiters scour LinkedIn. According to the SHRM survey, 65% of the respondents have made at least one hire from searching social media, with LinkedIn the most heavily used; 57% of the respondents reporting making at least one hire from the site in the last year. Facebook, the largest social media platform in the world, came in a distant third behind professional and association networking sites.

SHRM social media sourcing surveyWhat we don’t know is how many total hires were made from LinkedIn, or any of the other social media sites the survey respondents used. Or what percentage they represented of a company’s total hiring. Those questions weren’t asked.

Other surveys, notably CareerXroads annual source of hire survey, have found hires directly sourced from social media sites to represent a small share, on average, of a company’s total external hiring. Furthermore, in the last report issued by the recruiting consultancy, LinkedIn was categorized as a job board and the social media category was entirely eliminated.

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“We purposely avoided Social and Mobile as sources since they are foundational and ‘influence’ every category,” wrote the report’s authors, Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler.

As if, however, to underscore the importance of LinkedIn, 87% of the HR professionals in the SHRM survey deemed it “somewhat” or “very important” for job seekers to have a presence on the site. Almost as many said the same about having profiles on professional or association sites. And those percentages vary widely by job type. For those in communications, media or public relations, 96% of the respondents felt the job seekers better have a LinkedIn profile. For hourly workers, only 11 percent thought it “very important.”

Simply having a presence isn’t enough; the profile needs to be complete, said 77% of the participants in the SHRM survey. That means updated employment, education and skills.

John Zappe was the editor of and contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.