Friday, March 20, 2009

Recruiters Placing More Emphasis on Corporate Branding

A recent survey by recruitment software company Standout Jobs and reveals that 43% of the companies polled are pulling their spending from Internet job boards and re-directing those resources to better showcase their brand to potential employment candidates.

The shift away from job boards is a response to current market conditions, which have made more high-value candidates available to companies looking to capitalize on the market's turnaround with strategic hires, reveals the survey. And while the current market remains grim, optimism still dictates many of the respondents' near term hiring plans, with more than 30% planning to increase hiring during the second and third quarter of 2009: adding the fourth quarter raises that number to 41%.

Referrals are still the most popular avenue for sourcing jobs, but the companies polled indicate their Web site or career page as being the next most valuable vehicle for finding candidates. Job boards, while useful for generating a higher volume of resumes, are being criticized for not delivering qualified candidates, which are seen as the key for surviving the tough current economic climate and building future organizational strength.

"We decided to create this poll to get a sense of how bad or good the market for hiring really was at the organizational level, rather than continuing to rely on media reports which have been overwhelmingly negative," says Benjamin Yoskovitz, Standout Jobs CEO and founder. "With the help of our poll partner,, we asked 450 internal company recruiters a number of questions having to do with their hiring practices and plans for the immediate future.

The results showed cautious optimism, with many expecting to start hiring again in the third quarter. We also learned their standards and processes have changed, and now strategic hiring is the name of the game." Companies are putting more emphasis on engaging quality talent in an effort to show they're a 'great place to work' for the right candidates. Creating a better fit between employer and employee is seen as a key to hiring success, and employment branding attracts the right type of candidates through more open, regular and interactive communication with applicants.

This trend was evident in the poll question "Which recruiting trends do you think could improve your recruiting efforts?" Of the respondents, 239 claim "social networks," while 187 respondents indicate candidate relationship management was high on their list of priorities. The survey further indicates that search engine optimization was also a favorite followed by "other," blogs, online video, and Twitter.

Companies are clearly interested in re-marketing to job seekers, treating people well in addition to delivering a strong candidate experience. Even though the companies polled indicated they were increasing their dependence on their sites and social tools to engage candidates, the majority of them had no specific strategies for recruiting Generation X and Y applicants, which have grown up with the web and are more likely than their older colleagues to use it for job hunting, socializing and networking.

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