Sources for Talent Acquisition: the Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

It’s no secret that HR and recruiting professionals are spread thin these days. A lack of qualified applicants combined with high turnover rates has talent seekers scrambling to fill positions using the multitude of sources available to them. As a result, unfilled positions are racking up greater costs due to lost work and the expense of finding and processing qualified applicants.

In 2017, recruiters have a dizzying array of options to choose from in terms of recruitment platforms. Between traditional methods such as advertising, recruiting agencies, and job boards and newer platforms such as career websites and even social media, there have never been so many places to connect with prospective applicants. But is this a good thing, or does it leave both recruiters and job seekers feeling over-extended?

It’s time to narrow your search down to the methods that will serve you best. Here’s a breakdown of the most popular sources-for-hire, their pros and cons, and how you can choose the most effective platform to address your recruiting pain points.

The Ugly


It’s a sad truth, but let’s face it: print media hasn’t been a good way to reach anyone in years. And even if you’re advertising on digital platforms, there are now much better ways to target prospective applicants available. Case closed.

Recruiting Agencies

We’re sorry to be the ones to say this, but the time for recruiting agencies has (mostly) passed. Unless you’re conducting a global search for a C-suite executive or applicants with a very rare combination of skills, odds are that you’re wasting time and money by hiring an external company to conduct your search for you. In addition to a very high cost-per-hire, recruiting agencies require tons of up-front work in order to communicate your company’s distinct personnel needs, hiring parameters, and company culture.

While outsourcing the recruiting process may seem like a good idea, the results often prove otherwise. Especially when it comes to determining “soft” variables like cultural compatibility and values alignment, external agencies can’t help but fall short of internal recruiters. If you’re looking for engaged employees who won’t jump ship the next time a recruiter calls, it’s far better to conduct the search yourself.

The Bad

Job Boards

While they’re a step up from old-fashioned job advertisements or classified ads, today’s job boards are still an outdated digital solution to a modern recruiter’s pain points. While job boards remain fairly active in attracting applicants, they fall behind when it comes to producing actual hires. According to a long-term study of hiring platforms, job board postings led to almost 43% of applicants but less than 15% of eventual hires. If you value quantity over quality, look to a job board. If you value quality applicants, it’s time to turn your attention elsewhere.

Career Sites

Career sites (such as Monster, Indeed, or CareerBuilder) are fairly effective ways of attracting potential applicants, but still fall short on a few important fronts. That same study of hiring platforms reveals that career sites brought in 32% of applicants and resulted in 21% of hires, a slightly better quality/quantity relationship than job boards. However, career sites had the longest time-to-hire, taking an average of 5% longer than candidates from job boards and 15% longer than those who were referred by existing employees. Recruiting professionals know that time is money, and career sites fall short in this respect.

The Good

Employee Referrals

If you’re looking for qualified applicants who will fit into your existing company culture and reduce the turnover rate for new hires, look no further than your own army of recruiters – your current employees. Employee Referral Programs have shown impressive results when it comes to identifying quality applicants and reducing both time- and cost-per-hire. While employee referrals are an underused resource, accounting for only about 7% of applicants, that same 7% accounts for a whopping 39.9% of hires. Surprised? You shouldn’t be.

Your existing employees have a first-hand understanding of company values, personnel needs, and culture. Their personal investment in filling positions with qualified, hard-working applicants makes them natural allies to recruiters and HR professionals. That’s why applicants referred by employees take substantially less time to hire than those who come from job boards or career sites, and are more likely to stay in their new position for a longer time, reducing employee turnover and residual cost-per-hire.

If you’re tired of these talent acquisition pain points, build a culture of employee referrals and bypass the outdated, ineffective talent search platforms that are spreading you thin. A strong and vibrant Employee Referral Program shouldn’t entirely replace job sites and social media outreach, but it will provide a solid foundation of ongoing referrals that you can supplement with other methods.

The JobShakers mobile ERP solution makes it easy for recruiters and HR professionals to turn their employees into an army of recruiters. To learn more, schedule a demo today.

By |2017-03-16T21:25:05+00:00January 16th, 2017|Articles|0 Comments

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