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Trends in Recruiting and Retention- What You Need to Know

Originally posted: September 11, 2013 on TrishMcFarlane.com

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by Allied Van Lines®, a leader in the moving and storage industry with more than 75 years of experience. For a second year, they are championing a research project, Allied HRIQ, aimed to provide business professionals with data on current workforce trends. We also have an exciting LinkedIn group~ Allied HR IQ~ where HR professionals can network and share ideas about happenings in the HR space.  I encourage you to join today!  I have partnered with Allied Van Lines® in the past and am excited about this year’s survey results.) allied
As a HR practitioner, I know you’re busy.  You are still being asked to do more with less in your day-to-day role.  You are consistently reacting to situations coming at you.  You, like me, likely attempt to carve out some time to focus on strategy though.  That’s the real goal- to continue to push HR to be a more pro-active, strategic role.
But that’s hard.  I get it.
One way I help myself along is to look for great research in our space.  Each year, the Allied HR IQ survey continues to be a great source of information for me.  This year does not disappoint.  As Sharlyn Lauby, a.k.a. the HR Bartender, shared earlier this summer, the Allied HR IQ survey put out some great information on telecommuting.  Give her article some time and attention because we all know that this issue is still on the minds of many professionals.
I’ve been asked to look at the recruiting and relocation results.  I have to tell you, the full survey results are well worth your time to read, but in case you’re pressed for time, here are my key takeaways:


One of the key findings is that for a majority of companies, mobility has had no impact on their ability to recruit and hire.  Of those organizations that said it had an impact, the positives and negatives cancel each other out.  What does this mean to you?
It could mean that a majority of companies surveyed primarily recruit in local markets only, although I doubt it.  What causes results like this then?  The reason could be that employers believe that their benefits and other “perks” are enough to persuade candidates to join.  I challenge them, and you, to think about this though… how much more success could you realize if you have a strong relocation package(s) to tip the mobility scale in your favor?  My guess is that could become the key differentiator between you and your competition and it would also open up a much wider net for candidates.
Another finding is that recruiting efforts are truly on the rise.  According to the survey:
“Over seven in 10 HR professionals (72%) say that their companies’ recruiting activity over the past year (2012) was either extensive or moderate- levels a touch higher (3 percentage points) than reported for 2011.”
Why are recruiting efforts on the rise?  Likely because turnover in general is trending higher across most industries.  As the economy and job market improve, albeit gradually, people who once intended to stick it out with their current employer are now more actively looking for work.

Other notable facts:

  • HR pros tend to believe that their recruiting efforts are a success.  Danger here?  Don’t believe your own hype.  If you’re recruiting more is it really because business is booming and you are growing, or are you just replacing workers leaving for other opportunities?  Very different issues.
  • Companies who report highly successful recruiting programs are landing their ideal candidate while those without a successful program are only hiring their top candidate 60% (or less) of the time.
Based on those facts, it appears that companies view their program as “successful” if they land the candidate they want most, not based on fewer days to fill a role.

 Let’s get social….

Where does social media fit in?
 Not surprisingly, social media and HR are still like mixing vinegar and oil.  There is some brief connection, but overall, they are separate.  Based on the survey responses, LinkedIn appears to have the greatest draw for HR professionals.  They are still using job boards like CareerBuilder and Monster though.  Who knew that job boards weren’t dead?


Most surprising to me is the number of companies that do not offer relocation.  According to those surveyed, “over one in three HR professionals report that their companies have no relocation package at all.”
It seems that companies would realize that offering relocation for key or “hard to fill” roles would be the best way to attract the most talented candidates.  Still, I think there is the fear of the unknown when it comes to offering relocation.  I’ve also known plenty of HR pros who work where plans are offered but that there is no follow up or information for spouses or with regard to education for children.  Even in my past experience, when relocation has been offered, there was never any consideration given to assisting in the sale of the candidate’s existing home.  This has to continue to be a major consideration for candidates.
As you can see, the importance of recruiting and relocation need to be top of mind for HR professionals.  Be sure to check out the full survey results HERE.  What are you seeing in your organization?  How well is your recruiting program faring?  Do you offer relocation?  Be sure to share in the comments.

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