As the economy continues to strengthen, recruiting leaders cite competition as a key obstacle to hiring talent. According to LinkedIn’s 2015 US Recruiting Trends report, 53 percent of leaders say that competition for talent is a significant concern. Sourcing highly skilled talent is the highest priority for US and global talent acquisition leaders, followed by improving quality of hire.
Competition as a Top Obstacle to Hiring
Over the past four years, the biggest shift in recruiting has been the growth of social networks as a top source of quality hires. Almost half of U.S. companies cite social professional networks as one of the most important sources of quality hires, followed closely by employee referral programs, and company career sites.
Sources of Hire for Quality and Quantity
The intensifying war for talent and the growing importance of social networks and referrals lead to a need for companies to carefully consider and examine the perception potential candidates have of them. American companies this year are planning to prioritize and proactively manage their talent brand. Experts say that a strong talent brand can reduce cost per hire by up to 50 percent and lower turnover rates by 28 percent. And seven of ten job seekers say that the job and the company are equally important in deciding whether to accept a position. Finally, 75 percent of talent acquisition leaders say talent brand significantly impacts their ability to hire great talent.
The Importance of Employee Referrals
Research by RolePoint finds that companies with a defined talent brand dominate 60 percent of the labor market, and 17 percent of companies with a defined talent brand saw an increase in their quality of hires. A strategic talent brand sets the tone for recruitment and retention, and a talent brand that involves employee referrals takes advantage of the employers’ key asset – the employee.
Employee referrals have been cited as the number one source for both hiring volume and for new hire quality. Employers also say that it is less expensive to recruit candidates referred by employees, even after accounting for referral bonuses.
What Employers Can Do to Improve their Talent Brand
While talent acquisition leaders recognize the importance of managing the perception of their company and their talent brand, many are unable to measure the health of their brand in a quantitative way. According to LinkedIn, there is an approximately 20 percent gap between the impact and prioritization of talent brand versus the measurement and funding of it.
Why Do Companies Invest in Talent Brand?
Companies can close this gap by benchmarking their talent brand budgets against other talent and HR investments to ensure that talent branding is funded in line with their priorities. Also, leveraging current employees and workers as talent brand ambassadors can be a powerful instrument. Many companies are creating social and content programs to make candidates aware of the merits they offer as a place to work. In the United States, social professional networks are the fastest growing channel for promoting talent brand, growing 34 percent year-over-year.
Growth of Channels for Promoting Talent Brand
To build successful employee referral programs that improve the perception of the company, employers should reach out to current employees to ask them for referrals. A study by RolePoint finds that six out of 10 employees would recommend jobs at their company to close friends or family members. Many companies are electing to include cash and incentive-based rewards in their referral programs.