Job Boards Are 2nd Largest Source of Hire; College is 5th

Posted February 23, 2012 by

Mark Mehler and Gerry Crispin of CareerXroadsMark Mehler and Gerry Crispin of CareerXroads just released their 11th Annual Sources of Hire (SOH) Study – a snapshot of how large, highly-competitive, high-profile firms find their employees. Tracking and monitoring the sources of actual hires tells companies where to dedicate their hiring resources and tells job seekers where to direct their efforts.

Why track source of hire data? Companies need to know where to spend their time, effort and recruiting dollars. Job seekers need to know where to focus their efforts. This data helps both sides of the recruiting process because it tracks where employers actually hired people – not numbers of resumes received, not dollars spent, but actual hires. The top five sources of hires in 2011 were:

  1. Referrals
  2. Job boards
  3. Corporate career sites
  4. Recruiter-initiated contacts
  5. College recruits

Note that the second largest source of hire were job boards and so the conventional wisdom that job boards are dead simply isn’t true. In fact, the percentage of recruitment advertising spent on job boards has more than doubled over the past few years. Another item to note is that the third highest source of hire listed by my friends Mark and Gerry is corporate career sites. That’s puzzling to me as corporate career sites cannot by definition by a source of hire. Candidates always — ALWAYS — start their search somewhere other than on an employer’s web site and so a corporate career site by definition must be a definition and not a source of hire. A final note: college recruits is listed as the fifth largest source of hire and ahead of such sexier sources as social media, third party recruiters, and other sources. So as a job board for college students and recent graduates is essentially listed as part of two of the top five (four?) sources of hire. Nice.

In their announcement, Mark and Gerry also drew attention to social media making an appearance on their complete list of sources. For a detailed breakdown of all hiring sources review the report at:

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