Talent Acquisition in Turmoil: The Facts and Figures

Today we released our first ever Talent Acquisition Factbook®, a comprehensive study of trends, benchmarks, and spending data in the US (and UK) recruiting market.  It points out the tectonic shifts taking place in recruiting right now, as the staffing industry shifts steadily toward the use of social networking, employment branding, and a variety of new sourcing tools to help companies find people.  This is part of our family of annual Factbooks® (Corporate Learning, Human Resources, Talent Management, and Leadership Development), each of which detail benchmarks and trends in all major areas of corporate HR.

As we will discuss in our upcoming 2012 Predictions report, the worldwide talent market is out of balance:  there are people without jobs while corporations are working harder than ever to find the right people.  This imbalance is driven by a lower skilled workforce, the increasingly specialized nature of jobs, an increasingly contingent workforce, and high unemployment in some locations.

What the Talent Acquisition Factbook tells us is that companies are adapting to this market in a variety of ways:

  • Spending per employee on recruiting went up 6% this year (a high number, demonstrating how hard it is to find the right people), bringing the US recruiting market to a size of $124 billion. Companies spend, on average, around $3500 per candidate on recruiting.  That high number illustrates how complex and difficult it is to find the right person (this is more than 3X the money spent on the training of internal candidates, which makes you wonder why organizations don’t spend more money training internal candidates to take on some of these new roles).
  • Corporate recruiting agencies has shifted a huge amount of their focus toward social recruiting tools (10% of all spending after only a few years), leading to explosive growth in the business of companies like LinkedIn, Facebook, and many other social recruiting tools. There are dozens of very fast-growing social recruiting software companies now going after this market, and even Taleo reported in its latest earnings release that recruiting software is hot again.  LinkedIn, which grew its revenues at over 120% YTY, now gains 51% of its revenue from recruiting services.
  • Recruiters are fairly overloaded with resumes, creating a big demand for prehire assessment tools and even gaming simulations to help recruiters screen candidates. Our research showed that recruiters receive on average 144 resumes for each entry level/hourly position and 89 resumes for each professional position.  The assessment market is now red hot and a new set of tools for video-based interviewing and screening are now helping to solve this problem.
  • To deal with these stresses, companies are now starting to invest heavily in internal talent mobility programs, designed to help find internal candidates more quickly. The days of recruiting operating as an island are slowly coming to an end, as more and more companies now integrate external recruiting with internal mobility, so managers can more easily find internal candidates to fill these jobs.  Most of our clients tell us that they have barely scratched the surface of their opportunity to better recruit for candidates internally, and we see this as a major trend in the next few years.

Research members can download the Factbook today, others can purchase it online.

If you would like to hear more about this new research, please join us at our online webinar hosted by Karen O’Leonard, the principal author of the study, and Kim Lamoureux, our Principal Analyst in Talent Acquisition, on December 8 at 2PM EST.

Click here to register:  Talent Acquisition: Spending too Much and Getting too Little?