Survey shows best sources for hires

Internet based recently published their Source of Hire Report 2014, and there were some surprising findings.

  • According to the report, companies continue to find their best candidates in their own backyards. Participating companies filled more than 41% of their openings from current employees.
  • Contingent workers now account for one in six members of firms/ workforces.
  • Among online job boards, Indeed and LinkedIn have become the most significant SOH. (Sources of Hire)
  • Nearly six in ten surveyed companies said LinkedIn was a critical component for their recruiters and sourcing groups, and half said it made a significant impact on their career sites.
  • Companies filled about 20% of their openings via employee referrals, and job seekers who are referred are three to four times more likely to be hired than someone who applies without a referral.
  • Social media has become a significant factor in recruiting. More than 20% of participant companies said social media was a significant or dominant factor in their hiring, especially for experienced professionals.
  • Read the complete report at, Source of Hire Report 2014.

What all this means for you depends on the size of your company and your budget available for recruiting. Regardless your limitations, however, here are my recommendations for increasing your hiring effectiveness:

  • Look inside first. Chances are you’ll have a qualified candidate just waiting to move up. If not,
  • Ask for employee referrals. Employees won’t refer people they don’t want to work with, and won’t refer someone whose work they don’t know, out of concern a bad hire will reflect poorly on them.
  • Use social media when appropriate. For professionals, consider posting on Indeed or LinkedIn. For other positions, post on Facebook and ask your Facebook friends to report for you.
  • Consider asking a temporary employment agency to help you with a temp-to-hire program.This has worked extremely well for me in the past, and for a lot of other companies hiring entry level workers or those with specific, verifiable skills. Just be sure all the normal screening is done, including drug testing, background checks, and thorough reference checks.
  • For local positions when you don’t want to pay relocation expenses, newspaper ads are still a good bet. But run your ads as display, only on Sunday, with Wednesday as a distant second. Skip ads on holidays. And have a qualified professional write your ads for you. Sell your job!
  • For entry level positions, post flyers at local tech schools and colleges, grocery stores, quick-stop stores and other places where people hang out. On every flyer, ask for referrals (“Tell all your friends about us!”) and include tear-off strips with your telephone number or Internet website address.
  • Be sure your internal hiring systems do not impede the process for applicants. Some online applicant systems are so complicated that they screen out more applicants than they allow through.
  • Before you post a externally, make sure you’ve posted it to employees first! Many employees will apply; more will refer their friends, family and acquaintances; and all employees will appreciate knowing what’s going on in their company. It’s a great morale booster!

And when your job has been filled, be sure to keep track of where your applicants came from, which SOH had the best qualified applicants, and which SOH actually filled the position. This history is invaluable over time as you work to increase the effectiveness of your recruiting process.

For more detailed information about recruiting and hiring qualified applicants, get a copy of Hiring Right: A Business Blueprint for Lower Turnover and Higher Profits, Second Edition, available from And let me know if you have any questions about this blog; I’d love to hear from you!

About Pat Kelley, MS, SPHR

Pat Kelley, MS, SPHR, is the author of three non-fiction books, including the Second Edition of Hiring Right: A Business Blueprint for Lower Turnover and Higher Profits. She is a retired Human Resources Director with more than 40 years' experience. Certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources, she is a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arkansas Society for Human Resource Management.
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