Most Employers Think Their Recruiting Stinks

Though not exactly shocking, Allegis Group, the RPO/talent firm has just released a new report that details some of the current problems with today’s talent acquisition departments. Entitled, “Staying in Front: An Inside Look at the Changing Dynamics of Talent Acquisition“, the survey of nearly 7,000 employers, talent acquisition professionals and job candidates from around the world, recorded the satisfaction of companies across key talent acquisition practice areas, as well as stakeholder views on major trends.

According to the findings, only 7.7% of employers agree their recruitment process actually works well enough to attract and retain talent. Many companies appear to be their own worst enemy, worsened by a communication disconnect with their talent acquisition teams, as well as other shortfalls impacting employee hiring and retention. Having seen these mistakes firsthand in my everyday HR travels I have no quarrels with that finding.

“Based on our experience addressing talent needs for companies around the world, we know there is no such thing as ‘just good enough’ recruiting,” said Andy Hilger, president of Allegis Group. “The market has grown increasingly competitive across many skill sets, particularly in the professional and technical arenas. Best-in-class recruitment must be a priority. We hope sharing insights on what sets great talent acquisition organizations apart – and identifying what is and isn’t working – will help companies close some key gaps and, ultimately win in the marketplace.”

The Highlights

The report addresses several areas of the recruiting process including job definitions, sourcing, screening and onboarding.

  • The Perfect Match Syndrome. Only 28 percent of hiring managers at companies expect a perfect match – candidates that arrive fully equipped with necessary skills and experience. Yet, 50 percent of the talent acquisition professionals they work with think full qualifications must be met. This communication disconnect is keeping hiring managers away from many candidates they would otherwise consider for employment.
  • Problems with sourcing channels. The majority of talent organizations were 67 percent less likely than “most satisfied” employers to rate a sourcing channel as “very effective.” These channels, in descending order of preference (rating of “very effective”) by those “most satisfied” employers, include: referral programs (71 percent), recruitment/staffing firms (59 percent), social media (59 percent), job boards and affiliates (53 percent), employer website (53 percent), search engine marketing and digital ads (47 percent), mobile apps (46 percent), career networking events (44 percent), employer rating sites (40 percent), email marketing (39 percent), freelance/”gig” matching platforms (20 percent), print ads and broadcast ads (17 percent).
  • Faulty screening process leaving companies behind. “Most satisfied” employers are 78 percent more likely than others to clearly communicate their top three skills requirements and have recruiters understand them. Most companies lag behind in other fundamental screening practices, including establishing culture fit characteristics, bringing non-recruiting stakeholders into the screening process and contacting references.
  • Poor onboarding sends new hires to the exits. Of surveyed candidates, 54 percent were “somewhat” or “very likely” to leave an organization based on a poor onboarding experience. When it comes to readiness for a new hire’s first day – encompassing introductions to teammates and key stakeholders, manager meetings, and facility tours – more than 70 percent of hiring managers say they “always” cover these activities, yet only 23 to 50 percent of candidates agree.
  • Bad candidate experience causes adverse ripple effect. When it comes to the hiring process, 56 percent of candidates are “somewhat” or “very likely” to discourage others from applying if they had a poor hiring experience. On the other hand, 81 percent say they’d encourage others if the process were a positive one.
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As someone who works with employers today on many of these issues, I would also add a few more things to the above list. If you are a recruiter or HR pro reading this I’d be curious to hear what else you think is failing. My top 3 would be;

  • Recruiting is getting technical. Today’s recruiters need to be multi-channel experts at what they do which involves leveraging technology in the right way. I still see too many mistakes being made when it comes to using tech to find talent. Many times it is implemented poorly with little foresight.
  • Engagement strategies need improvement. The copy and paste recruiting messages to candidates are still way too pervasive in our industry. Only creative outreach strategies really work when it comes to getting candidates to talk to you.
  • No marketing mindset. recruiting departments need to hire more marketers! Boring job listings are not going to inspire a candidate to apply.

The full report form Allegis can be downloaded for free at

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