Research & Best Practices

The Latest HR Research

A look at the top findings from our recent studies.

By Larry Basinait

Industry research is core to human capital management and decision-making. That is why the HRO Today research team takes a deep dive into the topics impacting the lives of HR leaders. Here, we share some of the top findings -the full version of the reports can be found here.


Recruitment StrategySocial media is seen by HR and talent acquisition professionals as an essential component of recruiting strategy. But its effectiveness is questioned, with only 57 percent of recruiters saying it makes an impact. No doubt the mediocre score is negatively impacted by the tightest labor market in the U.S. since 1969, which has proven to be a challenge for recruiters despite using a host of new and old recruiting techniques.

HR leaders look to social media to promote employer brand and recruit passive candidates. According to half of the survey respondents, other goals include posting job openings to active candidates, showcasing company culture, building a talent pool, reducing cost, and gaining referrals.

The social channels used to achieve these goals are largely LinkedIn and Facebook, leveraged by over 80 percent of recruiters. Twitter and Instagram also play important roles, both cited as being used by 59 percent and 38 percent, respectively. Likely the ideal plan is to incorporate a combination of these sites, as well as new opportunities as they become available.

Social Media RecruitingThe main barrier to using social media more effectively in a recruitment strategy is budget constraints. Despite all the goals for it, less than 16 percent of the recruiting budget is allocated to social media recruiting. Among those not using social media for recruiting, the primary reasons are largely internal constraints. Not enough time or resources and a lack of knowledge about how to use it are the primary reasons why social media for recruiting isn’t used by even more companies.


OutsourcingThe U.S. economy grew at a robust 2.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018, and expectations for the final tally from the fourth quarter are high as retailers reported record sales for the holiday season. While there are plans to outsource more HR services overall, plans for recruiting are far more impacted by economic growth than other services. Plans for RPO outsourcing grew 11 percent over 2016, while MSP grew six percent and screening services just two percent.

Companies are well advised to anticipate the labor market. If the economy is accelerating and there is concern about securing talent a year or two down the road, securing an RPO provider prior to a considerable labor market tightening is advantageous before outsourcing provider prices increase and talent supply decreases.

The need for greater recruiting capabilities is also reflected in the growth and adoption of technology to manage applicant tracking. While only 19 percent of study respondents use platform technology to manage applicant tracking, that’s up from 12 percent in 2016.

While the importance of the employer brand continues to increase amidst a tight labor market, fewer firms are planning to use an external firm to manage it. Only 13 percent planned to outsource their employer brand promotion and maintenance, down from 24 percent in 2016.


Talent AcquisitionAre talent acquisition analytics and KPIs aligned with long-term goals and objectives? Not always, with nearly one-half (44 percent) of respondents reporting they are only focused on short-term goals or have no focus at all on making strategic business decisions. In terms of metrics, quality of hire was ranked as the most indicative measure when evaluating the success of the talent acquisition program. Retention is often a key component of the quality-of-hire metric and is also frequently used as a metric to evaluate talent acquisition program success.

Less than two-thirds (63 percent) of survey respondents indicated that the talent acquisition model was integrated into their HR strategy, with only 22 percent indicating that it was completely integrated. A talent acquisition model that is only moderately integrated into the larger HR strategy cannot fully support the business strategy. Strategic workforce planning, which provides a flexible connection between operational execution and the future direction of the organization, may be key to integration.

Tags: Magazine Article, March-2019, Research Report

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