Recruiters look inwards in the battle for talent

Aug 22 2005 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Employers who need to recruit skilled workers are turning to existing staff for help in finding the right people from among their friends and relatives, as Colin Cottell reports in the Guardian.

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development's 2004 recruitment and retention survey, which showed more than eight out of 10 employers experienced recruitment difficulties, 38% of UK employers used employee referral schemes as a way of finding staff. This was up 4% on the previous year.

As well as Nationwide, online retailer Amazon, Sainsbury's, Vodafone, Bupa and Asda are just some of the growing number of employers who use them. In the voluntary and non-profit sector, the CIPD says the proportion increased six-fold to almost one in five.

While cost is obviously one major advantage of this approach, a study published last year by Income Data Services found that applicants tend to be of a higher calibre than those attracted using adverts and have a better 'cultural fit', which can result in a reduced time to hire.

The Guardian | When it pays to know who your friends are


Older Comments

The battle for talent is a continuing dilemma for large and small businesses alike. Often the decision to hire through referral and word of mouth is taken as a last resort as external agencies fail to deliver to a defined brief. Increasingly the hiring company is looking to the recruitment partner to think more creatively to find the best candidate(s). THE approach to search and selection requires more thought, analysis and understanding between client and recruiter to reduce the risk and cost of implementing an effective search. I'm not suggesting that clients should not look internally. If they have the talent from within to progress then they should utilise that channel as part of their succession planning strategy. I do feel however, that clients and recruiters need to continue to work more closely as partners in developing and implementing effective processes to lower the cost of the recruitment life-cycle. This warrants commitment on both sides to explore ideas and approaches that build on best practice.

Michael Atwal UK