Recruiting and Retention … How Do You Stack Up? [Survey Results]

Recruiting and retention—top challenges for every organization—and it’s only going to get more challenging through 2015. How do your recruiting practices stack up against what others are doing in today’s war for talent?

Highlights of the 2014 Employee Leave Survey:

  • 60.1% have a recruiting strategy.
  • Employee referral is the top recruiting method, used by 77.8%.
  • 47.2% have found that online recruiting is less expensive than other recruiting methods.
  • Mentors or buddies for new employees (in addition to onboarding) are provided by 43.2% of respondents.

Thanks to all 919 individuals who participated in the survey! Here are the detailed responses:

Recruiting Strategy

Though an impressive 60.1% of our survey participants have a recruiting strategy, only 9% of them have written documentation and, for 16.6%, it’s mostly cultural habit. It is a combination of written strategy and cultural habit for 23.5% and varies based on the position for 49.1%.

Recruiting Methods

Posting jobs on their own organization’s website is utilized by 76.7%. Online recruiting resources like Monster and CareerBuilder are used by 70.8% and online communities like LinkedIn and are options for 47.1%. Leading the pack, however, is employee referral at 77.8%. Other widely used methods include word-of-mouth at 65%, print ads at 49.3%, trade association websites at 46.3%, and university recruiting at 44.2%.

Recruiting is a challenge for 2015. Learn what’s happening in the real world with our new research report, Recruiting Best Practices: Finding and Attracting Talent in 2015’s Challenging Business Climate. Learn More

Closing the Deal

Negotiating salary on every position is the norm for 15.4% (16.9% in 2013) but for 73.1%, it depends on the position. For 11.6% of survey participants, a candidate takes what is offered or the job goes to the next candidate in line. As for incentive pay, it’s negotiable for only 4.8%, while it depends on the position for 46.1%. Few (21%), however, negotiate benefits. Of those who do, 78.3% are willing to negotiate paid time off and 57.5% are flexible regarding hours of work.

Online Recruiting

Posting their open positions online is part of their overall recruiting strategy for 77.6% of survey participants who answered the question and 3% haven’t posted online but do plan to add online recruiting to their routine. Over three-fourths of open positions are posted on company websites for 67.4% and on job boards like Monster and CareerBuilder for 33.6%. When asked how many advertised jobs are filled from online applicants, 34.7% (31.7% in 2013) indicated that over 75% of their jobs are filled that way and for 24.8% (21.9% in 2013), from 51% to 75% of jobs are filled by online applicants.

Job boards like and are the most successful venue for online recruiting for 42.9% (30.5% in 2013) of survey participants. Their own company website, however, is the best bet for 29.7% (27.4% in 2013). Recruiting via online communities such as and are more successful for 13.3% (12.5% in 2013).

When asked what they think of job boards, 36.5% of survey participants indicate they’ve “had some success using them” and 28.1% have “gotten quite a few good applicants” from them. On the flip side, though, 12.4% have “not had much success using them” and 5.3% (10.1% in 2013) “have not used job boards.”

The positions most recruited online are professional positions at 62.6%, followed closely by mid-level positions at 61.7% and entry-level at 58.3%. Just reviewing resumes from applicants to their own positions posted online is the routine for 58.9% of survey participants and searching through posted resumes of potential candidates who have not applied to their organization is an option for 41.1%.

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Online recruiting has replaced other methods for 35%, with print ads being the most replaced at 72.2% and recruiting agencies/headhunters at 24.7%. It is simply another recruiting tool, though, for 30.7% and 8.3% are still testing the e-recruiting waters.

Almost half, 47.2%, have found that online recruiting is less expensive than other recruiting methods, though 23.4% say it’s about the same and 11.6% have found it to be more expensive. For 51.4% (44.8% in 2013), online recruiting typically brings them candidates faster and, for 21.1% (23.1% in 2013), it depends on the position. Online recruiting is slower for 8% (7.3% in 2013) and about the same for 14.9% (17.2% in 2013).   

Online recruiting offers both pros and cons, and attitudes toward them have shifted a bit from last year to this year:



Response percent (2014)

Response percent (2013)

Exposure to a wider audience



Ease of use




Negative Impact

Response percent (2014)

Response percent (2013)

Too many unqualified applicants



Too many applicants in general



About a third (32.1%) use software to track and/or measure their online recruiting. When it comes to the kind of software, it’s a wide open field, with ADP leading the pack at 15.7%.

Though 1.1% plan to discontinue online recruiting and 6.5% aren’t sure, 92.4% (88% in 2013) plan to continue their online recruiting programs.

In tomorrow’s Advisor, more results of the Recruiting and Retention Survey, plus we will introduce you to the new research report, Recruiting Best Practices: Finding and Attracting Talent in 2015’s Challenging Business Climate.