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The recruitment industry is going through a period of massive disruption and the demand for talent is higher than ever!
SocialTalents vision is to change how people work by providing recruiters with the skills and know-how to help them work
smarter and get better results. To do this we need to know what REAL recruiters are doing day-in and day-out and how they can
measure their Return on Learning (ROL). More and more recruiters are embarking on a journey of change as the recruitment
industry evolves. Thats why SocialTalent have compiled this report on our recent findings from our Global Recruiting Survey
results. The aim of this survey is to highlight important industry trends within the recruitment industry.

SocialTalent has been running the Global Recruiting Survey since 2015, so not only has unique insights into yearly changes but
also, has data to map emerging trends over the last three years. With emerging technologies, new approaches to learning and
increasing flexibility in workplaces all over the world we can see the difference this has made to recruiting professionals and
where the future of recruitment is headed. 2
About This Survey
This report is based on 2000+ responses from recruiting professionals all over the world.

2000+ Responses (double the responses from 2016)

81 Countries

Mix of agency, inhouse and third party providers

Ranging from new recruiters to those with over 10 years experience

This survey focusses on a global view but is also perfectly optimised to draw comparisons between different
regions such as North America, APAC and EMEA. 3
The Results
A Day In The Life Of A Recruiter Respondents work on less than 10 requisitions at a time
A day in the life of a recruiter is a hectic one, with no two days
being the same. Most recruiters find it hard to describe their Submits 4-7 candidates on a shortlist
typical work day, nevermind their week. We wanted to look at 46%
what type of environment recruiters are working in and what
their typical working day/week looks like: Choose social media as the primary source for finding
candidates who are ultimately hired
Recruiters work an average working week of 44 hours
56% Candidates have an average response rate of 21%-40%
from potential candidates
Recruiters are provided with flexible working options
from their employer.
Recruiters use LinkedIn as a sourcing tool

Working hours more than 45 hours per week Have a LinkedIn account paid for by employers
EMEA 28% 88%
Use LinkedIn InMail as the first form of contact when
APAC 38% approaching candidates
50% 5
So thats an average recruiter, but
what does a super recruiter look like?
Performance Related Pay Delivers Results!
Performance related pay is put in place by employers who wish to reward individual or team based performances.
But the real question is: do performance related pay systems work?

Answer: YES!

62% of our respondents receive performance related pay according to this

years report. This is more or less the same as last year (63%). Which goes to show
62% that if it aint broke, dont fix it!

And those recruiters who receive high performance based pay ( >51% of their
remuneration) are more likely to:

Fill jobs faster (within 39 days) vs 50 days

Phone a candidate vs using e-mail and InMail alone

Have higher quality shortlists and typically deliver results with 50% submitting an average
of 1-3 candidates to the hiring manager vs 83% of recruiters who submit 4-7 candidates

Work longer weeks (46+ hours a week) vs a 35-40hr work week

Work from home vs inflexible working schedules 7
In 2016, EMEA and APAC based recruiters led the way in terms of performance-related pay but in the space of
a year, the scale has evened out. Were not surprised to see this as its obvious that performance-related pay is
delivering results for recruiters and hiring managers

Performance Related Pay

2016 2017

70% 68% 52% 62% 59% 59%


The number one driver of performance pay is the amount of hires/placements made. So a quality shortlist is
valuable for all involved! 41% of recruiters who receive performance based pay are measured this way. 8
Recruiters Use Social Media To Find High-Quality Candidates
Social media has become a universal hiring tool for recruiters. This year has followed last years trend with social media being
the most popular channel to find quality candidates. Twice as many recruiters said that Social Media is their number one option
for finding all-star candidates.

LinkedIn proved to be the favourite again amongst recruiters all over the world but we have seen some interesting changes
across other social networks. Facebook, Twitter and G+ all saw some big moves- some good and some bad!

5% Non Paid Job Boards 1%
Other Media
Recruitment Agencies (e.g. Radio, newspaper,...)

Social Media

Internal Referrals

Direct Applicants or
Own Career site

Paid Job Boards 9
Zoom In On
Social Media Use
Going Up Steady Going Down

Facebook: 41% up from 37% in LinkedIn: 94% 2017 (97% in Twitter: 23% 2017 (37% in 2016)
2016 (38% 2015)- *star trend* 2016) (96% 2015)- stable with (56% in 2015).
steady increase from previous only a small drop from last year.

Instagram: 7% up from 4% in G+: 13% down from 22% in 2016.

2016 - *star trend* one to watch
at it has doubled in the space of
a year! 11
LinkedIn is the most valuable resource
to a recruiter...

...but how are they using it?

64% of employers pay for their recruiters LinkedIn account; this is DOWN from a whopping 88% in 2016.
Our survey asked recruiters to tell us what versions of LinkedIn they were using:

Sales Navigator 0%
Job Finder
Talent Finder/ Recruiter Lite

Premium/ Business Plus 35%

LinkedIn Recruiter
Professional Services

LinkedIn Recruiter Corporate

Information like this can help companies decide whether this is a worthwhile resource to spend budget on.
Our reports indicate that the Basic version seems to be holding its own against the more exclusive, paid
versions. 13
Have Recruiters Upgraded Their LinkedIn In The Last Year?

59% have not upgraded their account in the last year

59% Of those who did upgrade, the majority upgraded to LinkedIn Recruiter Corporate.

How Large Is The Average Recruiters Network?

46% have more than 2000 connections

40% of those surveyed in 2016 had more than 2000 connections so its great to see that more
46% recruiters are reaching out and pushing that connect button!


22% have more than 5000 connections

This is also up from last years 15%. Recruiters are getting more exposure, showcasing their
22% trade and practicing what they preach.

Connections 14

15% 14% 10%

19% 17% 24%

21% 29%

<500 Connections 501 - 1000 Connections 1001 - 2000 Connections 2001 - 5000 Connections >5000 Connections

We can see that European recruiters are behind the pack when it comes to networking. What makes
recruiters in the US and Canada more likely to reach out and connect with people on LinkedIn?

However, in the last year recruiters in the EMEA regions have closed the gap and have increased their
average amount of connections. With 43% of EMEA recruiters boasting more than 2000 connections
compared to 35% in 2016. 15
How Relevant Are Job Boards?

Are job boards still relevant for the future of recruitment? Our report indicates that the vast majority of recruiters
still use job boards with 43% of recruiters using paid job boards on a regular basis as opposed to 37% in 2016.
However, when looking at the percentage of hires coming from job boards, only 12% of recruiters said they
filled more than half their positions via job boards.

There are a few reasons as to why theres a lack of hires coming from paid job boards. In todays
working world, employers have put more emphasis on hiring passive candidates. This is mostly
done by connecting with prospects on LinkedIn. It could also come down to the fact that only 41% of
recruiters are optimising their job advertisements. To optimise your job ads, why not include relevant
keywords and ensure your ad is clear and concise. Try to keep your job advertisement under 700 words
- youre not writing a book! 16
Messaging Apps Becoming More Common In Recruitment

The rise of social media has also meant a huge increase in the use of messaging apps today. Through messages
and calls - voice or video - messaging apps have become the most popular method of communication. Last year,
two-thirds of respondents (65%) reported using messaging tools during the recruitment process.

This years report sees an increase in recruiters using messaging tools (total 71%). Skype
(38%), WhatsApp (16%) and iMessage (11%) prove to be the most popular tools amongst
71% recruiters in 2017. The behavioural change within recruiters has shifted massively from our
survey in 2015 where only 38% of respondents used messaging tools at all. WhatsApp has
Increase in messaging
continued its impressive growth within recruitment, increasing by 5% compared to last years
apps use during 2017 survey. In time, with the help of data trends, we will be able to see the full effect of WhatsApp
and how its changing the behaviour of recruiters. 17
The Sourcing Funnel
So now that we know where and how recruiters are engaging with their
prospective candidates, what does all this information look like when we
translate it into that all-important sourcing funnel?

Candidates Contacted 63
From 2000 responses, we discovered that the recruiting funnel of the
average recruiter needs to identify 225 people just to make a single hire.
So what do we learn from all of this? Compared to 2016s survey results,
Candidate Responses 22
recruiters are receiving a higher response rate from their candidates. This
means that recruiters are writing more engaging material and catching
the candidates interest.
Submissions 6
Although a higher response rate is good news for recruiters, the
conversion rate is on par with 2016s 0.4%. So what can recruiters do to Interviews 4
fix this poor conversion rate?

Hires 1
Optimised search and engagement methods will help candidates carry
through more candidates from each level of the sourcing funnel to make
that critical hire.

Targeted searches can become more accurate with careful attention to

boolean strings and recruiters need to start getting cleverer with their
Conversion Rate
search tactics. 19
Now lets look at the sourcing funnel
breakdown of a super successful
Normal Recruiter Sourcing Funnel - VS - Super Recruiter Sourcing Funnel

225 91

Candidates Contacted 63 Candidates Contacted 33

Candidate Responses 22 Candidate Responses 28

Submissions 6 Submissions 6

Interviews 4 Interviews 4

Hires 1 Hires 1

Its a clear case of quality over quantity. Fewer candidates are identified in the first place but with higher
percentages making it through each level of the sourcing funnel- indicating a much higher calibre of candidate. 21
How Efficient Is Sourcing?

After breaking down the sourcing funnel we have to ask ourselves the important question- how efficient is

Our survey showed:

Recruiters contacted 28% 18% Is sourcing the best use of a
of their search 18% go forward
for interview recruiters time?

Only 34% of these candidates
replied. 22
Super Recruiter vs Normal Recruiter

What makes a super recruiter? Firstly, its important to define what a super recruiter is! For us, its a recruiter who
can deliver better results with less resources. We examined all the different stages in the recruiting funnel, trying
to identify those who were most efficient in delivering hires at the end of the funnel. Many factors contribute to
being a super recruiter and no one factor works on its own but to help us focus, we decided to test 4 potential

Incentives (the monetary motivation to be better)

Connections (in the age old debate of quantity vs quality, we put quantity to the test)
Tools (are super recruiters finding talent in mysterious place?)
Engagement (when they find the talent, what do they do differently?)

We measured all of our survey participants against these four differentiators. Although each of these play a part in
the role of a super recruiter- the difference between average recruiters and the best of the best is utilization. Super
recruiters are more likely to create a recruitment process that touches on all of these points rather than relying
more heavily on one than others. Super recruiters appear to be more diverse in every way and end up being more
than 4 times as efficient as the average recruiter! Heres some insight into how they do it! 23
Performance related incentives can come in many different shapes. Whilst 62% of participants receive
performance related pay, this had little impact on distinguishing the exceptional performers. Although recruiters
who have performance related pay do seem to deliver faster shortlists, their overall funnel is almost identical to
the average recruiter. Interestingly they do seem to work longer hours than average, but does this merely show
that brute force is not enough? Also, super recruiters are less likely to have performance related pay!

So, what about recruiters who have huge networks on places like LinkedIn? Does being connected to everyone in
your sector help improve your response rates and improve your ability to progress more candidates to a short list?
The answer is an emphatic NO. Quantity does not correlate. This begs the question, is it more about who you know
than how many you know?

When it comes to finding talent, great recruiters and average recruiters all seem to use LinkedIn. Nothing to learn
here. But what about other channels? Interestingly, whilst most recruiters are dropping their usage of sites like
Twitter and Google+ and only slowly adopting tools like Instagram and WhatsApp, super recruiters are all over
these tools. Where should we find our talent? The answer seems to be: everywhere! 24
First Contact with Candidates
Being multi-channel is the key; being over reliant on one channel seems to be bad; you have to know how to find
talent in all of the main channels!

3% 2% 0%


Normal Recruiter 50% Super Recruiter 48%



LinkedIn Mail LinkedIn Connection Request Email Phone Other 25

Whilst every recruiter loves InMail, Super recruiters are much more likely to also use other sources like email and
the phone. A multi-channel approach appears to drive better response rates and a leaner funnel all round. These
top performers also create a message that really connects with a candidate resulting in a 90% response rate. The
key to great engagement therefore seems to be a multi-channel sourcing and then multi-channel engagement

Other impacts to the super recruiter sourcing funnel

They work on more requisitions (14 for high-performers vs 12.9 average).

They fill them faster (34 days for HIPOs vs 32 average).

In short, these super recruiters work less hours, work on more roles and fill them faster than recruiters who have
to contact more than 4 times as many prospective candidates. Their effectiveness at finding perfect people first
and sending effective messages that converts to active candidates for consideration means their funnel is
more like a chute!

Super recruiters deliver higher quality candidates (Hiring Manager acceptance of shortlist is slightly higher (72.6%
shortlist to interview for HIPO, 63.8% average)), which suggests that they are acutely aligned with Hiring Managers,
responsive to their needs, know their talent market and have high capability to find, attract and engage prospective
candidates. They are truly working smarter by further refining their criteria at the top of the funnel before
embarking on a search exercise. 26
What does the sourcing funnel look like for recruiters in different countries?
Is your region more efficient than average?


273 250 159 255 170

Candidates Contacted 69 72 49 66 57

Candidate Responses 24 23 21 22 24

Submissions 6 6 5 7 7

Interviews 4 4 3 4 5

Hires 2 1 1 1 1 27
Super Recruiters vs Bots

Like every industry, recruitment is undergoing a revolution thanks to increasingly accessible and cheaper
technologies. This has a big impact on the way we work and is going to force recruiters to start changing the way
they work to capitalise on this.

As the cost of automation is lowering, and the potential returns increasing, the recruitment industry is perfectly
poised for digital disruption. Companies are creating budgets to invest in new technologies that can automate
processes and take over the painstaking, error prone admin work. So what can recruiters do to future-proof
themselves against the implementation of bots? Remember bots arent distracted by emotion, time, bias
(conscious or unconscious) and basic human error.

This is where the super recruiters flair for engagement really comes into play. With a response rate of +81% from
their messaging efforts and their expertise at mastering multiple touch points it shows that human interaction
could be one of our greatest strengths in the face of an increasingly mechanical future.

Dont follow the average recruiter results. Use that to form a new low standard- this is what the exceptional
recruiters do and this is how they will future proof their careers! 28
Social Media Restrictions

Many companies have prohibited social media within the workplace to discourage distraction. For recruiters and
HR professionals, there is a fine balance between savvy sourcing and pointless procrastination.

Three years ago, 31% of companies restricted recruitment professionals from using social media within the
workplace. Only 13% of recruiters encountered social media restrictions in 2016, although that figure has
risen to 19% in 2017. The rise in restrictions might be down to security breaches on social media, including the
increase in scams and fraudulent behaviour.

Make or Break - First Impressions

First impressions have a massive part to play in the hiring process. This is especially the case when a recruiter first
sets out to source a candidate.

Most recruiters today (85%) use InMail or add their potential candidate as a connection on LinkedIn as their first
point of contact. Recruiters who engage with candidates using email as their first point of contact has fallen to 10%
from last year (14%). Only 3% of respondents pick up the phone to reach out to their candidates.

So what does this tell us about how recruiters feel about the candidates first impression of them?
Clearly, the time-poor recruiter prefers a more distant virtual approach than the recruiter of the past who
was much more likely to reach out in person via phone. 29
Maximising Response Rates

2017 2016






30% 43% 36% 31% 36% 35% 29% 32%

Phone Email InMail LinkedIn

As we can see responses from phone calls has decreased, while InMail and email have seen slight increases.
This shows that recruiters are writing better messages and sparking more engagement from candidates through
good messaging techniques.

Now that phone, InMail and email share the top of the poll for engagement results- its time for recruiters to try a
creative mix of all three. This combination should prove a winning formula for candidates and recruiter alike. 30
5 Key Takeaways
The Tech Sector is Booming!
Technology is booming! So much so that its the number one sector to recruit for (19%). Highly
anticipated developments such as Artificial Intelligence, The Internet of Things and Augmented Reality
have seen a significant increase in tech jobs. Engineering (10%) and Sales/Marketing (10%) follow
closely in joint second.

Recruiters Come in All Shapes and Sizes

Recruitment has been around the block for a long time. There are more agencies today than ever
before which shows how far the recruitment industry has grown in recent times. 26% of recruiters
who completed our survey work in a large company of up to 10,000 people, whereas 23% of recruiters
who completed our survey work in a small company of up to 50 people.

Recruiters Know Their Trade!

Yes, thats right - recruiters are doing a fantastic job with hiring managers trusting their choice of
candidates. So much so that on average, over 75% or more of the candidates submitted by recruiters
are interviewed. Pretty impressive, eh? 32
LinkedIn Reigns Supreme
LinkedIn is the holy grail for recruiters and its been a key tool in their toolbox for years. 90% of our
respondents use LinkedIn as their first point of call when looking for new talent. You can class yourself
as a bit of a black sheep if youre a recruiter and dont have a LinkedIn account. 97% noted that they
have a LinkedIn account, with the majority opting for a basic account.

Recruiting on Facebook
More recruiters are utilising the wonders of social networking giant Facebook, to construct and power
a talent pipeline. 54% of recruiters are using Facebook to approach talent. On the other hand, 61% of
candidates admit to accepting an approach from a recruiter regarding a job. 33
As we look back through the results of this survey, its clear to see that there are some
BIG changes happening within recruitment. One huge factor in all of this is that digital
disruption is changing the face of recruitment. Digital technologies are revolutionising the
recruitment industry and making it a smarter place for people to work. The most important
aspect of technology disruption however, is to analyse and measure the impact it has
on the way people perform. This is crucial to helping us understand the impact on the
recruitment industry. Its important for recruiters to embrace the digital change and disrupt
traditional methods of thinking. Its time for a fresh approach!

Thank You. 35
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