HCI Press Releases

HCI's Study Recommends "High Tech, High-Touch" Strategy for Most Effective $100K+ Recruiting

Research Offers Insights and Recruiting Strategies for Expanding $100K+ Job Market

Author: HCI  |  Source: HCI  |  Published: October 20, 2009

Washington, D.C. - October 20, 2009 - Results from a forthcoming study by the Human Capital Institute (HCI), a global professional association and educator advancing the science of strategic talent management, indicates that a growing number of skilled, six-figure earners is requiring employers to rethink their high level hiring strategies, turning to cost effective and time efficient tools to access, source and hire qualified candidates.

According to the research report, titled "$100K+ High Level Recruiting: What's Working and Why," there are greater numbers of high level skilled knowledge workers, including managers, professionals and executives, than ever before, and many of them are joining the ranks of those earning $100,000 or more in yearly salary. To recruit these workers efficiently and effectively, organizations must optimize their $100K+ recruitment strategies for today and the future - yet most have not yet done so.

"We found that current practices are either ineffective or will become un-scalable as hiring in this category grows," writes Allan Schweyer, the study's author. "An evolved approach is necessary if organizations are to optimally manage future high level hiring. Our research suggests that $100k+ hiring is becoming a category that recruiters need to consider separately."

The research examined $100k+ recruitment strategies and trends through a survey of nearly 250 HCI members, in-person interviews with a dozen industry experts, and a comprehensive review of secondary sources. HCI collaborated on the study with TheLadders.com, the world's leading online service catering exclusively to the $100k+ job market.

Summary of Findings: Quality Candidates, Cost Effectiveness and Time Efficiency are Key

  • Quality, Not Quantity: More than half of respondents cited "quality of candidates" and/or "availability of candidates" as their greatest challenges - despite the recession.
  • Recruiting Fees Are Cost Prohibitive: A majority of respondents moderately or strongly agree that external recruitment agencies do not represent a scalable solution for their $100k-$300k hiring due to high fees. Among respondents, almost half do not use external agencies at all, or use them very rarely because they are too expensive.
  • Trend Toward In-House Recruiting: A trend emerged of moving away from over-reliance on external recruiters, toward the development of an internal recruiting organization that is capable of high level and executive recruiting.
  • Large Job Boards Create Application Overload: Today's primary complaint among recruiters and hiring managers who use large, public job boards for high level hiring is the inundation of resumes they receive when they post a position, and the ensuing cost and challenge of sifting appropriate candidates from the "pile" of applications received. For senior level recruiting, respondents also cited the lack of qualified candidates received from large, public job boards.
  • Specialized $100K+ Job Websites Prove Effective: Specialized job sites, especially those that cater mainly or specifically to $100K+ jobs, are more effective than large, public boards in this category of hire, especially to the degree that they ensure their candidates are screened. Survey respondents and interviewees report that specialized job sites and services save them time by delivering targeted, senior candidates who are either actively or semi-actively seeking new positions.
  • Social Networking Usage Up but Time Consuming: A majority of respondents use social networking sites in recruitment. More than half report that social networking sites can be effective in providing quality senior level prospects, despite the time it generally takes to sift through candidates.
    Recruiting is More Science than Art: When looking at the pros and cons of each of the main recruiting tools, it is always the right, strategic combination of these tools that builds the most effective talent acquisition program rather than mastery and use of one or two alone.

Recommendations for Six-Figure Recruiting

Though each organization has different hiring needs and budgets, the researchers make three clear recommendations for cost-effective hiring of entry- to mid-level professionals in the $100k-$300K salary range:

  • Adopt a Hybrid Model: Organizations should consider a hybrid approach - combining hands-on screening of candidates with the cost-effective sourcing and hiring offered by job websites - for $100k-$300K recruiting, at least on a pilot basis, to determine whether it works for their particular needs.
  • Hands-On Screening Critical at High End: As the position in question moves from the lower to the higher end of the salary range, the hybrid approach should utilize more hands-on screening in proportion to job website sourcing. Ultimately, at the $300k range and higher, the usefulness of the job website component drops away: Filling the position should then become a task for an external or internal executive recruiter with his or her own talent networks and professional relationships.
  • Private Social Networking Augments Traditional Efforts: Private social networking capabilities can enhance these efforts. A qualified and active $100k+ recruiting service represents a community of highly sought-after senior knowledge workers and executives.? By combining the best features of a job website (without the inundation of candidates) with executive search (without the high costs) and a private social network, recruiters and top talent can interact directly.

A full copy of "$100K+ High Level Recruiting: What's Working and Why" is available to interested members of the media. For more information please visit www.hci.org or call 1.866.538.1909.

About the Human Capital Institute:
The Human Capital Institute (HCI) is a catalyst for innovative new thinking in talent acquisition, development, deployment and new economy leadership. Through research and collaboration, our global network of more than 160,000 members develops and promotes creativity, best and next practices, and actionable solutions in strategic talent management. Executives, practitioners, and thought leaders representing organizations of all sizes, across public, charitable and government sectors, utilize HCI communities, education, events and research to foster talent advantages to ensure organizational change for competitive results. In tandem with these initiatives, HCI's Human Capital Strategist professional certifications and designations set the bar for expertise in talent strategy, acquisition, development and measurement. www.hci.org

Yemil Martinez