An Industry on the Upswing: Bullhorn’s 2010 Staffing and Recruiting Trends Survey Results

Bullhorn recently released its annual report covering agencies’ performance, goals, and business practices, as well as individual compensation. The data, which was taken from Bullhorn’s annual staffing and recruiting survey, revealed overall positive figures from 2010 and goals for the year ahead, indicating that the industry as a whole is progressing.

Two thirds of survey respondents reported that their firms either met or exceeded their 2010 revenue goals. Most posted aggressive 2011 revenue goals, with many adopting a back-to-basics approach to best take advantage of the recovering market.

Interestingly, the results found that recruiters are increasing their use of social media for finding candidates and clients, though many still struggle to maximize effectiveness. As well, respondents spent less time on sales, on average, than in 2009 as hiring freezes began to thaw and work shifted to filling job orders. 

Among some of the decisions made by firms in 2010 that attributed to success were:

  • Expansion into different types of recruiting: “Moving beyond our retained search roots paid off for our firm,” said one firm co-founder. “We normally focus on direct hires, but have had a lot of success recently supplying temps while hiring freezes are still on,” noted a clerical-focused company.
  • Adding staff and upgrading technology: it was a much better year for adding to staff and bringing recruiting technology up to speed.
  • Developing closer relationships with existing clients: recruiters were more able to give undivided attention to a specific job order, resulting in quicker placement and improving client satisfaction.

Also on a positive note, more than half of respondents — 56% to be exact — reported that their total compensation increased in 2010 over 2009, and 88% believe it will increase in 2011.

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Recruiters continue to rely most on their established networks to find candidates; job boards and social media were tied for least effective, though ironically, 85% of respondents reported that social media will be an increased part of their recruiting efforts in 2011. When it comes to business development, networking events and professional organization membership continue to be the leading sources for finding new clients.

Some challenges to look for in 2011 include:

  • Lack of hiring: many mentioned a continued scarcity of job openings.
  • In-house competition: more companies are opting (at the moment) to use internal recruiters rather than outside ones.
  • Lack of qualified candidates: there is still a belief that with the baby boomers retiring, there will be a shortage of talent at the top levels.
  • Fee erosion: staffing firms are struggling to maintain fee structures; a lot of companies have slashed their fee structures to gain business.
  • Evolving technology: more firms are having trouble staying current with rapidly changing technology, even though they realize that technology will play an increasingly important role in their everyday work.

Bullhorn posted further survey detail on the company’s website. Follow this link to break results down by industry and company size and download the full report.

Amybeth Quinn began her career in sourcing working within the agency world as an Internet Researcher. Since 2002, she has worked in both agency and corporate sourcing and recruiting roles as both individual contributor and manager, and also served previously as the editor of The Fordyce Letter, FordyceLetter.com and SourceCon.com, with ERE Media. These days she's working on some super cool market intelligence and data analytics projects. You can connect with her on Twitter at @researchgoddess.

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