Recruiting Trends: A Brief Survey

Will you help me ? and your fellow readers? This has been an extraordinary year ? a year of tragedies and events that were unimaginable. Because of the many changes that the recruiting profession has gone through, I am asking your help in preparing an end-of-the-year article that will attempt to summarize and capture some of the key transformations, changes, events, and trends that we have experienced as recruiters over the past 12 months. If you have a few moments, please look over the questions below and send me an email letting me know what you think about those that interest you. I will distill and summarize the results, and the week after next I will write a column that sums up 2001 and will try to provide some thoughts on where we are headed in 2002. There are quite a few questions, and I know many of you are too busy to answer them all. I would appreciate answers to any you have time for. If you would prefer that I call and talk to you, please send me an email and I will set something up. I would like to wrap this all up in the next week, so speed is essential. I will list all the organizations and people that helped in this endeavor (of course, only with your permission). Staff Skills and Size

  1. Is your recruiting staff smaller, the same size, or larger than last year? Have you been affected by layoffs?
  2. Are you looking for the same kinds of people to do recruiting as in the past? What are you looking for as primary skills?
  3. What training course would you like to see recruiters take?
  4. How are you leveraging the smaller staff that you have?


  1. What is the most commonly used sourcing method in your company or organization?
  2. What do you do to attract passive candidates?
  3. How is the Internet being used as a sourcing tool?
  4. Are there plenty of qualified people looking for work due to the recession or are there still shortages? If so, in what areas?
  5. How concerned are you about a talent shortage over the next 2 years?
  6. Are you using Service Level Agreements (SLAs) or other written agreements with hiring managers?


  1. Are you using screening tools/tests? If so, what types/kinds?
  2. Do you use online or paper-based tools?
  3. Are you planning to use or increase the use of screening tools next year? If so, why?

Branding and the Web

  1. Do you have a “branding” effort underway? Did you have it all year? What did it consist of?
  2. How important is your recruiting website to your sourcing success?


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  1. Do you have an applicant tracking system? Which one are you using?
  2. What were (are) the characteristics most important to you in choosing an automated system?
  3. Will you buy a new system in the next year?

Talent Strategy

  1. Do you (or your company) have a talent strategy?
  2. Is the acquisition of people considered a strategic, top-level issue?
  3. Do you have a robust people-planning process?

Candidate Satisfaction

  1. Is candidate satisfaction an issue for you or your company?
  2. How do you measure it?


  1. What are you measuring about recruiting?
  2. What is your organization’s most important single measure of recruiting success?

Thank you for your help. Please send answers or requests for an interview to me at

Kevin Wheeler is a globally known speaker, author, futurist, and consultant in talent management, human capital acquisition and learning & development. He has founded a number of organizations including the Future of Talent Institute, Global Learning Resources, Inc. and the Australasian Talent Conference, Ltd. He hosts Future of Talent Retreats in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. He writes frequently on LinkedIn, is a columnist for, keynotes, and speaks at conferences and events globally, and advises firms on talent strategy. He has authored two books and hundreds of articles and white papers. He has a new book on recruiting that will be out in late summer of 2016. Prior to his current work, he had a 20+year corporate career in several San Francisco area tech and financial service firms. He has also been on the faculty of San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco. He can be reached at


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