Nothing beats the personal touch in filling vacancies

Some HR staff in the US are getting so desperate they are touring places of
worship to secure new staff. But research by the SHRM has found that the most
successful search tactics are networking and personal contacts are the most
effective search tactics.

The survey shows that 95 per cent of HR professionals use personal contacts
or networking to fill positions. The same percentage of job-seekers use these
methods to find employment.

Of the 20 search tactics included in the survey, 61 per cent of HR
professions rated this method as the most effective, compared with 78 per cent
of job-seekers.

Newspaper adverts are used by 96 per cent of HR professionals, while 88 per
cent use the Internet.

SHRM president Helen Drinan, said, "Despite recently announced layoffs,
employers still face a tight labour market and it is imperative that HR
professionals know where to find potential recruits.

"Even though job-seekers and HR professionals are both using the Web
and traditional search tactics, such as newspapers and head-hunters, the
importance of personal contacts cannot be underestimated."

The survey also shows that more than 90 per cent of the 566 HR staff
questioned use employee referrals.

Nearly a quarter of HR staff use places of worship to search for job
applicants, but only 6 per cent claim it is effective. An "open
house" approach is used by more than a third of HR professionals and 30
per cent use job hotlines.

The survey says employers focus on more formal, measurable search methods,
rather than advertising or posting notices in places such as supermarkets.

Although HR professionals and job seekers use the same tactics, people
looking for positions use many more search tactics than employers realise.
Job-seekers polled a higher usage percentage for all 20 search tactics than HR
professionals.

www.shrm.org/surveys

By Paul Nelson

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