Most U.S. Companies Planning Significant Recruiting in 2012

HR professionals identify areas for improvement in recruiting, relocation

By SHRM Online staff May 7, 2012
Corporate recruiting is moving into high gear, with two-thirds of surveyed human resource professionals reporting that they have “extensive” or “moderate” plans for hiring in 2012, according to the 2012 Allied Workforce Mobility Survey released April 30, 2012.

Large companies—with more than 10,000 employees—are more bullish than others, with 80 percent planning for “extensive” or “moderate” recruiting.

The survey of 500 HR professionals, sponsored by Allied Van Lines, focused on topics related to workforce mobility, with the first set of results addressing recruiting and relocation.

Most HR professionals do not see significant obstacles to relocation in today’s economic environment. Only 6 percent said they believe that today’s workforce is not willing to relocate, and most see it as “highly mobile” or “somewhat mobile.”

In addition, 59 percent reported that the current economic context has had “no impact” on their ability to recruit and hire.

Meeting the Challenge—Not

The results suggest a busy, challenging recruiting environment in 2012, with several areas of concern, including high unemployment and a soft real estate market. But not all companies are ready for this challenging environment. Respondents identified weaknesses or areas for improvement in many recruiting and relocation programs.

For example, many companies lack confidence in their recruiting programs. Fifty-two percent of surveyed HR professionals said their recruiting programs are only “somewhat successful.”

Recruiting success is not as high as it could be. Even “highly successful” recruiting programs lose one in four choice candidates, and companies in the bottom quartile lose about one in two, according to the survey report.

In addition, recruiting incentives, including benefits packages, could be stronger at many companies. Respondents reported that they have low confidence even in the incentives they rank the highest. Only 27 percent rate their health care plans a 5 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the strongest, and they rate other incentives even lower.

Nor do many relocation packages address some key areas, such as spousal employment support. Only 2 percent of companies cover this in any form, reported survey respondents, while only 16 percent will assume a loss for a recruit’s underwater mortgage.

And companies are not using all the recruiting tools that they could. While “highly successful” recruiting programs make use of a wide range of resources, “somewhat successful” programs scarcely tap into internal recruiters, external recruiters, career fairs and events, and social media, results show.

Taken as a whole, the survey suggested many opportunities for differentiation among companies heading into a competitive recruiting period.

Bigger Typically Means Better

Best-in-class companies are usually larger. They spend more, recruit and relocate more, and cast their nets more widely geographically. Yet, best-in-class companies also are found among companies with revenues under $1 billion, and even under $100 million. About one-third of companies in these categories are best-in-class in recruiting, according to surveyed HR professionals who rated their programs.

What are the best-in-class companies doing?

Investing attention, time and money in talent acquisition.

Developing career paths and corporate cultures that are as attractive as the salaries and benefits offered.

Adopting relocation practices that differentiate them from the competition.

Companies interested in differentiating themselves in recruiting and relocation might consider addressing these findings:

Only 38 percent of HR professionals rate social media as a “good” or “excellent” source for recruiting, which suggests that these resources are underutilized.

Recruits in need of relocation have diverse needs, yet most companies do not offer a range of benefits tailored to specific types of recruits (e.g., married with children vs. single). Seventy-two percent of programs offer only four of 10 possible relocation benefits listed in the survey.

While 69 percent of HR professionals said that selling a home restricts relocation, only 16 percent of companies offer any form of reimbursement for sold-home losses.

While 72 percent of HR professionals said children’s plans and schools restrict relocation, only 39 percent of companies offer information on area schools.

Other survey results were scheduled to be released in May and June 2012 on


Job Finder

Find an HR Job Near You
Post a Job


Find the Right Vendor for Your HR Needs

SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies

Search & Connect