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Less than one in five jobs are filled by word of mouth

The study, conducted amongst HR directors, reveals that the vast majority (78%) of HR directors hire fewer than one fifth (17%) of their managerial and staff-level roles through word of mouth.

Management-level candidates in the Midlands, London and the South-East will struggle the most to gain new positions through referral with HR directors stating that around one in ten (13%) roles are filled by word of mouth.

When it comes to staff-level jobs, only 15% of jobs in the South West and Wales are likely to be filled by word of mouth followed by only one in ten (11%) in the Midlands. One in five (21%) HR directors in the North report slightly more positions secured by referral, closely followed by those in London, the South East and Scotland (19%). 

Phil Sheridan, UK managing director at Robert Half, said, “Business confidence is improving, accelerating the demand for skilled professionals above current supply levels. While candidates have more avenues available to them today, through technology and social media, working directly with a recruitment consultancy when looking for a job still provides added value. Recruitment consultancies are highly knowledgeable of current hiring trends and have access to the hidden employment market, including jobs that go unadvertised and professionals who are not actively looking for work. Their deep networks and knowledge of the industry, afford them the personal understanding to identify the right match between employer and employee.”

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