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New Study Highlights Challenges, Opportunities for Staffing Firms

Okay, so there’s good news and there’s not-great-but-not-necessarily-bad-but-really-mostly-just-good-to-know-for-future-reference news for staffing firms… 

While awareness and satisfaction levels for staffing firms have increased over the past year (that’s the good news), a new survey by CareerBuilder and Inavero Institute indicates there’s still a lot of room for improvement in these areas (that’s…well, you get it)

 “While staffing firms have done a better job delivering their value to clients, job seekers, however, are still looking for a more engaging and positive experience,” said Todd McCormick, president of CareerBuilder’s Recruiter Business Unit.

CareerBuilder and Inavero surveyed more than 2,100 staffing industry clients and 19,000 job candidates nationwide over the course of four years, and published the results in the newly released Opportunities in Staffing 2009: a Comprehensive Guide to Clients and Candidates.  “This guide is designed to identify opportunities to expand business and support the continued growth of staffing firms in the recruitment arena,” said McCormick.  

Looking at the client and candidate perceptions and opinions of the staffing industry, highlighted in the guide, it seems as though those opportunities lie in at least three major areas:  

Branding efforts:

  • While staffing firm awareness and utilization is up slightly among job seekers, the study found that 78 percent of job seekers still don’t utilize a staffing firm as part of their job search. Lack of awareness and misconceptions about staffing firms are common reasons for not utilizing staffing firms as part of their job search.
  • The survey also found that, while awareness of staffing firms among clients has increased since last year, the survey showed that no staffing firm is “top of mind” (first brand mentioned) with more than 5 percent of clients.
  • These findings indicate that staffing firms need to extend their branding efforts across the board – targeting both clients as well as candidates.

Social media presence:

  • The average job candidate spends more than five hours on social media sites each week; however, only one in five organizations indicated utilizing social networking as part of their recruiting strategy.
  • By ignoring the influence and prominence of social media in job seekers’ everyday lives, organizations are missing out on an opportunity to tap into a significant talent base.

Candidate sourcing:

  • The survey found that the majority of candidates (84 percent) utilize more than three resources as part of their job search, indicating staffing firms need to expand their efforts and reach out to candidates through a number of different means. (Seems utilizing social media would be a good start…See above.)

For more findings or information on the study itself, download a free executive summary here or go here to see the press release.

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.


  1. [...] to a recent study performed by CareerBuilder and Inavero, “The average job candidate spends more than five hours on [...]

  2. [...] CareerBuilder study of 19,000 candidates seeking employment showed that almost 78% of job seekers don’t work [...]

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