deciding on the right recruitment channel

The key to communicating your vacancies successfully lies in using the right channel. Increasingly, this means digital media rather than print media.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) reports the most effective methods for attracting candidates are still corporate websites and recruitment agencies, with a marked increase in the use of professional online sites like LinkedIn and commercial job boards as traditional press advertising declines.

Methods for advertising on the internet range from using an online jobs board to the company’s own website, which is more popular with larger employers. 

According to analysis for 2016-17 by the Department of Jobs and Small Businesses, the majority of jobs are advertised widely, with employers sometimes using a number of channels to advertise a vacancy, including newspapers and recruitment sites. Social media accounts for 9% of vacancies advertised.

For some vacancies, employers use recruitment agencies (11%, including labour hire firms) or Australian Government employment services providers (4%) to recruit staff. Employment services providers also offer job search advice and training to help job seekers find work. 

Other vacancies are ‘hidden’ due to employers relying on more informal recruitment methods. These include word of mouth (2%) by asking existing employees, friends, or family members if they know anyone who may be interested in the position. Employers fill 11% of positions with job seekers who have approached the business to ask about potential job opportunities and an equal percentage use recruitment agencies and newspaper adverts.

Operating an effective internal labour market – encouraging existing employees to apply for posts – will increase the chance to develop new skills, experience and promotion opportunities. Developing an internal labour market also has the benefits of building engagement and promoting the employer brand. 

Referrals from employees are also increasingly recognised as an effective way (not least in terms of cost) of attracting candidates via people’s acquaintances in the same field or range of professional network contacts. Employer brand will play its role in this, and can be boosted by using company websites to communicate the vision, values and culture of an organisation rather than just list ‘latest vacancies’.

recruitment channels used by employers

internet50%
referrals and word of mouth 18%
newspaper advertisements17%
employment agencies12%
social media9%
unsolicited applications9%


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