Sector-specific analyzes

December 2013

Is “Cooptation” the answer to my recruitment needs in 2014?

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My HR team’s schedule is packed, and so is my agenda as head of recruitment. The plethora of job boards, HR web sites, recruitment agencies and headhunting firms continues to explode. How can I structure my recruitment campaign and find the right profiles? A recent APEC study caught my attention. It mentioned “cooptation”, a network-based recruitment system in which members, called “coopters”, are financially rewarded for recommending successful candidates.

APEC’s “Sourcing Managers 2013” study indicates that today, more than ever, a multi-channel approach to job postings is a necessity.

Two particular methods of sourcing, however, have shown strong gains since 2011: recruitment networks and cooptation. These two methods alone represent 30% of candidates recruited today.


Recommendations are a key asset.

Jobvite’s Social Recruiting Survey 2013, which involved 1600 recruitment and HR professionals in the USA, confirmed the APEC results as a real trend.

The three channels on which recruiters declared investing the most in 2013:

  1. Social networks (73%)
  2. Recommendations (62%)
  3. Their career site (61%)

Some 64% of recruiters said their top candidates came from recommendations. The recommended candidates were also hired more quickly (29 days for a recommended candidate, 39 days for a candidate from a job board, 45 days for a candidate that posted via a career site) and remained longer at the company (43% stayed longer than three years, compared with 14% for candidates from job boards).

Some 68% of the companies offered compensation for recommendations, such as a bonus or other form of remuneration.

“The first characteristic of a good coopter is not to be a bonus hunter but rather a distributor of opportunities. The recommendation bonus, called a “keyprime” at Keycoopt, rewards the coopter when their candidate is recruited, but it is only there to highlight the collaborative model of this approach. It is an important lever but cannot in itself be the driving force,” says Keycoopt’s Nicolas Crestel.


The difficult art of cooptation…

“A bad recommendation hurts both parties: first, the coopter, whose expertise suffers because of the failure to identify the right profile; then the cooptee, because a bad recommendation means a lot of wasted time. A good recommendation calls for an awareness of one’s network, as well as a bit of know-how and reflection,” adds Nicolas Crestel.

Such results incite me to develop my own sense of cooptation and take a greater interest in the top profiles in my network. … I’m writing that down in my HR plan for 2014!

Sources: Etude Sourcing Cadres APEC 2013, Keycoopt, The social referral /March 2013


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