HR directors still favour traditional hiring methods such as job adverts and recruitment consultancy over referrals and word of mouth, according to a study from recruitment company Robert Half UK.

The survey of HR directors showed that less than a fifth (17%) of management-level and staff-level job openings are filled through referrals, whether from employee recommendations or personal networks.

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.”

Robert Half offers the following tips to employers looking to make the perfect hire:

1) Have an accurate job description

A specific job description is helpful to attract the right candidate for the role, know the skills, attributes and experience level required provide a clear overview of your expectations.

2) Evaluate effectively

Ensure the right business decision-makers are involved in the hiring process from the very beginning. This way candidates can be evaluated effectively throughout the process.

3) Ensure you have sign off ahead of time

Companies need to act swiftly when recruiting as skilled candidates are often receiving multiple offers. Removing any barriers to providing the right candidate with a competitive offer will go a long way to securing the top choice.

4) Notice the little things

The little things like careless spelling mistakes and typos on their CV, their written and verbal communication and their non-verbal cues during the interview can provide valuable insight on whether the potential candidate would be a good fit with the company.