Let's Get Together
A Survey of CI Practices by Senior Internal Recruiters
Some Early WCI Benchmarks
Workforce Competitive Intelligence™ (WCI)
is the effective application of competitive intelligence practices
within the human capital function of the company. As you will see
in the survey results below, only a relative handful of America's
leading companies take full advantage of this rich opportunity
to gain fresh, actionable, relevant intelligence about their competitive
There is as yet a scarcity of research about CI-HR
collaborative practices in corporations. To help fill this void,
RivalScape conducted two original small-scale surveys in 2004:
written survey of senior corporate recruiting officers, reported
- A telephone survey of corporate
CI officers at best-of-breed
talent management companies, also reported on this site
to conduct more benchmark and follow-up surveys about this emerging
field in the future. We publish our survey results and commentary
on this website with the hope that those interested in the field
Survey Results: Corporate Recruiters and Competitive
On June 9, 2004, RivalScape consultants presented
to a group of 50 senior corporate recruiting officers from very
large companies who gather regularly to discuss best practices.
The topic was "workforce
competitive intelligence" and how it can benefit an internal
corporate HR or recruiting function.
Before we began our presentation,
we conducted a paper and pencil survey of the attendees to gauge
the group's current level
of sophistication with competitive intelligence. The responses
were anonymous, and were tabulated and presented to the participants
at the end of the presentation.
Later, we cross-tabbed the responses
to develop a deeper insight. These results were shared with the
participants by email.
We provide below the survey questions, raw
percentage responses, and RivalScape analysis of the survey results.
ASKED OF SENIOR INTERNAL RECRUITING OFFICERS:
Does your company have a formal process, an informal
no process that routinely captures the marketplace knowledge
that resides within your internal recruiting staff?
FORMAL PROCESS: 14
INFORMAL PROCESS: 10 %
NO PROCESS: 74%
Comments: The internal
recruiting staff presents a golden opportunity to become more savvy
about the external environment. Yet a surprisingly large majority
of these senior recruiting officers are completely missing out
on this ripe intelligence resource. Ten percent indicated that
they do talk to internal recruiters about competitors, but only
on an ad hoc basis. That group would greatly benefit by making
the process more systematic, routinized and focused.
2: Do you
have a formal process in your company that identifies, analyzes
and possibly interviews competitor employees who have applied through
your applicant tracking system?
YES: 14 %
NO: 86 %
it make sense to at least be aware of your competitors' employees
who have expressed an interest in working for your company? What
trends are appearing? Do you see a mass exodus of IT staff from
your competitor, for example? What does this say about the technology
direction of the firm? As our Richard Horowitz
nothing inherently wrong in talking about the competitive landscape
with employees at other companies. As long as there is no deceptive
on (see Fordyce Letter article on this
site), nor any attempt to induce the employee to violate an NDA,
you're on solid ground
to learn what you can from these encounters.
3: Do you have a
formal process in your company that identifies, contacts and interviews
newly-hired employees who have come from critical positions at
YES: 32 %
NO: 68 %
Comments: About one third
of the group engages in this valuable competitor
alumni interviewing process. But the
cross-tab here yielded an interesting fact: The large majority
of those senior recruiters
who answered YES and are conducting this valuable CI activity have
never worked with or even coordinated these activities with their
internal CI unit! This is a situation that cries out for "silo
the intelligence value of this type of information could be greatly
increased with the CI unit's involvement.
4: Do you have
a formal process in your company that maintains an up-to-date talent
inventory of critical positions at your competitors?
YES: 4 %
Comments: This appears
to be virtually unexplored territory for senior corporate recruiting
officers. And that's a pity,
because the competitive knowledge derived is valuable not only
from a recruiting standpoint, but equally from a corporate strategy
perspective. After cross-tabulating, we saw that the two companies
who answered YES to this question are quite sophisticated in terms
of other workforce competitive intelligence activities as well.
No surprise there!
5: Do you have a Competitive Intelligence
(CI) unit at your firm?
YES: 44 %
NO: 40 %
DON'T KNOW 16 %
yet another big opportunity area for senior corporate recruiting
officers. First of all, if you don't
know whether or not your company has a CI function, find out! And
if you do, get together. A simple chat to discuss possibilities
of collaboration on competitive workforce issues could yield tangible
benefits for both functions. And if your company does not have
an in-house competitive intelligence activity, perhaps HR should
take the initiative and bring the power of CI to the company by
starting a Workforce Competitive Intelligence™ program.
6: Of those who said YES to Q 5, have you
ever worked with or coordinated with this CI unit in any way?
NO: 42 %
Comments: Even among senior corporate recruiters
who know they have a CI unit at their firm, almost half do not
interact with them. Again, our recommendation is to get these
people together; make your CI unit part of the personal internal
network for every senior corporate recruiting officer.