New Herefish and Bullhorn Research Finds Proactively Engaging Candidates Could Help Combat the Talent Shortage

Findings Confirm Opportunities to Engage Passive Candidates and Turn Them into Quality Talent

BOSTON – MAY 15, 2017 – Herefish, the company that helps deliver the ROI on candidate engagement, and Bullhorn®, the cloud computing company that helps staffing and recruiting organizations transform their businesses, have released new research about how staffing and recruiting firms proactively engage their candidates amid today’s talent shortage. Unlocking their competitive advantage of candidate relationships, staffing and recruiting firms that proactively engage their candidates are 63 percent more likely to have their applicant tracking system (ATS) be their top source of hire over outside sources.

According to the research from 500 staffing and recruiting firms across various industries and skillsets, most companies rely heavily on outside sources such as job boards and LinkedIn because they provide steady flows of candidates actively seeking jobs. However, candidate relationships are more important than active searches. Eighty percent of firms acknowledged that proactively engaging their candidates is valuable to their overall business, and 83 percent of respondents believed their ATS data is valuable.

“Finding enough qualified talent is the number one problem facing recruiters and employers,” said Jason Heilman, co-founder of Herefish, a Bullhorn Marketplace partner. “By proactively engaging with their talent pool, staffing and recruiting firms have an opportunity to leverage their own databases to identify the top talent in their markets. Strengthening candidate relationships helps firms create a competitive advantage in the global fight for talent. In the current candidate climate, firms can’t just search their databases for long-forgotten candidates and expect to hire them. Regularly nurturing these candidates not only keeps relationships warm, but also alerts recruiters for when they might be ready for a new opportunity.”

When asked about the methods used to proactively engage candidates, 59 percent of respondents said email is the most effective communication channel, but only 32 percent of firms said they regularly send emails. Eighty-four percent of respondents admitted that email marketing to candidates would be valuable.

The research also suggested that many staffing and recruiting firms aren’t proactively engaging with candidates in their databases because marketing departments typically manage this type of proactive communication.

Only 44 percent of firms reported that they have a full-time marketer or marketing department and 14 percent don’t market at all. When there isn’t a full-time staff marketer, the marketing functions fall on busy executives (38 percent), operational employees (21 percent), recruiters and salespeople (19 percent), and outsourced resources (8 percent). Companies with a marketer are 86 percent more likely to regularly send emails and 42 percent more likely to have a formal referral program in place, providing more opportunities to deepen candidate relationships.

The research also supplemented one of the findings about leveraging existing candidate databases that Bullhorn reported in its recent “2017 North American Staffing & Recruiting Trends Report: Above and Beyond Business as Usual.” Sixty-six percent of North American staffing and recruiting firms said they make more than 25 percent of their total placements from candidates already in their ATS and 38 percent of firms fill more than 50 percent of positions from candidates in their ATS.

For more information about the research, please visit and

About Herefish

Herefish gives recruiting and staffing firms the tools to automate, measure, and consistently engage with contacts and candidates in their database, leading to better hires and better relationships. An industry leader, started by recruiting software veterans, Herefish serves as a technology and strategic partner to medium and enterprise staffing firms, helping to increase ROI and complement other recruiting marketing efforts. To learn more, visit or follow @herefish_ on Twitter.

About Bullhorn

Bullhorn is the global leader in CRM and operations software for the staffing industry. More than 7,000 staffing companies rely on Bullhorn’s cloud-based platform to drive sales, build relationships, and power their recruitment processes from end to end. Headquartered in Boston, with offices around the world, Bullhorn employs more than 600 people globally. The company is founder-led and backed by Vista Equity Partners. To learn more, visit or follow @Bullhorn on Twitter.