A recent study from research and consulting firm Bersin & Associates revealed some important trends in the recruiting and staffing industry.

Researchers found that companies are increasingly looking to professional and social networks for their recruiting needs, while job boards are becoming a relic of the past despite their position as the leading source for external hires.

"With dramatic changes in the talent acquisition market, job boards risk becoming obsolete," explained Bersin.

Currently, 10 percent of open positions are filled using professional networking sites, but Bersin expects that number to rise once both job seekers and recruiters become more comfortable with the process.

HR.BLR adds that the cost savings of using social media sites such as LinkedIn for recruiting is substantial. Specifically, the average cost per hire using this method is $377 compared to traditional approaches that can reach more than $3,000.

Overall U.S. spending on talent acquisition rose by 6 percent from 2010 to 2011, to $124 billion. Researchers also found that nearly 50 percent of companies spent more on recruiters for contract workers this year compared to last, citing an uptick in hiring combined with hesitation to spend on full-time staff due to the unstable economy.  

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