Who Experiences More "Backdoor Hires": USA, UK, or Australia? You'll be Surprised

Over the past 18 months at HIRABL, we’ve compared 80 million candidate submissions for agencies around the globe – here’s what we’ve learned:

1 in 484 submissions results in a backdoor hire (an increase from 1 in 500 in 2015!).
Sales, IT/Engineering, and Accounting/Finance have the highest backdoor rates.
Legal recruitment experiences backdoor hires – don’t lawyers use and read fee agreements?!
Rec2Rec recruitment – frustrating to see Recruiters “backdooring” their brethren.

We’ve also taken a look at the frequency of backdoor hires by country. Based on our data, here’s where backdoor hires happen most often:

United Kingdom (1 in 388 submissions, ~20% more frequently than the rest of the world)
United States (1 in 427 submissions results in a backdoor hire)
Australia (1 in 494 submissions)

The United Kingdom’s high backdoor hire rate seems to be driven by a "candidate-short” market where recruiters are often fighting for candidates and placements, and corporations take advantage of these dynamics.

London specifically was the most competitive recruitment market and had the most backdoor hires per submission: 1 in 366. We did find variation between geographies across the UK, but the mega-trend was clear: London is where the pain point is most pronounced, with surrounding areas proving to have a lower backdoor hire rate.

In Australia, Sydney experienced the highest backdoor hire percentage, specifically in IT and finance markets, with that subsection recording a backdoor hire ratio of 1 in 412 backdoors per submission - well below the national average.

In the USA, technology hubs (think San Francisco, New York, Boston, Austin, and Denver) experience backdoor hires due to major talent shortages. Between the cities, NYC showed the highest backdoor rate, even above hot markets like San Francisco and Austin. Los Angeles proved to be a comparative safe-harbor for backdoor hires – perhaps the weather chills everyone out.

To be fair, all these markets are “candidate short” regions right now – but the UK appears to have a particularly tight market around mid- and senior-level employees in knowledge-worker industries (Sales, Finance, Tech), exacerbating the “backdoor hire” phenomena.

If you’d like to learn how many backdoor hires are happening in your agency – regardless of where you are in the world – drop us a line and we’ll audit your submissions for free. 

Which industries and geographies do you think have the most “backdoor hires”, and why?