Corporate recruiting is moving into high gear, with two-thirds of HR professionals reporting that they have “extensive” or “moderate” plans for hiring in 2012, according to the 2012 Allied Workforce Mobility Survey. Larger companies – with more than 10,000 employees – are more bullish, with 80 percent planning for “extensive” or “moderate” recruiting.

In addition, most HR professionals do not see significant obstacles to relocation in today's economic environment. Only 6 percent believe that today's work force is not willing to relocate, and most believe it is “highly mobile” or “somewhat mobile.” Fifty-nine percent reported that the current economic context has had “no impact” on their ability to recruit and hire.

The survey results suggest a busy, challenging recruiting environment in 2012, with several areas of concern, including high unemployment and a soft real estate market.

And, not all companies are ready for this challenging environment. HR professionals identified weaknesses – or areas for improvement – in many recruiting and relocation programs:

• Many companies lack confidence in their recruiting programs. Fifty-two percent of HR professionals say their recruiting programs are only “somewhat successful.”

• The overall rate of recruiting success is not as high as it could be. Even “highly successful” recruiting programs lose one in four choice candidates, and companies in the bottom quartile lose about one in two.

• Recruiting incentives, including benefits packages, could be stronger at many companies. HR professionals have low confidence even in the incentives they rank the highest. Only 27 percent rate their health care plans a “5” (on a scale of 1 to 5, with “5” being strength and “1” a weakness), and they rate all other incentives even lower.

• Relocation packages do not address some key areas, like spousal employment support, which only 2 percent of companies cover in any form.

• Companies are not using all the recruiting tools that they could. While “highly successful” recruiting programs make use of a wide range of resources, “somewhat successful” programs scarcely tap into internal recruiters, external recruiters, career fairs or events and social media.

Taken as a whole, the survey suggests many opportunities for differentiation among companies heading into a competitive recruiting period.

Best-in-class companies are usually larger. They spend more, recruit and relocate more, and cast their nets more widely geographically.

Yet, best-in-class companies are also found among companies with revenue under $1 billion or even under $100 million. About one-third of companies in these  categories are best in class in recruiting, according to HR professionals who rated their own programs.

Companies interested in differentiating themselves in recruiting and relocation may consider these findings:

• Recruits in need of relocation have diverse needs, yet most companies do not offer a range of benefits tailored to specific types of recruits (e.g., married with children versus single). Seventy-two percent of programs offer only four of 10 possible relocation benefits listed in the survey.

• While 69 percent of HR professionals say that selling a home restricts relocation, only 16 percent of companies offer any form of reimbursement for old home losses.

• While 72 percent of HR professionals say children's plans/schools restrict relocation, only 39 percent of companies offer information on area schools.

• Only 38 percent of HR professionals rate social media as a “good” or “excellent” source for recruiting, which suggests these resources are underutilized (or truly not useful).