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9 Recruiting Shifts in 2020 that Are Here to Stay in 2021

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What a year it’s been for the recruiting industry, as we react to dramatic shifts in markets brought on by a worldwide crisis. Yet, if you look at the trend data over 2020, much of what is happening is actually an accelerant of existing industry shifts.

Jobvite’s Vice President of Marketing Kerry Gilliam partnered with Leah Daniels, SVP of Strategy at Appcast to deliver an eye-opening webinar. They discussed industry shifts seen over 2020, what 2021 will bring for talent acquisition, and how your company can manage through them.

As you plan for next year, there are many “it’s complicated” and “TBDs” out there. Gilliam and Daniels break through this with predictions for 2021 based on recent data and trends.

Below is a sample of what was discussed. For all their insights and helpful resources, watch the full webinar here.

9 Recruiting Shifts That Are Here to Stay in 2021

2020 brought a tsunami of activities in recruiting. It’s impressive how companies and their people have managed through this extraordinary time, showing flexibility and adaptability. But it’s also been tough for staff and job seekers. There are new complexities to everyday life like increased family care demands, daily activity limitations, and dealing with risk levels of the Covid-19 virus. With the economic recession, there are 2.5 unemployed individuals for every open job. What a difference from December 2019.

Here are 9 recruiting trends from 2020, and which ones we think are here to stay:

1. Changes in job seekers’ acceptance of an inefficient apply process

When a candidate comes to your website to apply for a job, do at least 1 out of 10 make it all the way through? On average, only 20-30% of candidates actually finish the apply process once started. Good candidates want a smooth and positive candidate experience, and having one impacts your business in the short- and long-term. Your costs will increase with higher drop off rates, which are often caused by an overly complex application process. A tip – apply for your own jobs via a mobile device (not on a desktop) so you’re getting the exact experience a candidate would. Consider usability and ease, and time yourself – you may be surprised with just how long it takes.

Looking to 2021 – It will continue to be competitive to gain job seekers attention – but you can influence your apply rates and conversion rates. Look at Talemetry by Jobvite’s Conversion Audit Report to see where you might be losing candidates and how you can influence that.

2. Does your employer brand still matter to job seekers?

According to the 2020 Job Seeker Nation Report, 81% of workers think company culture is somewhat or very important in their decision to apply for a job. Job seekers care about a company’s values and what they stand for. Long after this crisis is over, employees and job seekers will remember how you treated them. Organization should ask themselves, “Is the brand I have today, the brand I want tomorrow?”

Looking to 2021 – Job seekers are paying attention more than ever to how organizations treat their people. They’re looking at employer brands and making choices about who they want to work for.

3. What are the best days to reach job seekers?

According to Appcast’s 2020 Recruitment Marketing Benchmark Report, historically candidates apply to jobs most on Mondays, but interestingly they’ve been seeing a shift to Tuesdays over 2020. For recruiting, these prime days are the most cost efficient and have the highest volume, as opposed to the weekends when fewer people apply and it will cost you more. Why is this important? It highlights the necessity of knowing who your candidates are and how they behave. Use data analysis to identify your target audience(s) and build candidate personas. The more you understand your data and your candidates, the more you can achieve.

Looking to 2021 – Despite increased recruiting costs across the board this year, you need to know your data, your personas, and when to put your jobs out there.

4. Automated texting – a better way to reach and continually engage job seekers

No surprise here, candidates open and respond to text messages more than email. There is a 98% open rate for mobile recruiting texts vs. a 20% open rate for recruiting emails. We’re all tied to our phones – so use text messaging throughout your recruiting process to schedule candidate interviews, keep them engaged, offer jobs, and help them prepare for day one. It’s a much more effective way to reach candidates.

Looking to 2021 – Similar to consumer behavior, job seekers have renewed expectations of their job seeking experience, particularly while on a mobile device.

5. How are job seekers likely to find/apply for jobs?

During 2020, we saw a huge jump over a short time in the number of job seekers using their mobile device to make an initial engagement with a company. For every 10 jobs, 60% of them are being applied to via a mobile device.

Looking to 2021 – Make sure your apply process is mobile optimized. Also offer them the ability to schedule interviews as well, which can be one of the more time-consuming parts of the process.

6. Side hustles will remain

In April 2020, 46% of workers surveyed for the 2020 Job Seeker Nation Report said they plan to have a second source of income outside of their regular 9-5 jobs. “Side hustles” have become increasingly prevalent in 2020 (‘gig jobs’ spiked by 60% in August alone!). Since the minimum wage in the US hasn’t gone up for 10 years, while the cost of living has, many people need these side jobs to achieve success in their own lives.

Looking to 2021 – Given the increase in “gig” type jobs, alongside many people looking to make up lost income or employment during COVID-19, side hustles will continue in 2021.

7. Does the location of your job matter anymore?

With the large shift to remote working, industry has seen many companies hiring in different locations and opening up to a more remote workforce. While some companies have found that proximity is key for certain positions, staff in other positions have shown they can do their jobs remotely without a negative impact on the company. Talent acquisition technology has supported this shift with more capability to search for job seekers.

Looking to 2021 – Location dependent roles will continue to be impacted by surges in COVID-19 and state-by-state regulations; however the prevalence of remote work will make location-independent roles easier to recruit for.

8. Is diversity and inclusion more of a focus for job seekers?

The diversity and inclusion discussion has continued to shift as well, as more underrepresented candidates are getting a larger voice on a bigger stage. Companies are embracing this by developing their D&I strategies, and candidates are excited to be part of this journey. However, once a company hires a chief diversity officer they need to make sure they’re appropriately funded, have the right team, and have access to the resources they need. This includes getting help from technology to eliminate any unintentional bias from your job descriptions and recruiting materials (e.g., age, genders, culture).

Looking to 2021 – Organizations are being held to higher account for how they source, recruit, hire, and employ with increased diversity.

9. Retaining existing employees

A majority of employed job seekers (64%) don’t look internally for opportunities or are aware of their company’s internal mobility program. What a missed opportunity! You want high quality candidates, but also high quality candidates that stay. Make sure internal mobility programs are in place, accessible, and promoted to staff. Provide professional development and be sure your employees know of and have access to internal mobility opportunities.

Looking to 2021 – Empower your employees. Happy employees who are challenged and have opportunities for growth build stronger organizations.

Don’t rest on your laurels in 2021 – recruiting conditions are changing and your strategy should too! Watch the full webinar here for their complete insights and helpful resources.


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