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3 Takeaways from the 2021 CareerArc Future of Recruitment Study

3 Takeaways from the 2021 CareerArc Future of Recruitment Study
Profile photo of Natasha Makovora
Written by Natasha Makovora

The 2021 CareerArc Future of Recruitment Study is filled with great data from candidates’ thoughts on their current employers and employment prospects to the hiring priorities of organizations. We’ve reviewed the report and put together our 3 top takeaways to inform your Recruitment Marketing strategy for the rest of 2021.

3 Takeaways from the 2021 CareerArc Future of Recruitment Study
5 (100%) 2 votes

It’s no question that hiring looks different in 2021, but how do actual job seekers and employers plan to navigate the coming year ahead? To find out, we turned to the 2021 CareerArc Future of Recruitment Study. 

Based on answers from 1,158 respondents consisting of both HR and hiring professionals as well as job seekers, the study unveiled candidates’ opinions of current employers and employment prospects, companies’ top talent priorities and investments and the roles employer brand and social media play in the search for jobs and top talent.

The study was packed to the brim with helpful insights for recruiters, however, to help you zero in on some of the most important insights, we gathered 3 key takeaways from the study that you can use to optimize your Recruitment Marketing, employer branding and talent acquisition strategy. And we’ve made each takeaway actionable with ideas on how to put them into practice now.

Let’s jump in!

Rally note: For even more insights into the future of hiring, check out our 6 Takeaways from Jobvite’s 2021 Job Seeker Nation Report.

Takeaway #1: Employer brand is a top motivating factor for passive and active candidates

Over half (53%) of job seekers cited poor or diminishing employer brand and reputation as one of the reasons for leaving a previous job; 20% said it was the main reason why they left.

What this means for your strategy

With 61% of full time employees planning to seek new jobs in 2021, doubling down on retention efforts is a wise move, and that starts with upgrading your employer brand. 

Not only will a stronger employer brand help retain existing employees, it will also help attract new talent, as active job seekers pointed to “more recognized employer brand and/or positive reputation” as their number one reason why they would choose to apply to one job over another.

In terms of what candidates are looking for in an employer, it largely comes down to safety protocols, diversity initiatives and work-life balance. With 82% of candidates considering employer brand and reputation before applying for a job, lacking in these areas can put your recruiting strategy at risk. 

Even if you’re doing great work in these areas, not promoting them can have just as negative of a consequence as not doing them at all. After all, the last thing you want is a misinformed public review profile, as the study also found that a 1-star rating on an employer review site will turn away nearly 1 in 3 job seekers. So be sure to promote your efforts across each touchpoint of the candidate journey including job postings, employer review sites, social media and your careers site. 

Rally note: Check out our how to guide 50 Ways to Brand Your Candidate & Employee Experience for tips on how to infuse your employer brand across 14 stages from pre-hire to retire.  

Takeaway #2: Social media is growing as a top source for employer brand content

According to the survey, 86% of job seekers use social media in their job search, with 61% of them saying they increased their social media usage in 2020. Despite this, only 35% of employers increased their social recruiting efforts in 2020. 

What this means for your strategy

The data suggests a growing discrepancy between social media usage by job seekers and social recruiting efforts by employers, which means a potential competitive edge for savvy recruiters on social media. 

While most organizations tend to just stick with LinkedIn, venturing out into less conventional platforms can be an easy way to stand out from the crowd. For example, consider that 96% of employers use LinkedIn to post jobs, but only 25% use Facebook Marketplace to post jobs. Other platforms like Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest and even TikTok (used weekly by approximately 1/3 of job seekers) offer similarly low recruitment competition. 

However, since audiences on these platforms may not be actively looking for jobs like they would on LinkedIn, the key here is to ensure that you’re sharing the right type of content that will actually gain a prospective candidate’s attention and keep them engaged with your company. For example, TikTok is a great platform to showcase an authentic behind-the-scenes look at your company culture, while LinkedIn is great for promoting your open roles and posting more direct job ads. That’s why it’s important to understand your target audience and continue to keep learning how to reach them and engage with them on each platform. 

While this will take some research of your own depending on the platform you’re targeting, to give you a few ideas, the study shared the top 5 types of content motivating job seekers to apply to a job: 

  1. Jobs
  2. Employee stories and spotlights 
  3. Diversity, equity and inclusion messages 
  4. Links to hiring events or webinars for prospective employees
  5. Employee day-in-the-life videos

For contrast, here are what employers are actually posting on social media: 

  1. Jobs
  2. Employee stories and spotlights
  3. Company news and recent milestones
  4. Company events and team outings
  5. Diversity, equity and inclusion messages 

With this data in mind, if you’re promoting company events or company news more than DEI messages, for example, you may not be connecting with candidates as effectively you could be. Instead, try restructuring your content to prioritize the 5 content types above as best you can. And if you are posting these types of content but aren’t seeing the results you’d like, you may want to evaluate your hashtag strategy, as only 39% of employers use hashtags to target specific talent audiences.

Rally note: For ideas on how to create compelling content, check out our blog 7 Types of Recruitment Marketing Content Candidates Want to See.

Takeaway #3: Social recruiting technology offers employers a competitive edge

For employers, social media and social recruiting software top the list of increased or continued technology investments in 2021, including: 

  1. Social media and social recruiting software
  2. ATS purchase, upgrade or expansion
  3. Career site launch or update
  4. Recruitment marketing and CRM
  5. Sourcing products and platforms

What this means for your strategy

There’s a reason why retailers rely on technology to be able to provide as high quality of a shopping experience as they do. Putting the right products in front of customers, responding to questions and complaints quickly, providing a seamless checkout experience — to rely on human input alone to accomplish all of this is simply out of the question for most retailers.

You can apply this same idea to recruiting, whether that means job placement, candidate communications, employee advocacy, employer branding or any of the other myriad responsibilities on your recruiters’ plates. Regardless of team size or available resources, not supporting your recruitment team with technology puts you at a disadvantage. In fact, this comes through in the data, as employers who use social recruiting software are: 

  • 4x more likely to use hashtags to target specific talent audiences
  • 2.4x more likely to share employer brand content beyond job posts
  • 3x more likely to post all jobs to social media
  • 3x more likely to post jobs on behalf of recruiters’ social profiles 

Not only does the right technology free up and allow recruiters to better participate in these types of activities, but through these activities, they’re more likely to reach passive candidates, increase candidate engagement and source hard-to-fill roles. 

The message is clear: regardless of your company size or current capacity, if you have the budget for it, the right technology can help improve your talent acquisition and retention efforts across the board. 

Rally note: For even more insights on the future of recruitment marketing, check out our blog The #1 Priority for Recruitment Marketing in 2021.


Hopefully, you can use these takeaways from the 2021 CareerArc Future of Recruitment Study to help you not just meet the current needs of candidates, but also to future proof your recruiting strategy for the coming months ahead as well.

If you’d like to find out more and see the data for yourself, you can take a look at the full 2021 CareerArc Future of Recruitment Study here.

3 Takeaways from the 2021 CareerArc Future of Recruitment Study
5 (100%) 2 votes

About the Author

Profile photo of Natasha Makovora

Natasha Makovora

Natasha Makovora is a Rally Content Contributor and Employer Brand and Recruitment Marketing Specialist at The Employer Brand Shop.

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