RallyFwd™ Recruitment Marketing

4 Shifts in Recruitment Marketing Trends in 2021

4 Shifts in Recruitment Marketing Trends in 2021_
Profile photo of Aaron Schwartzbord
Written by Aaron Schwartzbord

At the RallyFwd Virtual Conference on May 5, we polled attendees on what they’re experiencing at their companies in terms of hiring growth, challenges and technology usage. Reviewing this data, we’ve uncovered 4 valuable insights about how Recruitment Marketing trends are shifting as we move through 2021.

4 Shifts in Recruitment Marketing Trends in 2021
5 (100%) 3 votes

With businesses reopening and increasing their hiring once again, it’s time to look towards the future of Recruitment Marketing, employer branding, talent acquisition and HR and focus on how we move ahead this year and into the future. 

At our recent RallyFwd Virtual Conference, on May 5, 2021, we did just that! With expert speakers and innovative technology demos, RallyFwd inspired us to push Recruitment Marketing and employer branding strategies further in our evolving digital world. 

Throughout the conference, we polled attendees on their outlook for 2021 and plans this year and beyond. We uncovered some interesting shifts in Recruitment Marketing trends that could influence your strategy this year. If you have any thoughts or personal experiences related to this data, we’d love to hear! 

1. Hiring is picking up at a higher rate than expected at the beginning of the year

In our polling at the last RallyFwd in December 2020, our attendees shared that they expected growth in 2021, with 66% of respondents saying they were planning to hire more this year. We asked the question again at RallyFwd in May 2021, and this time 86% of attendees said their companies were hiring and growing more this year! 

Poll Results: This year, your company is planning to hire more and grow

86% of RallyFwd May 2021 attendees report their company is planning to hire more and grow in 2021. 

Huge strides have been made since last December in fighting the Coronavirus, with 48% of the United States now having received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and the CDC just updating guidelines that fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks in most settings. Now, employers are ready to ramp up operations once again, and that means ramping up hiring. This is great news all around, but it also means new challenges for our community to ensure we’re ready. 

2. Demand to hire more employees is the top challenge facing talent acquisition 

We asked attendees for their top 3 challenges in 2021 and the answers are both interesting and interconnected. Now that companies are focused on growth and looking to bring on new employees, talent acquisition teams can’t hire fast enough. 69% of respondents said their top challenge is that demand for new hires was more than they have the capacity for. 

Top 3 challenges facing recruitment marketers

Attendees ranked their top 3 challenges facing them in 2021. The biggest challenge was that talent acquisition teams can’t hire fast enough. 

The second highest challenge is that TA and Recruitment Marketing teams don’t have enough resources and budget for recruitment, which certainly can impact the ability to meet an aggressive hiring plan.

The third biggest challenge is that teams cannot track and measure the effectiveness of their efforts—and we know that not having good data can make it difficult to prove that more resources are necessary.

One resource that could help you explain the rising cost of recruiting to your leadership is our recent webinar: Recruitment Advertising Trends: What to expect in 2021?

3. Use of recruiting technology continues to grow and expand this year

To support all the growth taking place, the challenge of not having enough resources available and the need for stronger tracking and measurement, recruitment marketers and recruiters need tools and technology to further their efficiency and support the organization’s hiring needs. Over half of RallyFwd attendees said they are planning to implement new technology this year.

Implementing new Recruitment Marketing tech this year

Half of the respondents said they’re planning to implement new technology this year. 

We also included a question about the types of technology companies are currently using. Unsurprisingly, the technology overwhelmingly utilized by attendees is applicant tracking systems. Social media management software is being used by 55% of attendees and virtual recruiting events technology used by 53%. With digital candidate experiences being so widespread now, Chloe Ryan shared strategies at the conference for utilizing technology while making it feel human to candidates. 

Recruiting technology and tools your company uses

To top recruiting tool being utilized is an applicant tracking system. Social media management software and virtual recruiting events technology are also being utilized by a large portion of attendees. 

We’re excited to track the use and variety of technology being used over the next year as digital recruiting growth continues. The combination of how sophisticated recruiting technology has become, the necessity for teams to be more data driven and the quick shift to remote work are coming together to require that companies expand and diversify their recruiting tech stack.

4. As companies adapt to new realities, employer brands need to be ready 

Your company’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is an important part of your employer brand. It communicates to candidates why they would want to work for your organization. With recruiting expected to become even more competitive this year, you’ll need a well-defined EVP. However, almost half of RallyFwd attendees reported that their company did not have a defined Employee Value Proposition. 

Does your company have a formally defined Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

Almost half of RallyFwd attendees responded that their company does not have a formally defined EVP.

This is a huge opportunity for you to lead the effort in defining your EVP! A great resources to help you is Debbie Celado’s blog post: An Expert Methodology to for Defining (or Redefining!) your EVP.

At RallyFwd, Liz Gelb-O’Connor from ADP presented on how she evolved the company’s employer brand as their business priorities and mission shifted, creating a new, additional employer brand focused on attracting tech talent to complement the main ADP employer brand. Her team even won a 2021 Rally Award for this stand-out strategy!


We hope these polls give you new insight on how Recruitment Marketing, employer branding and talent acquisition are shifting post-pandemic. If you missed RallyFwd, you can access the conference on demand and get all the tips, ideas, technology suggestions and inspiration for strengthening your strategies this year. 

4 Shifts in Recruitment Marketing Trends in 2021
5 (100%) 3 votes

About the Author

Profile photo of Aaron Schwartzbord

Aaron Schwartzbord

Aaron Schwartzbord is the Director of Marketing for Rally Recruitment Marketing. A data-driven marketer with 15+ years of experience, he is passionate about helping companies of all sizes and industries grow with creative strategies and efficient, streamlined processes.

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