Candidate Experience Recruitment Marketing

6 Takeaways from Jobvite’s 2021 Job Seeker Nation Report

6 Takeaways from Jobvite’s 2021 Job Seeker Nation Report_
Profile photo of Natasha Makovora
Written by Natasha Makovora

Understanding the behavior and practices of people looking for jobs is an essential part of Recruitment Marketing. Reviewing Jobvite’s 2021 Job Seeker Nation report, and discussing the findings with their VP of Marketing, Kerry Gilliam, we’ve compiled 6 top insights from the results and explain the impact they’ll have on your strategy.

6 Takeaways from Jobvite’s 2021 Job Seeker Nation Report
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Last year, employers from almost every industry had to scramble to adapt their recruiting processes to navigate the pandemic. One year later, what have we learned and what can we expect for talent acquisition going forward? To help find answers, we turned to the Jobvite 2021 Job Seeker Nation report, which reveals just how different the hiring landscape will look post-COVID. 

Inside the new report, we uncovered 6 key takeaways that could inform your Recruitment Marketing, employer branding and talent acquisition strategy in the coming months. To help you make the most of each takeaway, we paired each one with an explanation of how you can put the information into practice right away.

Kerry Gilliam, Jobvite

Kerry Gilliam, VP of Marketing, Jobvite

We also had the pleasure of interviewing Kerry Gilliam, Jobvite’s VP of Marketing, who shared her own seasoned insights on these key takeaways. Let’s dive in!

Rally note: Jobvite surveyed 1,500 adults in the U.S. to gain awareness of the current state of the U.S. workforce about one year since the onset of the pandemic, to create the 2021 Job Seeker Nation Report.

Takeaway #1: Candidate are prioritizing workplace safety and diversity 

The Jobvite data shows that 42% of workers would turn down a job offer if the company lacked diversity in its workforce or had no clear goals for improving diversity in hiring. Similarly, 58% would decline a job offer if the employer did not have clear COVID-19 protocols in place, and 55% said they have or would decline a job offer if the employer did not require employees to wear masks in the office or at the workplace.

What this means for your strategy 

Before choosing to work for your company, or even deciding to stay at your company, people want to know that they’ll be safe and included, plain and simple. It’s up to you as a TA, HR and Recruitment Marketing practitioners to communicate your company’s plans for safety and actions for diversity, so that they’re fully on display throughout your candidate experience. 

Rally note: For tips on how to make DEI an authentic part of your company’s experience, be sure to read our article by Lever’s Annie Lin, A 3-Pronged Approach to Create an Impactful DEI Strategy.

Takeaway #2: The hybrid workplace will become the expectation

According to the report, company location and facilities (including accessibility and convenience) were the 2nd most important influence when accepting a job offer, yet 74% say remote work is “very important” or “somewhat important.”

What this means for your strategy

As Jobvite’s Kerry Gilliam points out, “people have now had the chance to form strong opinions about remote work. Since so many people have become accustomed, there’s going to be an expectation that it is an option going forward.” 

“Option” is the keyword here, as although the majority of workers consider remote work to be important, the data seems to suggest that they still want the option to go to a physical workplace. 

Kerry continues by saying “people are juggling a lot — they have kids at home or they might be taking care of sick parents — regardless, there are a lot of stressors on people, and having the option to work from home or an office can help provide an important outlet for many people.”

Takeaway #3: Employees and job seekers value company culture more than ever

Despite an increasing number of employees working remotely due to the pandemic, the importance of company culture in the decision to apply for a job has become increasingly important, with 86% of respondents rating it somewhat or very important and 48% rating it very important (up from 37% in 2019).

What this means for your strategy

Compensation, PTO and other “materialistic” perks aren’t enough to win over top employees and job seekers anymore. As Kerry describes, “if you want to bring in people to help you succeed and take your organization to the next level, then you need to know what’s important to them and create an environment and EVP that resonates with them.”

Kerry suggests revisiting your work environment policies to ensure that they’re in alignment with where you want your company to be and the talent you want to bring in. With your policies nailed down, the next step is to showcase your company culture where candidates are looking for it.

The data suggests that job seekers get their information about an employer’s company culture through a combination of different platforms, including job boards or review sites (37%), social media (33%) and the employer’s website (32%). Therefore, to educate potential candidates on your company’s culture and employer brand, it would be wise to increase visibility on all three of these platforms. 

Takeaway #4: Candidate prefer text message for scheduling interviews

Leaving a candidate in the dark is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a recruiter, with 48% of candidates pointing to a lack of response from a recruiter as the reason for their negative candidate experience. 

What this means for your strategy

As the economy continues to open back up, many companies that were forced to lay off parts of their workforce at the beginning of the pandemic are now scrambling to refill positions at an unprecedented rate. Not only that, but many companies are looking to fill new positions as they continue to evolve their business strategies post-pandemic. As we know, an influx of candidates can make it harder to give each candidate the level of communication they deserve. 

The key is to find a way to be able to proactively reach out to candidates and keep them in the loop no matter how busy you are or how many positions you have to fill. For this, Kerry recommends enlisting the help of technology: “I can’t say this enough, but text messaging and chatbots are crucial in automating a lot of candidate communications, so make sure you’re investing there.” Supporting Kerry’s recommendation is the fact that 69% of candidates prefer text for scheduling interviews over email or phone calls.

While text messaging services and chatbots are often very cheap to implement, first explore your existing tech stack to see if there are features you’re not taking advantage of.

Rally note: For more help digitally connecting with candidates, be sure to read our article by EG Workforce’s Chloe Ryan, 3 Proven Tactics for a Seamless Transition to a Digital Candidate Experience.

Takeaway #5: Job seekers want shorter, easier job applications

Nearly half of candidates (45%) point to an easy job application process as their top reason for a positive candidate experience. 

What this means for your strategy 

The message is clear: make your job application process as short and easy as possible. It’s also critical for the growing number of candidates preferring to apply for jobs from their mobile devices. Appcast research found that 61% of applications in 2020 started on a mobile device. However, candidates are much more likely to drop off from mobile — so you can begin to see the problem with complicated applications — more eyes, fewer submissions and an even lower, more expensive conversion rate.

When optimizing your job application process, a good rule of thumb to follow is to ask only your applicants the questions you need to ask at that stage. If you’re unsure about what questions are necessary, consider Appcast CEO and Founder Chris Forman’s guidelines:

“Arguably, for me, for hard-to-fill positions and white-collar positions, first name, last name, email address, mobile number, and resume. Boom. You can always ask for all the compliance stuff and all other info after. For blue-collar applicants, first name, last name, email address, number, and three qualifying questions — nothing else.”

Rally note: read more of Chris’ insights in our blog 3 Trends that will Impact Recruitment Advertising in 2021.

Takeaway #6: Candidates still prefer in-person interviews

In last year’s Job Seeker Nation Report, 77% of people said they would prefer in-person interviews over video, phone or other types of interviews, even during the pandemic. Fast forward to this year, and, surprisingly, this desire hasn’t changed much, with 69% of job seekers still preferring in-person interviews. 

What this means for your strategy 

36% of surveyed workers reported not being able to participate in a video interview due to a lack of adequate access to technology or Wi-Fi. Requiring candidates to participate in video interviews can not only lead to a bad candidate experience, but it also has the potential to exclude candidates from your process. 

To counteract this, if physical interviews are possible for your company, offer candidates the option to interview in person if they prefer. Outside of this, there are a couple of things you can do to improve the candidate experience. 

The first is to give them multiple options in how they choose to interview, whether that’s over the phone, on video or otherwise. The second is to consider creating a Virtual Interview Guide that candidates can use to learn how to excel in a virtual interview. Having this kind of dedicated resource to help candidates also gives the impression that your hiring process is fairer.

Rally note: for more inspiration, check out our blog with Ashley Walls, How to Create a Virtual Interview Guide for Remote Hiring.


We hope these takeaways from the Jobvite’s 2021 Jobseeker Nation Report can help you upgrade your recruiting strategy, better communicate with your candidates and overall make 2021 your most successful recruiting year yet. 

If you’d like to find out more and see the data for yourself, you can take a look at the full 2021 Job Seeker Nation Report here.

6 Takeaways from Jobvite’s 2021 Job Seeker Nation Report
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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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