Talent acquisition teams are navigating a very challenging time: the current economy is making some companies more cautious, yet the hiring market remains highly competitive for top candidates. Although some sectors are experiencing layoffs, it’s still difficult to find quality talent. Unemployment remains low at 3.5% in the U.S., and there are still 5 million more jobs than available workers. This push and pull has caused some practitioners to shift their approach to attracting and recruiting talent, revealing new trends in Recruitment Marketing and employer branding for 2023.
To compete for talent today, especially to attract passive talent, employers need a compelling employer brand that stands out and all of you in the Rally Recruitment Marketing community need the know-how to attract candidates through engaging social media, innovative digital marketing and optimized advertising strategies.
So at our recent RallyFwd Virtual Conference, we gathered an amazing group of 9 expert practitioners and industry thought leaders to inspire you to reimagine your approach to talent attraction, to try new channels and to consider new technologies.
During the conference, we asked attendees to answer several polls so that we could learn about their hiring plans for 2023, the recruiting challenges they face and what strategies and technologies they planned to use in order to attract top talent this year and beyond. We learned some very interesting trends about Recruitment Marketing in 2023! Dive into the poll results to see how your strategy compares.
1. Top 3 Challenges Facing Talent Acquisition
At each RallyFwd Virtual Conference, we ask attendees to tell us what are the top 3 challenges that they’re facing. Last week, 60% of attendees said their top challenge is that their company can’t hire the talent it needs fast enough. This figure is essentially unchanged from when we asked the same question in December 2022. But compared to May 2022 it’s down by 15% — one year ago, 71% of attendees said this was their top challenge.
The second highest response was that practitioners don’t have enough resources and budget to meet their recruiting goals. Last week, 49% of practitioners cited this challenge, compared to 51% in December 2022 and 47% in May 2022 — relatively unchanged. The third highest response, that their TA strategy and plan is unclear, is similar to the last two conferences as well.
The most interesting trend is that 50% more practitioners said their tech stack is outdated (20%) compared to one year ago (13%). In the current economy, budgets have tightened and some HR technology spend has slowed. The concern for talent acquisition leaders should be the impact that an outdated tech stack will have on their hiring objects this year and next year, as technology like AI, automation and analytics are critical to optimizing your resources and budgets.
2. Recruiting Budgets and Resources Have Tightened
In the poll, 44% of respondents said that their recruiting budget would stay the same in 2023. Compared to 5 months ago, that’s an increase of 11%, reflecting that by May most talent acquisition and Recruitment Marketing budgets have been finalized. The same number of practitioners (17%) said their budget would increase as would decrease. 23% said they were unsure about changes in their recruiting budget, reflecting the uncertainty that remains in the economy.
There are smart ways to optimize whatever Recruitment Marketing budget you have to work with. One of the most important areas that you can focus on is to build an organic Recruitment Marketing strategy, which is typically no cost or low cost. Some examples of organic strategies include your Recruitment Marketing content plan, organic social media posts, a careers blog featuring employee stories and a talent network that includes a personalized talent newsletter.
3. Hiring Plans Remain Strong for 2023
While there are layoffs in some sectors like technology and information services, 64% of RallyFwd attendees said that their companies are still looking for workers and that they plan to hire more employees and grow this year. That’s an increase of 5% from just 5 months ago. However, 26% said their hiring plans are flat compared to 21% in December 2022. And the number expecting layoffs ticked up from 2% in December to 4% today.
Two years ago at RallyFwd, we asked this same question, with 66% of respondents saying that they were planning to hire more and grow – another confirmation that employers overall continue to add jobs.
4. Companies Continue to Invest in Employer Brand
We asked attendees at RallyFwd to tell us where their company is on their employer brand journey. 39% said they’re currently refreshing their employer brand, which is the same as December 2022 and 4% higher than one year ago.
About one-quarter of poll respondents said they’ve got a great employer brand in place, 15% said they’re in the process of developing the first employer brand for their company and 8% said they’re interested but haven’t started yet.
Having an employer brand that’s both authentic and differentiated is one of the most important Recruitment Marketing strategies that employers can use to attract top talent and stand out from the competition. At this RallyFwd, Robin Dagostino from Boston Consulting Group presented how she and her team defined the first global employer brand at BCG. Watch RallyFwd on demand to see Robin’s session.
5. More CEOs Know the Value of Employer Brand
The last few years have shown the C-suite how important it is to communicate the company’s value proposition to current and potential employees. Smart CEOs understand that their company’s reputation as a place to work affects more than just talent acquisition and retention, it also impacts the perception of customers, partners and investors.
At RallyFwd, 68% of poll respondents said their CEO knows what an employer brand is, which is 24% more than one year ago.
6. Social Recruiting is a Vital Talent Attraction Strategy
One year ago, 62% of RallyFwd attendees told us they used social media to attract talent, but last week that number was 78% — a 26% year over year increase! It shows just how important social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok have become to reaching passive talent, both for employers and for recruiters alike.
But Rally’s data shows that one-third of organic social recruiting content gets no candidate engagement at all. The key is knowing what types of content resonate most with your talent audience and to create content that is relevant to the style of each social channel. Our Rally Inside Recruitment Marketing tool makes this super easy by showing you what type of content will attract each of your candidate personas. In addition, Rally Inside’s EZ Content Wizard feature allows you to create a data-driven social recruiting post in under 5 minutes.
The most important thing is that as you get active on social media to track and measure every post so that you can learn how to create the most engaging content that will build your followers. You can learn how to track and measure your Recruitment Marketing strategy in our webinar on demand.
7. More Progress Needed in Job Advertising that Attracts Diversity
We asked RallyFwd attendees if they are making changes to their job advertising in order to advance their strategy for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). 41% of poll respondents said yes, compared to 53% one year ago. The same number — 13% — said no both in May 2022 and May 2023.
There is much work needed in talent acquisition to shift our job advertising approach to be more inclusive and to reach more diverse talent. At RallyFwd, Roselle Rogers, Executive Director of DEI for Circa (now part of Mitratech) presented her expert strategy for how to attract, engage and retain diverse talent. You can watch Roselle’s presentation on demand, along with 7 other strategy-packed sessions.
8. Focus on Optimizing Your Recruitment Budget to Keep Investing in TA Tech
Each year at RallyFwd, we ask attendees whether they plan to implement new recruiting technology in the months ahead. Last week, 34% of poll respondents said yes, 30% said no and 37% were unsure.
The percentage of practitioners answering “Yes” has generally been 50-65% from event to event. The last time only one-third of RallyFwd attendees answered “Yes” was in May 2020, at the start of the pandemic. This reflects the more cautious spending environment that talent acquisition and Recruitment Marketing leaders are facing in the current economy.
With all the advancements that HR has made in digital transformation in the last few years, a reduction in implementing new TA technology could really set back practitioners and their strategies. I believe that those teams that are able to focus on optimizing their budgets for greater efficiencies and ROI will be the winners in the current hiring market.
For example, can you get more qualified applications from your job advertising budget? Can you track and measure what types of content and employee stories drive more candidates to your careers site to learn about your company culture?
Creating a high-converting candidate journey is important to optimizing your existing strategies. For example, Rally Inside data shows that it’s more effective to post an employee story to your LinkedIn and then click through to a landing page that enables candidate to “learn more”, and on that page to introduce relevant jobs to candidates, versus post that say “apply now” and try to bring candidates directly to a job description.
9. TA Technology Can Give Employers an Advantage
For many companies, their talent acquisition technology stack goes beyond an ATS. Among RallyFwd attendees, more practitioners in our community use social media management than a talent CRM.
One of the biggest differences is the use of virtual recruiting event platforms. In May 2021, 53% of RallyFwd poll respondents said they use virtual recruiting tech, but that number dropped to 24% today, a decrease of 55%.
14% of poll respondents use a Recruitment Marketing platform and 18% use programmatic job advertising. At RallyFwd December 2021, these numbers were 21% and 25%, respectively. We believe this reflects the widening audience of RallyFwd and our community, as more HR, recruiting and marketing professionals adopt Recruitment Marketing strategies.
Last week, Kyle Leigh and Lauren Cala from Appcast presented ways that employers can reimagined their job advertising strategy using programmatic technology, including how programmatic can achieve a lower cost per applicant as well as an increase in diversity among applicants. To watch Kyle and Lauren’s presentation, register for RallyFwd on demand.
Also at RallyFwd, Sam Fitzroy, CEO and co-founder of Dalia, shared that 95% of careers site visitors don’t convert into applicants. This slows time-to-fill, increases cost-per-hire and makes job advertising less efficient. Sam showed how personalized job alerts through email marketing and SMS can be used to re-engage job seeker traffic, increase qualified applicant flow and lower job advertising spend. You can watch Sam’s RallyFwd presentation on-demand.
The RallyFwd Technology Showcase is also available on demand to help you learn more about the innovative solutions from our sponsors — Appcast, Circa, Dalia and Rally Inside. In the Tech Showcase, you can access short product demonstration videos to see the latest advancements in recruiting technology that bring automation and analytics to make your job easier, save you money and make your strategies more effective.
We hope our RallyFwd polls offer new insights into how other practitioners are navigating the current economic environment and continued competitive hiring market.
Thank you to everyone from the Rally community who joined in to watch and engage throughout the conference! I absolutely love bringing our community together from around the world to learn, make new connections and be inspired to try new Recruitment Marketing and employer branding strategies at their company.
And finally, thank you especially to our fantastic speakers who shared their award-winning strategies and work examples for us to learn from: Kyle Leigh, Lauren Cala, Kelsie Johnson, Lisa Kay Davis, Robin Dagostino, Münteha Mangan, Bethany Mason, Sam Fitzroy and Roselle Rogers.
We can’t wait to see the community again at our next RallyFwd™ Virtual Conference on December 6, 2023!