With a turbulent year behind us and 2021 just beginning, we surveyed 1,156 respondents comprising 667 American adults and 489 human resources and hiring professionals to capture employers’ and job seekers’ outlook for the future of recruiting and the year ahead.
The data expresses the mix of anxieties as well as optimism about the coming year. It also reveals the increasing importance of a positive employer brand and reputation in both acquiring and retaining talent, as well as the central role of social media in the search of jobs and the search for talent.
Most employers and American adults are optimistic about the job market
- 76% of companies predict 2021 hiring demand will approach, return to, or even exceed pre-pandemic levels.
- 51% of Americans believe job growth will increase under the Biden presidency, 28% say it will decrease under the new administration, and 21% predict neutral impact.
Employers and job seekers are also anxious
Companies remain positive about recovering labor demand, but what they are most anxious about is turnover.
- 61% of full-time employees in the U.S. are seeking new jobs in 2021.
- Talent retention is the top employer concern in 2021; 39% of companies believe at least one in five in their workforce are currently looking for new jobs at other companies.
- 88% of job seekers are concerned about the lack of jobs in their field.
- Two-thirds (68%) of those who expressed concern attribute the lack of jobs to the continued impact of COVID-19 on the economy.
Work-life balance is more important to job seekers than pay and business stability
- 53% of job seekers say discovering evidence that a prospective employer would offer poor or less work-life balance would immediately dissuade them from applying to that company.
- Poor work-life balance tops the list of job seeker deal-breakers, ranking above other immediate turn-offs including lower salary (50%) and a company’s decreasing profits and lack of stability (48%).
Job seekers prize employer brand and culture when evaluating current and future opportunities
Despite facing a tough labor market, job seekers place a positive employer brand, reputation, and culture high on their wishlist when applying to, or staying at, a company.
- 82% consider employer brand and reputation before applying to a job—a 7% increase in the past five years.
- 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.
Social media has increased in importance and authority in today’s job search
- 61% of job seekers say they increased their social media usage in 2020
- Of those who increased social media use in 2020, nearly half (47%) said they did so by at least one hour per day.
- 86% of job seekers use social media in their job search and have viewed, searched for, applied to, and engaged with job- and employment-related social media content and/or reached out to contacts and recruiters about jobs on social media.
Social media and social recruiting software top the list of recruiting channels and technologies most used by employers
- 92% of employers use social and professional networks to recruit talent, ranking above employer referrals (87%), job boards (82%), and job ads (72%).
- Social media and/or social recruiting software top the list of increased and/or continued technology investments in 2021.
- 35% of employers increased their social recruiting efforts in 2020.
Diversity hiring is a priority for employers and job seekers alike
- One in four job seekers (26%) say that diversity, equity, and inclusion messages published by employers would make them more likely to apply to that company.
- Nearly two-thirds (63%) of job seekers say they check social media for employee and consumer comments about workforce diversity, or lack thereof, at a company.
- Launching or expanding diversity hiring programs is among the top three hiring initiatives for employers in 2021.
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. with 1,156 respondents: 489 human resources and hiring professionals and 667 adults ages 18 and over participated in CareerArc’s Future of Recruiting Study between November 16 and December 14, 2020.