The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on talent acquisition teams was widespread. As campuses closed their doors to students, recruiters were forced to find new ways of connecting with candidates. Plus, with candidates in the driver’s seat, recruiters found themselves scrambling to gain the attention of early career professionals and competing with similar companies for the same pool of talent.
More than two years out from the start of the pandemic, we are now facing uncertain economic times heading into the fall recruiting season. But while the future might be murky, recruitment teams are already deep into the planning process to secure top talent this fall. So, what does the upcoming season look like? What challenges are your peers facing? Are recruiters returning to campus? How are they planning to form an employer brand and keep D&I in mind? Where will events be taking place?
During our recent ‘Now & Next’ customer conference, we surveyed 100 talent professionals for their thoughts on the top challenges and strategies for the season ahead. Read on for some highlights from the data we collected and find the full micro-report here.
A majority of recruiters are worried about competing with similar companies and recruiting a diverse slate of candidates heading into the fall
When we asked recruiters what their biggest challenges are heading into the fall, we found that a large share of recruiters (63.7%) are concerned with how they are going to cut through the noise and win over candidates in a crowded market, as well as connecting with a diverse group of talent (63.7%). One recruiter wrote in the survey that they are specifically struggling with “appealing to ‘why’ [candidates] should choose our company over larger corporations,” and another wrote that their top challenge is “identifying ways that meaningfully separate us from our competitor firms in the eyes of Gen Z talent.”
Our data also found that 38.1% of recruiters dubbed their biggest challenge to be working with a lean team. One recruiter wrote into the survey that their team is dealing with a “reduction in headcount due to the economy,” and another added that they are struggling to compete with their limited “team resources and campus travel budget.”
When we broke down the data by those who manage a team and those who do not, we found that talent professionals who don’t manage a team were significantly more likely to say that one of their top challenges going into the fall was hosting engaging events (50%), compared to those who manage a team (27%). Those who do not manage a team were also slightly more concerned with competing for top talent and recruiting a diverse slate of candidates.
Nearly 80% of recruiters plan to recruit both on-campus and virtually this fall
We also asked recruiters where recruitment will be taking place this fall, and found that most recruiters are planning to return to campus. Specifically, we found that 77.9% of recruiters will be connecting with students both on-campus and virtually, and that 15% of recruiters will primarily be recruiting on campuses this upcoming season. Just 7% of recruiters said they will be abandoning in-person recruiting this fall.
Most talent teams are leveraging partnerships and technology to recruit a diverse slate of candidates this fall
When we asked recruiters what strategies they are employing to recruit a diverse slate of candidates, we found that a strong majority of recruiters (72.6%) will be forming diversity-focused partnerships with local student organizations or campus clubs to do so. 66.4% of recruiters said they will using a tech solution, such as RippleMatch, to recruit diverse talent, and 55% said they will be using specific strategies and events to reach candidates from HBCUs. About half of the recruiters said they will be forming diversity-focused partnerships with national or regional organizations, and leveraging members of their ERGS to connect with diverse candidates.
Recruiters are choosing to invest in their early careers pages to showcase employer brand over leveraging social media platforms such as TikTok
To showcase their employer brand to Gen Z, our data shows that a majority of recruiters (65.5%) will be focusing on how they can best showcase their opportunities, benefits, and company culture to talent on their early career pages. We also found that while a little more than half of recruiters said they will be encouraging their employees to post about their company on their personal social media platforms, just 27% of recruiters will be turning to Instagram to showcase their brand, and only 7% will be utilizing the social media platform made popular by Gen Zers — TikTok.
Info session and careers fairs remain the most popular recruitment events to host and attend
What kinds of events are recruiters planning to host and attend this fall? When we asked recruiters what events they will be hosting this upcoming recruitment season, 76% said they will be offering general company info sessions, followed by 64.6% who said they will be partnering with local campus organizations and student groups to host events. About half of recruiters said they would host professional development events and panels with current or former employees. The least popular events to host this fall are ‘coffee chats’ with hiring managers or employees (34.5%), followed by ‘fun’ events for candidates to get them excited about the company before committing (26.5%).
When it comes to what events recruiters will be attending this fall, 72.6% will be participating in in-person career fairs for a specific major, and 69% will be attending general campus career fairs. About 60% of recruiters will be attending general careers fairs and those for specific majors virtually, and 41.6% will be attending career expos with professional organizations such as Grace Hopper.
While in some ways the talent industry is still feeling the aftershocks of the pandemic, in others ways recruiters are returning to the strategies they utilized before COVID-19. For example, while recruiters are still facing increasing demands from candidates and are continuing to struggle to compete with similar companies, many are returning to campus to recruit and planning to attend campus career fairs again. For more insights on what recruiters today are struggling with and planning for the fall, check out our full micro-report.
You can also find replays of our ‘Now & Next’ customer conference here.