Better candidate experience tops employers’ wish list for 2021

Improving candidate experience has emerged as the top priority for most in-house recruiters/employers in 2021, according to ‘The State of Recruitment in 2021 Employers Report’ conducted by Talent Nexus.

The greatest worry recorded for the rest of the year in the survey was generating results with less budget, followed closely by generating results with a smaller team or reduced capacity. “It’s not just budgets which took a hit last year,” the report said. “Redundancies and furloughed staff mean that finding ways to continue to be effective with a smaller team is also a big concern.”

The new year’s research revealed that 61% of this group were focusing most on improving candidate experience for the rest of the year while finding candidate attraction more difficult than in previous surveys in April and August 2020.

These results suggest that “some of the more pressing business demands have eased, allowing recruiters to focus on longer-term projects again”, the report said.

Filling existing vacancies and hiring for new roles were the second and third highest priorities for the in-house recruiters/employers surveyed, with workforce planning in fourth place, according to the report.

Reducing hiring costs was near the bottom of the 13-priority list with implementing automation and implementing new technology in the bottom two positions.

Similarly to the Talent Nexus report on agencies (, 12 April 2021), the in-house recruiters/employers said that the restrictions, which came into force in the third national lockdown this winter, had affected their organisations. Hiring freezes were reintroduced in some businesses that were unable to operate normally. “As we are an essential business, some vacancies have stayed open; however, vacancies for non-essential roles have been paused,” a respondent said.

Another said: “Recruitment has continued; right now, we are as busy as we were 12 months ago, but there is now more reliance on other teams to ‘up their game’ eg. HR shared services and process for issuing IT kit to keep candidate journey as a priority.”

Also noted in the report: “The self-reported wellbeing of in-house recruitment teams is higher than last year, suggesting staff are feeling more settled into the ‘new normal’ ways of working.” Seventy-two per cent of in-house recruiters reported positive wellbeing, compared with 59% in August and 52% last April (2020).

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