HR trends: Attracting Candidates

HR trends: Attracting Candidates

HR trends: Attracting Candidates

About the series: CV-19 has accelerated many trends, including (or especially!) those related to HR and recruitment. Companies that want to hire valuable candidates – who don’t quit after 3 months – have to make sure they keep up with the newest trends. What’s even more important: they need to implement new strategies in the right way.

Trends that are introduced too fast and/or by the wrong department will backfire by e.g. generating additional costs, negative employer branding, losing valuable candidates, longer recruitment processes, low(er) candidate experience, etc.

To help companies avoid these mistakes, we put together a summary of the most important trends along an employee’s life cycle – with their accompanying threats and – where possible – adding relatively simple quick wins – everything backed up with stats and real cases.

This week, we are sharing trends and threats related to Phase #1 out of 5: Attracting Candidates.

Trend #1: Employer Branding

A report published by HRM Institute back in 2020 said:

  • Employer branding is one of the most important priorities for 30% of companies.
  • 52% of companies say that EB is important, but not a priority.
  • +10% more companies have implemented employer branding strategy.
  • 47% of companies have smaller budget for it, 5% of companies have no budget for it at all.
  • In times of CV-19, more companies decide to focus on internal employer branding and communication instead of external activities.

According to Universum’s Employer Branding NOW 2022 study, employer branding is critical to standing out amidst talent disruption. Among the WMAE (World Most Attractive Employers), 86% call it a top priority — a 15 point jump in just one year. And among non-WMAE large companies, 75% cite it as a priority in 2022.

Based on our own observations, our conversations with those in charge of employer branding and looking at other trustworthy publications, employer branding is here to stay.

What are the potential threats?

  1. Companies might still treat employer branding superficially, confusing it with: PR & marketing activities, nice graphics, benefit programs for employees or recruitment activities.
  2. Often only the HR or only the marketing departments (instead of both) carry out employer branding activities.
  3. Candidates might have unrealistic expectations which leads to higher personnel turnover.
  4. Treating all candidates and employees the same – forgetting about proper segmentation into career types (that translate into motives, engagement factors or competences).
  5. Many talent leaders admit they are still not data-driven when it comes to recruiting. Companies clearly indicate that data-driven recruiting is a priority, but, as data from Universum’s study says, only half “frequently or always” make employer brand marketing decisions that are data-driven.


→ We couldn’t find a “quick fix” for that – it’s a matter of educating all involved departments / business units around the differences between Employer Branding, EVP or developing a corporate culture.

Trend #2: Chatbots

More and more recruiters and companies decide to use AI and automation in their recruitment processes. An article by from April 2022 summarizes:

  • XOR, a recruiting chatbot vendor, claims their chatbot solution improves the recruitment process by 33%, screens 85% more resumes with the same budget, and spends 50% less per hire.
  • According to a survey by Allegis, 58% of candidates were happy to interact with AI and recruitment chatbots during the early stages of the application process.

About chabots in general:

  • By 2022, estimates are that chatbots will save businesses $8 billion.
  • Chatbots are predicted to save businesses 2.5 billion hours by 2023.
  • By 2022, chatbots will be reducing cost per customer interaction by $0.70.
  • It is thought the global chatbot market will reach over $994 million by 2024.

The data we had found while preparing last year’s “HR Trends – Threats”-cycle said the following:
“Chatbots are only getting better and smarter. In fact, as many as 73% of candidates couldn’t tell they were interacting with a chatbot when they reached out to companies to ask basic questions pertaining to their applications. More companies are adopting AI-powered technologies to streamline their recruiting efforts. A recent survey found that 23% of companies who are already using AI-powered technology, were doing so in their HR department.”

What are the potential threats?

  1. HR professionals have the ability to understand / interpret candidate emotions and reactions – chatbots, obviously, can’t. That could negatively affect the user experience – it’s possible you’d be missing out on potentially good candidates!
  2. The algorithms of chatbots may contain different biases of people who build the algorithms
  3. Every candidate speaks in a slightly different way – even in the same language. Consequently, it can be difficult for chatbots to give accurate results (choosing the right chat algorithm).
  4. Some candidates, especially the more experienced ones, might straight out refuse to interact with a bot which could mean loosing out on potentially fantastic candidates!


→ Prepare a FAQ document and share it with potential candidates (e.g. as an easy download or published next to the job ad on the website). This way, everyone can read the answers that have already been coded and fed into the chatbot anyway AND that increases the chances of retaining more candidates.

At Career Angels, after thorough analysis, we decided to substitute the screening calls with a detailed FAQ file. Below an opinion from one of our candidates:

“I really appreciate how you’ve optimized your recruitment process for maximum efficiency. A concise FAQ document provided to the candidate at this stage is a brilliant idea. It has indeed answered many of the questions I had. Having reviewed the document you’ve attached, as well as your company website once again, I can’t help but feel that this opportunity does seem like a good fit.”

Trend #3: Smartphonization

Nobody in 2022 should be surprised that more and more activities are moving online. An increase in the use of mobile devices is what comes with it – consequently, more candidates are becoming “mobile candidates”. Companies who don’t want to miss out on them have to adapt accordingly.

According to the Monster 2022 Global Report, 32% of Gen Z job seekers say they do most of their job searching via a mobile device or app (vs. 22% overall).

LinkedIn statistics show that 45% of active candidates have applied to a job on their mobile devices.

As data from says, mobile job applicants aren’t just Gen-Z. 55% of people ages 35 to 44 used mobile devices to apply to jobs, compared to 44% of both 18- to 24-year olds and those 65 and older.

56% of men prefer to have a video call as a job interview via their mobile phone (aka selfie-mode & talking). But…

What are the potential threats and solutions?

  1. 2 out of 3 women say they don’t feel comfortable interviewing on a video call via their phone – as a solution: over “normal” video calls via Skype, Zoom and alike!
  2. Many platforms used by companies are not yet adapted to mobile devices and/or don’t offer their own mobile apps. Data from LinkedIn says that only 20% of employers have a mobile optimized career site. No easy quick fix here: work closely with your IT department!

Trend #4: LinkedIn

According to LinkedIn statistics:

  • Every second, 95 job applications are submitted on LinkedIn.
  • Every minute, 6 people are hired on LinkedIn.
  • Every week, 50 million people use LinkedIn to search for jobs.

Here’s more data delivered by

  • 87% of recruiters regularly use LinkedIn – the numbers speak for themselves – it’s not only a trend, but rather a rule.
  • Employees sourced through the site are 40% less likely to leave the company within the first 6 months.
  • 122 million people received an interview through LinkedIn with 35.5 million having been hired by a person they connected with on the site.

What are the potential threats?

If a recruiter has to contact 1000 candidates to find 5 valuable ones that will be short-listed, it’s easy to imagine how flooded with messages they are. As a result, they tend not to get back to candidates that haven’t been qualified for the next steps of the recruitment process – leaving them confused, waiting for something that will never happen, surprised or dissatisfied. That leads to bad employer branding.


  • If you are a recruiter: apply the “Inbox 0” rule on LinkedIn. Archive all the messages that you have responded to or don’t have to respond to – leave only those that require a reply in your Inbox – and yes, that includes replying to the candidates who haven’t been qualified for next steps! This way, you will remember what’s on your “to do” list.
  • If you are a company who hires an external recruitment agency: you could include a clause in the contract that guarantees every single candidate receives a reply – in other words: nobody is ghosted!

Trend #5: Environmental, Social, and Governance

ESG are everywhere – including the awareness and decision making of candidates.

  • A Mondaq article from 2022 reported that for 41% of employees, employer ethics and values are key engagement factors.
  • According to, for almost 4 out of 10 Polish employees, company’s pro-ecological actions are additional encouragement to participate in its recruitment. Among people with higher education (who often apply for specialist positions), almost half of them say so. Even at the beginning of the recruitment process, candidates want to know, what the environmental policy of the company looks like.

What are potential threats?

As a company’s ESG influences a company’s employer branding, be careful with “overselling” that aspect. Don’t underestimate a candidate’s disappointment that can lead to higher personnel turnover.


→ We couldn’t find a “quick fix” for that aspect.

Coming up next: “HR trends: Recruiting Candidates”

If you’d like to discuss how we could potentially support your organization, feel free to get in touch by email with

Here are the other articles from the series: