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 says:

  • 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.

Another article, published by Wyzwania HR, says that 1 out of 6 candidates considers the image and brand of an employer as an important factor before they decide to change their jobs. Recruitment websites are one of the main sources of information about a potential employer for more than 80% of candidates.

What are the potential threats?

  1. Companies treat employer branding superficially, confusing it with: PR & marketing activities, nice graphics, benefits programs for employees or recruitment activities.
  2. Only the HR or only the marketing departments (instead of both) carry out employer branding activities.
  3. Candidates 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).


→ 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. According to Occupop, chatbots enable candidates to communicate in real time, ask questions and they also give them useful tips and suggestions on next steps of the recruitment process. As data says, 99.3% of candidates who experienced communication with a chatbot said they were satisfied with the process. 73% of candidates didn’t even realize they were talking with AI.

What are the potential threats?

Kodabots asked their respondents a question, “What would stop you from using a chatbot?”. 38% of them answered that they prefer to talk with humans.

In other words: you’d be missing out on potentially good 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.”

Real-life case

In March 2018, Budimex decided to implement their “Emplobot” (intelligent chatbot) on their website. It was available for candidates 24 hours, 7 days in the week. Here more numbers:

  • After one month since its implementation, 25% of website visitors started a conversation with it.
  • After the first 3 months, 630 out of 1000 people who initiated a conversation with the Emplobot were invited to recruitment processes in the company.
  • As a final result, 100 candidates were invited to interviews.

Trend #3: Smartphonization

Nobody in 2021 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 this article, over 50% of candidates from all over the world would like to use mobile apps while responding to job ads – and this number is still increasing! Almost 90% of candidates use their mobile phones to search for job ads.

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. Not easy quick fix here: work closely with your IT department!

Trend #4: LinkedIn

94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates. The numbers speak for themselves – it’s not only a trend, but rather a rule.

Here’s more data, delivered by Business of Apps:

  • 35.5 million of people have been hired by a person with whom they connected on LinkedIn.
  • 122 million LinkedIn users had been invited to an interview via LinkedIn.
  • 95% of Fortune 500 companies used LinkedIn Talent Solutions.

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 the 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 opinions and bad employer branding.

How to solve it?

  •  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!

Coming up next: “HR trends: Recruiting Candidates

Here are the other articles from the series:

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