HR trends: Recruiting Candidates

HR trends: Recruiting Candidates

HR trends: Recruiting 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 #2 out of 5: Recruiting Candidates.

Trend #1: ATS (Applicant Tracking System)

Let’s face it: an average recruiter is flooded with hundreds of CVs. As a study conducted by InterviewMe says, 62% of respondents (recruiters and employers) use ATS in recruitment processes – as an easy and fast way to “scan” candidates.

Another research, published by eRecruiter in August 2020 tells us that:

  • 90% of recruiters use ATS.
  •  84% would feel the difference (in a negative way!) if they didn’t have the possibility to use ATS.
  • ATS allows them to shorten the most time-consuming steps of recruitment processes (CVs selection, communicating with candidates).
  • 8 out of 10 recruiters declare that using ATS is beneficial for the whole organization.
  • almost 80% of recruiters say that ATS speeds up the recruitment process.
  • 70% think that ATS helps them communicate with managers more easily.

According to Aptitude Research from 2021:

  • Over 80% of organizations with high-volume recruitment (see below Trend #9) use automated screening, but 65% of companies needs are not satisfied with their current ATS.
  • Eighty-two percent (82%) of companies with high-volume hiring needs are increasing their investment in technology this year.

And according to JobScan – back in 2019 already 98.8 % of Fortune 500 companies used ATS.

According to our own data, 60-70% of managerial and executive roles are handled by ATS and ATS pre-selection – that would have been unheard of till 2016!

What are the potential threats?

  1. Incorrect selection of candidates for technical reasons, as most ATS are “more A than I” – they reject good CVs because of e.g. not recognizing text in a table or not finding the right key words although they are theoretically there (recruiting doesn’t make with recruited). In other words: companies might miss out on (a lot of) valuable candidates!
  2. Advanced ATS (those that are more I than A) remember the recruiter’s choices and learns from them – instead of eliminating bias and increasing diversity of employees, the opposite happens.
  3. Candidates don’t trust AI – if they find out that the recruitment process is conducted by a bot, they might step back.
  4. Low(er) candidate experience, if the application process is not “quick and easy” enough. In some cases, despite uploading the CV, the candidate still has to fill out a loooong form by hand. Now imagine if an active job seeker has to do that 2-3 hrs / day for a handful of applications!


→ Instead of fully trusting ATS, review rejected candidates manually as part of the process.

→ If you are recruiting for key positions – especially senior ones, allow candidates to apply through an alternative channel, by email.

Trend #2: Tests

As surveys from 2020 show, more than 80% of Fortune 500 companies use online tests when hiring for C-level positions. 89 of Fortune 100 companies use Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality test to screen candidate and predict future success.

Here’s more data from 2021, delivered by

  • Herbert Heneman and Timothy Judge, in their book, Staffing Organizations, contend that pre-hiring testing, including aptitude and psychometric, is a far more efficient method of prediction than education and interviews alone (they state that cognitive ability tests are 37% more accurate indicators of future performance than a degree certificate).
  • Andy Gooday, Managing Director at Round Peg Search, said of psychometric testing that he believes the data speaks for itself. With psychometric testing used in his hiring process, he saw a 92% retention rate of staff hired and still with the company after two years.

What are the potential threats?

There’s a risk that companies will choose tests incorrectly – there are many of them that are not reliable and/or don’t fulfill the proper requirements. Additionally, the results might not be interpreted in the correct way.


→ Before you start testing candidates, do proper research. Analyze available tools, read opinions, ask experts. You should choose a test that is reliable and verifies a candidate’s competencies. Look at correctly calibrated benchmarks and set a benchmark based on your current top performers (in the sense of e.g. reliability, accuracy of delivery, quality of work) in the team.

At Career Angels, after thorough analysis, we decided to use I.a. these two tests as part of our recruitment process: Career View by Decision Dynamics and Top 5 CliftonStrengths. As a result, our personnel turnover was reduced from 30-50% to 0% (!).

Trend #3: Recorded job interviews

As HireVue says, by September 2019 it had conducted 12 million interviews – 20% of them via the AI, which means there was no human interviewer on the other end of a video screen. By February 2021, the number has risen to 19 million. A report from 2019 tells us that AI will replace 16% of recruitment sector jobs before 2029.

The newest HireVue Global Trends Report tells us that:

  • In 2020, 45% of respondents moved solely to virtual interviewing, while 31% moved to a combination of virtual and in-person.
  • In 2021, half as many moved solely to virtual interviewing, and a significantly higher number (37%) moved to a combination of in-person and virtual interviews.
  • Three out of four respondents are now using virtual interviews to some degree, with 20% relying solely on them for interview needs. Additionally, nearly half of respondents (45%) are using some form of automation in their hiring process, and 20% plan to implement it in the next 6-12 months.

Aptitude Research summarizes: in February 2020, less than 60% of companies were using or planning to use video interview providers. One year later, 74% of companies are using or planning to use video interview providers.

What are the potential threats and solutions?

  1. GDPR consent: before you start interviewing candidates via recordings, collaborate with lawyers to make sure all necessary consents are included.
  2. Candidates interviewed via video might be stressed or not up to date with technology, which leads to them being rated lower by interviewers and being less likely to be recommended for hiring, as reports show. As a solution – allow a “test round” or to repeat the recording.

Trend #4: Recruiting internal candidates

According to ThriveMyWay statistics from 2022:

  • 36% of organizations rely on internal hiring.
  • Internal hiring is 6x more effective than all other hiring sources. Internal hires retain organizational knowledge and get up to speed in their new roles more quickly than external hires.

Here more numbers from LinkedIn 2020 Global Talent Trends Report:

  • 41% longer employee tenure at companies with high internal hiring compared to those with low internal hiring.
  • 73% of talent professionals say internal recruiting is increasingly important to their company.
  • Most talent professionals (65%) acknowledge their company needs to improve its internal recruiting.

What are the potential threats?

  • Employees often believe that knowledge and familiarity with the organization’s rules alone will lead to a successful recruitment process. Moreover, it might lead to conflicts between departments and managers.
  • Sometimes there are not enough qualified internal candidates.
  • It’s more difficult to diversify the workforce.


  1. Communicate openly and transparently about rules and expectations!
  2. Formalize the process for greater diversity – internal recruiting should be structured and proactive rather than relying on employees finding opportunities on their own.
  3. You’ll have a larger talent pool if you think about developing talent for future skills rather than recruiting talent with fixed skills.
  4. Don’t seek perfection. Neither external nor internal hires typically come with 100% of needed skills and experience.

Trend #5: Plug&play candidates

More and more employers nowadays are looking for ideal “plug&play” candidates who represent a lower risk factor.

What are potential threats?

If you select candidates only by “ticking off” boxes based on a candidate’s CV, there’s a high chance you will miss out on a valuable employee.


Focus on competencies, not CVs. Change your way of thinking about candidates through the lens of e.g. role or age.

Trend #6: Ghosting

The data we had found while preparing last year’s “HR Trends – Threats”-cycle said the following:

  • 40-55% of companies “disappear” from recruitment processes (incl. agencies representing clients), leaving candidates with no feedback or reply, which leads to negative employer branding.
  • On other hand, 30-60% of candidates ghost their potential new employers at various stages of the recruitment process, which leads to smaller pool of candidates.

According to LinkedIn data from 2021:

  • 52% of candidates who were given feedback were more likely to continue a relationship with the company, but…
  • Only 7% of candidates received a phone call from a recruiter or hiring manager about a rejection.


Implement better procedures. Use automated solutions to reject candidates and, if you hire an agency, include a clause in the contract that guarantees that no candidate is ghosted. To avoid being ghosted by candidates, reply to them within 24 hours and include a “ghosting clause” in the job ad – highlight that candidates who ghost you will not be able to participate in the recruitment process in the future.

Data collected by Select Software Reviews in 2022 said that chatbots can help you save time by handling as many as 80% of standard questions within minutes. This is especially helpful knowing that over half of all applicants give up on a company if they haven’t received a response within two weeks of applying. Moreover, 31% of those candidates expect a customized message, which chatbots are capable of curating as they leverage existing data, machine learning, and natural language processing to make interactions personalized.

Trend #7: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I)

As data from SHRM says, 70% of candidates want to work for a company that cares about diversity and equality in a broad sense.
Business Insider in 2019 wrote that for 80% of candidates, the company’s approach to diversity is one of the most important factors when it comes to choosing a new employer.

According to Aptitude Research, Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is a top priority for organizations today, yet only 66% of companies with high-volume recruitment needs are focused on DEI this year, compared to 82% of traditional corporate hiring.

As data from Harvard Business Review report from 2021 summarizes:

  • The most common area in which organizations track diversity is in their hiring; 74% of all respondents track the diversity of new hires. Recruiting is next at 64%, followed by retention at 47%.
  • Two-thirds of DEI leaders who track equity and inclusion have seen improvement in equity (65%) in the past two years.
  • 50% of respondents from DEI laggard companies (who rate their organization as unsuccessful at improving DEI) say a lack of leadership commitment hinders their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Only 5% from DEI-leader companies (who rate their organization as being very successful) say they have this issue.

What are the potential threats?

47% of recruiters are not held accountable for the KPIs of DE&I strategy.

From the financial point of view, 16 billion USD is lost each year due to unfair treatment of employees and turnover.

Data from Harvard Business Review says that 67% of respondents say their organization is, at best, only somewhat successful at creating a workplace that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.


→ Good leaders know that what gets measured gets managed. Introduce KPIs along with educating all stakeholders. Moreover, align the KPIs with market realities.

Trend #8: HR analytics

According to LinkedIn Global Trends 2020 report 73% of companies decided that focusing on HR analytics is their priority for the next few years, but, at the same time, 55% of talent professionals say they still need help putting basic people analytics into practice.

Another data from SHRM says that 71% of companies see HR analytics as a high priority for their organization, though the progress of implementing it is slow.

What are the potential threats?

  1. Data is accessible and analyzed, but the results of analysis are not aligned with the organization’s strategy, it might lead to nothing.
  2. Data is collected only by one department. HR analysis is about integrating data from different departments and/or locations to show the processes in the organization in the most reliable way. What happens often – data from one department is not compatible with data from another – it’s difficult to analyze them as one.
  3. Data is not collected = can’t be interpreted.


Implement data collection and analysis – even simple ones: length of hiring process, number of ghosted candidates, etc.

Trend #9: High-volume recruitment

High-volume recruitment refers to the practice of filling a large number of positions in a short period of time. According to a new study from Aptitude Research, 65% of companies have high-volume recruitment needs today. Here more numbers:

  • The area where most candidates drop-off is the apply phase (43%).
  • One in two candidates drops off when they find out the pay for a position.
  • Sixty-five percent (65%) of companies with high-volume recruitment needs are not satisfied with their current ATS.

What are the potential threats?

Companies with high-volume needs face several challenges, including:

  • the ability to find quality hires (48%)
  • candidates not interested in applying (42%)
  • high drop-off rates (39%)
  • retain talent
  • compete for talent


Companies with high-volume recruitment needs must consider different (better) strategies.

  1. Simplify the process, by e.g. reducing the application or assessment time to several minutes.
  2. Invest in high-volume technology (e.g. programmatic job advertising or automated screening).
  3. Efficiency is not the only important factor – remember quality.
  4. Define proper KPIs – success for high-volume recruitment may look different from traditional
    corporate recruitment.

Trend #10: Recruiting via Social Media

As 2021 data from PostBeyond says:

  • 92% of employers said they use social networks to find talent.
  • 86% of job seekers say they use social media for their job search.
  • 41% of younger respondents said they were most likely to use social media to look for new jobs.

LinkedIn 2022 hiring stats say that recruiting through social media is gaining importance day by day, as it has proven to be an effective way of recruiting. Here more numbers:

  • LinkedIn is the most-used channel for recruitment efforts — with 77% taking advantage — followed by Facebook (63%).
  • 73% of millennials found their current roles through social media.

Apart from LinkedIn, there are also other channels:

  • Facebook’s Graph Search lets you search profiles based on location, interests, pages liked, areas of study, and more. Graph Search is a great way to find potential candidates if you’re looking for local talent with specific education experience or interests.
  • Twitter’s advanced search feature is the most limited. If candidates and recruiters in your field use specific hashtags, you may be able to search that hashtag to find candidates.
  • In 2021, TikTok introduced TikTok Resumes. It allows some companies to post job openings. Candidates can respond with short videos which basically act as resumes. It’s an unconventional approach, but it offers a lot of potential in reaching out to young prospects who are comfortable with using TikTok.

What are the potential threats?

  1.  Despite 2022 – not all applicants have social media accounts. That leaves many talented candidates out of the running if you only use social media.
  2. It’s difficult to confirm social media account information – much information you’ll find on social media pages is subjective, which might cause you to hire or dismiss a candidate based on unreliable information.


Don’t rely only on social media – use also other ways to find the right candidates – that could increase your chance to find a perfect match. And, when you want to use social media, choose the right ones: you could post everything on every platform, but that isn’t an efficient strategy. Figure out where your employees and ideal candidates spend their time online, then choose the top platforms for social media recruiting.

Coming up next: “HR trends: Onboarding 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: