Talent Acquisition Statistics

The State of Talent Acquisition in 2022: Key Statistics

Jan 06, 2022 - Cat DiStasio

The importance of data in HR decision-making has been on the rise for years, and all the work-related trends stemming from the pandemic have sealed the deal. More than ever, HR and TA leaders need to look at the data to understand what’s happening in the talent market, in the broader workforce, and within their organizations. And, becoming more aware of the latest measurements and statistics leads to making better data-informed decisions about goal setting, strategy, and execution.

On the verge of the new year, we’re reflecting on all the historic workforce shifts in 2021, which shook up the labor market and left an indelible mark on the future. What’s happened this year will shape the next era in talent acquisition, and here are some of the most salient data points you need to know as you craft and update your strategies for talent sourcing, candidate engagement, DEI, onboarding, and beyond.

Read on to explore some of the most powerful statistics that reflect the current state of talent acquisition and give us clues to plan for the future.

2.8 million more jobs than available workers

We’re closing out the year with a record-high talent gap, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports there are now 2.8 million more available jobs than workers to fill them. The pressure is on for TA leaders to craft strategies that will improve talent sourcing, boost candidate engagement, speed up time to hire, and help their organization compete for top talent in a candidates’ market.

Record-high voluntary quit rates

Voluntary resignations have been climbing throughout 2021 and are now the highest on record, up 13% from pre-pandemic levels.

2 million more retirees than expected

The pandemic prompted many people to retire for a variety of reasons—by choice, after losing their job, or out of fear of COVID-19. And the numbers have been far higher than anticipated, with roughly 2 million more people than expected retiring since the beginning of the pandemic.

Recruiters and other HR professionals are 115% more likely to quit

All teams are being impacted by the Great Resignation, including HR and TA. HR professionals are 115% more likely than the average worker to explore a new job opportunity. This is in large part because HR teams are tasked with having to ‘do more with less’ due to the current state of the talent market. That’s all the more reason to look for technology solutions that alleviate administrative work, support a great candidate experience, and help TA teams do their jobs better.

Candidate and employee priorities continue to change

Recent surveys reveal that half of employed Americans are thinking about making a career change in the coming year. Those people have specific expectations from their future employers: 41% are seeking flexible and/or remote work, 39% desire a raise and/or promotion and 33% are interested in changing industries. This means employers need to work on creating a better employee experience now, and leverage that to attract candidates.

Candidate ghosting is a growing challenge

Candidate ghosting—dropping out during the recruiting process without a word—has risen, and is still climbing. During 2020, 28% of candidates ghosted an employer, up from 18% in 2019. They’re leaving because of poor communication, lack of response, and absence of opportunities to engage with potential employers throughout the recruiting process. (Hint: you can address all these reasons with a strong virtual recruiting strategy and a renewed focus on candidate experience.)

Hiring velocity has slowed down

At the same time, overall time to fill an open position is also up. For positions that used to be easy to fill, 61% of employers report it’s now taking at least two weeks longer to hire, according to Hourly by AMS and Talent Board’s 2021 High Volume Hiring Study. This is a double whammy, since taking longer to fill roles means you’re giving candidates more reasons to ghost you, while also lagging on your goals for bringing new folks in.

Half of workers are potential passive candidates right now

The sharp rise in voluntary quits is placing pressure on employees left behind. Recent surveys reveal that 50% of workers dislike their job, citing unfair pay, lack of appreciation, and poor communication as their top three reasons for dissatisfaction. Being unhappy at work means these workers are ripe for the picking for the right potential employer.

Candidates want applications to be faster, easier, and mobile-friendly

Shorter, faster applications yield better results. Reducing the time it takes to complete an online job application by 10% is associated with a 2.3% increase in job applications from mobile job seekers. At the same time, promoting a job opening as mobile-friendly attracts more candidates, increasing the number of applicants by 11.6%. Creating a no-application opportunities for people to join your talent community helps you market hiring events and future job openings to people who are interested. If your employer brand is strong and you're not doing this, you are missing a treasure trove of potential candidates.

Video interviewing remains a top priority in 2022

Recruiting teams named video interviews as a #1 priority in 2021 and 2022. As part of a robust virtual recruiting strategy, video interviews can help you get to know candidates fast, regardless of their location (and yours) and offer a more engaging candidate experience than emails and phone calls alone.

Agility is still the #1 asset of successful TA teams

Recruiting teams embraced the need for flexibility and ability to adapt this year. Recruiting professionals named agility as the key factor in successful recruiting.

Digesting all this data may take a while, so feel free to bookmark this page and come back to it whenever you need a refresher. We expect all of these trends to remain central to talent acquisition throughout 2022, and potentially beyond. Making decisions with these statistics in mind will help you build stronger strategies that yield better results—a winning combination amid some of the steepest talent challenges we’ve seen in our lifetime.

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