New TA Survey Data Reveal Gaps in Satisfaction Levels of Recruiters, Candidates, and the C-Suite

Disconnects happen all the time in recruiting and the candidate experience, right? They’re unavoidable. Schedules change. Phone calls and emails cross paths. Even urgent interviews have to get pushed back from time to time. The good news is TA teams and recruiting technologies are making these kinds of disconnects rarer and rarer. But there are more troubling instances that deserve our attention.

For instance, Talent Board’s latest global survey of recruiters and TA professionals, conducted in partnership with Brazen, has uncovered a few key disconnects between the satisfaction levels of recruiters, job candidates, and senior leaders.

These are the kinds of discrepancies that speak to deeper issues in our processes and practices.

The Disconnect Between Recruiters and Candidates

For starters, we asked our 375 survey participants to describe their satisfaction level regarding their current ability to attract and source qualified candidates. To be honest, we expected their responses to be skewed somewhat negatively. After all, TA professionals are working in arguably the most volatile market in decades, dealing with historic talent shortages, and facing widespread candidate ghosting. Yet, 70% of respondents said they’re satisfied or very satisfied with their current attraction and sourcing capabilities! (I’ll get to what’s driving their satisfaction below.)

The distressing aspect of this is that, while recruiters’ overall level of satisfaction is quite high, candidate resentment spiked 75% in North America in 2021 and is on track to remain high for the duration of 2022. Candidate resentment is a measure of the antipathy job seekers feel after enduring a poor candidate experience with a potential employer. TA teams need to take a hard look at the gap between their satisfaction levels and those of candidates—and many teams should be focusing on what they can do to combat candidate resentment, as it can have devastating effects on both their employer brand and their business.

High levels of resentment mean candidates are far more likely to forego applying to a company’s jobs in the future, referring colleagues and friends to the company, or purchasing its products or services. Plus, they’re far more likely to post negative reviews about the company across employer review sites, social media, and their own professional and personal networks.

The Disconnect Between Recruiters and the C-Suite

Equally distressing is the disconnect between recruiters’ satisfaction levels and those of the C-suite. More specifically, 47% of C-suite survey participants said they’re “very satisfied” with recruiters’ attraction and sourcing capabilities. This is substantially higher than the 21% of recruiters who said they’re “very satisfied.”

I know what you might be thinking. Is this really a problem? Why not let well enough alone?

As tempting as that might be, not addressing this discrepancy is only delaying the inevitable. At some point soon, talent shortfalls and missed hiring targets are going to force TA teams to have some challenging conversations with leadership, who are going to feel blindsided by the team’s talent acquisition problems. Better to have these conversations proactively and sooner rather than later.

The gap between recruiters’ and the C-Suite’s perceptions is nothing new. Talent Board has found and written about this trend many times in past research projects. Recruiters typically have a more granular and realistic view of their team’s abilities and results than executives do because they’re on the frontlines of attracting and sourcing candidates. It’s crucial that TA teams take action to better align perceptions and close existing gaps, as that will go a long way toward establishing realistic and achievable recruitment targets for the future.

So, What’s Driving TA Teams’ Satisfaction?

One driver of TA teams’ high satisfaction is the use of recruiting technologies, which help to streamline and improve virtually every aspect of their jobs and the candidate experiences they deliver. As I’ve noted in previous posts, all 10 of 2021’s CandE Award-winning companies (i.e., those with the highest-rated candidate experiences) incorporate recruiting technologies into their experiences to one degree or another.

Our survey found that the top five recruiting technologies participants are currently using to attract and engage candidates are:

  1. Candidate matching & sourcing technologies – 37%
  2. ATSs – 34%
  3. Job distribution platforms/software – 33%
  4. Virtual recruiting event platforms – 32%
  5. Programmatic advertising and video job description platform – tied at 24% each

Indeed, satisfaction levels actually do rise among our survey participants whose companies utilize these types of recruiting tech. We also found that top three technologies participants plan to add over the next 12 months are:

  1. Virtual recruiting event platform – 29%
  2. Job distribution platform/software tied with programmatic advertising – both at 25%
  3. Video job description platform – 23%

Virtual recruiting event platforms—the top planned tech investment—have become essential as a result of the pandemic and the global shift to virtual talent attraction and engagement strategies. We expect demand for these platforms to double as employers look for ways to fill talent shortfalls and growing numbers of workers search for and demand work-from-home gigs and flexible work arrangements

As I wrote in my previous post, I’ve barely scratched the surface of the data available in our new report, which you can download here. The full report covers TA teams’ top challenges, their top attraction and engagement activities, more insights into their favored recruiting technologies, and much more. I may be biased, but I highly recommend you read it!

Also, join us for a webinar on Thursday, May 19, where we’ll share the insights from this research report. 


Be safe and well.

Kevin W. Grossman, Talent Board President


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