5 Shocking Findings of The 2019 Recruiting Automation Trends Report

January 24, 2019 at 8:45 AM by Grace Newman

Each year we survey hundreds of TA professionals to uncover the leading trends, practices, and challenges facing recruiters and piece these together in our annual Recruiting Trends Report. Last year, amongst many interesting findings, our 2018 report shed some much needed light on the important role recruiting automation has begun to play within the most successful talent organizations.


This year’s report examines the same three categories as its predecessor – candidate discovery, candidate engagement and outreach, and diversity & inclusion – but this time, through the lens of recruiting automation.

Taking an extensive look at the state of affairs in talent organizations across the globe, the 2019 Recruiting Automation Trends Report is chalk-full of incredible (and surprising) findings. Here are the 5 that surprised us the most and what they should tell you about your recruiting automation strategy in 2019:

1. 60% of recruiters say finding the right candidates is their top challenge, and 40% say it’s engaging with candidates.

Although candidate engagement has historically been a point of challenge, we found that this year the bigger challenge for recruiters is finding that best-fit talent in the first place.

This may be surprising to some, but when you consider the widening skills gap within today’s labor market – aka the growing demand for highly-skilled professionals that far exceeds the supply– this stat starts to make sense.

Leveraging an intelligent sourcing tool clears away the most tedious and time-consuming parts of sourcing from your plate, while still providing you with a pipeline full of high quality candidates. With all that extra time, you can focus on the outreach and engagement piece of the puzzle, which for 40% of recruiters, is the most challenging part.  


2. 39% of recruiters rank email as the preferred outreach method, followed by phone/text with 33% and LinkedIn inMails with 13% dropping to 3rd place- a dramatic decrease since 2018’s report (30%)

Much like last year, email remains the preferred channel for candidate engagement. However, what is truly noteworthy is the significant dip in preference for InMail. When candidates are saturated with recruiting emails through one channel, as is the case with InMails, it’s unsurprising that those messages become nothing more than white noise.

A layered, multi-touch outreach strategy – across email, phone, and social/inMail – is a much more effective approach, allowing you to catch candidates on their preferred medium. Start with an appropriate email campaign, personalize your messaging in a scalable way, and lean on automation to rid yourself of manual, time consuming tasks.


3. 47% of recruiters don’t track open rates, 52% don’t track CTRs.

Recruiters spend up to half of their week on candidate outreach, yet the vast majority fail to track their email open, click-through, and reply rates. Without any insight into what is happening on the other side of their outreach, these recruiters continue to waste away hours of their week playing a guessing game.

When you consider that over 70% of recruiters say it takes at least 2 emails to get candidates to engage, this becomes even more shocking. Without insight into email metrics, how can recruiters prioritize and strategize follow-up outreach?

Be sure to keep a close eye on all three of these metrics. Reply rates may give you a general sense of your most successful messaging, but open rates and click through rates give you actionable insight into the engagement of your “silent” candidates. You can then make a more informed decision about who to follow up with and even, what to send them (click’s can tell you the content that most resonated).


4. Only 25% of recruiters believe they have the tools in place to ensure their sourcing process is fair and unbiased.

Throughout 2018, unconscious bias has come up in more conversations about diversity & inclusion than ever before, and yet the majority of organizations have yet to implement the tools and processes to mitigate it.

From the criteria used to select candidates to the language chosen in outreach, there are many opportunities for unconscious bias to make its way into hiring decisions. We can lean on AI to level the playing field by eliminating as many of these opportunities as possible.

5. 75% of recruiters lack confidence in their ability to leverage AI tools to recruit

Given the financial investment organizations make when bringing on AI-powered tools, its bewildering to see such a low confidence level amongst end-users. This further points to the importance of onboarding and training.

Factor in a provider’s onboarding, training, and support offerings in your evaluation process. Build out an internal implementation plan, set objectives and key results for the team, and work closely with recruiters to adapt training towards their specific needs. Lay the groundwork upfront so your team can see the time- and cost-saving benefits of recruiting automation down the road.

Interested in hearing the full story? Download the report here.



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