Recruitment Blog

Your 2021 overview: Recruitment and talent acquisition insights

Sarah Linney
Content Marketing Manager at JobAdder
Recruitment and talent acquisition

Wondering what trends shaped 2021 across the recruitment and HR space? Our 2021 Global Industry Report reveals essential recruitment and talent acquisition insights. 

Our report clearly shows that job growth boomed across the year, applications per job declined significantly, proactively sourcing candidates rather than posting job ads saw a substantial increase amongst agency users (but not in-house users) and days to hire has increased.

Read on to discover more about these key 2021 trends for the recruitment and talent acquisition industry. 

DOWNLOAD NOW: JobAdder’s 2021 Global Industry Report – Recruitment and Talent Acquisition

Job growth boomed but took a late hit

Last year was dominated by a huge surge in jobs after the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 in 2020. 

Employers were keen to rehire and grow teams that had suffered during the first year of the crisis, and job growth clearly reflected that. 

In Australia, the average number of new jobs created per agency account hit a high of 65.41 in Q2 2021 and 64.71 in Q3. However, this took a slight hit in Q4 due to the Omicron variant with the average number of new jobs falling to 62.05.

In New Zealand, this sentiment was mirrored, with a significant 14% drop from Q3 to Q4 (58.91 in Q3, 50.93 in Q4).

Despite this decline, when compared year-on-year, there was still significant growth for new jobs in 2021, with Australian agency users only creating an average of 47.99 jobs in Q4 2020, compared to the aforementioned 62.05 in Q4 2021. This suggests that while the Omicron variant did hit the market later in 2021, we did see steady and notable growth in jobs across Australia. 

To access the results seen in the UK, US and Canada, download our free report now. 

Clear consequences from coronavirus on applications per job

For the first time, our global report took a look at how applications per job evolved over the past few years, highlighting how COVID-19 impacted job applications.

Before the pandemic, there was a gradual increase in applications per job from 2017 until 2020, particularly for agency users which saw the average move from 20.10 in 2017 to 20.80 in 2018, 23.80 in 2019 and 28.90 in 2020. 

During 2020, we saw a sharp rise in applications per job due to the emergence of the COVID-19 crisis, which saw new jobs fall by more than 50% in April 2020 and mass layoffs resulted in more candidates in the market, both of these factors leading to a spike in applications per job.

However, after the initial shock the pandemic brought to the job market, jobs began to grow towards the end of 2020. As a result, jobs growth has far outpaced applications, leading to applications per job decreasing at the end of 2020 and continuing that trend into 2021, where we see applications per job fall to 19.50 for in-house users and 13.10 for agency users.

Agency users embracing proactive sourcing

Another new section in our reporting examines how our agency and in-house JobAdder users were approaching proactive versus reactive recruitment.

This means separating applications by ad channels (i.e. through job posting to job boards) or sourcing channels (i.e. sourcing candidates proactively and adding them to their open job). 

Our agency users had a fairly consistent reliance on database sourcing and proactive sourcing channels pre-pandemic with around 20% of applicants coming from proactive sourcing channels throughout 2019. 

Once COVID-19 hit, this jumped from 19% to 29% in one quarter and has steadily increased throughout 2020 and 2021, reaching 50/50 in the last quarter of the year. This is likely due to the shortage of candidates in the global market, as demonstrated by the decline of applications per job.
If you want to see how in-house users adopted proactive sourcing, how days to place changed over 2021 and how agency fees are shifting, download our 2021 Global Industry Report now.

Our 2021 global industry report and webinar detail all the data and insights you’ll need in 2022…

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