2021 Recruitment Marketing Strategies Report

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Recruitment marketing technology company Symphony Talent has just released its 2021 Recruitment Marketing Strategies Report, based on several years of research on Fortune 500 companies. 

In a year where transparent communication, efficient screening and hiring, and future pipelining were critical, the majority of businesses missed a critical opportunity to create a competitive edge with millions of potential candidates. Just 32% addressed COVID-19 resources or updates, and only 7% utilized email communication to send stories or content to their talent communities. 

“We’ve been able to quantify the growth and investment in recruitment marketing as a necessary discipline since 2015,” said Roopesh Nair, chief executive officer at Symphony Talent. “In this volatile year, it’s clear that the most agile and successful companies were the few that had already established a solid strategy and technology foundation.” 

Roopesh Nair

Some of the most prominent businesses in national news due to their impact on and response to the pandemic — like CVS Health, Stryker, and Ecolab — were among the 14% of the Fortune 500 categorized as recruitment marketing pioneers (“A” grades), scoring high in categories like nurture, personalization and initiative hiring. 

CVS Health — a company that hired more than 61,000 people this year, including 2,000+ displaced workers from hard-hit industries — took the number one overall spot for the second year in a row due to its leading strategies in employer branding content, talent network communication, and adoption of emerging technology like conversational engagement and candidate relationship management (CRM) automation. 

“Our plans for innovation ‒ like utilizing new strategies in our CRM, upskilling the team on tools, improving the candidate experience touchpoints, flipping our recruitment funnel ‒ started long before 2020,” said Kerry Noone, director of employer branding at CVS Health. “When COVID-19 hit, our plans just accelerated, and we continued to grow throughout the pandemic, allowing us to hire pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and nurses to administer the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it was available.”

Kerry Noone

While A-scoring companies are slightly up over six years of research, the vast majority of the Fortune 500 still struggle to utilize technology, effectively communicate with unique talent audiences, and connect the dots across recruiting channels. A few crucial findings include:

  • Companies are trying to use ATSes and/or CRMs to more efficiently connect with talent. 76% of companies now have a talent network or job alerts, up from 57% in 2019. 
  • Having a talent network doesn’t mean excelling at talent nurture. Only 54% of companies send any type of communication to people, the majority of which are unpersonalized job reqs. 
  • While the use of conversational engagement has almost doubled since 2017, still only 11% of companies utilized a chatbot on their career site. 

The Symphony Talent in-house research team focused on 27 critical recruitment marketing strategies utilized by the Fortune 500 across search, career site, talent network and social media channels from August to November 2020. For the first time, Symphony Talent’s report also looks at a comparison set of companies from the Fortune 50 Fastest Growing. 

Download the research report here. 

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