Trends and Benchmarks

2020 Recruiting Trends: Follow-Ups

Lauren Shufran

Lauren Shufran

Content Strategist

Posted on

November 5, 2020

Gem's 2020 Recruiting Trends Report uncovered three sets of trends worth digging further into: Sourcing & Outreach, Diversity, and Data & Metrics. So we created three reports that focused exclusively on these topics.

Earlier this year, Gem published its 2020 Recruiting Trends Report, based on a survey of nearly 500 talent acquisition professionals that ran for six weeks starting on April 6—three weeks after shelter-in-place was announced in the Bay Area. We’d been planning questions for a very different trends report, many of which we preserved because that data was essential for companies whose hiring loads were either unimpacted, or had increased. But we also included questions about the challenges teams faced in light of the pandemic.

While putting that report together this summer, we observed three sets of trends that seemed worth digging further into: Sourcing & Outreach, Diversity, and Data & Metrics. So we created three “mini-reports” that focused on these topics. They contain not only the industry data we gathered from your responses to these topics; but also best practices for approaching these matters.

2020 Recruiting Trends: Sourcing & Outreach

For many talent acquisition teams, the pandemic has meant reduced reqs and headcounts, redefined team functions, and downshifts in processes and priorities; for others, it’s meant doubling-down on hiring amidst an influx of inbound applications. What we’ve found, however—both in the survey and over the course of many conversations with talent acquisition professionals this year—is that teams are continuing to focus on sourcing and outreach, even when there aren’t open reqs, and even when they’re seeing more applications than they’ve ever seen. In other words, there’s something to be said about the importance of sourcing—no matter what the economy, or your own hiring load, looks like. 

In 2020 Recruiting Trends: Sourcing & Outreach, we look at how talent acquisition teams are thinking about dedicated sourcing roles, what channels they’re conducting their outreach on and how much time they’re putting into that outreach, where they’re finding their highest-quality candidates, and where their struggles for sourcing and outreach lie. We then dive into the benefits of passive talent sourcing, as well as some best practices for your initial recruiting outreach email. 

2020 Recruiting Trends: Diversity

Of course, 2020 has been about more than the pandemic. This year saw the renewed visibility of the Black Lives Matter movement and worldwide protests on a scale we haven’t seen in decades. On top of the economic crisis, companies have had to do some serious reflecting on what diversity, equity, and inclusion look like in their workforces. And while it will ultimately be up to recruitment to impact the “D” of their organizations’ DEI initiatives, it may be up to talent leaders to help steer the “E” and the “I” as well. 

In 2020 Recruiting Trends: Diversity, we look at how talent acquisition teams are thinking about diversity initiatives, what “diversity” means for them, what their biggest challenges are to diversifying the pipeline, and how they see diversity initiatives trending for the remainder of 2020. We then dive into four concrete steps talent acquisition leaders can take for diversity, equity, and inclusion in their respective organizations. 

2020 Recruiting Trends: Data & Metrics

In the midst of the uncertainty that 2020 has left us with, it’s clear that there are some things about our work, our industry, and our recruiting and hiring processes that we can know. And those things can be tracked and measured with data. 

In 2020 Recruiting Trends: Data & Metrics, we look at how many teams consistently rely on data to track performance, identify pipeline issues, and forecast hiring; what KPIs talent leaders are paying the most attention to; where data and metrics fall in terms of talent leaders’ top priorities; and how they see data-driven recruiting trending into 2021. We then dive into the most important metrics to report to your C-levels, and the most important ones to look at with your sourcers and recruiters. 

At Gem, we see these not only as three of the most important trends that came out of your experiences in 2020; we also see them as three of the most important trends going into 2021. So dig in, take a look at how your peers are thinking about these topics, and feel free to hit us up if you want to learn more. 


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