Fetcher's 2021 Recruiting Trends Report

What the future of recruiting will look like

December 2, 2021

2021RecruitingTrends-Meta

2021 has been a year of ups and downs, and as the dust settles, recruiting teams have been left with fewer resources, greater expectations, and a new set of challenges. In this (somewhat) post-pandemic world, recruiters are not only tasked with overcoming a serious shortage of talent, but also with shifting expectations from candidates. Below are three post-quarantine trends impacting the future of talent acquisition.

Remote work is shifting talent competition from local to global.

Since the onset of Covid-19, expectations about working from home have drastically changed, both for employees and employers. Global Workplace Analytics estimated that 25% to 30% of the workforce will work from home for at least several days a week by the beginning of 2022. And more than half (59%) of workers say they’d be more likely to choose an employer who offered remote work over one that didn’t.

More location-agnostic roles mean companies can expand their talent pools far beyond where they have been in previous years. The ability to source globally instead of just locally gives companies access to top talent that might have otherwise been ruled out based on their location.

Talent acquisition teams need to find ways to effectively source from these broader talent pools, without bottlenecking their workflow. Companies in New York and San Francisco are now competing for the same Chicago-based candidate. This makes automation a must for reaching out and engaging quickly and consistently. By relying on intuitive, automatic sourcing and outreach, recruiters can stay competitive without overextending their teams.

Recruiting teams are now smaller, but have more ambitious hiring goals.

In a report released in April by Nelson Hall, 95% of talent acquisition leaders indicated they slimmed down their internal recruiting capabilities as a result of Covid-19 slowdowns. However, as hiring has picked back up, so have the demands on recruiters, yet recruiting teams have stayed slim. The challenges that today’s recruiters face include:

  • Lack of time with companies hiring for many roles across various departments. Manually sourcing for these roles is extremely time-consuming, especially for highly sought-after positions like engineering and sales. Companies need to fill these roles quickly in order to grow, but don’t have the large recruiting teams they once had.

  • Earning and maintaining interest from candidates is difficult because most of them are being contacted over and over again. Recruiters need to be able to focus on highlighting their company and what it offers, rather than on repetitive tasks like sourcing and outreach. Hiring teams are looking to recruiting automation software to optimize these top-of-funnel tasks, giving themselves more bandwidth to focus downstream on interviews and the candidate experience.

  • In some cases, teams are implementing and honing a 100% virtual hiring process. Again, this can mean taking time to research and implement new tools and workflows to make sure remote team members have a positive onboarding experience.

  • Ensuring a solid DE&I hiring strategy is in place also falls on recruiters. Read on for more on this recruiting challenge.

Diversity recruiting is more top-of-mind than ever

In 2020, companies were also forced to face reality, leading to an increased awareness of the need for DE&I initiatives, including diversity hiring. With an increase in remote workforces, access to candidates from underrepresented backgrounds has grown, but again, manually sourcing for diversity can significantly add to the time it takes to source and engage with candidates. Companies nationwide want to form diverse pipelines of candidates, which is why they are committed to investing in products that can help them build these pipelines.

At the beginning of 2021, Monster.com reported that 86% of candidates said that diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace are important to them. This means that, by bringing in diverse talent and creating an inclusive experience for them from day one, talent acquisition professionals are increasingly taking the lead in their organization’s DE&I initiatives.

Human biases in hiring have long been a concern, but as the AI experiment gains time and traction, some have pointed out that standard AI can have shortcomings in diversity hiring too. Data pulled from Fetcher indicates that men are still sourced twice as often as women, and that white candidates are reached out to 7X more often than Hispanic candidates, and 15X more than black candidates. Moving forward, human insights and action will be key to optimizing technology and creating an equitable, diverse workplace.


Recruiters and talent acquisition teams can no longer rely on the manual methods they’ve used in the past to source diverse, qualified talent. In fact, 68% of recruiting professionals believe that the best way to improve recruiting performance over the next five years is to invest in new recruiting technology now. For more on how these recruiting trends will impact HR tech and hiring in the near future, request our full 2021 Recruiting Trends Report below.

Check out Fetcher’s other blog posts for more talent acquisition tips and insights into recruiting trends.

About Fetcher

At Fetcher, our mission is to introduce companies to the people who will help them change the world. Our full-service, recruiting automation platform automates those repetitive, top-of-funnel tasks, so you can focus more on candidate engagement & team collaboration. Simplify Sourcing. Optimize Outreach. Hire Top Talent. Learn more at fetcher.ai.

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Recruiting Strategies, Workplace Trends

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