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Recruiting statistics 2021: hiring questions answered

Recruitment can be a highly subjective domain of expertise, with these statistics you arm yourself with data driven answers to the most frequent recruiting questions.

September 29, 2020
Yuma Heymans
October 19, 2021

What is the average cost per hire?

The average cost per hire is around $4000 to $5000 (Deloitte, Zippia, IG). The average cost per hire ranges significantly per industry because the difficulty of filling positions varies.

What is the average time to fill a position?

The overall average time to fill a position is 48 days (AIHR, 2019). The average cost per day of an unfilled position is $500 a day (Entelo, 2020).

The average time to fill varies significantly per industry as illustrated in the below table.

Average time to fill, case study by Workable

How much do recruiters make?

The average salary for a recruiter is around $40,000 - $75,000, depending on seniority level and specialisation.

An entry-level recruiter who brings less than a year experience to the table on average receives a total compensation package of $40,000 annually, including bonuses and overtime pay. Mid-career HR recruiters may expect an average salary of $55,000 (PayScale).

The given salary averages vary significantly per source:

  • According to Glassdoor the national average salary for Recruiter in 2021 is $52,657 per year in the United States and the national average salary for Corporate Recruiter is $63,190 per year in the United States.
  • According to Builtin the Recruiter average base salary in 2021 in the US is $75,453.
  • According to Salary.com the average salary for Recruiter in 2021 in the US is $58,471.
Recruiter salaries per percentile for a Recruiter I, according to salary.com.

How much do tech recruiters make?

The average salary for Technical Recruiter is around $50,000 - $85,000.

The given salary averages vary significantly per source:

  • According to Builtin the Technical Recruiter average base salary in 2021 in the United States is $84,316 per year. 
  • According to Glassdoor the Technical Recruiter average base salary in 2021 in the United States is $54,512 per year.
  • According to Salary.com the average salary for Technical Recruiter in 2021 in the United States is $75,713.
Technical Recruiter salaries per percentile, according to salary.com.

What are the top challenges in recruitment?

In 2020 The Conference Board asked CEO’s worldwide what their biggest overall concerns were. The CEO’s mentioned attracting and retaining talent as their absolute top internal concern (The Conference Board, 2020). 

Recruitment professionals mention these objectives as the top five priorities within their domain (Jobvite study):

  1. Improving the quality of hire (52%)
  2. Increasing retention rate (24%)
  3. Improving time-to-hire (23%)
  4. Growing talent pipeline (22%)
  5. Diversity hiring (22%)

43% of HR professionals cited “competition from other employers” as the top reason they’re struggling to hire the right employees (SHRM).

The top five challenges within HR where technology plays a key role are (PwC study, 2020): 

  1. Finding, attracting, retaining talent (56%)
  2. Developing people to reach their full potential (43%)
  3. Improving employee experience (42%)
  4. creating collaborative work environments (40%)
  5. Workforce planning (38%)
  6. Ensuring well-being, diversity, & inclusivity (34%)

What are the average recruitment agency fees?

The average agency placement fee is 15-20% of the first year of the annual salary of the candidate (Agency Central). But in some cases the fees might be as high as 35% of the first year of the annual salary of the candidate or even more. The fee primarily depends on how hard it is to fill the position. Most recruitment agencies charge clients based on a success fee (also called placement fees) but some recruitment agencies charge based on an hourly rate. A placement fee is usually only charged in case the client hires a candidate that the recruitment agency has brought in contact with them.

What is recruitment marketing?

Recruitment marketing is the process of creating interest to work with a company by targeting a talent pool and engaging them in the company's employer brand and open job positions. In recruitment marketing the core marketing principles and techniques are used like market research, omni-channel engagement, advertising, PR, social selling and customer relationship management. Some popular recruitment marketing strategies include programmatic job advertising, social media strategy, content strategy, outreach automation, candidate experience optimization and multi channel candidate engagement.

86% of HR professionals say recruitment is becoming more like marketing (Glassdoor, 2020).

The top three channels small to mid-sized businesses plan to extend their employer brand are their company website (69%), online professional networks (61%), and social media (47%) (LinkedIn Talent Solutions).

How many recruiters use social media as a sourcing tool?

84% of companies use social media in recruiting (SHRM). That seems to make a lot of sense since 79% of job seekers say they are likely to use social media in their job search and this increases to 86% for younger job seekers (The Open University, 2019). Out of all the 18-34 year olds 73% found their last job through social media (Sprout Social, 2019). 

As a result of increased hiring challenges resulting from COVID-19, 58% of recruiters have adapted their recruitment process and have been increasingly using social media networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to find potential hires (CNBC, 2020).

Job boards have been decreasing in satisfaction rates, 83% of recruiters rate results from job boards as poor (Bersin).

What percentage of candidates are passive candidates?

70% of all candidates are passive candidates, meaning they are not actively looking for a job but can be reached for opportunities. Just 30% of all talent is actively looking for a job, applying to jobs and/or indicating that they are open for work (LinkedIn Recruitment Guide, 2019).

85% of both active and passive job hunters are open to new job opportunities (LinkedIn, 2019). Since active job seekers (30%) are per definition open for job opportunities, we can assume that 55% of passive candidates are open for job opportunities. That means 4 out of 5 passive candidates are open for opportunities.

47% of recruiters say they cannot find enough qualified candidates. 83% of talent acquisition professionals see passive sourcing as an important source of hire and 73% of talent acquisition teams indicate that when they focus their efforts on passive sourcing they find higher-quality candidates (Entelo, 2020).

Career opportunities are the number one reason for people to change jobs (LinkedIn Recruitment Guide, 2019).

What is the biggest frustration for candidates when applying for jobs?

52% of job hunters say a lack of response from recruiting companies is their biggest frustration (Websolutions, 2020). 45% of candidates never hear anything back from the employer (The Candidate Experience, 2020).

One of the biggest causes of frustration during the interview process (for 50% of candidates) is changes in the interview schedule (Glassdoor, 2020).

83% of candidates say it would greatly improve the overall experience of job hunting if employers provided a clear timeline of the hiring process (Small Biz, 2021).

More than 1/3 of all job seekers spend 2 hours or more researching a single job, and it takes them 1 hour to complete a job application (The Talentboard, 2017). 72% of hiring managers claim they provide clear job descriptions, but just 36% of candidates agree (Allegis Group, 2016).

How many companies are using AI in recruitment?

88% of companies globally use AI in some way for HR (SHRM, 2021). Most recruiters (78%) think data intelligence would make them more successful in their job (Entelo, 2020).

What is the benefit of diversity hiring?

Companies in the top 25% for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to see financial returns above the national medians for their industry (McKinsey & Company, 2015). 78% say that diversity and inclusion gave them a competitive advantage (Deloitte, Global Human Capital Trends, 2017). Organizations with diverse management have 19% higher revenue when compared to those who have below-average leadership diversity (BCG, 2018). 

89% of HR and hiring professionals say a multi-generational workforce makes a company more successful (LinkedIn, 2020).

How many companies are hiring remotely?

In 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 84% of recruiters were adapting their hiring processes to better suit remote communication (CNBC, 2020).

Experts predict that by 2025, about 22.6% of the US employees (36.2 million people) will work remotely (Upwork, 2020).

For many job seekers remote working possibilities are part of their requirements, a quarter of them would turn down a job offer if it did not allow work from home options (Career Builder, 2021).

The millennial generation which has entered the workforce at scale has a global orientation, 80% of millennials want to work overseas (PwC, 2020).

How long do employees stay with their company on average (tenure)?

The average time people stay at one and the same employer (tenure) is 4.1 years. In 2020, for employees aged 25 to 34 the tenure was just 2.8 years (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020).

In February 2021, though, Achievers Workforce Institute (via SHRM) found that more than half (52%) of employed adults were looking for a new job.

How big is the talent shortage?

It is estimated that by 2030 there will be a talent shortage of more than 85 million people. This talent shortage could result in a loss of $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues (Korn Ferry).

75% of HR professionals believe that there is a skills gap among their applicants (SHRM, 2019) and 45% of employers say they can’t find the workers with the skills they need in 2021 (Small biz genius).

Just 17% of employers believe that their company will be able to anticipate what skills their organizations will need in 3 years (Glassdoor, 2020).

As a result of the challenges in finding and hiring the right people there were 6.8x more recruiter jobs posted in June 2021 compared to one year earlier in June 2020 (LinkedIn Talent Insights, 2021).

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