Learnings from Our 2020 State of Recruiting Report

Lever, the leader in talent sourcing and relationship management software, released the Lever 2020 State of Recruiting Report to see what recruiters and talent acquisition professionals alike were doing at the start of the pandemic.

The report was based on the responses of 700 talent and HR decision-makers in the U.S. and Canada, and dove into the impact of the novel Coronavirus pandemic on recruiting practices.

It provides a glimpse of what the future might look like as businesses adapted to the many changes in the market across various industries. 

Overall, the report surfaces optimism among recruiters, as only 14% of companies were on a total hiring freeze as a result of COVID-19, and 40% believed they’d emerge post-pandemic stronger and with better strategies and tools.

Some industries were even more optimistic. Forty-eight percent of respondents in the software industry believed they’d emerge stronger, followed by those in infrastructure (46%), finance (44%) and retail (43%).

Additional key findings include:

  • Recruiters kept busy (37%) rethinking their recruiting processes, while 41% cleaned up their recruiting data.
  • 84% of recruiters leaned more heavily on phone interviews as a result of the pandemic, while 85% of them leaned more heavily on video interviews.
  • 62% agreed they would need to hire workers with skills that weren’t needed before; the top new skills required were adaptability (68%), communication (60%), and technology proficiency (55%).
  • 50% said diversity and inclusion initiatives would become more of a priority as companies proactively worked to combat racism in the workplace.
  • It was still far too early to tell what the “new normal” would be in terms of remote work. Only 33% of respondents said remote work would likely increase with 38% saying it would decrease. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed businesses in nearly every industry,” said Lever CEO and Cofounder Nate Smith. “And because nothing is more fundamental to a business than its people, rethinking people processes through the lens of this ‘new normal’ is critical: from sourcing candidates and remotely interviewing them, to hiring and onboarding new employees.

“In this report, we provide a glimpse of what that transformation may look like, with the goal of empowering businesses to adapt to — and even benefit from — these changes.”

Respondents also saw the need for adaptability as a fundamental skill and understood the importance of building more personalized candidate relationships, with 71% saying it’s now more important that CRM tools be built into their ATS.

Many are investing in recruiting interactions that will become more personalized and relationship-based going forward, especially in industries like infrastructure, construction and engineering (58%) and financial services (57%).

To learn more about how our Talent Relationship Management (TRM) platform can improve your hiring efficiency, request a Lever demo for a custom overview.

lever ats demo

Further reading