HRE’s Number of the Day: recruiting priorities

71%: Percentage of recruiters who say their priorities for 2021 are different than they were at the start of 2020

As 2021 approaches, the HR function is taking stock of the changes ushered in this past year and how they will shape strategies going forward. Among the many areas of HR impacted by the pandemic and its fallout has been recruiting–as some organizations have halted hiring while others have significantly ramped it up.

Overall, a new report found, recruiters are looking ahead to what is likely to be a very different year.

According to a study by Jobvite, 71% of recruiters surveyed said that their priorities for the next 12 months are different than the last 12 months. Specifically, improving the quality of hire ranked as the top priority, a pivot from previous years where improving time to hire was the main goal. This year, that objective was third on the list, following retention. Other top priorities include growing the talent pipeline and enhancing diversity hiring. In the past few years, Jobvite found that growing the talent pipeline saw the biggest downward shift among recruiters’ priorities, while managing downsizing and increasing hiring diversity had the biggest jumps.

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In terms of investments, recruiters predict employers will focus most on social media recruiting, followed by efforts across LinkedIn, employee referrals, job boards and recruiters’ professional networks.

What it means to HR leaders

The pandemic has entirely reshaped the recruiting process, says Jeffrey K. Rohrs, chief marketing officer of Jobvite–and the changes are here to stay.

The shift in focus from time to hire to improving quality of hire is not surprising, he adds, as “employees are the lifeline to any business, which means there is tremendous value in making the right hire.” Additionally, the unnecessary costs of turnover–repeated employee searches, onboarding and training–are likely of particular concern to employers today, given uncertain economic conditions.

The enhanced focus on social injustice this year also may be playing a role in the heightened importance of diversity hiring. Rohr notes that recruiters reported that job seekers recently have been more likely to inquire about D&I initiatives.

As employers strive to keep up with the quickly changing demands on their business from the pandemic, diversity hiring can be an important part of a recruiting strategy.

“Diversity hiring isn’t just the right thing to incorporate into a recruiting strategy, but enhances long-term sustainability for a business,” Rohrs says.

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Jen Colletta
Jen Colletta is managing editor at HRE. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in writing from La Salle University in Philadelphia and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before joining HRE. She can be reached at