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These are the must-follow trends in hiring right now, as told by 800 HR pros

Act on the results from this Jobvite hiring managers survey, encapsulating lessons from a full pandemic year.

Candy probably won't work as an incentive. (Photo by Linda Eller-Shein from Pexels)

Written by Technically Media CEO Chris Wink,’s Culture Builder newsletter features tips on growing powerful teams and dynamic workplaces. Below is the latest edition we published. Sign up here to get the next one this Friday.

Recruiters are putting quality over speed to hire. A few years ago, those priorities were flipped.

Half of surveyed team builders put “improving quality-of-hire” as their top hiring priority, while the percentage who listed “improving time-to-hire” halved since 2017. That’s according to the 2021 Recruiter Nation Report from Jobvite.

The annual 800-plus-person survey includes both internal and external recruiters, and this year’s report includes insights that reflect the full impact of a COVID-19 workforce. Two of the most familiar pandemic labor changes remain clear: Professionals are demanding remote work flexibility and across industries wage growth is chasing inflation. That means salaries are going up, and perks are getting more widespread.

“If you haven’t raised compensation, you aren’t even in the game,” Morgan Llewellyn, the chief data scientist at Jobvite told me in an interview.

The new battleground for team building is in the benefits package, with flexibility playing a starring role. Most recruiters report they’ve had candidates decline a job offer due to a lack of remote work options. Almost two-thirds report they expect to lose existing employees if they do not transition to a hybrid, fully remote, or remote-first culture.

The importance has grown as hiring has surged. Almost 40% of those surveyed report they’re hiring rapidly, a 50% increase over last year’s survey, as pandemic uncertainty lingered.

Savvy employers are improving the experience for parent-employees and communicating their offerings for mental health and commitments for diversity, equity and inclusion.

Many companies have already established employer brand strategies, passive jobseeker outreach and candidate experience plans, so fewer recruiters report needing to launch that work than in years past. Instead most recruiters report increased hiring budgets to use third-party services to extend this work. Improving diversity remains a top priority, but this saw a modest decline in 2021 from the 2020 survey. Instead recruiters are continuing the pursuit of more efficient processes through automation, recruiting technology and external services.

Recruiters are prioritizing social media, especially LinkedIn, which looks like the deployment of employer brand. Employee referrals remain important but declined slightly from five years ago, though the use of a wider array of jobs boards has grown.

Another notable takeaway: Remote work is clearly a central part of accelerating workplace benefits.

One key difference between fully remote and hybrid workplaces is the talent pool, notes Llewellyn. Perhaps as many as half of professionals can work at home a third of the time without diminished productivity, according to McKinsey. Hybrid work, in which professionals still commute to an office for collaborative work some of the time, is a benefit to attract talent near an existing office. Going fully remote opens a company up to global talent, with the ensuing challenges of time and culture differences.

Among professionals, especially hard-to-source technology talent, this flattening of hiring across geographies is a contributing factor to wage increases. With year-end budgeting, does Llewellyn see any sign of wage increases slowing down? He notes two factors for software talent: current inflationary unease and labor demands.

“If inflation continues, you’re going to have to see wage growth persist,” he said — and even then, “if you want to see lower wage growth, you’re going to need fewer bidders for that candidate.”

The result? “I don’t see wage growth slowing in the very near term.”

And now the links.

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