Appcast Unveils “Top Recruiting Trends for 2022” Report: Tight Labor Market to Persist, Emphasizing Need for Candidate-Centric Recruitment Marketing Strategies

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“In the face of uncertainty, there’s a unique opportunity for hiring organizations to develop more candidate-centric recruitment marketing strategies that will remain relevant for years to come. We hope this report helps inform these strategies,” said Andrew Flowers, labor economist at Appcast.

Appcast, the global leader in programmatic recruitment advertising technology and services, today unveiled its “Top Recruiting Trends for 2022” report. As organizations continue to navigate an unusual and unpredictable job market and employers struggle to meet hiring objectives, the new Appcast report breaks down the latest labor and recruitment market trends, forecasts the future of hiring, and provides actionable guidance to help organizations prepare effective recruiting strategies for 2022.

Insights revealed in the report include:

  • The current job seeker’s market will continue well into the new year, which increases the urgency for employers to streamline their application and decision-making processes
  • Hiring recruiters will continue to be challenging as the demand for talent acquisition professionals has skyrocketed over the past year; hiring from within, within HR specifically, is the most reliable method for filling recruiter roles
  • As the trend of higher wages and salaries is projected to continue, signing bonuses alone are not a reliable way to attract more candidates

A Job Seeker’s Market Will Continue

For a variety of reasons – including higher wages, hiring incentives and an increase in the vaccination rate (and therefore a greater level of comfort for employees) – it is likely there will be a slight uptick in the number of applicants in 2022. However, overall, finding qualified job candidates will remain a significant challenge because work opportunities are now plentiful for both skilled and unskilled professionals across various industries and job functions, tilting the market in the favor of job seekers. Because candidates are frequently exploring multiple employment offers, time to hire will take on new importance for employers, increasing the urgency for streamlining job application processes and agile decision making.

To navigate this job seeker’s market, Appcast highlights a couple of candidate-centric tips: shorter application processes and better mobile application processes. Appcast Research finds that a mobile apply time of less than five minutes results in a higher apply rate (a key recruitment marketing metric that measures conversions from click to submitted application on a job ad). Since mobile has now overtaken desktop as the preferred device, an efficient mobile apply process is now essential. In addition, hiring managers should consider tactics to expedite the interview process, like confirming education and other credentials during the interview phase, rather than as a separate step, or limiting the number of people that participate in candidate interviews.

Recruiting for Recruiters

In the current employment marketplace, talent acquisition professionals are also difficult to find, which further exacerbates the hiring challenges for organizations. Insights from LinkedIn reveal the demand for recruiters increased nearly seven-fold from June 2020 to June 2021. Appcast Research finds three times as many employers were looking to fill recruiter jobs in August 2021 compared to January 2021, with apply rates for recruiter jobs trending downward month-over-month, which indicates the situation will not improve any time soon.

LinkedIn research also shows that the primary source of new recruiters comes from other functions within human resources, so recruiting internally may be a viable option for many companies. Furthermore, no matter the labor market, employee referrals continue to be the number one way to hire. Therefore, companies should enlist their existing workforce for external searches by implementing an internal, diversity-focused employee referral program.

Not All Pay Is Paying Off

The trend of higher wages and salaries in the current labor market is unlikely to reverse in the near term. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mismatch between candidate supply and demand has resulted in sharp increases in pay, especially for the hardest-hit industries like food services, with restaurant wages rising more than 46% over the past three years.

Signing bonuses will also remain popular although, like wages, they are only part of the financial equation for job seekers, and aren’t a stand-alone or sure-fire way to drive applications. In fact, Appcast Research analyzed a representative sample of job ads from January 1, 2021 through July 31, 2021 and found job ads with signing bonus language saw lower apply rates than job ads without signing bonus language (3.4% with a signing bonus vs. 5.5% without a signing bonus). Across job functions and industries where signing bonus language is popular in job ads, such as transportation, hospitality and healthcare, the results were similar – job ads with signing bonus language had lower apply rates.

There are various possible causes for this trend: these jobs may be especially difficult to fill; the signing bonuses offered may not be substantial enough; or there may be a requirement that employees remain with the company for a period of time before signing bonuses are paid. Either way, it’s critical that organizations keep an eye on what their talent competition is paying to attract the same candidates. This includes wages and salaries, signing bonuses and benefits that have a tangible financial value.

“Talent professionals across every industry want to know when the employment marketplace will stop reflecting the impact of the pandemic. Unfortunately, in 2022, it’s unlikely the labor market will fully normalize,” said Andrew Flowers, labor economist at Appcast. “However, in the face of uncertainty, there’s a unique opportunity for hiring organizations to develop more candidate-centric recruitment marketing strategies that will remain relevant for years to come. We hope this report helps inform these strategies.”

To download Appcast’s “Top Recruiting Trends for 2022” report, go to:

About Appcast
Appcast is the global leader in programmatic recruitment advertising technology and services. With advanced technology, unmatched market data and a team of the industry’s best recruitment marketers, Appcast’s technology and services manage over half a billion dollars in job advertising annually on behalf of more than 1,500 clients. Headquartered in Lebanon, N.H. with offices in Boston, Mass., New Brunswick, Canada and Minsk, Belarus, Appcast is a subsidiary of StepStone, one of the world’s largest job classified businesses, and a proud member of the Axel Springer SE family. To learn more, visit and follow on Twitter @appcast_io.

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