Recruiting, Talent

Recruiters and Jobseekers Stressed by COVID-19, Finds Report

The pandemic is taking its toll on your recruiters and jobseekers alike, finds new research from recruitment platform Jobvite. But just how bad is it?

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Jobvite’s “2020 Recruiter Nation Survey report” provides an in-depth look at the state of recruiting today and the challenges and opportunities facing recruiters as they navigate the ongoing pandemic. The report features responses from more than 800 U.S.-based recruiters and HR professionals. 

COVID-19 Is Not the Only Concern

The resulting data revealed that since the onset of the pandemic, stress levels at work have increased for 61% of recruiters, with 1 in 5 reporting a drastic increase in stress. The impact of COVID-19 has also led to diminished head counts and hiring for about one-third of organizations.  

Amid the pandemic, recruiters today are getting more inquiries about mental health benefits, accommodations and flexibility for working parents, and COVID-19 safety protocols. In addition, 33% of recruiters report receiving more questions from jobseekers about diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives than they did in the previous year. 

How COVID Is Shaping Hiring

“Our report’s key findings reveal how the pandemic has reshaped the recruiting process, investments, and priorities,” says Jeffrey K. Rohrs, CMO of Jobvite, in a press release. “We believe that many of these shifts brought forth in 2020 will be here to stay, making it vital for recruiting teams to be equipped with the right systems, tools, and channels to navigate this new reality and attract highly-skilled talent.”  

Recruiting priorities have drastically changed compared with this time last year. Finding quality talent has become even more important, while growing the talent pipeline and improving time to hire are slowly becoming less important. 

Despite Jobvite’s research, experts advise that speeding up the hiring process will allow you to hire better talent more quickly. The longer your hiring process takes, the more risk you have of losing top talent to your competition.

Additionally, 71% of recruiters say their recruiting priorities for the next 12 months are different from those they had in the past year, which makes sense when you consider the fact that the candidate-driven market is no longer an issue.

Preferences when considering a candidate have also changed drastically. In today’s increasingly remote work environment, only 27% of surveyed recruiters prioritize “cultural add” when considering a job candidate—down from 83% in 2017.  

More Key Findings

Hiring trends and challenges:  

  • 52% of recruiters report that improving quality of hire is the most important priority.  
  • 58% of recruiters cite a lack of skilled/qualified candidates as the biggest hiring challenge.  
  • 20% of respondents say having too many candidates is a major challenge.  
  • 32% of recruiters report that 50% or more of open roles at their organization are being filled by remote workers. 

 Job interviews: 

  • 77% of recruiters choose in-person interviews as the most effective interview mode, though half conduct 50% or more of their interviews via videos. 
  • 40% of respondents believe virtual interviews will be the default moving forward. 
  • The biggest video interview mistakes are poor Internet connectivity (37%), inappropriate attire (25%), and poor eye contact (23%).  


A majority of surveyed companies have specific goals for diversity in hiring with respect to race/ethnicity (63%) and gender (54%), while substantial numbers also have goals with respect to:

  • Age (37%)
  • Veterans (33%)
  • LGBTQ+ (29%)
  • Immigrants (28%) 

Social media in recruiting: 

  • 78% say social media is the area most likely to see increased financial investments in the next 12 months. 
  • 72% of respondents use LinkedIn—a decrease of 20 percentage points since 2017.  
  • 37% are using Instagram for recruiting—up from only 18% in 2017.  
  • 7% of recruiters use TikTok, and 13% use Snapchat for recruiting efforts.  

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