Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Hiring is a complex process. It requires stellar communication skills, timely outreach, a clear strategy, and a host of other elements. This article brings together hiring statistics from reliable sources to cast some light on the best hiring practices and techniques.

Keep reading to learn what research tells us about where to find candidates, what candidates are looking for in their future employer, and how your company can adapt to today’s competitive hiring market.

Hiring is harder than ever
Getting hiring wrong will cost you
Job seekers are looking at job boards and talking to friends
Passive candidates are waiting for you to reach out
Companies should be finding creative ways to reach potential candidates
Job seekers value benefits, but the paycheck is still the most important
Candidate experience will affect the rate you attract, close, and retain top candidates
Remote work has changed the hiring landscape
Employer brand is the hiring secret weapon of top companies
One of the best ways to find candidates is through employee referrals
Effective hiring often means spending more time on social media
Prioritizing DEI in hiring gives companies a competitive advantage
Technology is helping organizations hire faster
Talent retention is just as important as talent acquisition

Hiring is harder than ever

It’s no secret to those in charge of (or involved with) their company’s hiring process—hiring is hard. And in recent years, things have only gotten harder. The numbers show that most organizations are struggling to find and hire top talent in an increasingly competitive market.

With high levels of turnover, few qualified candidates applying to positions, and more jobs than can be filled, recruiters must adapt quickly if they want to be successful.

75% of companies struggle to recruit in today’s market
70% of HR professionals say that the current hiring market is competitive or highly competitive
For every 10 new jobs created, only 6 are getting filled
57% of HR professionals are seeing higher levels of voluntary turnover than they have in the past
61% of CEOs don’t think their companies are recruiting fast enough or effectively enough
60% of talent acquisition professionals say that finding candidates with the required skills and experience is one of the top challenges they face

Getting hiring wrong will cost you

You start spending money on a new employee long before they receive their first paycheck. Between the direct and indirect costs associated with hiring, you’re making a huge investment in the person you eventually choose for the job.

That investment has the potential to pay off in the end—or not. If your new hire leaves before reaching their full productivity, then you’ve just spent lots of money for nothing. And the hiring process begins again. By focusing your efforts on hiring right the first time around, you ensure that the cost is worth it in the end.

The average cost per new hire is almost $4,700
The total cost to hire (including hard and soft costs) can be 3 to 4 times the position’s salary
In 2020, voluntary turnover cost employers over $630 billion
On average, turnover costs $15,000 for each employee who leaves
19% of workers have turned down a job after signing an offer letter
33% of new hires fail to meet productivity expectations
27% of companies report that it can take a year or more for new hires to become fully productive

Job seekers are looking at job boards and talking to friends

The numbers make one thing certain: the days of paper job notices are long gone. The majority of job seekers are taking to the internet to find open positions, whether that’s job boards, social media, or simple Google searches. Of course, a fair amount of job hunters hear about jobs through friends, acquaintances, and people in their professional network, so recruiters should be aware of ways to strengthen the employer brand while utilizing online job boards and social platforms.

54% of Americans have gone online to look for a job
60% of job seekers look for work using online job boards
About 20% of new hires worldwide are sourced from job boards
Around 50% of job applications around the world come through job boards
35% of job seekers learn about jobs on social media platforms, 37% use professional networks, and almost 50% hear about jobs by word of mouth

Passive candidates are waiting for you to reach out

There are plenty of talented workers out there who are content in their current role, but could be persuaded to leave if a more promising career opportunity comes up. These are passive candidates, and they make up the majority of the workforce. As you hire, make sure you don’t neglect passive candidates—reaching out can’t hurt anything, and it might pay off.

70% of the global workforce is made up of people who aren’t actively job searching
90% of people are interested in hearing about job opportunities when recruiters reach out to them
87% of workers are open to new jobs—whether or not they’re actively job hunting
82% of recruiters say they primarily use social media to recruit passive talent

Companies should be finding creative ways to reach potential candidates

As the hiring landscape shifts, candidates appreciate—and even look for—creative recruiting techniques. After all, there’s only so many times you can go through the same online job application process before you start to get bored.

Unfortunately, most companies haven’t put the right time and attention into developing fun, creative recruiting methods. If you want a surefire way to get ahead of the competition, consider thinking outside the box when it comes to hiring.

26% of companies have a creative and human-centered recruiting model that uses bold and non-traditional practices and technology
Facebook job posts that include videos receive 36% more applications
64% of workers who received a text after applying for a job report that they prefer texts to emails or phone calls
71% percent of business leaders say their company doesn’t do a good job using gaming and simulations to attract and assess candidates (while just 6% say their company is strong in this area)

Job seekers value benefits, but the paycheck is still the most important

Job seekers want more than just a paycheck—but they still want a paycheck. Statistics show that while employees definitely value “extra” benefits, they still cite compensation as the primary deciding factor when deciding whether or not to take a job.

What does this mean for companies? First off, provide the benefits that employees want: good pay, insurance, work flexibility, professional development opportunities, and the list goes on. Next, highlight those benefits in your job posts and interviews.

58% of HR professionals say that compensation and benefits are the most important factors influencing the employee experience
The most important factors people consider when deciding whether to accept a job are compensation (49%), professional development (33%), and work/life balance (29%)
The top 6 benefits that employees value most are health care (90%), flexible work (83%), leave (83%), a family-friendly workplace (76%), wellness (72%), and retirement (75%)
60% of companies struggling to hire are increasing wages, 59% are adding benefits, 40% are offering retention bonuses, 31% are expanding culture and engagement initiatives, and 7% are doing nothing

Candidate experience will affect the rate you attract, close, and retain top candidates

The best organizations have a clean, streamlined hiring process. They keep interviews consistent, communicate with candidates in a timely manner, and go above and beyond to create a good candidate experience. And their efforts pay off—even candidates they end up rejecting go on to become powerful brand advocates.

Top companies conduct structured interviews 14% more often than average companies
30% of job applicants say they’re very likely to refer others to apply to the company after having a positive candidate experience—even though 90% of them were rejected for the role
Only 15% of business leaders say their company is excellent at creating meaningful relationships with potential talent

Remote work has changed the hiring landscape

It depends on the industry, of course, but it’s safe to say that there are many job seekers who prioritize the ability to work remotely. With today’s technology making it easier than ever to work from home, remote work is an appealing option for those who need a flexible schedule.

If a position is remote or hybrid, shine a spotlight on that in the job description to draw in interested candidates. And after your new remote employee is hired, ensure a smooth onboarding process to help them stay on track and avoid feeling lonely or directionless.

58% of American workers are able to work from home at least one day a week, and 35% can work from home five days a week
If given the chance to work flexibly (at least partly remote), 87% of workers would take it
The option to work remotely is the third most popular reason people give for their decision to search for a new job (after pay and career opportunities)
Almost 44% of remote employees feel isolated or disconnected
43% of remote employees feel like others don’t think they work hard enough while working remotely

Employer brand is the hiring secret weapon of top companies

If a company has a bad brand, no amount of recruiting skill will be able to totally overcome the resulting negative effects. This is where the hiring team may need to collaborate with marketing or other departments. When you deliberately craft an appealing company image, you’ll increase candidate excitement and see more applicants rolling in.

82% of job seekers consider employer brand and reputation before applying to a job
Companies with bad reputations may have to pay 10% more to convince people to work for them; on average, that’s about $4,723 more per hire
Almost 50% of people would entirely rule out taking a job from a company with a reputation for poor job security, dysfunctional teams, and/or poor leadership
62% of Glassdoor users are more likely to respond to messages from a recruiter if they recognize the company

One of the best ways to find candidates is through employee referrals

Many employees have spent years building up large networks of social and professional connections. They’ve done the hard work of building a talent pool—this is where the hiring team can take over. The key? Motivating employees to share referrals. When they do, your company’s hiring success just might skyrocket.

Jobs shared by employees yield 30% more applications
Companies with many employees sharing high-quality content are 58% more likely to attract talent
Content shared by employees has double the engagement than content shared by the company
On average, employees’ networks are 10 times larger than their company’s follower base
Recruiters who use social media see a 31% increase in employee referrals

Effective hiring often means spending more time on social media

The numbers are clear on this one: people like social media. With a high percentage of people using social media to search for their next job, it’s no surprise that a majority of recruiters take advantage of social and professional platforms. The big winner if you want to reach the largest audience? Facebook.

When using social media to find talent, 49% of recruiters find more candidates, 43% find higher-quality candidates, and 20% take less time to hire
92% of recruiters use (or plan to begin using) social media for recruiting
72% of people use some type of social media
69% of adults use Facebook, 40% use Instagram, and 28% use LinkedIn
56% of job seekers look for jobs on social professional networks
86% of employees use social media in their job search

Prioritizing DEI in hiring gives companies a competitive advantage

Most job seekers highly value diversity, equity, and inclusion. If you want to hire top talent, cultivating a diverse and inclusive workforce isn’t really an option—it’s a necessity.

If you’re just in charge of hiring, DEI initiatives might seem beyond your scope. What you can do, however, is highlight the DEI efforts your company is making. Showcase those in the interview process, in job posts, and on your company careers page to show candidates that you’re committed to fostering a diverse workplace.

86% of candidates around the world say that diversity, equity, and inclusion is important to them
62% of people say they would turn down a job if the company culture didn’t support diversity and inclusion
Nearly 80% of people want to work at companies that value DEI
DEI is among the top 3 things that millennials value in their workplace (after employee wellbeing and ethical practices)
58% percent of younger workers expect a company to showcase its diversity during the interview process, and 25% look for mentions of diversity on the company career site
Those who don’t think their company is doing enough to promote diversity and inclusion have a Workforce Happiness Index score of 63, below the average score of 72
Companies with 500+ employees are more likely offer inclusive resources and benefits

Technology is helping organizations hire faster

If you’re not using technology to find and evaluate candidates, you’re at a competitive disadvantage. Most companies use an applicant tracking system (ATS) or similar technology in their hiring efforts.

Remember that HR technology is constantly evolving. As businesses begin to adopt artificial-intelligence driven tools, the hiring process could change in drastic ways. Do your research to stay on top of the latest in HR tech.

65% of organizations use paid recruiting tools or technologies
62% of organizations utilize applicant tracking systems, and 60% use job posting tools
Companies that excel at talent acquisition are 4 times more likely to use software to manage their hiring pipeline
The three most popular types of technology for hiring are virtual interviews (62%), digital document submission (60%), and virtual training or onboarding (56%)
56% of companies are redesigning their HR programs to make better use of digital tools
94% of recruiters who use an ATS (or other technology) report that it positively impacts their hiring process
33% of HR teams are using some form of artificial intelligence to drive HR processes
Top companies in North America use AI recruiting technologies 15% more often than average

Talent retention is just as important as talent acquisition

Once you’ve hired that perfect person, it’s important to make sure they’ll stick around. Turnover is common, but it’s often preventable. Leaders, listen to your people’s concerns. Take their feedback, then do what it takes to help them feel like they made the right choice when they signed their offer letter.

On average, companies lose 23% of employees before they hit their one-year mark
Over 75% of turnover is preventable
Those who quit their jobs in 2021 cited low pay (63%), lack of advancement opportunities (63%) and feeling disrespected (57%) as major reason for leaving
75% of HR professionals believe that people are leaving their companies for a higher-paying job, while 54% say that employees are leaving in search of career growth opportunities


You’ve seen the numbers. Now, let’s take a look at the steps you can take to implement the findings from this article.

  1. Reevaluate how you use technology when hiring. The stats make it clear that the most successful recruiters use HR software (like an applicant tracking system) and utilize online job boards and social sites. If you’re not already doing so, make a plan to start.
  2. Measure candidate experience. New hires and rejected applicants alike are more helpful to your company brand if they have a good candidate experience. Use a metric like the candidate net promoter score to see how you’re doing and learn what to improve.
  3. Tell applicants what your company has to offer. We know that people are looking for remote work opportunities, companies that value DEI, and jobs with good salaries and benefits. Make these things selling points in both job posts and interviews.

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