New Research Reveals Shocking Attitudes Among Recruiters

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Apr 1, 2021

New research by The Talent Acquisition Institute of North America reveals some interesting attitudes among TA professionals. The findings, based on a survey of Fortune 500 companies, suggests that as recruiting picks up in 2021, organizations will have to elevate their practices to attract the right people. Here are the study’s top five findings:

61% of recruiters will refuse to hire candidates who didn’t attend an Ivy League school.

With so many job-seekers about to flood the market, this is a prime opportunity to attract top talent. That means individuals who went to Princeton, Yale, and the like. Given overwhelming research that shows that an Ivy graduate will always outperform someone who went to a community college, recruiters will be clamoring for only the most highly educated candidates. 

However, Dick Hireman, a partner at the Institute and lead researcher, offers a word of caution: Watch out for job-seekers who pronounce “Harvard” with upspeak, as if there’s a question mark after the word — “Harvard?”

“Harvard graduates are the best, of course,” Hireman points out, “but that shouldn’t excuse having stuck-up attitudes.”

83% of recruiters believe that the best job postings should be purposely vague.

That might sound counterintuitive and contrary to past trends toward clarity. But as Hireman explains, “The pandemic has created urgency and importance around hiring people who are agile. If your job ad is too specific, then you’re likely to attract people who lack flexibility.”

Indeed, research findings show that recruiters prefer candidates who are not just agile but also creative and innovative. The ability to decipher a job ad and “make it your own” was cited by survey respondents as a key indicator of figure performance.

90% of recruiters plan to offer compensation packages below market value.

Most modern recruiters already recognize that money is not central to the candidate or employee experience. They recognize that the best talent is less interested in a paycheck and is more motivated by purpose. Candidates who want to connect to an organization’s mission and values will not prioritize a paycheck. 

In fact, Hireman points to one company that says it’s seeing increasing success in hiring people by offering subsidized gym memberships in lieu of salary. “Many candidates have put on some extra weight during the pandemic,” Hireman says. “They’re now motivated to get back in shape and really value employers that will help them do that with gym passes. Candidates no longer care as much about tedious details like medical premiums and deductibles.”

56% of recruiters say that employer branding will become less relevant in the coming years.

It’s long been thought that to attract the right talent, you need to differentiate your business from the competition. As it turns out, a slight majority of recruiters believe that efforts to create such distinctions have hurt their ability to lure applicants. As one survey respondent explains, ”We’ve discovered that the best way to attract candidates is to more or less copy employer branding done by Apple, Facebook, and Google.”

“Why reinvent the wheel?” Hireman asks. “If you want Google-worthy talent, then you’ve got to brand yourself like Google.” 

100% of recruiters have never heard of The Talent Acquisition Institute of North America.

That’s because it isn’t real. And because today is Apr. 1, 2021.

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