By Alex & Ben

Candidates are responding less to corporate recruiters in 2023 — what could this mean for those hiring?

The numerous job-seeking strategies that exist today, especially online applications, have brought a greater level of accessibility to jobs. While this has expanded the pool of potential candidates, it also introduces a challenge — the infiltration of unqualified and average job seekers


Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels  

A report from 2019 to 2022 by LegalJobs says that over 75% of all job applicants are unqualified for the job. 

As an employer, you want access to the best talent in the market. However, navigating the job application minefield successfully in today’s noisy market requires a smarter, data-backed approach.   

This prompted us to go to where job seekers are —LinkedIn— to explore the avenues job seekers are using to secure jobs in 2023. 

We asked, “What means are you utilizing (or did you utilize) to land a new job in ’23?”  

The poll results provide interesting insights:  

  • LinkedIn: 72%  
  • Personal Networking: 14%  
  • Direct Application(s): 10%  
  • Respond(ed) to Corporate Recruiter(s): 3%  

Only 3% of job seekers secured jobs by responding to corporate recruiters! Naturally, this raises the question of why fewer people followed this route. 

On the surface, one might conclude that the reason could be that using a recruiter is no longer the go-to means for hiring, but there is more to it.  

What to make of the low response rates of job seekers to recruiters?   

This report on CNBC explains how 78% of job seekers in a survey admitted to “stretching the truth” or lying about their qualifications and experience. Job seekers are narrative creators— polishing their strengths and padding their weaknesses to “sell themselves”. However, many candidates pitch narratives that are different from their actual reality.  

The bottleneck for employers (especially in markets like this) is qualifying their applicant pipeline, weeding out the unqualified, aggressive applicants from the qualified, best-in-class candidates. 

Since job seekers aim to present themselves in the best possible light, engaging with recruiters will expose weaknesses in their professional profiles. Recruiters do not want to promote candidates that pose a flight risk, that are pursuing an opportunity on shaky grounds (i.e., chasing title, salary, running from a bad fit, etc.), the aim is to match fundamental motivating factors and credible, portable expertise for a long-term fit. 

This, again, explains another reason for such a low percentage and puts new responsibilities on employers and organizations to ensure their recruitment program is positioned to best serve their hiring authorities by providing access to the most qualified candidates.   

It would not be far-fetched then that engaging executive search companies like Madison Wells, reserved for when an organization wants access to the top 5% of talent in the marketplace; in many cases, and especially in markets like this, top talent is not canvassing the job boards for opportunity. Ultimately, successful organizations need to know where to target, how and when to engage impact hires. 

Contact us to rise above the unruly applicant pipeline, ensure that the candidates you select not only meet but exceed the expectations of the roles for which they will be entrusted to fulfill.