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Symphony Talent research finds most companies still lag in talent nurture and automation strategies

Danielle McClowJanuary 14, 2021News

NEW YORK and LONDON, JANUARY 14, 2021 – Symphony Talent, a recruitment marketing technology company that helps recruiting teams automate tasks and empower interactions, just released its 2021 Recruitment Marekting Strategies Report, based on six years of research on Fortune 500 companies.

“We’ve been able to quantify the growth and investment in recruitment marketing as a necessary discipline since 2015,” said Roopesh Nair, chief executive officer at Symphony Talent. “In this volatile year, it’s clear that the most agile and successful companies were the few that had already established a solid strategy and technology foundation.”

Some of the most prominent businesses in national news due to their impact on and response to the pandemic — like CVS Health, Stryker, and Ecolab — were among the 14% of the Fortune 500 categorized as recruitment marketing pioneers (“A” grades), scoring high in categories like nurture, personalization and initiative hiring.

CVS Health — a company that hired more than 61,000 people this year, including 2,000+ displaced workers from hard-hit industries — took the number one overall spot for the second year in a row due to its leading strategies in employer branding content, talent network communication, and adoption of emerging technology like conversational engagement and candidate relationship management (CRM) automation.

“Our plans for innovation ‒ like utilizing new strategies in our CRM, upskilling the team on tools, improving the candidate experience touchpoints, flipping our recruitment funnel ‒ started long before 2020,” said Kerry Noone, director of employer branding at CVS Health. “When COVID-19 hit, our plans just accelerated, and we continued to grow throughout the pandemic, allowing us to hire pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and nurses to administer the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it was available.”

While A-scoring companies are slightly up over six years of research, the vast majority of the Fortune 500 still struggle to utilize technology, effectively communicate with unique talent audiences, and connect the dots across recruiting channels. A few crucial findings include:

  • Companies are trying to use ATSes and/or CRMs to more efficiently connect with talent. 76% of companies now have a talent network or job alerts, up from 57% in 2019.
  • Having a talent network doesn’t mean excelling at talent nurture. Only 54% of companies send any type of communication to people, the majority of which are unpersonalized job reqs.
  • While the use of conversational engagement has almost doubled since 2017, still only 11% of companies utilized a chatbot on their career site.

“I’m extremely excited to see more employers leveraging talent networks to connect with passive candidates in 2020; however, I’m also surprised at the lack of utilization of powerful, intuitive tools that help them communicate to and ultimately hire the right candidates,” Ben Eubanks, principal analyst at Lighthouse Research & Advisory, commented. “I expect the lessons we’ve learned in 2020 will help propel these adoption numbers higher in the coming months.”

The Symphony Talent in-house research team focused on 27 critical recruitment marketing strategies utilized by the Fortune 500 across search, career site, talent network and social media channels from August to November 2020. For the first time, Symphony Talent’s report also looks at a comparison set of companies from the Fortune 50 Fastest Growing.

Download the research report here.

About Symphony Talent

Software that works for you, and you love to work in. Symphony Talent is a recruitment marketing technology company that helps recruitment teams automate tasks for efficiency and empower smarter candidate interactions. Its SmashFlyX platform unifies CRM, career site, and programmatic advertising for the most comprehensive talent campaigning and marketing in the industry. As an employer brand and creative partner, Symphony Talent has won major awards for EVP strategy, employer brand campaigns, career site design, and more. The company supports more than 600 customers across the globe, with headquarters in New York, London, Bangalore, and Belfast. Visit to learn more, and follow us on Twitter @SymphonyTalent_ and @SymphonyT_EU.

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