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UK Candidate Attraction Report identifies top candidate sourcing channels and challenges for 2023

Rachel Robins - Eploy

Eploy, an enterprise Talent Acquisition software leader, published the 7th Annual UK Candidate Attraction Report today. Eploy and HR Grapevine surveyed over 750 recruiters (90% in-house, 10% agency) to determine the candidate sourcing channels and recruitment marketing techniques that deliver the best results. Sourcing channels surveyed include company website/career site, talent pools, professional social networks, generalist job boards, specialist job boards, events, social media, employee referrals, CV databases, job aggregators, programmatic advertising and PSLs.

The survey asked In-house and Agency recruiters to rate each of their main sourcing channels in terms of the quantity and quality of candidates they typically generate. The complete report charts responses within a ‘Sourcing Channel Quadrant’, enabling recruiters to identify the effectiveness of each channel in each sector/industry and by company size.

Some of the key findings in the report include:

Candidate scarcity remains the #1 challenge for recruiters

Unsurprisingly, the lack of suitably qualified/skilled/experienced candidates remains the biggest recruitment challenge for the seventh year, affecting 68% of organisations. Building a diverse and inclusive workforce was the second key challenge for candidate attraction. The most significant year-on-year change is recruiters struggling to reduce the Time to Hire, which affects 37% of companies (up from 25% in 2022).

Marketing budgets are under strain

Generally speaking, most organisations expect to hire at similar or increased levels to 2022. However, recruitment marketing budgets are under strain, with roughly one quarter reporting a budget reduction. Whether this will satisfy the demand for new hires remains to be seen.

Careers sites continue to improve

The most successful company careers sites now contain more candidate-focused content to help candidates make informed decisions and promote employer brands. In addition, organisations that rate their careers site highly for attracting good numbers of quality candidates have invested in candidate-centric content. Our findings share candidate-centric content that is useful at each stage of the candidate attraction funnel.

Online candidate experience – top features

For the first time, the report looks at online candidate experience to identify what candidate features the best-performing company career sites employ. Top features include automatic parsing of CVs to minimise data entry, candidates saving a partially completed application, candidates applying for multiple jobs without rekeying information, and the ability to manage their data privacy preferences.

Employee Referrals are the top source for candidate quality

In each of the seven years we have run the UK Candidate Attraction Survey, employee referrals have been the top source of quality candidates. However, they have always struggled to produce enough numbers. So, for the first time, we asked how companies reward their referrers and if it makes a difference to the quality or quantity of referrals. For example, is it for referring a candidate who is then hired or using a more ‘gamified’ approach – rewarding for all referrals, sharing vacancies, etc.?


Commenting on the release of the full 80-page report, Eploy Chief Technology Officer, Chris Bogh said: “We’re pleased to provide our detailed report completely free to all UK recruitment teams.

For the 7th year of the UK Candidate Attraction Survey, we received responses across all industries and company sizes. Once again, it provides excellent insight into the challenges and ways of working across the sectors.

We want to thank all 750+ talent acquisition and recruitment professionals who participated in the survey. We hope they find this year’s report a valuable guide to candidate attraction in the UK.”

The full 80-page report is now available for download free of charge HERE.

About Eploy

Eploy is the complete, cloud-based -recruitment platform for modern recruiters. Combining Recruitment CRM, Applicant Tracking, Onboarding and Self-service Analytics into a unified solution, Eploy adds value for every stakeholder at every step in the recruitment journey.


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