Companies competing for the best candidates have multiple ways to find and entice job seekers to work for them. Traditionally, recruiters would sift through resumes, tap their network or check specific keywords on LinkedIn.
That was then. Recruiting, like many other industries, is facing change thanks to a blend of technology, attitudes and expectations, and it’s a competitive landscape for employer differentiation thanks to an increasingly inefficient job market.
Multiple companies are competing for the same small pool of top talent, who may not even necessarily be looking for a new job (also known as passive candidates). Those candidates command top salaries, perks and need convincing to leave their current jobs. They expect companies to challenge them, foster continuous learning and support them in achieving their personal and professional goals.
What does that mean for recruiters? With greater integration of technology into the process, and a desire for personalized candidate experiences, here are some ways we’ll see the recruitment and hiring processes shift in 2018.
Increased focus on diversity hiring
Lack of diversity in industries including tech, entertainment and government has been a hot topic over the last few years. More leading organizations are making diversity hiring a priority, and this will become increasingly important in 2018 and beyond.
Creating a culture that is truly inclusive will require organizations to review their hiring practices and diversity policies. Many organizations are investing in technology to aid their diversity hiring processes, for example, using AI to screen resumes and reduce unconscious bias. More organizations will also rework job descriptions (whether manually or using software to identify exclusionary language) and consider standardizing aspects of the interview process (for example, implementing a structured interview process or structured process for candidate feedback). They will also proactively seek out a more diverse talent pool, via building relationships with various community groups and outreach beyond the standard channels.
Expansion of the gig economy
A survey by Manpower found that 87% of people in the U.S. are interested in gig or “NextGen” work. That means recruiters will be able to tap a growing talent pool for short- and long-term contracts.
Companies can differentiate themselves via their ability to build and maintain relationships with gig workers or contractors. This includes providing clear job descriptions, proper onboarding, leveraging technology so all team members can connect and work together, and ensuring contractors are paid in a timely manner.
Greater use of AI technology during the hiring process
AI is expected to play a key role in finding, and hiring, talent in 2018. An obvious reason is that AI can help reduce unconscious bias during the hiring process by anonymizing the candidate and focusing on skills, not age, gender or race.
Automating the search process is fairly commonplace, but with AI, high-quality candidates can be found, screened and engaged with in an efficient manner. This can narrow the time it takes to fill a job position.
Employers will also increasingly leverage the benefits of data collected during the hiring process with the use of technology. As noted in a Boston Consulting Group report on HR excellence, “data-driven HR departments are more likely to play a strategic role in organizations.” Collecting data provides insights into success of recruitment tactics, organizational recruitment patterns, and the fastest-growing skillsets.
Future-proofing employees with continuous learning
Ceridian’s 2017 Pulse of Talent found that high performers listed learning opportunities as extremely or somewhat important to staying in their jobs. The business benefits of providing learning opportunities are well-documented, as is the fact that learning increases employee engagement.
Going forward, competitive organizations will prioritize creating a learning culture, and embedding education and development opportunities tied to career growth at every step of the employee lifecycle. Learning opportunities will increasingly be a differentiator for employers. Not only do these opportunities attract top talent, but they ensure employees are adaptable to changes within their role, organization or industry.
Using a marketing approach in the hiring process
You have your top choice of candidate but a recruiter’s job is not done. Candidates need to be wooed and convinced that making this move is the right one for their career. Recruiters need to market and sell the position to the candidate by understanding what’s important to them.
With more data available, recruiters are able to know more about their target talent, and therefore rely less on traditional and impersonal outreach methods. Organizations are increasingly using marketing principles in their hiring strategies. For example, in lieu of a traditional job application, employers are building storytelling and social media into the process. They are also rejecting a one-size-fits-all approach to attracting top talent by leveraging data to customize the hiring process.
Technology will enable organizations to look deeper into the talent pool and make smarter decisions during their recruitment processes. However, relationship-building is still key. Technology can help to source the right candidate, but only an authentic culture and personal touch can close the deal.