As 2017 fades into the rearview, we look ahead to the New Year to see where the recruiting industry is headed. Overall, recruiters and talent agents, particularly at large organizations, are becoming more like marketers.
Here are four of the specific trends we’re seeing in the marketplace:
1. Recruiting Goes Social
Facebook claims two billion of the world’s seven billion inhabitants on the planet as active users. For those in the millennial demographic, the percentage is even higher. Recruiting great young talent means meeting them where they are, and that means turning to social networks for posting job openings and recruiting talent.
Social media has largely been used to promote a company brand. This has worked well to begin the conversation with potential applicants and move them through to a recruiting page. Increasingly, however, job applicants are making social media the first and only stop on the way to finding job opportunities. Facebook may have more users, but from a professional standpoint, LinkedIn stands apart to communicate with potential applicants and begin the recruiting process.
Advertising job openings through social media may be a relatively new concept to many hiring and recruiting managers, but as the workforce skews increasingly younger, social media will increase in prominence to begin connecting with the talent you want to draw into your organization.
2. Automation of Tasks, Not Jobs
Good news for recruiters: the rise of AI and bot technology is unlikely to threaten your jobs anytime soon. Rather than replace them, automation could actually enhance your productivity. Automation software is particularly good at handling repetitive, labor intensive tasks, and in the coming year, it should help eliminate some areas of the job you currently consider chores.
Automation works best at the top of the recruitment funnel to wade through large numbers of potential candidates or to attract candidates through job ads. Further down the line, balancing technology with human interaction with potential candidates produces the best experience for recruiters and employees alike.
For the time being, programmatic job advertising offers a great opportunity to test out automation. Recruiters can create rules that manage and allocate budgets for pay per click and pay per advertisement media, and create start and stop points for spending on jobs or groups of jobs. This kind of automation saves recruiters time and money. The recruiter is able to apportion budget for job ads in a way that makes the most of the needs of the department in a real-time way.
Automation software is also useful for scanning resumes, to quickly sort potential applicants based on skills, experience and other factors. While this could be completely automated by the software, the HR department functions best when the automation functions as a pre-screen for potential candidates, freeing up the recruiter’s time for closer inspection of resumes that meet basic requirements as defined in the software.
3. Improving the Online Candidate Experience
Competition is fierce for quality candidates; it’s more difficult than ever to discover and recruit skilled employees into your organization. There are a limited number of candidates, and freelancing has become a more popular career choice.
That’s why, when a potential employee interacts with your recruitment department, the experience should feel almost effortless. Like traditional marketers, recruiters should focus on conversion rates among candidates potentially seeking employment with your organization. If a qualified candidate drops out of the process for any reason other than fit, the long-term cost to your organization will be significant.
Streamlining the application process - including optimizing applications for mobile - is an absolute priority. The recruitment department’s mobile site should be as responsive as the front page of your website.
4. A Candidate’s Market for Skilled Labor
Retaining employees has become a key point for many organizations. The increasing demand for talent brought about by retiring baby boomers, and the need for new talent to fill roles that didn’t exist five years ago, has created a job seeker’s market.
In 2018, recruiters will be forced to pursue passive job seekers more than ever – a complicated and time-consuming prospect at best. This also turns the tables for the recruiter to function more as a salesperson than they ever have. More companies should consider training to help recruiters pursue passive candidates, as it’s likely to remain a candidate’s market for the foreseeable future.
As the job market favors candidates, recruiting departments for most companies will have to adapt - or find themselves left behind. Staying ahead of recruitment trends in 2018 may give your organization the advantage it needs in a highly competitive job market.