5 Recruiting Trends To Look Out For This Coming Year


So what are some major recruiting trends you ought to be preparing for? In my opinion, the following five are going to have a dramatic impact on both recruitment businesses and on internal recruitment teams:

  1. The rise of Analytics
  2. The growing acceptance of Automation
  3. The key role of Talent Pooling
  4. The realisation that we must look beyond LinkedIn
  5. The re-orientation of recruitment around building relationships and trust

Let’s take a look at each in turn and assess the impact these trends could have for you and your recruitment team.

The Rise of Analytics

A huge shift in the business world these last years has been the emergence of big data and the growing array of tools for analysing that data. To date, the impact on recruitment has been modest to say the least. Yet ours is a sector that is ripe to adopt a more analytical approach.

When you reflect back, we have had the means to monitor application volumes by source for a great many years. Often – but not always – this has been accompanied by data on the source of shortlist candidates and the ultimate source of hire. Many budgeting decisions within recruitment are taken based on this very data.

The nuances of recruitment data should be far greater though. Which sources of hire ultimately go on to produce the most successful hires for the company – those who stay the longest or score the highest in peer reviews? Surely this should be a factor when deciding how to make your next hires and where to allocate your limited budget? The same is true for the influence of individual recruiters –do certain team members produce hires that are of a different calibre to others? Tools are now being developed to allow your team to monitor and assess this data and therefore make shrewder recruiting decisions in the future.

Even more interesting is the multi-channel impact of your recruiting investments. A candidate may apply online via your careers website, or be referred in by an existing member of staff – but what other aspects of your recruitment presence have played a part in them choosing to apply? Some of the latest tools currently in development are seeking to allow you to track your candidates’ entire candidate journey – underlining that job board spend, social media presence, blogging and a host of other elements may all have contributed to their ultimate decision to apply – or to be hired. A recruiter without access to this data will effectively be flying blind.

The growing acceptance of Automation

If we simplify matters, the ultimate role of a recruiter is to identify the best talent a company could hire – and to then win over those individuals so that they want to work at that company. Some elements of these tasks may lend themselves to automation – think for example of setting up an alert to be advised when other similar candidates register on a site or change their social media profiles. But anything that’s not directly connected to those two key success factors we should arguably be seeking to automate as much as possible. Failing to automate means tying up a recruiter’s time with tasks that are low value-added. It means keeping a recruiter from doing the things that are their most important contributions to the team.

Every week we’re reading of new automation services being launched, hearing about automated chat-bots being experimented with for customer service or drones being trialled for deliveries. Automation is likely to become an increasingly accepted part of life and we can expect to see more automated services launched for the recruitment professional without doubt. The question is, will you be amongst the early adopters and steal a march on the competition? Reflect on this ahead of time so that you’re ready to pounce when the time is right.

The key role of Talent Pooling

For any organisation that hires a similar profile of person time and time again, there’s a clear saving to be made by leveraging the work of those who’ve searched for – and engaged with – candidates before you. The concept of a Talent Pool isn’t new – companies keeping a database or community of people who are of the calibre to be hired by the company but for whom there isn’t currently the ideal opening. But as tools are developed to help us monitor the activities of people in our talent pools – and to engage with them on an ongoing basis so that our recruiting brand is fresh in their minds – the scope for talent pools to become a clear competitive advantage will grow.

Of course there are a couple ways in which a company’s Talent Pool can become a far greater asset than those of its competitors, beyond the sheer size of that Talent Pool. The first concerns the insights that the recruitment team has about the people in its Talent Pool. If you have tools at your disposal to know which of the people in your Talent Pool are most likely to change jobs in the coming months then that’s a potentially sizeable advantage to have over a business with a similar Talent Pool but no such insights. So keep your eye out for companies developing tools that offer insights like these.

Alongside these insights about each candidate’s mindset, the other thing that can significantly raise the value of your Talent Pool is building it in such a way that the candidates within that pool are far more engaged with your recruitment team. This impacts the responsiveness of your Talent Pool to actually being approached about future vacancies. It stands to reason that if someone has seen a lot of your brand and interacted with your team (eg. on social media) then their willingness to contemplate a future approach is enhanced.

The realisation that we must look beyond LinkedIn

I talked earlier about a simplification of the role of a recruiter into the two key challenges of identifying the best talent a company could hire – and then winning over that talent so that people actually accept your offers and are retained within the business for years to come.

What is becoming increasingly obvious to recruiters is the fact that LinkedIn isn’t outstanding at either one of these things – the natural conclusion of which being that we have to move on and expand our horizons beyond LinkedIn in order to remain effective.

If we take the first dimension to begin with, LinkedIn has an obvious shortcoming. With a membership of ~450 million people, LinkedIn is far from a comprehensive database of the people your business might wish to hire. Factor in fake, dormant and incomplete profiles and the reality should soon hit you that there are far more candidates out there than you could possibly ever reach via LinkedIn alone. As employment markets become more candidate-short, recruiters are increasingly reaching this conclusion for themselves.

But now consider that an ever expanding array of services are coming to market that allow recruiters to research candidates’ profiles across the web. As these become more and more sophisticated, LinkedIn’s stranglehold on the corporate recruiting market is going to become weaker and weaker – and the recruiters best positioned to benefit from this will be those who’ve become expert in the myriad other ways to find and approach candidates.

This brings me onto the second dimension of a recruiter’s role – namely approaching and winning over talent once the best potential hires have been identified. LinkedIn InMails have offered a “minimal effort” solution for approaching target candidates, but in reality haven’t enjoyed a strong open or response rate for quite some time. Whether you turn to SMS messaging or personal phone calls or emails or social media outreach instead, the days when you could feel confident that LinkedIn was the best way of approaching and converting a candidate are long gone – and the focus of your recruitment activities should have adapted accordingly.

The re-orientation of recruitment around building relationships and trust

Recruitment, ultimately, is all about one human being connecting with another. Having identified someone as the ideal hire for the business, will they actually go on to accept a position with our company? A key factor in this will be how the potential hire regards the company that is approaching them – and what relationship and trust they feel they have developed with their potential new employer. If one company’s approaches to potential hires are 50% more successful at generating an interview candidate than another’s, that has massive ramifications for the effectiveness of the entire recruitment team.

Savvy recruitment teams are starting to fully appreciate this and so are increasingly willing to invest in building their employer or recruiter brand, strengthening their presence on social media and generally being more “candidate centric”. Since this trust and presence takes time to develop, there’s clearly a first-mover advantage here and recruitment teams would be wise not to be left behind by their more forward-looking competitors.

Final remarks

There are clearly many ways in which recruitment could evolve and the above list of trends to look out for is far from exhaustive. But by keeping tabs on new tools and services launched in the recruitment space, you should start to identify the ones you’ll need to keep your recruitment team right at the cutting edge. If you’d like a look inside idibu to discover the part we can play in keeping you ahead of the competition, please do book in for a demo with one of our team and we’d be delighted to show you how we can help.

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