Do Better Hiring - The RecruitLoop Blog

5 Recruitment Trends to Watch During 2018 and Beyond

Editors Note: This is a guest post by John Crowley. His opinions are his own.

We’re already almost a quarter of the way through 2018.  In the HR world that means it’s time to reflect on processes that are (and are not) working and make adjustments accordingly. There has been a lot of talk in the HR field about changing landscapes for 2018. There are political and economic changes afoot and human resource departments across the globe are taking note and working to move ahead of the changing times.

The recruiting field has seen a tremendous amount of change recently and continues to show this trend continuing in 2018. In the last 10 years, recruiting has done a 180 in terms of new processes and standards of practice. Technology has played a huge role in this change. The use of technology and electronic records management systems has made tracking and onboarding applicants easier than ever.

What is the future of recruiting now that most companies are now embracing technology with open arms?

In this post we review the top recruiting trends for 2018 so you can stay ahead of the curve and recruit top talent! 

1. Leveraging real data

Using electronic records management systems lends itself to leveraging data to make better employment decisions. We will start to see companies continue to use and embrace technology to make their systems and processes easier.

Specifically, expect to find data at the forefront of the recruiter’s mind. Technology systems are in place and recruiters are now looking to that technology to help make decisions rather than just be a transactional storage of information.

Organizations that look to data as a partner in the decision-making process will have a competitive advantage. There are many exciting trends emerging in technology and data collection.

One of the most exciting is that of predictive data. Experts expect predictive technology to continue to improve. This will include being able to automatically seek out active and passive candidates that fit the needs of the organization.

In addition, employers can expect to use predictive and keyword search technology to source data about current candidates. Keyword searches, while not a new technology is becoming increasingly popular in the recruiting field.

Data that drives decision-making is the wave the future and everyone wants to ride it.

2. Employer branding

With more millennials entering the workforce, there has been a shift in the recruiting mindset to a more customer-based approach. There is a common misconception that millennials are an entitled group. Nothing can be further from the truth. Employers find that millennials want to share in the experience and responsibility of employment. As such, they are looking for a mutually beneficial relationship with their employer. To accommodate this, employers are now treating candidates more like ‘customers’ and enticing them to interview with their companies.

Personalization is key to this approach. Providing applicants with personalized user interfaces and electronic communications including SMS texts, emails and more is becoming increasingly popular. Real-time updates with candidate status will also continue to grow in popularity and will soon be expected from younger generations.

Onboarding candidates with a personalized, branded approach will propel employers into the New Year and make them more competitive for years to come.

3. Recruiting platforms

2018 has already brought some slight changes to recruiting platforms that most recruiting professionals have grown accustomed to. Many of the same recruitment tools will still be available. These include recruitment agencies, job board advertising, and flat-fee recruitment platforms. These platforms will of course still be in use with many employers.

Pivoting from the old, most recruiters say that employee referrals generate their top source of talent. Expect to find more employers offering referral programs and bonuses to referring employees that provide viable candidates.

Many companies are turning to social media to fulfill recruitment needs. This point ties into branding initiatives many companies are launching to get their content to leads. Brands are expected to share content related to their culture and entice applicants to apply. Some platforms such as Facebook can even allow leads to apply via data capture forms within the messenger application. This is a technology and platform that will be interesting to watch over the coming years.

Some companies have found success with outsourcing the entire recruiting process as employers focus more on strategic HR initiatives and outsource transactional tasks. Smaller companies typically favor outsourcing until they have the capacity to grow internally.

4. Contractors

Recruiters have found themselves hiring contractors more in the last 2 years. This ‘gig’ economy is booming because millennials are more interested in being their own bosses compared to previous generations.

Websites such as Fiverr and Upwork have become increasingly popular and for good reason – they allow professionals of all ages an opportunity to set their own hours, rate, and work at their own pace.

This is a form of on-demand workforce that is growing in popularity amongst employers as well. Working with contractors to fulfill labor needs is generally cheaper than a regular workforce employee and they are easy to let go when you no longer need them. This form of recruiting typically suits positions that are high in skill such as programmers, tech positions, and professional service industries.

While not a traditional form of recruiting, this trend is expected to be on the rise in the coming years. Employers should take note, especially for positions that don’t require full-time work.

5. Attention to diversity

With changing socioeconomic demographics around the world, it’s no surprise that employers are paying more attention to diversity needs and diversity initiatives.

One interesting shift in the labor force is that the access to online education has grown significantly which has opened education up to a more diverse group of candidates. This is having a positive impact on the diversity of qualified candidates, which is in turn, slowing creating a more diverse workforce.

As this shift continues in 2018, employers are adjusting their recruiting efforts to be more inclusive and appeal to a more diverse group of people. Expect employers to spend more on training that focuses on diversity-specific issues such as gender and income sensitivity and cultural differences. Recruiting training will also focus on bias screening and prevention.

Diversity brings rich benefits to employers and all employers should be embracing and promoting a plan that encourages diversity initiatives.

All companies are different but the trends don’t lie – Embrace changes occurring in the recruiting field and you’ll be setting your company up for success.

John Crowley

John Crowley writes about HR, people management, and business tech. He has been editor of the People HR blog since 2013 -- voted by many as one of the UK's leading human resources blogs. He also contributes to other platforms and publications.

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