2017 was the year of AI and automation technologies, unconscious bias and workplace diversity, and candidate experience in recruiting.
With the continually improving economy and unemployment at a 16-year old low, what will the new year bring?
Here are my top 4 recruiting trends for 2018.
1. Hiring volume continues to increase
In 2017, 56% of recruiting teams predicted their hiring volume would increase.
A recent survey by Indeed found that hiring will continue to increase in 2018: 61% of recruiters expect to hire more people in 2018 than they did in 2017, while 29% expect to maintain current headcount, and only 10% are planning to reduce their hiring.
The strong economy appears to be driving most of this demand: 56% of employers are hiring to support business growth and only 13% are hiring to backfill.
Increased hiring means busier recruiting teams and the need for additional resources such as investment in recruitment tech that addresses your specific pain points.
2. Focus on conversion rates in sourcing
SocialTalent’s latest Global Recruiting Survey found the average recruiter sourced 225 candidates for a single hire, an overall conversion rate of 0.4%.
Top performing recruiters, on the other hand, were 150% more efficient. They sourced 91 candidates on average for one hire for an overall conversion rate of 1.0%.
In 2018, a focus on quality over quantity means adopting software tools to improve candidate matching and recruiter efficiency.
Software tools that use AI or smart automation learn a job’s requirements, scan candidate databases to find the right qualifications, and then assign grades (e.g., from A to D) to identify the strongest candidates.
Going forward, talent acquisition leaders are less impressed by absolute numbers and instead will be looking for how well their recruiters can optimize their conversion rates and reduce time to fill to outperform their competitors in landing talent.
In fact, In Lever’s new ebook 101+ Recruiting Hacks to Accelerate Your Hiring in 2018, Pat Morey, Talent Specialist at LevelUp, suggests the key recruiting KPIs you should be looking at are pipeline speed and offer acceptance.
3. Entry-level hiring become a priority
According to the same Indeed survey, 41% of employers say entry-level positions are hardest to fill compared to 20% who believe executive level positions are their most difficult hires.
Retailers such as Walmart and Target have already taken action to attract and retain entry-level talent by increasing their minimum wage.
Indeed suggests companies may need to start offering incentives and accept truly entry-level candidates – those without prior experience and train them – rather than require 1+ years of experience to tap into a bigger talent pool.
Another valuable tool for recruiters will be software that’s more accurately and quickly able to source and screen candidates that match the requirements for entry-level positions.
4. Candidate experience becomes a differentiator
Recruiting has the bad reputation that its practices are slow, outdated, and unfriendly to candidates.
Organizations are starting to pay attention that a great candidate experience is an important differentiator.
In 2018, the growing mindset of “the candidate as consumer” will take hold. Just like today’s consumers, candidates want immediate, real-time updates and access to information about their job applications.
One promising area this is taking root is the adoption of recruitment chatbots.
Similar to Alexa, Siri, and Google Home, a recruitment chatbot uses AI to understand a person’s messages and responds via email, SMS, social media profiles like Facebook, messaging apps like Slack, and within specific software like an ATS.
In a recent survey by Allegis found that the majority candidates are receptive to interacting with a chatbot in the early stages of the application process. 66% of candidates are comfortable with a chatbot taking care of interview scheduling and preparation.
While candidates still prefer a human touch first and foremost, they understand that’s not possible at every touchpoint. Candidates are open to communicating using alternative methods if that means speeding up the job search process and having access to more information.