The recruiting market is in the midst of a pretty seismic shift. Instead of just driving applications and stacking up resumes, companies are focusing on building relationships with great candidates.
As a result, in 2018, we expect engagement to become the critical currency of recruiting. Successful companies will evolve their processes, teams, and tactics to be more candidate-centric.
Here are our predictions for next year:
1. Candidate expectations will change even more
"The market has gotten hotter than ever, with unemployment rate near record lows. We are back into the “war for talent” a 15 year old phrase and this time the talent is leading the charge." - Josh Bersin, Bersin by Deloitte
The expectations that candidates have when they engage with your business are very different today. People are accustomed to the personalized, on-demand experiences that they receive from digital disruptors like Airbnb, Amazon, and Apple. The way that they expect to engage with businesses has changed.
The recruiting process can be a pretty jarring contrast. All too often, when people apply for jobs, they don’t hear back and they leave the process with a very different opinion of your company than when they started it.
This is a problem. Candidate expectations have changed: they’re looking for a fundamentally different experience during the recruiting process. They’re also less forgiving. If they’re unhappy with the way they’ve been treated, they’re prepared to share their qualms online, damaging your brand.
As Bersin says, we're on the cusp of a new war for talent. One in which candidates have more power and are better informed about your business. In 2018, the organizations that become more candidate-centric and listen to the new expectations of the market will be the ones that are successful.
2. Engagement becomes the new currency
No one likes being marketed to. It doesn’t matter if it’s email, online pop-ups, or flyers shoved through your postbox. People aren’t stupid, they know when someone is trying to sell them something, and no one likes being sold to.
People want something different, they want to be engaged with. They expect companies to communicate with them in the way that they want, across the channels that they want, at the frequency that they want.
As we've established already, candidates are no different. They want relevant engagement from companies based on where they are in the candidate journey, and what the kind of role that they’re _actually _interested in. They want the same level of personalization that they receive from sophisticated marketing departments.
Engagement is about creating experiences for candidates that feel real, human and authentic. It’s about building relationships with people, not just processing resumes.
Successful candidate engagement starts long before someone is ready to click apply, some of the most important work that a modern recruiting department can do is to educate the market on their employer brand and their EVP.
It's central to every stage of the candidate journey – from education, all the way through to advocacy where happy candidates advocate on behalf of your company and encourage their network to apply.
If recruiters are to be successful in 2018, they are going to need to put a lot of thought into the tactics and tools that they are using to engage candidates and the way in which they are building relationships.
3. The recruiting team restructures
Recruiting is changing fast, and the recruiting team you have in place right now might not the one that you finish 2018 with.
Right now many recruiting teams are “full cycle” meaning that each recruiter is responsible for the entire process from first touch to offer acceptance.
With branding and marketing becoming more and more important to success, recruiting teams are going to have to adapt. We expect increasing specialization and the growth of a few new roles within the talent department.
The main split that we expect will be between people dedicated to "acquiring" and engaging candidates, and people that focus more on assessing and processing applications.
Increasingly, the candidate journey starts long before someone is ready to “click” apply.
Companies need to engage with people before the application to convince them that their organization is the right fit. They can’t be relied on to figure it out all by themselves.
Sourcers, employer branding pros and recruitment marketers will focus entirely on this "pre-application" stage, building relationships with high-value candidates and creating talent pipelines for open and future roles.
Once candidates are qualified and ready for an interview, a different team will take over the process.
Many organizations are already starting to think in this way, but in 2018 we expect it to be more prevalent.
4. A new way of thinking about artificial intelligence
Whether it's chatbots or mysterious software that makes sweeping promises of artificial intelligence, it's safe to say that the talk of "smarter" software has driven the recruiting world or at least a portion of the recruiting world to "Bitcoin levels" of excitement.
In 2018 we expect companies to look at this kind of software with a more critical eye and question the genuine business value that many tools bring to the table.
Companies should focus on tools that can automate or accelerate critical workflows and unblock their recruiting team, and avoid jumping on the A.I. bandwagon for the sake of something shiny that will look cool on the careers site.
For example, we see automation playing a huge role in assisting the developing remit of the recruiter:
Recruiters are being asked to do a lot of new things. They're no longer just filling roles, they're now marketers charged with building a pipeline and measuring the impact of different campaigns and initiatives. These are not skills that they were hired for.
The right kind of automation can go a long way to helping recruiters manage this new workload. Solutions like Beamery even let you run a lot of marketing and engagement campaigns on autopilot, freeing recruiters up to focus more on building relationships with top talent.
5. GDPR. All bets are off
GDPR. The 4 little letters that we're all trying our hardest to ignore.
We'll keep this short. GDPR is going to completely change the way that your recruiting team operates. It comes into effect on 25 May 2018, and you need to think long and hard about how you're going to deal with it.
Forrester predicts that 80% of organizations aren't going to comply with GDPR. Given the risks to your brand and your balance sheet, this is quite frankly a staggering statistic.
For anyone that wants to understand exactly how to deal with GDPR, we're talking highly specific and detailed instructions here, we put together the grand-daddy of all guides: