HR and Recruiting

The top 4 emerging trends that will shape recruiting in 2018

Written by Eric Titner

Any recruiter worth their business card knows that their success depends on staying on top of industry developments and trends. Aside from having a robust network of contacts to leverage, this may be the single most important rule of thumb to follow for recruitment professionals.

Recruiters know that their business is one characterized by intense competition and constant hustling in order to stay relevant and effective at their jobs. If they fail to stay on top of things that are happening in their field, they risk being viewed as out of date and irrelevant—and once your reputation as a recruiter gets tarnished it’s a tough trick to regain that luster.

The best recruiters approach the beginning of each new year as an opportunity to take stock, retool, and refocus their recruiting efforts, in order to align themselves with the latest and greatest trends shaping their industry.

LinkedIn’s Talent Blog recently published an article on the 4 major trends that are shaping how recruiters will hire in 2018 and beyond. Their findings are based on results obtained in the “2018 Global Recruiting Trends” report, which reveals four key hiring trends that are “killing the transaction, making hiring more strategic, and letting recruiters and hiring managers focus on discovering high-potential talent.” Let’s take a closer look at each of these potential recruitment game changers.

Diversity—the new global mindset

This is arguably the top trend in professional recruiting, and it’s significantly impacting how companies are staffing their teams. According to LinkedIn, “Diversity used to be a box that companies checked. But today, diversity is directly tied to company culture and financial performance. Our data shows that 78% of companies prioritize diversity to improve culture and 62% do so to boost financial performance.

Key forces are at play here: changing demographics are diversifying our communities, shrinking talent pools for companies that don’t adapt. Growing evidence that diverse teams are more productive, more innovative, and more engaged also makes it hard to ignore.”

Despite the importance of diversity in today’s world of recruiting, it seems as if some companies and recruiters are finding it difficult to attract and retain candidates from a diverse array of backgrounds. According to LinkedIn, “…when it comes to fostering diversity, very few organizations have cracked the code. Despite all of the buzz, most companies still fall short of their goals and the public’s expectations. Our data shows that the main reason why is that recruiters and hiring managers can’t find enough diverse candidates. But this may be a problem of perception—many female engineers and black product managers exist, for example, but companies may not be looking in the right places.”

Despite the potential challenges of building a diverse workforce, if you’re a recruiter you should certainly consider making this a priority in 2018.

The interview—reinvented

All recruiters are familiar with the traditional interview—and the good news is that it’s not disappearing any time soon. However, its days as the primary or sole predictive tool regarding the potential success or value of a candidate may be numbered as new assessment techniques get adopted into the recruitment process.

According to LinkedIn, the following five techniques are being used—often alongside traditional interviews but at times instead of them—in an effort to gauge potential new hires as accurately as possible: 

  • Online soft skills assessments that measure traits like teamwork and curiosity to give a sense of candidates earlier in the process
  • Job auditions, where companies pay candidates to work as normal employees do so that they can observe skills in action
  • Casual interviews that show candidate’s character, such as a meal at a restaurant where one must deal with servers and the outside world
  • Virtual reality situations, where companies put candidates in simulated work environments to view how they handle actual work situations in a more realistic way
  • Video interviews, which can be recorded and saved so more people can be interviewed and assessed at once

Bottom line: if you’re in a position to vet and assess new candidates for various positions, consider using these techniques for assessing potential hires if you’re not already doing so.

Data—the new corporate superpower

Gone—or at least rapidly disappearing—are the days when recruiters would trust their instincts or hunches when deciding on potential candidates for positions. Today, measurable and quantifiable data is the new hunch.

According to LinkedIn, talent acquisition has usually emphasized people and personalities in the past, but now is just as much a numbers profession: “Our research shows that most recruiters and hiring managers use data in their work now and even more are likely to use it in the next two years. Now, it’s true—data informing talent decisions isn’t a new concept. But what is new is the volume of data available and the speed with which it can be analyzed. What’s new is that data can be used to predict hiring outcomes, not just track them. What’s new is that data can power machines to make smarter recruiting decisions for you.”

If you’re a recruiter whose still relying on instinct alone, it’s time to make a change in 2018. Make sure you’re embracing big data to help you make key hiring decisions.

Artificial intelligence—your secret workhorse

The notion that artificial intelligence (AI) is going to sweep in and completely revolutionize how we handle every aspect of life—personally, professionally, and everything in between—has been a buzzing topic of discussion for years, and often feels exaggerated and overblown. But according to LinkedIn, 35% of talent professionals and hiring managers say that AI is the top trend impacting how they hire. This may be the year that AI makes certain annoying aspects of recruiting a little less tedious—and who doesn’t want something that saves time? Sourcing, screening, and scheduling are only a few candidate interactions where AI can become a vital took in your day-to-day.

There you have it—some of the big potential trends in recruitment in 2018. If you’re a recruiter, make sure to keep these on your radar so you don’t get left behind. Good luck!

About the author

Eric Titner

Eric is a NYC-based editor and writer, with years of experience in career-focused content development across a wide range of industries.