HR and Recruiting

Trends changing how companies hire in 2018 and beyond

Written by Kate Lopaze

The HR world has certainly changed over the past decade—after all, when was the last time you saw a resume or cover letter on thick, expensive paper that came via snail mail? (Or if it was recently, it was probably a rare sighting.) Like every other field, HR is susceptible to changes and trends. Some aren’t built to last (remember the video resume trend for a minute?), but others are geared toward making your job easier in the long term.

Better interviews = better hires

It’s possible that nothing will ever truly replace the good old “gut feeling” you get when you meet with a candidate. But as a rule, making the interview process more inclusive, less biased, and less time-consuming is a huge plus. Traditional interviews aren’t going anywhere, but they’re getting a bit of polishing this year and beyond. Having someone sit across from you and tell you what they know you want to hear isn’t always the most effective use of your hiring time. If you’re looking to streamline or equalize the interview itself, there are HR software programs that essentially craft your interview script, standardizing interviews across a pool of candidates. (This has the added bonus of helping to eliminate personal bias or individual quirks if there are multiple interviewers.)

Online skill assessments, designed to gauge a candidate’s soft skills, give you more data before a candidate ever walks through your doors in their best interview suit. Gaps and strengths are more apparent up front, allowing you to be more selective about who makes it to the next round, and bring in stronger candidates up front.

“Job auditions” are also hot right now. These are less “tell me your five-year plan” interviews and more “show me how you’d do the job” interviews. This takes away some of the guesswork about how a candidate would likely perform the job. Nerves and novelty won’t always show you 100% of what a candidate’s potential is, but it gives you a chance to see how he or she thinks, whether the candidate can apply past experience and skills, etc.

Prioritizing diversity

Diversity is a priority in just about every industry right now, and for good reason. Lack of diversity is becoming a significant liability and can lead to issues with an ever-more-diverse public. Companies that don’t actively seek diversity in their hiring are likely to find themselves at a significant disadvantage as talent pools shrink. According to LinkedIn surveys, diversity is the top hiring trend for 78% of hiring managers.

Still, for all its trendiness, truly diverse hiring continues to be a challenge. Many companies are tackling this by branching out in their talent sourcing and using non-traditional recruitment methods (or venues) to find hot new talent.

Bingeing on Big Data

Metrics, metrics, metrics. With the increased use of hiring databases and HR software platforms capable of collecting information on employees from application to retirement, there’s no shortage of information that companies can use. The challenge here is using it in a smart, speedy way that allows for real-time employee engagement and development to help ensure that great hires stay great employees. According to LinkedIn’s annual global recruiting trends report, more than half of HR professionals say that employee retention is the most valuable use of employee data.

The heart of this data trend is using the information to make hiring predictions, not just hiring decisions. HR departments are really starting to harness the power of this data by using increasingly sophisticated AI and automation platforms to create predictive models based on a candidate’s information, compared to information about past hires and current employees.

The most important takeaway from this year’s hot trends in hiring is that companies are moving toward a more efficient, better-rounded talent pool, with concrete data that can be offered up to support those gut decisions. This year, it’s all about streamlining and maximizing the resources we already have in place—not necessarily replacing them.

About the author

Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.