As I look toward the New Year, a few trends stand out in my mind as the defining drivers of change in recruiting.
First, the economy is improving, which means more jobs are opening up and unemployment rates are going down. With more job opportunities, candidates are increasingly in control of the job hunt—which means recruiters will need to work harder to compete for talent.
Second, the economic stability also means companies are hiring more—according to LinkedIn's Global Recruiting Trends report, 56 percent of teams say their hiring volume will increase in 2017. To help meet demand, recruiters will be looking for better tools to streamline and automate the recruiting workflow.
Last but not least, companies are not only interested in hiring more people, they want to hire more kinds of people, too: As more employers recognize the social and financial benefits of having a diverse workforce, the ability to attract qualified diverse candidates will become a competitive advantage in 2017.
How can companies prepare to meet the challenges and opportunities these trends create? Let's take a closer look.
1) New Recruiting Technologies
With the growing emphasis on HR data and analytics, I predict that employers will be ready to upgrade their recruitment tech to become more efficient and competitive, especially for technology that promises to measure quality of hire. Two major parts of this upgrade will be AI and mobile.
The explosion in AI technology is disrupting industries spanning from medicine, transportation, consumer goods, and software — now, it's time for AI to disrupt HR. I predict artificial intelligence will begin to truly automate parts of the recruiting workflow, especially repetitive, high-volume tasks. For example, recruiters will turn to software that applies machine learning to resumes to auto-screen candidates, or software that conducts sentiment analysis on job descriptions to identify potentially biased language.
While AI is a relatively new frontier, mobile may seem like old news. But this year, I expect mobile recruiting will be more important than ever. According to LinkedIn's Mobile Recruiting Playbook, 72 percent of active candidates have visited a company's mobile site to learn about career opportunities and 45 percent have applied to a job via mobile. In 2017, I predict we'll see less friction on the candidate's side with "one-click" job applications, as recruiters demand mobile functionality from their ATS and other vendors.
Experts believe the next innovation of mobile-first technology will integrate with other technologies, such as involving the use of voice recognition or AI tools that further enhance the user experience.
2) Workplace Diversity
Workplace diversity (or the lack thereof) gained a lot of attention in 2016—especially in tech—and this year promises to be marked by an increased focus on addressing the issue. Diversity is now a mandate across all industry sectors: A Glassdoor survey found that 67 percent of active and passive job seekers think diversity is an important factor when considering companies and job offers.
On the recruiting side, a recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 57 percent of recruiters say their talent acquisition strategies are designed to attract diverse candidates. As companies start to recognize the social and financial benefits of workplace diversity as a competitive advantage, I expect we'll see more recruiting teams use tech-driven strategies to reduce unconscious bias, such as blind hiring, in order to attract diverse candidates in 2017.
3) Talent Rediscovery
Hiring is increasing, which means recruiters are going to be receiving more applications for more roles across the board. For high-volume roles, recruiters receive more than 250 applications on average. Once these resumes enter an ATS, however, the majority of them are never looked at again.
The ability to quickly, easily and accurately screen the resumes of past applicants for a current opening has long been desired by recruiters. With recent advances in resume screening technology, this type of talent rediscovery is finally possible. Although this technology is brand new, I believe it will become one of the most popular trends in 2017, because it solves such a widespread problem in recruiting.
As recruiting professionals and business executives prepare their talent strategies for 2017, understanding these three trends will be the key to successfully navigating the shifting work landscape.
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