Top Talent Trends: Recruitment in 2018

Change doesn’t wait for the New Year. Throughout 2017, talent acquisition faced major disruptions, including the entrance of Google for Jobs into the hiring mix and artificial intelligence gaining momentum in recruiting. The speed of transformation is expected to continue through 2018, and agile organizations that stay ahead of the curve with new technologies will have the talent advantage. Read on to learn about the major issues and trends on the horizon for the recruitment landscape next year.

A Focus on Diversity Hiring

While diversity has been on the radar for a long time, recent incidents underscore the importance of accelerating change across industries. In August, a Google engineer was fired after sharing a memo that said “biological causes” explained why women weren’t equally represented in tech. Additionally, the sexual harassment scandals cascading through multiple industries highlight, among other things, the importance of gender diversity in leadership.

Research increasingly shows workplace diversity improves business outcomes. A 2014 analysis by management consulting firm McKinsey & Company found the most gender-diverse companies outperformed less diverse organizations by 15 percent, while the most ethnically diverse companies outperformed less diverse businesses by 35 percent.

The first step to improving diversity and inclusion within any organization is awareness. Most busy hiring managers are open to a diverse workforce, but improvements only occur when they commit to using job posting language known to draw more diverse candidates, and when they counter unconscious bias with blind assessments in the early stages of recruitment.

Dynamic Employer Branding & Recruitment Marketing

You’ve polished your employer brand with a strong career page that shares your company culture and mission, and offered rich content that gives authentic, behind-the-scenes views into your business. Now what? You can’t assume quality candidates will discover your company’s appealing culture and mission without effort.

Just as business marketing shares your company story and builds relationships with customers, recruitment marketing shares your employer brand and nurtures relationships with candidates. This is an ongoing process that includes everything from employee testimonials shared on your company’s Facebook page to job fairs to job postings. Tech advances, such as machine learning and geofencing, are fueling a rapid shift from broad to fine-tuned tactics that help organizations decide whom to reach out to, as well as where and when to reach out.

Tailored Perks

Of course, a limitless buffet of perks that employees can choose from is not realistic. But the tight talent market of the past few years is expected to continue into the foreseeable future and companies can distinguish themselves as top employers with benefits that don’t break the bank. Perks growing in popularity according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) 2017 Employee Benefits Survey include free coffee, financial advice, and standing desks.

According to the SHRM survey, benefits related to employee wellness in the office and beyond the office appeal to candidates. More companies are offering health savings accounts, health fairs, wellness tips, and in-office programs, such as meditation and exercise classes.

Increasingly, companies that want to attract Millennial workers and younger are also offering to help paying off student loans after a few years of commitment to the organization.

Job Boards Evolve

This year, Google for Jobs launched to help candidates search for work. The service simplifies search for job seekers by using machine learning to improve candidates’ search results based on prior searches and geography. The tech giant is currently partnering with LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, Monster, Glassdoor, Facebook, and other smaller job boards. When job seekers want to apply, they are directed to the original job board. It is unclear if these partnerships will last or if Google will eventually have candidates apply through Google.

Notably, Google did not partner with Indeed, the internet’s largest job board. Indeed, along with the other job board sites, will have to innovate and differentiate to stay competitive now that Google’s in the mix.

AI Recruiting Assistants

Among the most prevalent candidate complaints are the lack of communication from busy recruiters and hiring managers. AI chatbots and AI recruiting technology are expected to grow rapidly over the next few years to help address this issue. For example, HR tech company FirstJob has a tool called Mya that asks candidates questions based on the job requirements, and answers candidate questions 24/7 on various platforms, including Facebook and Skype. Mya can answer questions about the hiring company and keeps job seekers up to date about where they are in the hiring process.1

Rather than answering basic questions repeatedly from multiple candidates, the AI tool can offer answers, and recruiters can focus their energy on interviews and job offers, where person-to-person interactions are most important.

Innovative Assessments

Time-consuming, overly-broad, and impersonal candidate assessments can negatively impact your candidate experience and, therefore, your employer brand. Many companies are now incorporating gaming and job simulations into their talent assessments. Gamification helps organizations ensure candidates excel in critical skills for any given role, while also giving candidates a greater sense of engagement in the hiring process.

The pace of change in recruitment technology and candidate expectations is accelerating. This is challenging for companies of every size. It is helpful to understand that not every innovation is the right choice for every organization. But leveraging even one or two cutting-edge hiring strategies can pay lasting dividends in improved talent acquisition at your company.

Interested in exploring new trends in recruitment? Contact Hudson.


1 Zielinski, Dave. “Recruiting Gets Smart Thanks to Artificial Intelligence.” Society for Human Resource Management. Web. 13 Feb 2017.

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