Recruitment Trends in 2018: Here's what the Experts are Predicting!

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2017 saw acronyms like AI, ML and IOT attain mainstream TA lingo status, conversations around employer branding and candidate experience getting louder and the often overused phrase, ‘War for Talent’, finally ringing true.


As we enter 2018, we asked 5 talent acquisition leaders about what they think will be the biggest trends in the recruitment space in 201

8. Here's what they said:

1. AI for Recruitment

The last few years have seen AI-based solutions bring rapid innovation and efficiency to industries like eCommerce, education, healthcare and financial services.

The recruitment space has seen early-adopters leverage AI-based solutions that not only automate mundane, repetitive tasks but also learn from recruiters’ hiring patterns to improve search results.

Adoption of such technology is helping recruiters find out what type of people may be exploring opportunities at any time and speed up their hiring process by narrowing the search down to only the most relevant candidates.

Karthik Purushotham, Head of Talent Acquisition at Paypal, feels 2018 will see greater adoption of such technologies by recruiters.

“Emergence of newer technologies like AI and ML has led to a significant change in the manner in which recruiting is done. Traditional methods like job boards are clearly not enough. AI, for instance, helps in pattern recognition which helps in identifying potential candidates.”

- Karthik Purushotham

2. New Metrics will eat Old Ones for Breakfast 

Traditionally, Talent Acquisition teams have been measured on metrics like cost to hire, source mix and time to fill. Though important to capture, these metrics fail to reflect the real impact of recruitment on business.

For years, TA has been the unsung hero behind a company’s success. With TA finally getting a seat at the executive table, it becomes pertinent to quantify the value that it brings to the company. That’s where metrics such as Net Promoter Score and Average Revenue Per Employee come into the picture.

According to Deepak Babu, manager, Talent Acquisition at Akamai Technologies, “Talent acquisition leaders have now gained a prominent spot at the Executive Table. They are now being measured on NPS score – a candidate’s willingness to promote your company. Social media followers is becoming part of brand awareness metrics. Hiring manager satisfaction and candidate experience metrics are also becoming increasingly important.” 

“One of the newer metrics on which Talent Acquisition teams are being measured is Revenue per Employee.”

- Deepak Babu.

3. Diversity to be a Bigger Agenda

The conversations around disproportionate representation of women in senior roles, especially inside the boardroom, keep getting louder. Till now flirting with policies like flexible timings and maternity benefits, organizations are now also understanding the subtler aspects of diversity hiring. Many organizations are taking steps to project themselves as a place where women would want to work.

In the last few years, IBM, Thoughtworks and PayPal have initiated ‘bring back women to work’ initiatives where they help women on a career break to get back working full time.

A study conducted by Belong in August 2017 found there are only 26% women in engineering roles in Indian tech companies. The number drops to a dismal 7% when it comes to the C-Suite.

"Having a diverse workforce will become an even bigger priority for all corporates in 2018. Gender-diverse companies are 15 percent more likely to outperform their national industry median."

Prasad Rao, Head of Talent Acquisition at Adobe. 

“In 2017, Adobe achieved a 50% gender diversity mix for university hiring. We also created an inclusive pipeline across all roles," he added.

4. The Recruiter as the Marketer 

“78% of candidates look into a company’s reputation as an employer before applying for a job.”

“72% of recruiting leaders around the world agree that employer brand has a significant impact on hiring.”

“CareerBuilder reports that 67% of candidates would essentially accept lower pay if the company they were interested in had very positive reviews online.”

Till now, Employer Branding had more or less been an afterthought in the form of a Team and Career Page, a hurriedly put together Company Linkedin Page and occasional bursts of tweets. But with Glassdoor affording a peek into a company’s culture and unhappy candidates not shying away from taking down a company on social media, it has become more important than ever to invest in dedicated Employer Branding activities.

“In a candidate-driven market, you are competing with the very best to get the right talent on board. Today, recruitment needs to learn marketing chops in order to attract, engage and nurture talent."

Aadil Bandukwala, Outbound Hiring Evangelist, Belong. 

"Of late, the demand generation function has been doubling down on account based marketing through personalized content and conversations. Recruiters similarly need to up their game to ensure they nurture their talent pipelines on the fly via content, advisory, interactions and personalized messaging. You need to treat every candidate as a potential customer," he added.

5. In Data, they will Trust

Data has seeped into all aspects of our lives. Marketers have been using data to great effect in delivering a better customer experience, predict behavior and even tell when its shoppers are pregnant.

As recruitment picks up more and more from marketing, it’s only imperative that it embraces this aspect of marketing too. Right from understanding talent availability to targeting relevant candidates to predicting hiring timelines, data-driven recruiters are creating direct business impact.

The most strategic recruiting teams today study the talent landscape before setting up new business centers.

“It’s imperative for any recruitment team that aspires to be a true business partner to use talent maps as a tool to conduct accurate business planning.”

Ameya Ayachit, Head of Talent Acquisition at Directi.

“Hiring managers often give complex hiring requirements. Talent Maps can give you an understanding of where your target talent resides, if it actually exists and a roadmap on how to get to that talent. This can help set the right expectations with regard to timelines, leading to better business planning,” he added.

Here's an infographic with all the trends in a nutshell: 

new_infographic.pngConsidering these trends, it's only obvious the hiring solutions of today keep pace with this changing landscape. Talent Acquisition teams today don't just need a solution that checks all the boxes, but also a solution that constantly evolves with the changing dynamics of the industry. With a plethora of solutions out there in the market, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the number of choices. To aid your evaluation process, we put together a list of 15 questions every Talent Leader should ask before buying a hiring solution.

15 Questions When Buying a Hiring Solution

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