Low unemployment, shrinking talent pools, and more tech than we know what to do with — sometimes it’s hard to know what’s really real in the world of recruitment.
We cut to the chase and asked real, frontline recruiters for their no-holds-barred opinions on what’s happening in the recruitment game this year. The catch?
They had to sum it up in just one word.
Here are five straight and simple predictions for what recruiters can expect to see this year (plus some seriously awesome pro tips for how to stay ahead of the game).
Elijah Elkins does not mince words. 💯
We asked the Global Talent Acquisition Manager for the high-octane managed workforce solution, CloudFactory what he thought of recruitment this year, and well, we’ll let him tell it.
“Overhyped. It seems like there’s quite a bit of talking about recruiting regarding theories and ideas, but not as much true relationship building and in-depth practical knowledge sharing.”
Tell us how you really feel, right? 😂
But truthfully, many hiring pros feel the same way. And justifiably so. HR has undergone massive shifts in recent years, but there is still much progress to be made before it becomes a truly human-first function within the business — especially when it comes to recruitment and creating what Elijah describes as a “loving” candidate experience.
So what can recruiters do to start walking the talk?
“One of the most helpful things for me has been to take a moment and put myself in the shoes of the candidate. How might I be feeling? How would I want to be treated? Better yet, think of someone you dearly love. How would you want them to be treated throughout the recruitment process? Empathy is key for relationship-building and a people-oriented recruitment process,” says Elijah.
One simple example is the rejection email. In the age of smart AI and friendly robots, why is it so hard to create a simple email that feels human?
Here are some of Elijah’s tips for a better candidate experience:
“We say things like, ‘We do not think we would be the best fit for you right now.’ And, ‘You have an impressive track record and career trajectory. I’m sure you’re going to continue to do great things!’ Why not say this? Humans are amazing and have incredible capabilities.”
Creating a great candidate experience is so much simpler than we tend to make it. But simple doesn’t mean easy. For recruiters like Elijah, creating a compassionate candidate experience means having the courage, to be honest.
As Elijah puts it, “Overall, it’s less about the recruitment technology and strategies we use, and more about how we make people feel.”
“The first word which came to mind is ‘challenging’”, says Talent Acquisition Manager for Dodge Data & Analytics, Eric Krause.
And with over 20 years of recruiting experience on every side of the business, let’s just say Eric knows a challenge when he sees one.
The longtime recruiter cites an increasing number of opportunities coupled with a smaller pool of qualified candidates as the main source of work headaches for recruiters this year.
“The most marketable and qualified candidates have more choices and simultaneous offers in a very competitive setting. It takes longer to find the most qualified, motivated candidates and counteroffers are more readily accepted than ever before. We have to bend backward to get the person we want for a role which is hard to fill.”
Challenging indeed. 😬
According to Eric, if recruiters want to stay ahead of the game this year, they’ll need to color outside the lines.
“We have to continually differentiate ourselves from other companies inside and slightly outside of our space. We have to be creative in the kinds of offers we make for the best and brightest candidates,” he says.
“At least BreezyHR makes it easy to track and interact with candidates and internal clients throughout the interview process to ideally the offer and hire stages of the pipeline,” says Eric.
Hey, we got your back! A little creativity plus a lot of efficiency can make a big difference in helping recruiters find the silver lining (not to mention, the right candidates!).
“If I look at the way I approach the process personally, I’d describe the state of recruitment as transparent,” says Omar Khan, HR Manager at FlightNetwork.
Now, that’s cool. 😍
Here’s how Omar sees it:
“Candidates have more ways to learn about potential employers than ever before and also to connect and engage with them in ways that we’ve never seen before. It’s easier to learn about an employer brand and what value they would add to a candidate’s career goals. People are more informed when it comes to salaries and they set their expectations way before engaging a recruiter.”
Sounds amazing, right? This is definitely a major switch up from your grandma’s recruitment methods. And while technology-fueled transparency puts a ton of power in the hands of potential candidates, it’s also a massive opportunity for smart employers.
“On the flip side, recruiters and employers also have ways to learn more about candidates through social media and their presence online. We’re able to meet people virtually if needed and so the pool of candidates has become so much larger than it ever has been in the past.”
More transparency = larger pool of candidates? We 💗 it.
Done right, using social media in your recruitment process can definitely expand your talent horizons and help you find some truly perfect-fit candidates. And done really right, it can actually help create a stellar candidate experience from A to Z.
“With online reviews being very normal, employers are also incentivized to provide a better candidate experience throughout the process,” says Omar. We couldn’t agree more. 👌
As anyone who’s ever had to pitch a benefits package can tell you, flexible working is no longer a perk but a must-have.
For Ben Coupland, Recruitment Business Partner at online video platform provider Piksel, the word that best sums up recruitment in 2018 is ‘mobile’.
And it’s a word that works in more ways than one.
“The majority of our applicants and careers site traffic now come from mobile devices,” says Ben. “Candidates are searching for jobs on the train, in the coffee shop, or in front of the TV at home. They no longer need to be sitting at a PC to apply to a job advert or research potential employers. Mobile optimization is now an absolute must-have for us!”
Ben hashed out some of the many other ways recruitment has gone totally mobile:
“I personally use Breezy more on more on my iPad, so I can do things on the move. I’m less tied to a desk than I have ever been; we have offices all over the world and I can now recruit from any of them, or from home, just as easily as I can from here.
We’re using remote working to hire people who are geographically further away than we could have looked in the past. Mobility is increasing the size and quality of the talent pools we work in.
The workforce is also generally becoming more mobile — people move around more and it’s ‘the new normal’ to move roles every couple of years, or to freelance and decide when you want to work, who with and for how long.”
In fact, remote and freelance workers will compose 50% of the US workforce by 2020. Moving forward, your recruitment strategy will need to just as mobile in order to keep up.
A fast-moving, highly competitive recruitment environment sounds pretty daunting. But according to Terra Soloski, Internal Recruiter at real estate platform Knock, the future of recruiting is bright.
“There is opportunity everywhere we look in 2018. Companies are hiring and there are great opportunities for both candidates and hiring managers to find a winning combination for success! Visualize success and set goals to seize the opportunities all around you!”
We think Terra’s on to something.
Sure, there’s a lot going. And no, it won’t always be easy. But there are most definitely some awesome opportunities to be had for those ready to face the challenges head-on.
And of course, we’re here to help. 😉
Drop us a comment with your word of choice for 2018. Or try Breezy for free to see how we can help future-proof your recruitment process.