It’s no secret that people are changing jobs more often than ever before. Who knows, you may already be looking for that next, golden opportunity. Even if you’re not actively looking, chances are that opportunities will find their way to you. A chance conversation with a new acquaintance might open up an interview possibility; a trip to HR to turn in some paperwork reveals that a new internal position will be opening up next month. The point is, you never know when something great might pop up on your radar, so it makes sense to keep up with what’s happening on the recruiting scene.

To help you with that, here are some of the top recruiting trends that we think you need to be aware of:


  • The most important part of the hiring process is still offline

Lever, a hiring management system company, recently released a report that describes how their 600+ smaller clients hired 15 thousand people. The results showed that only 1 in 130 people (less than 1%) who are screened after applying directly to a typical job posting get hired. Applying to online postings was the least effective way to get a job. The best way? Referrals. 1 in 12 referrals screened (about 8%) got the job. Based on our experience, this feels about right.

Looking at job postings can help you learn about the job market, new positions, different companies, and more, but applying to those postings directly is not likely to end up taking you far. Building your network (including with recruiters!) will likely yield better results. Networking is getting people who can vouch for your abilities to recommend you to open jobs they know about. Actively participate in business and alumni groups where people in your field hang out. Keep in touch with people from prior jobs.

  • There’s a serious shortage of talent in the job market

Good news for candidates – it’s still a candidate’s market. In Bullhorn’s recent survey of over 800 North American staffing professionals, ‘shortage of talent’ was ranked as the biggest obstacle they face. Similarly, in Top Echelon’s survey of more than 5,000 recruiters across the U.S., the primary source of stress to most recruiters was ‘sourcing qualified candidates’.

Help us help you! Recruiters cannot help you if they cannot find you. As mentioned before, networking is invaluable. Also, simple things like including meaningful keywords into your LinkedIn profile can open many doors. Keep your profiles updated by adding new skills, new interests, recently completed degrees and certifications, etc.

  • If you want that talent, you better be prepared to sell your opportunity

With the tough competition for talent, once a company has grabbed the attention of a quality candidate, they’ve got to hold onto it. Understanding the candidate’s motivations is a good first step. For example, Glassdoor data reveals that among Millennials, the “ability to learn and progress” is now the principal driver of a company’s employment brand. Hiring managers, in particular, need to convey what the company has to offer. Everyone involved in the hiring process needs to put themselves into the candidates’ shoes: What is unique about the organization that can add richness to the candidate experience? What qualities both set the company apart and make it more attractive to candidates? Additionally, everything an organization does in the digital and socially networked world affects candidates’ decision to work there.

  • Workforce augmentation marches on—but humans remain

Companies can no longer consider their workforce to be only the employees on their balance sheet, but must include freelancers, “gig economy” workers, and crowds. Workers will need to adapt to this mixed workforce, and companies will have to work harder to ensure their values, brand and culture are maintained across this workforce.

Furthermore, all of these workers are being augmented with machines and software. Business leaders need to think about what parts of a job can be automated, and what is the human “value add” around these skills. For example, bank tellers now advise and sell, rather than simply transact, giving greater customer value to clients. Per Deloitte’s recent survey of more than 10,000 HR and business leaders, “most companies (77 percent) told us they will either retrain people to use technology or will redesign jobs to better take advantage of human skills.” Problem solving, creativity, project management, listening, and moral and ethical decision making are all essentially human skills that every organization needs – now and in the future.

Not surprisingly, we are seeing a rise in demand for skills in machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotic process automation.

  • Technology leads the way

The technology behind recruiting is not just an applicant tracking system anymore. Companies have talent acquisition technology platforms that manage sourcing, video interviewing, interview management, candidate relationship management, onboarding and more. And of course everything must be mobile-friendly. Cisco’s Visual Networking Index predicts that Smartphone traffic will exceed PC traffic by 2020. Smartphones will account for 30 percent of total IP traffic in 2020, up from 8 percent in 2015.

It’s no surprise the technology footprint in recruiting continues to grow. Nonetheless, call us old school, but the human interactions during the recruitment process seem to have the greatest impact.

  • Start thinking about your Recruiting AI (that’s Artificial Intelligence)

Speaking of technology, recruiting and other HR jobs themselves are already being impacted by machine learning. Leading organizations use social networking, analytics, and cognitive tools to find people in new ways, attract them through a global brand, and determine who will best fit the job, team, and company.  For example, IBM’s Artificial Intelligence pioneer, Watson, is moving into the space with three new technologies: a machine learning platform that ranks the priority of open requisitions; social listening for an organization’s and competitors’ publicly available reviews on Glassdoor, Twitter, and newsfeeds; and a tool that matches candidates to jobs through a “fit score” based on career experiences and skills. These technologies take pre-existing social data and information and then apply advanced cognitive capabilities to deliver actionable analysis.

We look forward to the changes to come from cognitive technologies, changes that could free recruiters to spend more qualitative time with candidates and hiring managers. Similar changes are already making their way into the candidate experience – have you noticed a particular job or company ad following you around the internet? Have you ever ‘talked’ to a chatbot about a prospective company’s benefit programs?


Knowing where the job market is headed, what trends are on the minds of recruiters and how you can capitalize on new opportunities that come your way are the types of things that every smart candidate does to give them the best chance of success. And you never know when you might suddenly find yourself in the “candidate” category (wink, wink).


Resources to Explore: