Jobvite’s sixth annual Social Recruiting Survey of more than 1,600 human resources and recruiting professionals shows some surprising trends in social recruiting. Employers are using social media other than LinkedIn to efficiently and cost-effectively source the perfect passive candidates. With bottom line results like 30 to 45 percent improvements in time to hire, quality of hires, and quantity of candidates, employers can’t afford not to use social recruiting in a competitive hiring environment.

Key takeaways from the iRecruit Expo in July 2013 focused on the basics of recruitment. Those basics include creating a great candidate experience, using candidate personas instead of job descriptions to define personality and culture fit needs, and new assessment tools. Other hot trends coming out of iRecruit include big data for recruiting, end-to-end talent brand to replace employment brand, and high value outsourcers and staffing firms to help find the right candidates.

Social Recruiting

In “The 9 Hottest Trends in Corporate Recruiting” for Forbes, Josh Bersin discusses social sourcing and using recruiters as sourcers as critical to recruiting success. Those who are not using social recruiting in their recruitment strategies are not going to get to the top level candidates or be able to engage candidates the same way as their competition. Using recruiters to source top talent is another trend to cut through time to hire and get right to the quality candidates. Social recruiting is a tool for competitive advantage and employers and hiring managers who aren’t using it won’t have access to top talent.

Candidate Experience

Candidate experience is a growing trend that can mean the difference between consistently attracting top candidates or losing candidates at various steps in your recruiting process. With the competition for talent in a tight job market, as well as the rise of social media, employers can’t afford to let candidates walk away from the recruiting process with a bad experience. It makes no sense to spend money on sourcing, applicant tracking software, job boards, and building a brand if the candidates feel your company is unresponsive or difficult to apply to when they are interested in your openings. Effective recruitment strategies require a great candidate experience to engage candidates at every step. Analyze your recruiting process and survey candidates and new hires to find out where the gaps are in your company’s candidate experience and work to improve them.

Candidate Personas

Using candidate personas is a recruiting trend expanded on at iRecruit Expo in July 2013. Using candidate personas means switching from using basic job descriptions to crafting specific candidate personas based on the requirements of the positions and the unique traits of top performers in those positions. It’s a way of putting a human face on a job description and benefits candidates as much as recruiters by helping everyone envision the best match for skills and culture. Personas stand out from boring job descriptions and job posts and create candidate engagement with descriptive language about opportunities that grab the interest and attention of qualified candidates.

New Assessment Tools

While the standard assessment tools like Myers-Briggs and other personality assessments are commonly used, advances in technology, human resources, and recruiting have seen a jump in new assessment tools aimed at getting to know candidates more quickly and effectively than ever before. Trends in candidate assessment have created opportunities in the assessment market and spawned companies like PeopleAnswers, Logi-serve, Evolv, and Smarterer, joining large providers like KornFerry, Wonderlic, and Kenexa. PeopleAnswers enables employers to analyze top performers and use their attributes as benchmarks for candidate assessments. Evolv decodes top influencers of customer satisfaction using big data to analyze candidates. Using new assessment tools improves recruitment strategies and helps employers and hiring managers see and understand candidate core capabilities as they relate to their openings and industries.

Big Data

Big data is changing recruiting in three critical ways. It enables employers to access all candidates for any role by combining ATS data with data from other avenues such as job boards, social media, and vendors in one place for easy and economical sourcing. It enables users to use all available information about candidates in easy-to-use formats, including skills listings, resumes, applications, and social profiles. This level of easy to use access enables employers to create customized candidate experiences so more of the right candidates move through the hiring process successfully. Including a big data component in your recruitment strategies means vastly improving hiring and retention.
Talent Brand

Advances in technology and social media are changing the need for employment brand into an overall brand that works to attract talent as much as it attracts customers. Combining your recruiting with your marketing creates a powerful overall branding that works seamlessly to get the attention of anyone visiting your company online and show them it’s a great place for a career. Developing a specific and authentic talent brand should be part of any effective recruitment strategies.

High Value Outsourcers

The $140 billion talent acquisition industry has developed with the advancement of social media and big data created by rapidly evolving technologies. Online job boards and social recruiting tools have not diminished the importance of recruiting, only enhanced it. New recruiting tools and technology have made recruiting more complex than ever, and to be strategic and competitive, employers often benefit by using the services of high value outsourcers to cut through the wide swath of candidates and filter and refine their recruiting processes for the best results.

The quality of recruiting matters, as companies like Google prove by spending five times more on recruiting than other large companies to hire great people. High value outsourcers like RPO or customized recruitment services combine recruiting expertise and technology to provide the strategic value companies need but often can’t produce in-house. Adding high value outsourcers to recruitment strategies can take your recruitment to the next level to get the top talent you need.

Stay on top of recruiting trends and include as many of them in your recruitment strategies as possible. Without doing so, you’ll stay two steps behind your competitors and won’t be able to build the quality workforce your company needs to succeed and profit.