recruiting strategies futureThe first bulletin boards and online job boards in the early 90s evolved into the career networks and aggregators we know and use today. The rise of social media and mobile technology is morphing job posting in myriad ways that employers and recruiters are adapting in their recruiting strategies.

The history of job boards is peppered with niche boards and renamed services and methods that have trended and faded, replaced with our current faves and a wave of developing social media and mobile technology.

Recruiting Has Evolved

Recruiting and career networking has developed from a Rolodex file, stack of resumes, and desk phone into online aggregation of candidate data used in engagement, pipeline building, social recruiting, and increasingly, mobile recruiting.

Social media and mobile technology have moved into the business world in a big way, used for sales and marketing, customer engagement, and employment recruiting. The demographics of social media are too tempting (and profitable) for businesses and recruiters to ignore. It’s not just teens jumping into the fray. Twitter’s fastest growing users are between 55 and 64. Facebook’s 45 to 54 year old users increased by 46 percent in 2013, and Google+’s jumped by 56 percent.

And mobile is following in social media’s footsteps. 189 million Facebook users are mobile only, and 30 percent of Facebook’s ad revenue comes from mobile use.

Those are the kind of numbers that make CEO’s and marketers’ hearts sing, but they should also be jump-starting the hearts of recruiters and employers everywhere. They signal a shift in recruiting from a static to a dynamic process that is ever evolving.

Not Your Father’s Job Market

Look how recruiting and job search have changed since the 90s: no more circling jobs in the help wanted ads with red pen on Sunday afternoons, no more mailing paper resumes to employers, no more “references upon request.”

Recruiters have access to hundreds or even thousands of candidates through various avenues, including company website career pages, applicant tracking systems, job board posting responses, employee referrals, and LinkedIn searches.

This is not your father’s job market.

What Does Your Recruiting Strategy Look Like Right Now?

The Recruiting Division has discussed recruiting strategy in previous blog posts such as “3 Effective Recruitment Strategies for 2013” and “Innovative Recruiting Strategies for 2014.” We stay on top of the latest recruiting trends and expert advice from recruiting industry veterans like Dr. John Sullivan and Lou Adler, and recruiting industry statistics and studies.

Consider these recruiting statistics:

  • Aberdeen found that 73 percent of Millennials, those who are 18 to 34 years old, found their last job through a social network.

Do you only interview candidates who respond to your job postings, or do you have various avenues to reach candidates, including passive candidates?

Are you looking at every candidate’s social media presence and looking for brand ambassadors?

Are you using LinkedIn and an applicant tracking system in recruiting?

Does your company have a written recruiting strategy or does it depend on hiring managers working with a recruiter on an as-needed basis?

Is your recruiting reactive or proactive?

Are there long-term recruiting goals tied to business strategy? Or does management keep the organizational structure the same by just replacing employees when they leave?

Does your current recruiting process include any of these considerations? Have you thought about where your recruiting strategies will be one year from now? Do you know what recruiting will look like in three years? In five years?

Why should you care? What do you think your competitors’ recruiting strategies look like? You’ll need to keep a close eye on the future of employment recruiting if you want your business to be successful, or risk losing the best candidates to competitors.

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Always-on Recruitment

The rise of social media, employment branding, and recruitment as selling have influenced how recruiting is done. One-shot recruiting campaigns in response to new corporate goals at the beginning of the year are already giving way to always-on recruitment, one of the innovative ways to engage the candidates through brand management.

With a significant number of top candidates already employed, attracting the top talent needed to build and grow a business means engaging this candidate population all the time, not just when there’s a vacancy. Dr. John Sullivan agrees, advising recruiters and employers to move fast to stay ahead of recruiting trends because delaying means risking falling behind in an area where catch up is difficult to impossible.

Social Recruiting is Here to Stay

The Recruiting Division keeps an eye on social media recruiting and has discussed it in detail in posts like “Social Recruiting – Not Just for IT Recruiting Firms,” “How to Incorporate Twitter into Your Candidate Sourcing Strategy,” and “Update Your Recruitment and Selection Process with Social Media.”

Even if there are still employers and candidates out there who still don’t participate in social media, it isn’t going away, and it’s evolving as we write and read this.

Facebook isn’t standing still. Recent purchases of the messaging app What’s App and the virtual reality gaming company Oculus VR mean Facebook is branching out. LinkedIn has its sights set on China and Google is building robots.

Competitive Analysis

Sullivan predicts that competitive analysis will be part of future recruiting because tracking and countering each competitor’s recruiting and employer branding moves will be required, not just to compete but to prove recruiting effectiveness.

Talent HQ creator and editor Jason Buss outlines competitive intelligence tools to do just that, gauge competitor recruiting activity to meet or exceed their results. He advises recruiters to keep tabs on competitors with Internet tools like Google Alerts, SocialMention, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor to compare your own recruiting strategies.

Market Research for Recruiting

Market research will be a part of future recruiting to know and understand candidates and prospective candidates to better sell them on the company and position. Sullivan says employers and recruiters will need to know how candidates search for a job, where they find company recruiting information, and what they are looking for in an employer, work environment, benefits, and career position. He points to employment branding as the first step on the path to recruiting as selling.

Sullivan was talking about this back in 2010 especially as it pertained to college recruiting in “The Future of College Recruiting Will Be Dominated by Market Research.” He refers to the direct ties many established corporations have on campus that gives them an almost direct route to the best and brightest with the newest education in their fields. Sullivan says this is changing the college recruiting game into a strategic sales and marketing function that mirrors product and services sales and marketing.

Intuitive Internet Sourcing

Future recruiting will involve finding evidence of candidate competency and accomplishments online as social media and mobile technology participation moves closer to 100 percent participation. Digital exhaust including work samples, portfolios, demo videos, tutorials, and other social and professional online activity will enable recruiters to see the level of technical and professional expertise before the interview.

Sullivan foresees this going the other way as well, with employers using video job descriptions as part of marketing openings and employment brands. Replacing bland and boring text with engaging video to “show rather than tell” will enable recruiters and employers to use a powerful engagement tool to convey so much more than they could in a page of text.

Lou Adler’s Vision

Lou Adler wrote about the future of hiring and recruiting in 2013, looking ahead to 2020. That vision includes investing in recruiting rather than controlling it as an expense, a process designed to attract top talent rather than eliminate B and C players, and openness to truly diverse candidates rather than a narrow pool of skills and academics.

He envisions candidate sourcing and matching based on past performance rather than keywords, evaluating candidates on real attributes including job complexity, decision-making, job pressures, business conditions, and breadth of team responsibility. He sees artificial intelligence playing a role in this.

Adler proposes a very interesting future recruiting practice: auto-engaging high probability prospects with career opportunities. Along the lines of intuitive search that Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and other online platforms are adopting, recruiters and employers should be tuning in to top candidates and the clues they leave when they are either looking or thinking about looking for job change and career growth.

Activities like updating their LinkedIn profile, Googling for jobs, visiting, or buying a book about job search methods may be apparent on public profiles and make them prime candidates to approach with opportunities.

Why You Should Care

Recruiters and employers should care about what their recruiting strategies will look like a year from now, in three years, and into 2022. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 20 percent growth of jobs in four major occupational groups between 2012 and 2022: healthcare support, healthcare practitioners and technical occupations, construction and extraction occupations, and personal care and service occupations.

Replacement for those permanently leaving the workforce is also expected to grow in the same period, to the tune of 50.6 million jobs in more than four out of five occupations.

Those numbers alone should make businesses take note of recruiting strategies, now and in the future.

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