It’s that time of the year again when our focus moves towards planning and we begin to look to the year ahead.

As a successful recruitment marketer, your strategies for 2018 will no doubt be built on data, projected hiring needs and, of course, industry trends.

To help you get a better idea of where recruitment marketing is headed in the next quarter and beyond, we decided to break down some of the most important trends across the space.

recruitment marketing trends 2018

2018 Recruitment Marketing Trends

With the constant state of evolution that the recruitment marketing space finds itself in these days, it would have been impossible to compile an exhaustive lists of trends for 2018. Rather, we’ve pulled together the following 10 trends that we think are most important for our readers to keep an eye on (in no particular order):

1. HR and Talent Acquisition Automation on the Rise

While the most important technology in this respect is still programmatic job advertising, there’s a lot going on in terms of automation for HR and talent acquisition professionals. As we discussed in a recent post, advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have lead to smarter ATS platforms, chatbots and more. Therefore, it’s important that recruitment marketers keep an eye on advancements in this space and constantly evaluate how these tools can save time and money.

2. Renewed Focus on Social Recruitment

With tools like social job distribution, it’s easier to get your jobs on social networks than ever before. As such, we’re seeing more and more recruitment marketers take advantage of these sites as new candidate sources. With Gen Y (Millennials), and even Gen Z, accounting for a much larger portion of today’s workforce, there’s a much larger market of candidates who are considered “digital natives,” effectively creating a larger target for your social job ads. Add on the fact that Facebook, Google and Microsoft are all experimenting with recruitment on their networks, and we can see this trend taking off.

3. Greater Attention to Detail in Mobile Candidate Experiences

More and more Americans today are using their mobile devices as their primary source of internet access–meaning many are also using their smartphones as their primary job application devices. As we just discussed, this sentiment is especially true when we consider the habits of digital natives who can’t remember a time before computers and whom have lived the past decade on a smartphone. You can probably start to see why mobile should be top of mind. As a result, we expect this to force businesses to once and for all optimize their mobile candidate experiences, if they haven’t done so already.

4. Accelerated Adaptation of Marketing and PR Best Practices

In 2018, we expect to see recruitment begin to look even more like marketing and PR for the businesses who do it best. What we mean by this is recruitment marketers will continue to adopt best practices from these spaces, bringing over content marketing, candidate lead generation and nurturing campaigns, branding and more into the fold. If you think this would be a lot for your team to take on, you’re not alone. And that’s why we expect to see an uptick in the need for recruitment marketing agency services that can help businesses plan, execute and measure their strategies to ensure greater success.

5. Changing Workforces Creating New Recruitment Challenges

With the advent of the Gig Economy, a shift in job-seeker desire toward freelance work and remote labor becoming more accessible (to name but a few factors), the workforce isn’t just changing–it’s changing dramatically! As the workforce evolves, so too must the strategies used by companies to attract quality job seekers. Some job ads, for remote employees for example, might require more competitive bids (higher CPCs/CPAs) to better meet the higher interest levels among candidates. All in all, this just means that certain recruitment strategies will require more nuanced approaches than others. Therefore, it’s important that recruiters are armed with the appropriate recruitment marketing analytics so they can tailor their strategies accordingly.

6. A Priority on Sourcing Passive Candidates

According to a recent survey, 70 percent of HR and talent acquisition professionals point to a shortage of skills (a.k.a. “the skills gap”) as their biggest recruitment obstacle. The skills gap is so bad in some spaces, such as in the AI industry, that businesses are willing to pay in the high six-figures to bring talent on board. These candidates that need to be tracked down and have job opportunities “sold” to them are considered “passive candidates,” and they exist in professions without skills gaps, as well. The idea here is, the best talent are often already employed and sometimes happily. Therefore, you need people actively reaching out and recruiting these potential candidates to have the highest quality talent pipeline possible. There’s little evidence to suggest the skills gap will be resolved anytime soon and therefore the need to actively source passive candidates will only grow.

7. Investment in Improving the Candidate Experience

In recruitment marketing, we’re way passed the adoption phase and our focus is now on optimization. And, when it comes to optimization, the first place many recruitment marketers will rightfully look is to their conversion numbers. In order to improve these key performance indicators, we expect many to focus on their candidate experiences. Specifically, we expect companies to focus on conversion rates and the quality of the talent their engaging with, in pursuit of creating better, more efficient talent pipelines. This means easier online application processes, streamlined mobile experiences and an investment in larger, overall employer branding to bring it all together. Those who are successful will stand out, while those who lag behind will see qualified candidates apply elsewhere.

8. Data-Driven Decision Making

Data is nothing new to the HR and talent acquisition department in 2017, but in 2018 we expect data to be taken to a new level. While we love to talking about making data-driven decisions, the truth of the matter is that these types of analyses are complicated and require an incredible amount of information. As a result, the excel spreadsheets of yesteryear will no longer satisfy the average recruitment marketer’s need. Queue the warm embrace of data-visualized dashboards that take the difficulty out of identifying and understanding inefficiencies in your recruitment strategy. Analytics that can make it easy to monitor and optimize recruitment marketing strategies will therefore become a must, with those relying too heavily on intuition being left behind.

9. “Blind Hires” Powered by Analytics

One of the most important challenges facing HR leaders today is diversity–or the lack thereof–within their organizations. However, new advancements in recruitment technology such as End-to-End Analytics, now make it possible for recruiters to do things like identify the best sources for quality candidates. Ultimately, this type of technology allows applicants to make their way further down the recruitment funnel before they’re seen by human eyes, helping eliminate biases along the way and bringing us closer to “blind hires.” Therefore, we expect many recruitment marketers to invest in technology that will help them meet and exceed diversity standards.

10. Greater Competition in Online Recruitment

Online recruitment has become the primary way people look for jobs and talent alike. The entry of large, well-known brands like Google, Facebook and Microsoft into the recruitment space only underscores how big the online recruitment pie has grown over the years. For HR and talent acquisition professionals, this is a welcome trend as they’ll benefit from the increased market competition and innovation as the recruitment marketing space continues to evolve.

How to Best Prepare for These 2018 Recruitment Marketing Trends

These are 10 important trends for the year ahead and, as we said early, this list isn’t even exhaustive!

Of course, digesting all of this information can leave you feeling a bit overwhelmed and wondering what your next steps in planning should be.

Recruitics’ team of in-house experts can help you better understand your current recruitment marketing efforts and where improvements can be made in the context of these larger industry trends.

To learn more about how we can help you prepare your recruitment marketing strategy for the year ahead, contact Recruitics today.

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