What does the recruiting industry look like today?

As some point or another, you’ve been a job seeker. How did you look for employment? For many folks, perusing online job boards like Indeed, Monster and LinkedIn is their first option. Others prefer to do their job search offline by checking out staffing agencies, bulletin boards, job fairs and of course, the tried and true method of taking advantage of their personal network of friends and family to get their foot in the door at a company.

Why does it matter to know how the recruiting industry has evolved over the years? Well, if someone is currently seeking employment, understanding current trends will help them find the right approach to finding a job. Even for an employed individual, keeping abreast of current and future trends could help with a potential job search down the road.

For recruiters, whether they work for a staffing firm or a particular company, it’s necessary to understand effective methods and emerging methods of attracting top talent. The recruiting landscape is constantly changing and remaining adaptable is as important as ever.

Welcome to the Internet

The days when scanning newspaper classifieds for job openings was a popular way to look for employment are no longer upon us. The internet has simply made the process easier and more convenient. With a few clicks, you can browse hundreds of jobs and apply to however many you want by filling out forms, uploading resumes and cover letters, and clicking “Submit Application”.

Speaking of resumes, not having an online resume on a professional social network like LinkedIn is almost like living in the past (depending on your industry and what kind of jobs you’re searching for). Some people will go beyond a resume and create their own personal website to showcase their portfolios.

In Social Talent’s 2016 Global Recruiting Survey, 37% of the 998 respondents said that social media was the primary way in which they found candidates. Paid job boards were the primary method for 26% of respondents. Almost every recruiter surveyed, 97% to be exact, used LinkedIn to look for candidates. As you can see, the web is a huge part of recruitment strategies and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

Passive Candidates

As the saying goes, good things come to those who wait. While the key to successfully getting hired is certainly not sitting back and relaxing, recruiters need to “take a dip” in the huge talent pool full of people that aren’t actively searching for a job but are open to exploring new opportunities.

In LinkedIn’s 2015 Global Recruiting Trends report, it was revealed that 75% of professionals around the world categorize themselves as passive candidates. That’s not a number that recruiters should ignore. However, that same report showed that only 61% of companies recruit passive candidates. There is a huge opportunity here for recruiters to be more proactive in filling positions. That being said, China and the USA are taking the lead on reaching out to passive candidates.

Advanced Technology

Robust technology can help recruiters dig deep beneath the surface. Things like doing a simple keyword match between a resume and job description and notifying a candidate by email of the vacancy are not nearly enough. Both recruiter and candidate benefit when firms invest in technologies that help them hire smarter.

Thankfully, many staffing firms understand this and implement recruitment CRM and/or applicant tracking software to effectively recruit and manage candidates. With these automated solutions, recruiters can keep track of their candidates’ activity in real-time, integrate their system with email platforms and candidate databases, and much more. These technologies and tools give recruiters the power to better match candidates to job opportunities, improve client relationships and create a personalized experience for the candidate.

Furthermore, the industry can expect to see an increased presence of AI in simplifying the recruitment process, especially when it comes to repetitive, high-volume tasks. It can even help with detecting biased language in job descriptions.

Regardless of how the recruiting landscape has transformed or will transform, even with new technologies entering the market, one thing will always remain: recruiting requires the human touch. It’s important for recruiters to understand the unique needs and wants of each individual candidate.

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Comment by Mark de Leeuw on September 1, 2017 at 9:50am

Great point on always needing to keep the human touch. I love how so much of the recruiting process can be automated and made easier for both the candidates and the recruiters. But we must never forget that technology isn't capable of assessing the soft skills and attitude of a candidate. We still need the human touch to assess if someone is a cultural fit for a company. I am especially fond of using collaborate hiring as an extension to the candidate experience. Using tech to automate the "mundane tasks" leaves more time for the team to properly assess candidates and select the best ones. At Recruitee, we're big proponents of this. If you want to know more about our thoughts on collaborative hiring and how to introduce your team to it, please feel free to download our white paper on the subject.

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on September 25, 2017 at 1:38pm

37% of the 998 respondents said that social media was the primary way in which they found candidates.

I challenge any the recruiter the following

1) You have 25 reqs. Some high-, some medium-, some low-experience.

2) After 1 month, you need to hire 1/week.

3) Your only resources are; FB, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr.

4) Your clock starts NOW...


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