Key 2018 predictions for the future of the talent acquisition professional.

More personal, more segmented, more strategic and more driven by an up-and-coming generation. Those are the key 2018 predictions for the future of the talent acquisition profession based on insights from Korn Ferry experts from across the globe. The break-neck speed of technology advancements is at the centre of the change, allowing recruiters the ability to focus on what matters most: people and strategy.

Linking business strategy to talent strategy has always been critical to the success of talent acquisition professionals, and today, technology frees up experts in our profession to do what they do best – offer sound advice to their business partners, create a warm and welcoming candidate experience and get results.

But technology is not the only driver of the trends, millennials, the fastest growing generation in the workforce, are also accelerating some of these new shifts. And while HR departments may be in for some disruption this year, one thing will remain unchanged: hiring high-quality candidates will continue to be a source of competitive advantage. So to attract and keep talent in this disruptive environment, recruiters have a new challenge: Get creative

Here’s a list of the top 10 hiring trends that are set to dominate in 2018:

  1. The Reinvention of the Human Recruiter

Artificial intelligence has finally come into its own, especially with its ability to source candidates quickly and effectively. As big data and AI continue to proliferate, top recruitment partners are able to streamline into one single sign-on platform virtually all aspects of recruiting, including sourcing, assessments, scheduling, creating accurate compensation models, and following up with candidates for future opportunities.

But that doesn’t mean the human recruiter will become obsolete, Korn Ferry experts say. With technology taking the brunt of the once-cumbersome work, recruiters have more time to create an outstanding experience for candidates and give impactful advice to hiring managers.

  1. Sourcing Gets Personal

New AI and social technology tools are allowing for segmentation of candidate pools and the ability to communicate in a hyper-personalized way. One key example of this comes from today’s virtual world, which enables recruiters to set up a wireless “fence” around key locations. This helps recruiters identify and segment qualified candidates in specific geographies, allowing them to target candidates with mobile messages and/or advertising.

This is especially helpful when entering a specific market with hiring events, as the systems also automatically collects data from the user's mobile phone so it can continue to advertise to them, even after they leave the geo-fenced area. For example, recruiters can track candidates who visit a job fair solely with location data from mobile phones. Then the hiring company can send the candidates specific mobile messages and ads after the event.

  1. Going Places by Staying Put

Even when the offer is amazing, more candidates are opting out of relocating for a job. In response, many employers are allowing new hires to remain where they are and work remotely. Enabled by video conferencing and ubiquitous internet access, workers in IT, marketing, sales, and other professions can to contribute from wherever they are. The downside: A lack of face-to-face interaction could inhibit creating a cohesive company culture.

  1. Millennial Bosses

The wait is over for millions of millennials—the eldest of whom are in their mid-30s—as many now are leaders within their organizations. That can be a good thing for many firms, as studies have shown that millennials have impressive strengths in resiliency, learning agility, and courage.

That said, since many in this age group moved up quickly, they have to learn how to “manage up” to colleagues who have more seniority than them. They also have to learn how to relate to their direct reports, some of whom could be as old as their parents…or grandparents.

  1. Internal Hiring on the Rise

Technology is changing virtually every role in organizations and coupled with low levels of unemployment in many parts of the globe, finding the people with the skills that organizations are looking for is often hard. This means that there will be more emphasis on training and promoting existing employees. Previous training on the company’s protocols and procedures, plus an understanding of company culture, can give internal candidates an edge toward learning a new role in a new division or geography. Internal postings of job openings that require the same qualifications as external hires takes out the bias of hiring internally.

  1. Grads Have Options Again

During the recent financial recession and for several years afterward, new university graduates found it difficult to land that first professional gig. We’re now seeing the tide turn and as an indication that grads are in the driver’s seat, companies are looking to make employment offers more attractive to young professionals with in-depth, multi-week training programs, often bringing the graduates to one centralized location to help introduce them not only to their new job, but to the culture that will surround them.

Companies are setting their sights earlier on new college hires, which is clear from an August 2017 Korn Ferry survey that found due to intense competition, nearly two-thirds of hiring managers believe the best time to recruit graduates is during the beginning of their final year.

  1. Instant Interaction

Gone are the days when companies could expect candidates to sit through multiple interviews without any feedback. Today’s candidates want a faster process and ways to communicate via social channels such as text, WhatsApp, Twitter, or even Instagram. Because this takes less time and the response is often much faster, candidates are actually getting more interaction with recruiters, including an expanded talent acquisition team who can help with various aspects of the process.

  1. Displaying a True Picture of Culture

For candidates, organizational culture and quality of life are key factors in determining where and for whom they want to work, and it’s nearly impossible to get this impression from traditional HR materials. Candidates want to hear from real employees discussing the pros and cons of the job. This can take the form of written testimonials, videos, or even AI that simulates the person, much like a video game. This helps candidates best determine if they’ll be a good fit for the organization before they get too far along in the recruiting process, which can result in reduced turnover and costs.

  1. Candidates Treated as Customers

Candidates are people who want to be treated fairly and respectfully during the recruitment process. Angering them could cost a firm not only a potential employee but also a future customer. A Korn Ferry survey this fall found that half of professionals said they would unlikely remain a customer of a company if they had a bad experience as a candidate.

  1. Combatting Job Hopping

In a weak job market, employees are less likely to switch jobs. But spurred by a robust job market which is easily accessible in their devices, candidates are listening to and taking new opportunities at a faster rate. That will put more onus on employee retention efforts. Employers need to give workers more development and advancement opportunities and more creative reward packages—or risk losing them.

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About the contributor

Pip Eastman is the Managing Director for APAC Regional Solutions, RPO and Professional Search, Korn Ferry. She is responsible for the performance and growth of the APAC business; developing new clients, enhancing market presence and integrating RPO and Professional Search’s lines of business into existing clients. Pip has extensive experience in solution design. Her responsibilities included client development, contract and commercial negotiations, and the implementation, operational delivery, and continuous improvement of projects.

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