Changing the recruitment game … talent platforms, big data and matching algorithms in the new world of work

November 6, 2016

LinkedIn has become the world’s largest recruitment platform.

This is partly by Reid Hoffman’s design to find a strong revenue-driving application for his networking site, but also by a realisation of more traditional recruiters, that this is the world in which talent now lives, and is the best way to find and engage them.

The site has therefore taken to becoming a thought leader on the future of recruitment, or maybe a different word will dominate in a gig-working, frequent-deskilling, 100-year-living world.

They asked companies the big question “Which of the following new and upcoming trends do you think will play a significant role in shaping the recruiting industry for the next 5 to 10 years?

Interestingly, the responses ranged from defining and measuring quality of hire to proving the ROI of recruiting tools.

Check out the map below to see the most popular answers by geography:


Here are 3 insights we drew from this data, and what you can do to prepare:

Insight 1: There’s global consensus that improved candidate and job matching will reshape recruiting.

Improved candidate and job matching means finding the right candidates faster with better technologies and algorithms. In 2020, perhaps recruiting will look more like online and mobile dating where matches are determined both by keywords and other fit factors.

Top tip: Accelerate your job views and enable better candidate matching. Have a 30 to 60 minute intake meeting with your hiring manager to clarify what the candidate will do in their job. Use industry-standard keywords in the job posting that aren’t company jargon. Choose the promotional channels and tactics that align with where your target talent is spending their time. When you’re reaching out to matched candidates, illustrate the career opportunity and what’s in it for them, not just the job requirements. Do this by sharing about the culture, team, and company trajectory.

Insight 2: In China, big data is a big deal.

When we asked Chinese recruiting leaders to name the top up and coming trends in recruiting, using big data was number one. In China, where there are billions of professionals, it may be essential to be quantitative and data-driven versus rely on gut instinct and antiquated processes.

Top tipArm yourself with data. Size your target talent pool overall, and by the criteria you’re most interested in (company, city, industry, etc). Set hiring manager expectations about the size of the market and tweak the job description as needed. Use LinkedIn’s free talent pool reports on SlideShare to understand both talent supply and demand, and tailor your InMail messages based on our data about what your target talent wants in a job. You can use LinkedIn Recruiter to measure the size of your target talent pool with your search criteria.

Insight 3: European recruiting leaders believe recruiting will become like marketing.

While this is a popular belief in Europe, almost half of all global recruiting leaders believe this trend will continue to shape recruiting in the next 5 to 10 years. Given how rapidly the concept of talent brand has taken hold, recruiters may evolve to become like marketers sooner than we think.

Top tip: Make your talent brand known through cost-effective channels. Start with free LinkedIn tools like individual recruiter profiles, your company page, and attracting company followers. Post compelling content on your blog and encourage employees and recruiters to share it organically. Create a more robust content strategy with tips from our e-book, 5 Steps to Boosting Your Talent Brand Through Content. 

Learn more about making the case for talent brand budget and return on investment in our Employer Brand Playbook.

In the latest 2017 research, key insights were:

Talent acquisition now has a prominent seat at the executive table

The recruiting organization has never been the most glamorous department in the company. It doesn’t directly bring in revenue or create game-changing products. Yet, it is the quiet enabler behind these company successes and this has not gone unnoticed.

Over 83% of recruiting leaders state that talent is the number one priority in their company and that their team regularly meets with the C-suite. This confidence also carries over into workforce planning — 75% of leaders say that their team is key to the company’s efforts there.

Recruiters will be even busier this year and are focusing on finding mostly sales, operations, and engineering talent

The importance of the recruiting department of course translates into more responsibility. The majority of recruiting departments, 56% of all respondents, expect to have to hire even more people this year.

While the global numbers are very positive, this is the first time in five years when the year-over-year growth is slowing down. This subtle cooling of the job market reflects hiring slowdown in Brazil, China, and parts of Europe.

As most departments across the globe will be focusing on sales, operations, and engineering talent, recruiting teams have to start thinking more strategically about how to find and recruit these talent pools. Relying on data to pinpoint locations where the supply of talent is higher than the demand is a crucial first step. Another successful tactic is targeting each of these functions with highly customized employer branding content.

The top sources for quality hires are employee referrals, job boards, and social professional networks

Speaking of finding talent, almost half of recruiters say that employee referrals are their top source of quality hires. That not surprising, given that referred employees are faster to hire, perform better, and stay longer in the company. The other sources that complete the list are job boards and social professional networks, along with staffing firms and internal hires.

Budgets go to traditional tactics, but branding tops investment wish list

Having a glimpse into how other recruiting teams spend their budgets is always exciting and this is the first year we have this data. It turns out that because recruiting budgets are so tight, leaders tend to spend them rather conservatively. Over 50% of the spend for most companies goes to job ads and recruitment agencies. Around 17% of the budget is allocated to technology which allows the teams to create leverage and automate their workflows (especially important when headcount for recruiters is tight).

Despite recruiters sharing that employee referrals are the top source of quality hires, very little budget gets allocated to referral programs. Same with employer branding – described as one of the most important trends, it is one of the last places where teams invest.

Where it got really interesting is when we asked leaders where they’d invest if money weren’t a constraint. At that point, 53% of leaders say that they would prioritize investing in long-term strategic plays like employer branding, 39% in tools, 38% in candidate experience, and 29% in upskilling their teams. If you are looking for “venture bets” for 2017, exploring some of these areas may be a great idea.

Diversity, screening automation, and data are key future trends

Given that recruiters report limited headcount and budget, while hiring demands are growing, it makes sense that automation is top of mind for the industry. Automation would increase the speed of screening candidates, minimize human bias, and help assess soft skills more precisely. Many companies are also interested in diversity and purpose initiatives as a way to differentiate from competitors and boost engagement. Large companies are driving the focus on big data, listing it as their #1 trend.

To read more about the top trends that will define recruiting in 2017, download the Global Recruiting Trends report.

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