With the New Year quickly approaching, this is a good time to review, revise, and reboot your recruiting approach. In this article, we will share nine expected recruiting trends and recommendations for 2019.
1. More Job Openings Than People to Fill Them
Employers need to be prepared for a continued tight labor market in 2019. According to the most recent report released in November 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 7 million job openings while there is only 6.1 million unemployed persons in the United States. Although numbers have varied slightly over the last several months, we continue to see a trend of more job openings than we have available talent to fill them. As a result, many companies will need to shift how they approach their recruiting and retention efforts in order to remain competitive.
2. Quality Candidate Experience is More Important Than Ever
Based on the current state of our workforce, it is absolutely a job seeker’s market. Candidates have many choices to select from, so they are taking a closer and harder look at each job opportunity, compensation & benefits, and the company as a whole. They want to have insight into your company culture to understand what it’s really like to work for your organization.
Candidates also have high expectations for the job application process to be fast, efficient, easy, and mobile-friendly. Open and timely communication throughout the selection process is critical to ensuring that you keep your optimal candidates engaged in your process and don’t lose them to a competitor. There are many things you can do to provide an exceptional candidate experience, and it doesn’t need to break your budget. Check out our recent article for low-cost tips to improve your candidate experience.
3. Leverage Your Website and Social Media for Employment Branding & Recruitment
Social media (i.e., LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) and a well-designed career website will continue to be valuable tools in 2019. Job seekers today expect companies to have a defined, dynamic, and engaging employment brand, and the onus is on the employer to capture the attention of job seekers. The necessity for a compelling employment brand is heightened by the increased need to effectively source and engage passive candidates (those who aren’t actively looking for a new job, but might entertain a career change if the right opportunity is presented to them).
According to the 2018 Jobvite Recruiter Nation Survey, the top investments for growing an employer brand are:
- Social media (47%)
- Company career website (21%)
- Marketing and advertising (12%)
These tools can be used to educate the public about what you do, how you do it, and what it’s like to work for your company. To get the attention of candidates, you should also showcase what makes your organization unique and attractive as a workplace. This can be done in many ways, but research has shown that incorporating video – especially native video that captures the work environment perspective directly from your employees – is one of the most powerful communication tools. The more you can get potential candidates interested and engaged in your company through sharing meaningful content, all the better.
You can also use social media to attract new talent by posting your current job openings. In addition to this, be sure to leverage the networks of your current employees. Employee referrals continue to be a highly successful recruiting source. Consider asking key team members throughout your organization to share your job postings to their own networks for maximum exposure
4. Online Reputation Matters
Candidates have become more like consumers – they research potential employers similar to how they research products and services before buying. They want to learn more about your company’s culture and what it’s like to work at your organization from an insider’s perspective. And similar to consumer behavior, job seekers are strongly influenced by online reviews. To gather an insider’s view of work life at your company, many will turn to Glassdoor. For a general sense of your company’s reputation, they may also seek out your Google reviews.
Employers are wise to carefully manage their online reputations because it could be the tipping point between hiring or losing your top candidates. If you need help getting started, see these tips on managing your Glassdoor account. You could also consider developing a campaign to encourage customers/clients/vendors to provide a review on Google.
5. Text Messaging as Part of Your Communication Strategies
We live in a world where we are connected to our mobile phones nearly 24/7. This can work in the favor of recruiters because you can communicate and exchange information quickly and easily with candidates through text messaging. This can be an ideal way to connect with hourly workers and those who don’t have access to a desktop computer.
Jobvite’s survey found: 43% of recruiters have used texting to reach out to candidates or current applicants, and 88% report positive feedback from job seekers.
We expect the use of text messaging in the recruitment process to increase in 2019. Texting can be used during various phases of the recruiting process from initial engagement and sourcing outreach to prescreening candidates using short questions that are easy to respond via text. If you aren’t using texting in your recruiting strategy, you will risk missing out on or lose candidates.
Another key component in your recruitment communication strategies needs to be personalization of your messages. If you want to break through the “noise” of all of the information that is coming at candidates these days, you need to make a connection with them in your messaging. Recruiters who send messages that feel more personalized and not canned will see higher response rates.
6. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Can be a Game Changer
Many recruiters are juggling a multitude of challenges, including:
- Dealing with an increase in job requisitions that is not matched with an increase in their recruiting staff
- Recruiting in a time of record low unemployment where job seekers are in the “driver’s seat”
- Trying to engage job seekers in a speedy and thoughtful manner so as to keep candidates interested in their company’s opportunities and not losing them to other employers who react faster.
These are just a few of the challenges facing recruiters where artificial intelligence (AI) might be the optimal solution. Artificial intelligence involves the use of computer systems to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. AI can help recruiters by taking on the low-level/administrative tasks that tend to take up a lot of time and allow you to focus on the parts of your job that cannot be done with computers, such as developing/implementing recruiting strategy, building candidate relationships, interviewing, etc.
For example, AI chatbots (a form of AI that interact with users via instant response messaging similar to a human conversation) can help to save recruiter’s time in many ways. According to TextRecruit’s Guide to Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence, chatbots can advertise job openings, collect candidate information, answer candidates’ questions, and update candidates on where they stand in the process. TextRecruit shares, “By letting chatbots do much of the repetitive communication work, recruiters can focus on more high-touch and strategic aspects of the recruiting process.”
AI not only benefits recruiters, but it can also help to improve your candidate experience. According to Forbes, job seekers “will embrace AI platforms that use machine learning, Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), bots and apps, which will enable them to master engagement with the candidate ranking, resume scanning, biometric and psychographic systems used by employers for candidate selection.”
7. Expanding Interviewing Capabilities through Video and Virtual Reality
According to LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends, 52 percent of U.S. respondents said “interviewing innovations are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ important to the future of hiring.” As we continue to look for ways to improve the interview process, the use of video and virtual reality is gaining ground. Case studies conducted by LinkedIn found that companies who have incorporated video or a virtual reality platform into their interview process have experienced:
- Better ability to assess skills
- Less unconscious bias
- More candidate engagement
- Increased hiring efficiency
- More talent pool diversity
- Positive candidate experience
If you’re looking for new and dynamic changes to how your organization approaches interviews, it could be worth looking into whether video, virtual reality, or augmented reality could be right for your company.
8. Google’s Role in the Recruiting Space is Growing – Don’t Get Left Behind!
Google for Jobs launched in the summer of 2017, and it has grown exponentially since then. It opened the door to a whole new way for candidates to look for jobs by simply searching for jobs through organic Google searches. For example, a job seeker can search for “marketing jobs near me” which will return a massive list of job opportunities at their fingertips. We’ve seen reports that more than 70% of job seekers start their job search on Google, and that number continues to grow. As a result, recruiters will want to ensure that their jobs are being indexed on Google for Jobs, and here’s how to get started. If you’re wondering if your jobs are already being pulled into Google for Jobs results, Jobiak has created a nifty free tool to help you check if your jobs are on Google.
9. Boomerang Hires – Sometimes the Grass isn’t Greener, So Welcome Them Back
Employees who left, but choose to return to you, can be a wonderful asset. They know your company, products, culture, and most likely still have connections with current employees – all of which can make them immediately productive. According to a recent Society for Human Resource Management article, some companies have created alumni networks and have leveraged social media (such as Facebook) as tools to maintain communication with employees after they move on. It’s a great way to stay engaged and share information out with former employees that you’d like to recruit back.
The year ahead looks to be an interesting and challenging one for recruiting. We hope this snapshot of recruiting trends and recommendations helps you to enter 2019 with your eyes wide open and poised for a successful year.
A special thanks to Melinda Canino, CIR, Melissa Dern, CIR, and Ashly Avery for sharing their insights and findings on recruitment trends for 2019. All three of these individuals are consultants at strategic HR inc. (strategicHRinc.com). If you have any questions or would like to share your comments, contact us at info@strategicHRinc.com.