Marc Emmer is president of Optimize Inc. and an author, speaker and consultant specializing in strategy and strategic planning.
The rules of competition have changed. It has become clear that hiring and retaining talent is a path to competitive advantage. Traditional recruiting methods, however, are proving ineffective in a hybrid work environment. It’s time for a new playbook.
In the current environment, applicants have the upper hand. In the wake of this newfound leverage, a wave of flexible work arrangements will focus not just on where people work, but also when and how much.
Gartner revealed that this “radical flexibility” could become commonplace as employers grapple with the intricacies of hybrid work environments in their struggle to manage productivity and employee engagement. Companies will need to adjust.
Top Three Hiring Trends
Let’s look at three ways that the shift from in-person to digital interactions has altered how employers source candidates and communicate with them:
1. The Need For Talent Acquisition Specialists
There is clear movement within private companies toward establishing internal talent acquisition (TA) teams. The tools TA specialists use are also changing.
TA professionals often use tech-driven solutions, such as AI, to automate administrative tasks and streamline tedious procedures during recruitment. As of writing this article, LinkedIn reports over 11,000 job openings for these specialists in the U.S. alone. Businesses are now also hiring TA professionals to modernize their hiring process to appeal to Gen Z applicants because, according to a Bullhorn survey, traditional methods can be off-putting.
Here’s how talent acquisition specialists can help you take advantage of the hybrid job market:
• Using AI to speed up the process and allow businesses to quickly identify, sort and match incoming applications with job openings.
• Collaborating with recruiters to ensure they are not missing any relevant candidates.
• Improving diversity initiatives by automating résumé-screening processes and eliminating unconscious bias in recruitment decisions.
• Providing real-time feedback for applicants, helping to create a more positive candidate experience.
2. Referral Bonuses And Employee Advocacy
As competition for skilled personnel intensifies, referral bonuses have become a popular solution to source quality professionals and streamline recruitment.
Organizations are also tapping into employee advocacy programs and leveraging social media as a recruiting tool by incentivizing employees to share job postings on their profiles to attract potential applicants through word-of-mouth or digital campaigns.
According to Indeed, the cost to hire a U.S. worker ranges from $4,000 to $20,000, and so companies can often cut that cost by offering referral bonuses. Salesforce, for example, provides a $2,000 cash bonus for successful referrals. Companies are dramatically increasing such bonuses because referrals enable:
• Time savings
• Cost-effective hiring
• Higher retention rate
• Higher conversion rate
• Access to a more relevant pool of talent
• Quicker adaptation to a role.
3. Technological Advancements
AI-based job boards and automated applicant tracking systems are two key developments that have drastically changed how recruiters operate.
With AI algorithms quickly sifting through résumés, recruiters can save time manually sorting files and instead focus on more meaningful tasks like interviewing and onboarding new staff. This not only increases efficiency but can also improve recruiting outcomes.
Technology has made it simpler to provide a superior candidate experience, which is more important than ever. Talent Board’s Candidate Experience Benchmark Research Report concluded that “candidate resentment—a measure of negative experience with the hiring process—has risen around the world. The only region where candidate resentment didn’t rise in 2022 was North America, where it dipped but remains historically high.”
By deploying automated communication tools and virtual interviewing, companies can bypass outdated recruitment methods while enhancing the candidate experience. Additional advancements that have benefited the recruitment process include:
• Video résumés
• Online job fairs
• Digital portfolio sites.
Companies should look at how they can use all of these tools to source potential applicants. In fact, Statista reported that, in a survey of German HR managers, almost half of respondents have found great success when employing these technologies in this capacity.
The Next Phase of Recruiting: What To Expect In The Future
The recruitment process will continue to evolve. For example, here are a few technologies and trends to track that will be shaping the future of recruiting:
• Mobile-friendly recruitment platforms will become increasingly popular as job seekers prefer to use their phones for job searching.
• Blockchain technology could streamline background verification, making verifying candidate credentials easier and more secure while adhering to privacy regulations, as predicted by the World Economic Forum.
• Virtual reality (VR) interviews will also become more common, providing a more immersive experience for candidates and allowing employers to assess skills more effectively.
As the job market shifts, staying up to date with these new developments will be crucial for businesses looking to attract and retain top talent.
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