Jump on Board with These 4 Recruiting Trends in 2018

The competition for great talent is higher than ever, and 2018 will prove to be yet another challenging year for talent acquisition professionals. Sixty one percent of recruiters expect to hire more people in 2018 than they did in 2017, and 42 percent of employers are worried they won’t be able to find the talent they need. If you haven’t already jumped on board with the following recruiting trends, now is the time.

Data-driven recruiting

Only 22 percent of organizations are currently using a talent acquisition analytics platform, yet it is ranked as the second most innovative talent acquisition technology. Your time and budget are limited, and data helps you make more informed decisions about the most efficient use of your recruiting resources.

Get started with data-driven recruiting by determining the most important metrics and collecting data. Compare your current data with both past data and recruiting benchmarks to see where you are doing well and where there’s opportunity for improvement. If, for instance, time to hire is your most important metric, you should drill down to see which candidate sources and recruiting tools produce the fastest pipeline speed. Then you can invest more in what’s working, and cut or optimize the aspects of your recruitment program that are underperforming.

Artificial intelligence

Business and human resources leaders considered robotics, cognitive computing, and artificial intelligence to be the least important trend of 2017, yet 40 percent of respondents still considered it important or very important. In addition, Google trends data showed a clear uptick in interest since mid-2017. Artificial intelligence is an emerging trend, offering early adopters the opportunity to get ahead of their competition.


In the recruiting world, artificial intelligence tools are being developed to make hiring more efficient. These include tools for candidate sourcing, diversity recruiting, resume screening, skill and behavioral assessments, interview scheduling, and candidate engagement. By allowing artificial intelligence to handle certain tasks, you can focus on more complex aspects of your job without letting the tedious, but still important, tasks fall to the wayside. This can help you build a stronger talent pipeline, reduce time-to-fill, provide a better candidate experience, and produce a better quality of hire. Just be sure to back this up with data so you know your investment in these tools is paying off.

Recruitment marketing

Sixty six percent of people who recently changed jobs were aware of the company they joined before they applied. The best talent has many choices when it comes to where they work, making recruitment marketing a necessity to attract, engage, and convert candidates. This includes things like employer branding, career sites, social recruitment, talent nurturing, mobile recruiting, content marketing, and search engine optimization.

In fact, employer branding tools are considered the most innovative talent acquisition technologies, followed by mobile recruitment, analytics, and candidate relationship management technologies. However, most companies have not implemented these tools. Only 53 percent of organizations have an employer branding tool, 36 percent have a candidate relationship management tool, 22 percent have an analytics platform, and 10 percent have a talent marketing system. Organizations that are not yet utilizing recruitment marketing technologies, strategies and tactics are likely losing candidates as a result.

Internal recruitment

Fifty six percent of employers say they are hiring for business growth in 2018, but 42 percent are worried they won’t be able to find the talent they need. As talent acquisition becomes more difficult, you will need to focus more on talent development and internal recruitment to fill key positions.

First, a college recruiting strategy that includes training programs, apprenticeships, internships and mentoring can help you assess entry-level talent for culture-fit and the ability to learn key skills. This also gives emerging talent the opportunity to assess your organization for fit. Second, a learning and development program can help all employees perform better in their current roles, while preparing them for future openings. As an added bonus, investing in your employees helps them feel valued, so they’re more engaged, stay longer, and go above and beyond in their jobs. Third, strategic workforce planning, succession planning, and career pathing can help you and your employees prepare for future openings. That way, you have a strong internal candidate pipeline ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Final thoughts

While nobody can say for sure what the candidate market will look like throughout 2018, it’s a safe bet to assume that the best candidates won’t be falling into your lap any time soon. If you want to build a strong team, jumping on board with these recruiting trends is crucial. The fierce competition for talent means that it’s going to take some work to attract and develop the right talent, and to build and optimize a more efficient recruitment process. Those that put in the work can set themselves up for recruiting success in 2018—and beyond.