The Seven Trends That Will Influence Recruitment in 2017

BY THE TALENTDASH TEAM | December 14, 2016

2016 will go down as the year that recruiters learned to adapt to change. With AI becoming an integral part of the talent sourcing process, companies started to take notice of the obvious benefits that technology brought to the table. But what about 2017? Can we expect more of the same or have we reached a technological plateau? And aside from the robots, what other trends can we expect to take hold in the New Year?

We know you recruiters are a busy bunch and that trawling through data, aside from those endless piles of resumes, is not particularly high on your agenda. So after studying the plethora of 2017 recruitment trend articles published in the last couple of months, we whittled it down to these seven trends that we think are the most likely to affect the industry and how you work as a recruiter.

1. Expect a boom in the gig economy
Did you know that there are 53 million freelancers in the USA alone? Or that there are an estimated 9.6 million in the EU’s 28 member states? Of course you did, you’re a recruiter. There’s no denying that those are pretty high figures and they are expected to rise even further in 2017 as companies take advantage of the massive talent pool available at a moment’s notice.

Hiring for specific short-term tasks is nothing new, but with more and more professionals opting out of the traditional 9 to 5 job, companies have a myriad of choices when it comes to hiring freelancers. In 2017 outsourcing and short-term contracts will take pole position.

2. Automation processes will take a front seat
In our last blog post, we discussed the rise of AI in recruitment and why recruiters should embrace this relatively new technology. We anticipate a surge in the demand for software and platforms that help to streamline the work processes of the already overloaded recruiter.

And as a result, we expect to see a rise in the number of talent screening applications or talent mapping platforms on the market in the not too distant future. Yes, we realize this means competition for TalentDash, but there’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, is there?

3. 2017 will see a mobile-first approach
As we become a smartphone-centric population, job seekers are now, more than ever, checking jobs boards while on the go. Most web pages these days are optimized for mobile, but a surprising number have yet to fall into line.

You can expect recruiters and employers alike to consider a mobile-first approach as they look to keep pace with the changing environment. This will also help to create a more positive experience for each candidate which leads us nicely to our next point.

4. Candidate experience will continue to be a priority
At the risk of sounding like the proverbial broken record, we’ll just say once again that recruitment is a people business.

No job seeker expects a job to land in their lap but neither do they expect to have to navigate through endless menus to find a jobs board, or to have a long and protracted interview process. Such things don’t sit well with prospective employees, and the recruitment industry has already made great strides in making candidates’ experiences a more pleasant affair. In 2017, this experience will only get better.

5. A focus on brand and company reputation
Brand image is crucial in all aspects of business, and this includes talent acquisition. With employer review sites like Glassdoor allowing for transparency, candidates these days are more likely to reject an offer from a company with a poor reputation.

Employer branding is something we discussed in detail earlier this year, and it looks like 2017 will see more of the same affirmative action taken by companies to create positive working environments. And this is with very good reason as it is becoming more prevalent for candidates to consider a company’s workplace culture just as important as the traditional prime aspects of salary and benefits.

6. Employers will hedge their bets
2016 was a year of considerable economic and political change so it should come as no surprise that employers may choose to adopt a sit-tight approach to recruitment in early 2017. With the potential for further economic upheaval and certain currencies to drop in value in the early months of the year, employers may be put off investing in new staff. This will likely only affect the first quarter but is still worth bearing in mind. January is usually a slow month anyway, right?

7. The stand out ad will win
Attracting the best talent isn’t an easy task, and it’s not about to get any easier. Companies and recruiters this coming year will try to find more creative ways to attract the very best talent. We fully expect to see more of these imaginative ads in 2017 as recruiters and companies work hard to stand out from the crowd and in the process build some brand awareness through the inevitable social media shares of a memorable ad.

This list is by no means a conclusive one, and there’s no guarantee that paying close attention to the trends above will open the gates to a recruitment nirvana. But at TalentDash it’s important to us that we know about the industry we provide for. In other words, we live for trends and innovations in recruitment, so we’re quite confident in our prediction that 2017 is going to be nothing short of a great one for the industry.


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