6 recruiting Trends from 2017 (that are here to stay)

HROS 083117

4 mins, 39 secs read time

It’s that time of year again: festive red cups at Starbucks, holiday parties, and that deep-rooted instinct to look back over the past year and see what it’s taught us. 2017 was a big year for recruiting, with a number of changes that made our jobs more fun, more rewarding, and maybe at times just a little more challenging!

Let’s take a look at six of the major recruiting trends from 2017 and see what they might show us about what’s in store for next year and beyond.

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) used to sound like a scary concept that would render recruiters obsolete. But 2017 has shown us how recruiters can wield AI to become even better at what we do, and therefore, more invaluable. AI tools have appeared on the market to help us with everything from sourcing and removing bias to talent mapping and predicting when you’ll make a particular hire. Here at Greenhouse, we’re really excited about our new tool, Greenhouse Predicts, which uses machine learning to keep you informed of your likelihood of making a hire by your target date.

Rather than edging out recruiters, AI tools are actually helping us become more strategic: By freeing up the time we’d usually spend on tasks like scheduling and sourcing, we’re now able to focus our efforts on more impactful work like forecasting, headcount planning, and anticipating attrition. Ultimately, we believe that candidate experience will continue to be a key differentiator for employers, which means that humans will continue to be an indispensable part of the recruiting process! (Insert “sigh of relief” emoji here!)

2. Diversity & inclusion

In recent years, many companies have openly shared their commitment to diversity and inclusion, and this trend has continued going strong in 2017. We’ve seen increasing attention dedicated to the topic of unconscious bias, and several high-profile companies, like Slack, Pinterest, and Lyft shared updates on how they’ve been progressing towards building an inclusive workforce.

3. Employer branding

Recruiters aren’t the only ones to experience changes: It’s a whole new world for job seekers, too, thanks to social media. In fact, a Fast Company report found that 79% of all job seekers (and 86% of job seekers within the first 10 years of their careers) use social media in their search. With candidates relying more than ever on social media, employers feel an increased pressure to create a thoughtful employer brand. One trend we’ve observed in 2017 is the number of tools that are available to help employers make their brand more appealing. Employer branding may fall within the responsibilities of a dedicated employer branding specialist, or it may be outsourced to a company like Glassdoor or The Muse.

4. Talent pools

Over the past few years, recruiters have faced an increased demand to find and place top talent as quickly as possible. At the same time, with the rise of social media and employer branding sites like Glassdoor and Quora (see point #3 above), power has shifted from employers to candidates. All these changes mean that the importance of proactivity, relationship building, and speed in recruiting have become indisputable.

One of the key elements of any proactive recruiting strategy is leveraging the use of talent pools. A talent pool (also often called a talent community), is a network of prospective employees identified as promising candidates to be nurtured for existing or future jobs. And just as our friends in marketing segment and nurture their prospects to deliver the most meaningful content to them, new tools (like Greenhouse CRM) allow recruiters to take the same approach with their talent communities.

5. More sophisticated predictions

We’ve discussed how technology is helping recruiters better predict when they’ll make a hire or even whether a particular candidate is likely to make it to the face-to-face interview stage (see point #1 on Artificial Intelligence), but there’s also a larger trend at play here. We see recruiters moving towards more sophisticated predictions, whether that’s in their understanding of the conversion rates for different roles or by taking a more proactive approach to forecasting and creating dynamic headcount plans. We believe this approach to recruiting is the key to transforming our field and making us true business partners at our organizations, so we look forward to much more of this in the years to come!

6. Remote work

One final trend we’ve observed in 2017 is an increased openness to hiring remote employees. It makes sense for a number of reasons: Improved technology means it’s easier than ever to seamlessly communicate with people all over the globe, remote work is attractive to a range of people including new parents and those who are looking after aging relatives, and it allows companies to grow more quickly than if they focus on a single geographic area. We definitely see this trend continuing into 2018 and beyond!

Over to you!

Depending on your role and your company, you may find some of these trends more or less relevant to you. But we chose to focus on these topics because we don’t think they’re going anywhere: We anticipate seeing a lot more of them in 2018.

But we’re curious: Which aspects of your job were most notable in 2017? What types of changes do you anticipate seeing in 2018? Drop us a line in the comments section to let us know your thoughts!

Melissa Suzuno

Melissa Suzuno

is a freelance writer and former Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse. Melissa previously built out the content marketing programs at Parklet (an onboarding and employee experience solution) and AfterCollege (a job search resource for recent grads), so she's made it a bit of a habit to help people get excited about and invested in their work. Find Melissa on Twitter and LinkedIn.