Job Hunting, Candidate Advice, LinkedIn | 3 min read

4 Trends Shaping the Future of Talent Acquisition

Written by Adam Woozeer

In today’s digital world, every business, in every sector, is undergoing a transformation. As new technologies and digital capabilities arise, organisations are having to constantly rethink their strategies, their processes and their plans in order to keep ahead of their competition - and the talent acquisition industry is no exception.

Indeed, as organisations look to hire the top technical talent necessary for their transformations, talent acquisition professionals are under increasing pressure to deliver higher quality candidates, faster, and the only way to do so is to evolve with the times.

Whilst no one can predict the future, a recent report by LinkedIn has attempted to do just that. Surveying nearly 9,000 recruiters and hiring managers from 39 countries about the state of hiring, they were able to determine the trends that are rapidly shaping the future of talent acquisition.

Whilst the full report can be found here, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to summarise those all-important trends into four digestible points

The drive for diversity

It’s an issue as old as time, and one that is rapidly making its way to the top of businesses’ lists of priorities. Whilst it was once a box that just needed to be checked, diversity is now something that over half of all survey respondents said they were ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ focused on.

Yet, despite growing evidence that diverse teams are more productive, more innovative, and more engaged, very few companies have cracked the diversity code. With many organisations still falling short of their own goals and the public’s expectations.

That’s not to say that the drive for diversity isn’t real; as the results of the survey suggest, the struggle definitely doesn’t lie in the impetus for diversity, but rather in the ability to find and retain enough diverse candidates, with 38% and 27% citing these as real issues respectively.

So, what does this drive for diversity mean for the talent acquisition industry?

Quite simply, the result is an increasing number of talent acquisition professionals expanding their networks, widening their reach past their traditional search, and generally being more active in their search for diverse candidates. This is a trend that will only continue to grow as businesses reap the benefits of having a more equal workforce.

The evolving interview

In an ever-evolving industry, interviews have been the one facet of talent acquisition that hasn’t changed, or so we thought.

In fact, despite their popularity, traditional interviews have been found to be falling short in their ability to effectively assess candidates. From their limited ability to assess soft skills, or provide a sufficient analysis of a candidate’s weaknesses, through to their inherent biases - more and more talent acquisition professionals are coming to realise that this old school system of evaluation is flawed.

The good news, however, is that the industry is rapidly adapting, with new and improved techniques bursting on to the scene to mix up up how candidates are evaluated.

Technologies such as virtual reality, video interviews and online soft skill tests are increasingly being harnessed by organisations in a bid to truly get under the skin of potential employees more effectively.

As technology and innovation continue to evolve, this focus on non-traditional assessment methods will only continue to adapt and grow.

It's all about data

Data informing talent acquisition isn’t a new concept, but the amount and type of data available has increased exponentially over the past few years as potential candidates leave their digital footprints.

Add to this the fact that most recruiters are operating in fast-moving and competitive markets, where the ability to identify, source and attract candidates first could make or break their success, and you can begin to understand why the way in which data is being harnessed is changing.

In fact, it’s no wonder that more and more recruiters and hiring managers are turning to data as a means to not only track their outcomes, but to predict them, as talent acquisition becomes more of a science than a guessing-game.

The benefits of doing so are clear, with 69% of professionals believing that using data could elevate their career, and 79% planning to use more data in the next 2 years. Coincidence? We think not.

Of course, no data source is perfect, and whilst figuring out where to find the data and ensuring data quality stand as two firm barriers to data usage, professionals are putting increasing effort into overcoming these obstacles and harnessing data to their benefit. As this trend continues to gain traction, those who don’t jump onboard will simply get left behind.

AI is in

Artificial intelligence is currently one of the most talked about technologies and is being implemented in almost every industry, and the talent acquisition industry is no exception. 76% of survey respondents predicted that AI’s impact on recruiting will be, at least, somewhat significant in the near future.

As LinkedIn put it, this next-generation technology will help recruiters work faster by automating administrative tasks, and smarter by generating insights they wouldn’t think of alone.

Imagine being able to go through hundreds of CVs simultaneously and automatically pick out the relevant ones; that’s essentially what artificial intelligence will enable recruiters and hiring managers to do, and there’s already a number of companies creating software to do just that and more.

But don’t fear - this isn’t a trend towards replacing recruiters with technology, rather a trend that’s geared towards increasing capabilities by automating low-level tasks, leaving more time for strategy and relationship building.

As the race to source and attract talent becomes more competitive, recruiters will have to adapt and turn to this technology if they want to give themselves an edge over their competition.