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Adapt or die. Words that couldn’t ring any more true when it comes to recruiting. The recruiting landscape has changed profoundly over the last five years. Low unemployment, an aging workforce, and the exponential growth of new digital technologies are just a few of the driving forces in this HR revolution. Don’t let this change bury your hiring practices. Adapt and be aware of these 4 recruiting trends of the coming year.

Digital Replaces Paper

No this isn’t a saving the environment trend. This is a trend rooted in HR personnel’s quest to have a more complete understanding of candidates. The vast majority of today’s job candidates have a significant online presence whether it is on social media, forums, or blogs. This presence can paint a much clearer picture of a person rather than a one page resume. “Twenty years ago, the résumé was a piece of paper,” says Jon Bischke, CEO of Entelo. “Now, it’s a collection of all [candidate] data that can be found online, like participation in online communities, conferences and meet-ups. Recruiters can assess whether a person will fit, and learn if he or she has the right skills for a job.” This clarity is essential to smart hiring decisions and ultimately creating the most productive workforce possible.

The three areas that companies are innovating in the digital world can be seen through mobile, video, and online applications. Almost everyone owns a smart phone therefore it is important that any HR recruiting processes are compatible with smartphones. Video is being used to further create a clearer picture of a candidate whether it is in the screening process or even actual interviews. Online applications have also been simplified like on LinkedIn where candidates can apply to jobs by simply using their LinkedIn profiles.

Data Analytics

With the advent of the digital age also comes the rise of data analytics. Analytics can be used to assess virtually any aspect of the candidate from basic relevant experience to the candidate’s willingness to try a new opportunity. This process of using “big data” to evaluate potential candidates is being called People Analytics. “Companies desperately need data to figure out what makes people join, what makes people stay, who is likely to be most successful, and what we can do to build more leadership, customer service, and innovation in the team. All these problems can be directly informed by great People Analytics.” says Josh Bersin Principal and Founder of Bersin by Deloitte. Bersin goes on to say that while there are currently no market leaders in People Analytics, major ERP software companies like Oracle and IBM are investing heavily in this technology and it is only a matter of time when People Analytics drive HR recruiting.

Selling Your Employment Brand

This trend is directly tied to what many are calling the fight for talent. With a strong economy and low unemployment rates, attractive job-seekers have the ability to be more selective with their job options. Rather than jumping at whatever job offers they are given, candidates are currently able to create leverage through the ability to either stay where they are or choose from a selection of suitors. To combat this trend, companies need to create a strong brand image. To use NexGoal as an example, those we hire or place are drawn to the fact that we value former athletes. They are able to strongly identify with our brand as it is a part of their own identity. Creating a personal connection with candidates is essential to drawing them to your company.

Younger Workforce

In today’s workforce, millennial’s make up 35% of the workforce and by 2020 they will make up 46% of the working population as more baby boomers retire and younger millennials enter the workforce. So what does this mean for recruiting? For one it means that you will have to find a strategy that sells your employment brand to a younger audience. The environment and culture that millennials want to work in is much different than the generations preceding them. They prefer a collaborative environment versus a competitive environment and also like flexible working hours among other things. Making changes to your workplace environment and culture to fit these desires could be vital in recruiting better talent.

This younger generation is also very tech savvy and keeps up with new technological trends. Companies need to be aware of the preferred mediums that this generation likes to communicate through. One such medium that companies can begin exploiting are messaging apps. With 1.1 billion users expected to be using a message app by the year 2018, companies should begin to plan ways in which they can exploit the messaging app medium.


These 4 recruiting trends are inevitable for 2016 and all of them will probably persist and become more pronounced in the next couple of years as well. Prepare now and get ahead the competition by updating and innovating your recruiting practices.

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