Recruiter Alert: 2018 Is Here

It’s a job seekers’ market, so recruiters are going to need to get a lot savvier.


The new year has started with a job market as robust as any in recent years across many parts of the globe. So recruiters have a new challenge: Get creative. 

According to a new Korn Ferry overview, HR departments may be in for a new world to attract and keep talent. Welcome to the age of millennial bosses, selection by artificial intelligence, and candidates who will just say no to moving. 

 The good news, says Byrne Mulrooney, CEO of the company’s Futurestep division, is that technology will better link business strategy to talent strategy. “Technology frees up experts in our profession to do what they do best—offer sound advice to their business partners, create a warm and welcoming candidate experience, and get results,” he says.

Here’s a list of the top 10 hiring trends, culled from the survey. 

1. The Reinvention of the Human Recruiter

Artificial intelligence has finally come into its own, especially with its ability to source candidates quickly and effectively. As big data and AI continue to proliferate, top recruitment partners are able to streamline into one single sign-on platform virtually all aspects of recruiting, including sourcing, assessments, scheduling, creating accurate compensation models, and following up with candidates for future opportunities.

But that doesn’t mean the human recruiter will become obsolete, Korn Ferry experts say. With technology taking the brunt of the once-cumbersome work, recruiters have more time to create an outstanding experience for candidates and give impactful advice to hiring managers.

2. Sourcing Gets Personal

Using a combination of AI and social technology tools, recruiters can now set up a “fence” around qualified candidates in a specific geography. For example, recruiters can track candidates who visit a job fair solely with location data from mobile phones. Then the hiring company can send the candidates specific mobile messages and ads after the event. 

3. Going Places by Staying Put

Even when the offer is amazing, more candidates are opting out of relocating for a job. In response, many employers are allowing new hires to remain where they are and work remotely. Enabled by video conferencing and ubiquitous internet access, workers in IT, marketing, sales, and other professions can to contribute from wherever they are. The downside: A lack of face-to-face interaction could inhibit creating a cohesive company culture.

4. Millennial Bosses

The wait is over for millions of millennials—the eldest of whom are in their mid-30s—as many now are leaders within their organizations. That can be a good thing for many firms, as studies have shown that millennials have impressive strengths in resiliency, learning agility, and courage.

That said, since many in this age group moved up quickly, they have to learn how to “manage up” to colleagues who have more seniority than them. They also have to learn how to relate to their direct reports, some of whom could be as old as their parents…or grandparents. 

5. Internal Hiring on the Rise

With unemployment levels low in many parts of the globe, there will be more emphasis on finding ways to train and promote existing employees. Previous training on the company’s protocols and procedures, plus an understanding of company culture, can give internal candidates an edge toward learning a new role in a new division or geography. Internal postings of job openings that require the same qualifications as external hires takes out the bias of hiring internally.

6. Grads Have Options Again

During the Great Recession and for several years afterward, new college graduates found it difficult to land that first professional gig. But experts say the tide is turning, and firms are trying to beat their rivals to sign up qualified young grads. A 2017 Korn Ferry survey found that nearly two-thirds of hiring managers believe the best time to recruit college students is during the beginning of their senior year. 

7. Instant Interaction

Gone are the days when companies could expect candidates to sit through multiple interviews without any feedback. Today’s candidates want a faster process and ways to communicate via social channels such as text, WhatsApp, Twitter, or even Instagram. 

8. Displaying a True Picture of Culture

For candidates, organizational culture and quality of life are key factors in determining where and for whom they want to work, and it’s nearly impossible to get this impression from traditional HR materials. Candidates want to hear from real employees discussing the pros and cons of the job. This can take the form of written testimonials, videos, or even AI that simulates the person, much like a video game. This helps candidates best determine if they’ll be a good fit for the organization before they get too far along in the recruiting process, which can result in reduced turnover and costs.

9. Candidates Treated as Customers 

Candidates are people who want to be treated fairly and respectfully during the recruitment process. Angering them could cost a firm not only a potential employee but also a future customer. A Korn Ferry survey this fall found that half of professionals said they would unlikely remain a customer of a company if they had a bad experience as a candidate.

10. Combatting Job Hopping

A weak job market kept many employees from switching jobs. But that fear has diminished, and it’s now very easy for recruiters to identify and connect with qualified job candidates. That will put more onus on employee retention efforts. Employers need to give workers more development and advancement opportunities and more creative reward packages—or risk losing them.