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2017 saw some major changes in the US for recruitment; including a new President and administration, a labor market at its strongest for decades₁ resulting in a shrinking pool of job seekers, a growing reliance on temporary staffing, the rise of technology and the global job market. 2018 looks like it is also going to be a very busy and ever changing year.

So what are the top recruitment trends that recruiters need to know about in 2018?

The rise of the machines

Technology has become such a major part of our lives and for the most part has made things easier and more pleasing. In 2018, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning and the use of recruiting tools that harness the power of data generated by algorithms will become virtually standard in the world of recruitment.

Although many search processes have become automated over recent years, AI will allow high quality candidates to be found, screened and engaged with in a more personal and efficient manner and will importantly narrow the time and cost it takes to fill a job position.

Marketing and branding for recruiters will be essential to success

Low unemployment rates have led to candidates having the luxury of being highly selective when job searching and they can demand more from a business in terms of reputation and company culture matching their values.

The end result is that to ensure they can truly engage the best candidates recruiters will need to become master marketers and brand builders. Promoting their organisation as one that prospective candidates will want to join will be vital so as to ensure a constant stream of talent and to improve the quality of the hire and reduction in the cost per hire.

The employee and candidate experience will be paramount

The ability to see the world through the eyes of your employees and candidates and then match their workplace expectations will, in 2018, be a major challenge to survival. As millennials continue to enter the world of work and are now joined by Generation Zs in ever greater numbers, their high workplace quality expectations will need to be met and the result will need to be employment environments that not only meet but exceed expectations in order to achieve maximum levels of engagement.

How do you maintain Candidate Loyalty such that they look for you for their next assignment?

How and where we recruit will continue to evolve

The need for recruiters and employer brands to be where the candidates are looking; online, social media and mobile platforms will become ever more important in 2018. The arrival of Generation Z makes this even more important as they have never known a world without digital technology.

Current figures₂ show that 79% of job seekers, increasing to 86% for younger job seekers, use social media to conduct job searches and 89% of job seekers say their mobile device is an important tool for job searching. Both are now so ingrained in our lives these figures look only likely to grow in 2018 and demands that all businesses ensure their career sites are fully mobile optimized.

LinkedIn will continue to be seen as the professional careers social network and its popularity will surely grow as its ever changing content has evolved to include more news articles. However, others have set their sights on dominating how and where we search for jobs including Facebook and Google. Google launched Google For Jobs in 2017 with the aim of utilizing AI to provide a more practical and efficient approach to job searches.

Inequality will not be tolerated

Lack of diversity has been an ongoing problem for all businesses however, so few have made it a priority to tackle and solve the problem. 2018 will see this change. As the workforce continues to become ever more diverse, inequality on non-job specific reasons such as race, age and gender will no longer be tolerable. Those companies who choose to ignore recruiting bias will find their position as an employer of choice limited.

How we work will continue to change

How we work will continue to become more complex in 2018. The days of employees working on-site in full time or even part time roles are gone. The global labor markets, gig economy, virtual and remote working, skills shortages and the rise of the contingent workforce requires businesses to re-evaluate workforce recruiting, staffing, planning and management and demands recruiters change and evolve how they grow and nurture relationships.

So 2018 looks set to be another year of continuous change for the world of recruitment and it is becoming clearer and clearer that to survive and indeed thrive in the world of recruitment, you need to fully understand the shifting trends that lie ahead.