The Future of Recruitment: 7 Hiring Trends to Watch in 2018

In recent years, shifts in the recruitment space have seen new technologies contributing to game-changing developments in the hiring process. Since recruitment is more competitive than ever, it comes as no surprise that technology is facilitating a paradigm shift in the job market.

2018 will continue to remain competitive as talent acquisition and recruitment trends transform how recruiters attract high-quality candidates. Recruitment in 2018 sees shifts towards a more strategic approach rather than the traditional, tedious candidate searches.

In order to succeed in this new recruitment space, here are the key trends recruiters and hiring managers should watch out for.

1. Recruitment marketing

Once a standalone industry, marketing has emerged as an important aspect of recruitment. The year 2018 sees recruiters transform into multi-faceted marketers. Marketing strategies are being employed by recruitment agencies to improve the way they approach and attract the best candidates in the market.

In today’s global and highly competitive recruitment market, recruiters must move fast to attract top talent. And with the best candidates being off the market within 10 days, recruitment marketing is becoming a multi-faceted approach to proactively take control of this brave new hiring world.

The adoption of marketing methods and tactics for recruitment allows recruiters to effectively “market” their company to attract potential candidates.

2. The rise of artificial intelligence

The introduction of artificial intelligence, or AI, revolutionized many industries, recruitment included. There has been a lot of talk regarding AI’s impact on the recruitment space. AI is one of those trends that will remain relevant for 2018 and beyond.

In truth, AI will continue to take a strong foothold in recruiting. The automation of recruitment processes will eliminate some of the more repetitive aspects of recruitment. This will allow recruiters to focus on more mission-critical aspects of the role.

AI will also become an essential ingredient of recruitment, supporting the more complex task of the role. AI technologies such as chatbots will help recruiters effectively screen candidates to find highly qualified talent that perfectly matches the job criteria.

3. Leveraging big data

Along the same lines of AI, data is influencing how recruiters approach this new era of recruitment.

Big data enables recruitment agencies to make better decisions throughout the recruitment process. Incorporating data into the decision-making process will impact capacity and how work gets done.

Specifically, data and analytics will provide access to insights to predict hiring outcomes. Recruiters and hiring managers can employ data and artificial intelligence to make smarter recruitment decisions.

Leveraging data as part of your recruitment strategy will also help you understand and identify connections to not only attract talent but also retain talent to effectively manage employee engagement.

4. The importance of social recruitment

With more millennials entering the job market, the recruitment space is becoming more candidate-driven. Recruiters must invest in social recruitment to strengthen employer branding and attract top talent.

Investing in social media strategies is essential in 2018.

More and more candidates are turning to social media channels to research potential employers and company culture. Increasing the use of social media as part of your recruitment strategy will allow your recruitment efforts to reach a wider, more diverse audience.

Social media allows brands to share recruitment content to entice followers to become potential applicants. Outsourcing aspects of recruitment through social channels improves a recruiter’s capacity to attract highly qualified talent.

5. A mobile-first approach

Mobile devices are now as ingrained in our daily lives as eating and sleeping. It is usually the first thing we reach for in the morning and the last thing looked at in the evening. Indeed, more candidates are turning to mobile devices to search for jobs.

Research done by Glassdoor found that one of the most important trends in 2018 was the use of mobile devices for job searching. According to their research, 45% of candidates turn to mobile devices once a day to search for jobs.

A mobile-first approach ensures recruiters meet customer expectations. In today’s highly digital world, integrating mobile technology as part of the recruitment strategy means a better streamlined process.

6. The rise of the gig economy

While still up for heated debate, the gig economy has undeniably changed the way we work.

For those unaware, the gig economy is a labor market defined by independent contractors. Uber is a prime example of how a company can employ freelancers to address supply and demand. The rise of the gig economy has altered how we work.

With more professionals saying goodbye to the traditional 9-5 framework, recruiters must adapt to the demands of the gig economy to remain competitive. Despite the gig economy’s meteoric rise, traditional, permanent roles have yet to be eliminated.

Expect 2018 to further define opportunities in the gig economy to attract top talent.

7. A diverse mindset

A strong focus on recent years, one that continues in 2018, is the importance of diversity in the workplace.

Increasing diversity has become a strong focal point for many companies, particularly those in tech. As more companies embrace diversity, recruiters must encourage equal opportunities throughout the complete recruitment process.

Diversity provides businesses with numerous benefits. From stimulating creativity and innovation to improving a company’s reputation, diversity can support strong business growth and create a desirable workplace.

To ensure the best success for their company, recruiters and hiring managers must alter (if they haven’t already done so) hiring practices to increase diversity.

This may mean prioritizing inclusion and diversity when evaluating candidates. It can also mean disregarding biases from the hiring process that explicitly eliminate potential candidates. Recruiting talent in unexpected or overlooked places is also crucial.

Reconsidering the hiring process to create a more diverse mindset will ensure indicators value inclusion and diversity. This will encourage candidates with different but desirable experiences to apply for roles they may traditionally be overlooked for.

Staying relevant in 2018 and beyond

Adjusting your recruitment efforts to align with these trends ensures your company is set up for success. In recruitment, the only constant is change. Embracing the changes occurring in the recruitment landscape will help you continue to attract, retain and grow highly qualified and desirable talent.


PayalA passionate recruiter with more than 12 years in the executive search industry, Payal Bhatia is an international headhunter and business partner for RM & Associates in the MENA region specializing in the FMCG, retail, telecom and engineering sectors.