The future of recruiting anticipates not only hiring for the next position, next quarter or next year but must consider the evolving trends that have not yet impacted your organization. Your strategy must encompass today but also be flexible enough for tomorrow’s needs.

Is there a way to hire for the future even for roles and responsibilities that may not even exist yet? How do you prepare for the ups and downs of the economy?

Or to be more relevant, how do you determine the needs of your company five or 10 years from this moment?

The future of recruiting will include automation, strategic planning and better integration with company objectives. But not everything in the future is tech-focused.

Your next edge may not be in the next tactic to employ--but in the frameworks and models you build now that will impact your recruiting and talent acquisition strategy in the near future.

But for now, take a step back and consider what is on the horizon for recruiting:

1) Expect Zigs And Zags In The Hiring Process

Job applicants will rarely have the perfect resume anymore. There will be stops and starts, turns and acceleration. The traditional hiring manager will be anticipating a vertical trajectory, even if they do not have one themselves.

What will the job history look like? Shorter career stays, new start-ups, nomadic lifestyles and extended family breaks will be normal and should be anticipated. Recruiters should be aware of these trends and prepare hiring managers accordingly for what they’ll be seeing.

To do that, recruiters also need to take a step back and reconsider what they’re looking for. Recruiters should not dismiss candidates right away only because of unusual work history, especially if they match the needed skills.

2) Broader Assessments

Is there an alternative to the upload-resume-schedule-phone-screen senselessness with job seekers?

The consumer products company Unilever re-evaluated their college recruiting process for a more streamlined, tech-friendly approach.

"We were going to campus the same way I was recruited over 20 years ago," said Mike Clementi, VP of human resources for North America at Unilever told Business Insider in an interview. "Inherently, something didn't feel right."

What did the new process look like at Unilever?

  • Resumes were tossed out in favor of updated LinkedIn profiles.
  • Campus visits were replaced by artificial intelligence (AI) assessments. Applicants found Unilever then underwent a series of games and questions to understand their thinking process.
Okay, that process theoretically looks great, but what about results. Did it work? With this new approach, the team:
  • Doubled the number of resumes
  • Increased class diversity
  • Increased number of universities represented
  • Shortened the average hire time from four months to four weeks

The new approach uncovered a wider pool of candidates that ultimately yielded a more diverse group of best candidates. Interviewers took over the project at some point, but the initial pool was more diverse than the Unilever team had sourced in the past--and the numbers proved it.

By rethinking their recruiting process, Unilever was able to turn an old tradition into a more effective and cohesive process.

In this case, more assessment tools made the traditional recruitment process more viable.

3) Targeted Campaigns & Chatbots

You can only expand your network so much and only send so many InMail messages.

Just like with every form of marketing, one type of outreach will rarely do the trick. It takes multiple contact attempts. Your team must use a variety of channels and approaches to engage candidates with your open opportunities. A way to do this is with targeted ad campaigns.

The best two ways for targeted campaigns is through social media or search.

Social media will cast a wider net based on demographic information or specific words used in a status update or post.

Search ads will be based on bids for a certain keyword. “Developer jobs in the U.S” for instance will generate a slew of local jobs, but it could also be an opportunity to run ads with those search results.

Using more targeted campaigns will help you source candidates beyond what you can find on your own.

And once they arrive at your job posting? Use a chatbot to answer commonly asked interview questions, such as their work experience, skill sets, and their availability. You will get a sense of the candidate beyond the typical cover letter and resume, and the chatbot shaves time off the interview process. The chatbot can ask the questions and prompt an applicant to finish, unlike a traditional job application.

4) Machine Learning To Fight Bias

The goal for Accenture is to achieve gender parity by 2025. What can help them do that?

Machine learning.

Much like AI assessments, machine learning finds people with profiles and skills you may normally overlook. They more easily skip over biases and focus on the skills that really matter.

Almost 60 percent of managers make a decision on a candidate within 15 minutes; and the more experienced managers take even less time.

Each manager is probably more biased than they anticipate. Multiple interviewers can help balance out any perceived bias, but aiming for more objective means--such as machine learning--will improve your results.

5) Solving The Skills Gap

The skills gap in the United States is a billion-dollar problem. A study from Deloitte noted that between 2018 and 2028 there will be a huge skills gap, leaving more than 2 million jobs unfulfilled.

Deloitte estimates that the economy could lose more than $450 billion in opportunities because of the skills gap.

Don’t worry, that is not your crisis to solve no matter how good of a recruiter you are.

However, it is an area that deserves special consideration in your company’s specific context. The perfect example of a difficult skills gap problem is what has happened with car manufacturers.

Think about what your car can do now compared to a decade ago. Rearview cameras, Bluetooth connectivity, voice commands, navigation and more. This is not your typical manufacturing problem. These are computer engineering and software development issues.

As a recruiter, rethink your strategy for upskilling and reskilling to account for the skills gap. It depends on the priorities of your company, and the products you have on deck.

Bottom line: if you are recruiting for a company in a high-demand field, be ready for the skills gap. You are not the only one looking for these highly desirable employees. At a certain point, extra compensation and special perks will not be enough. There literally will not be enough people to go around.

Conclusion: What Is Your Recruiting Future?

Recruiting efforts will have substantive effects on your company in the near future and the list of future responsibilities is growing.

Your senior leadership will be expecting high-level analysis on all functions: including recruiting and HR. Not only will you need to account for your next phone call, but also the rate of retention, success, and the candidate experience. Your future recruiting efforts will integrate the objectives of your company and be locked into the heartbeat of the company, especially as employer branding takes on a great focus.

And what about your recruiting tech stack? The tools you need will be more sophisticated. But the benefits should be enormous--imagine simplified screening, candidate CRMs, and other AI tools to surface the top candidates.

The best recruiting teams are agile and adaptive.

  • How can your team engage these changes now?
  • Is your team agile?
  • How can you experiment with your processes and methodologies to anticipate future changes?