You need to be a competitive employer in an ever-changing job market. Keeping up with talent acquisition trends helps you stay relevant, visible and attractive to top talent. As technology advances and the workplace evolves, you need to be able to anticipate the latest in recruitment trends, methods and tools — and how they affect your strategy.
We’ve compiled some of the top talent acquisition trends to incorporate into your recruiting and hiring processes.
Current Trends in Talent Acquisition
Recruiting is always competitive, but it’s especially important to have an advantage during this era of record low unemployment and millions of unfilled job openings. Here are some of the latest trends in talent acquisition.
Data-Driven Hiring Will Continue
Workforce data is more accessible to HR teams today, regardless of their organization’s size. With integrated HR solutions in the marketplace, even small businesses can overcome data silos by feeding data from their applicant tracking system (ATS) into their larger HR tech ecosystem. With all this data in one place, you can generate more insights into your recruiting process and make decisions that are based on real data, not guesses or intuition.
For example, hiring and assessment data help talent leaders accurately assess candidates against the skills and experience required for each open job role. You’ll have a better chance of attracting and retaining talent when you understand who succeeds in the role. Historical data can give you those answers.
Data also informs your recruitment process by showing which sourcing strategies and candidate pipelines are successful. By tracking the source of each candidate, for example, you can compare that data against the people who are the highest performers one year after being hired. The comparison shows where your most successful candidates come from.
Hiring Processes Will Evolve to Reflect Hybrid Work
Hiring processes will need to become more flexible and accommodating to reflect the changing needs of an increasingly hybrid workforce. While some job roles must be on-site every day, two-thirds of professional services workers surveyed by Gallup prefer hybrid job structures. To remain competitive, you need a hybrid strategy for the entire employee life cycle — including recruitment and hiring.
Every stage of recruitment, from attraction to onboarding, should be audited to ensure it functions in a hybrid work environment. For example, you don’t want the interview process to favor candidates who can meet in person with recruiters and hiring managers. You might develop an interview process that’s exclusively virtual, for example, to create a consistent experience for candidates and interview panelists and reduce bias.
You also need to consider the organization’s long-term plans for hybrid work. If all employees are expected to spend some portion of the workweek in the office, that affects the geographic reach of your recruiting efforts.
However, if your hybrid strategy is remote-first — as in, people generally work at home but gather occasionally in person — then you’re less bound by geography and can attract remote workers who don’t live near your offices.
Company Culture and Employer Branding Will Assume Greater Importance
One of the biggest hiring trends in recent years is reassessing what it means to hire people who align with the company culture. In the past, recruiters and hiring managers screened candidates out based on “culture fit.” Today, many employers understand how “culture fit” can be misused to perpetuate hiring biases.
In 2023, instead of screening people out, the emphasis is on screening people in by attracting only the job seekers who have a strong alignment with your mission, values and culture. How do these candidates know whether they sync up with your company? That’s where a strong, differentiated employer brand can be the difference between attracting passionate, engaged future employees and those who see your business as just another stop on their career path.
Revisit your core messaging on your corporate website, careers page and social media accounts. Ask yourself:
- Are your values clearly listed and portrayed through text, images, audio and videos of life at the company?
- Is your commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) clear? How are you demonstrating this commitment? Can candidates see these values lived out through employee stories?
- Have you highlighted your alignment with environmental or social justice causes? Can candidates see how these values are practiced in the day to day?
Employees increasingly want to live out their values at work and serve a purpose beyond a paycheck. How you position your brand will make a difference in attracting people who are already aligned with your purpose and values, which increases their likelihood of becoming motivated, engaged employees.
Recruiters Will Track DEI More Intentionally
Business leaders are being called upon to prioritize diversity and inclusion in 2023. That means more pressure on HR to track diversity-related metrics and do something about the disparities or inequalities they discover.
A common practice for recruiters has been building candidate slates that are diverse and representative. However, most talent acquisition teams recognize that this is only a first step. Too often, those candidates aren’t advancing to later stages or getting hired. A diverse candidate slate doesn’t move the needle. You need more intentional and investigative measures to understand how DEI plays out in the hiring process.
Make sure you’re tracking the number of candidates from diverse backgrounds across the application, interview, offer and onboarding stages. You’ll start to see whether there are bottlenecks preventing diverse candidates from advancing to the following stage. With better visibility into inclusion — or lack thereof — in your hiring process, you can prove that gaps exist and close them.
Employers Are Finally Focusing on Candidate Experience
Employers increasingly recognize the importance of a positive, professional and efficient experience for all job applicants. You can see this shift in the data.
Each year, The Talent Board analyzes the candidate experience for job applicants around the globe. In North America last year, for the first time, the Talent Board found that employers gave their experience a lower rating than candidates did. In other words, employers didn’t overestimate the effectiveness of their candidate experience, which is a strong sign that they’re taking a critical look at their processes.
By focusing on candidate experience, you ensure that candidates have a good impression of the company. This helps you obtain a larger applicant pool and a higher probability of hiring the right person for the job. Additionally, candidates who have a positive experience with your company are more likely to refer other qualified individuals — even if you don’t hire them.
Internal Mobility Will Become More Critical
As 2023 progresses, expect to work more closely with HR leaders to retain talent, not just acquire it. According to iCIMS’ 2023 Workforce Report, one-third of employees will seek a new job by the end of the year. Many of those people would be willing to stay with their current employer, but 58% of respondents struggle to find open jobs internally. This is where your team comes into play.
Internal mobility can be challenging for numerous reasons, including that businesses hold internal candidates to the same processes as external candidates. This year, review your recruitment process for internal candidates.
How are you sharing openings with current employees? Do they have to start an application from scratch? Can recruiters look at the assessment and performance data already on file without waiting for employees to express interest? By removing barriers to internal mobility, you improve retention and fill openings with people who already understand your culture, mission and processes.
Internal mobility is a cost-effective solution to recruiting new talent because it reduces the need to invest in external recruitment. Moving current employees into new roles also reduces onboarding costs and time-to-productivity.
Former Employees Will Boomerang
Many employees left jobs during the Great Resignation, but not everyone found fulfillment in their new roles. In fact, 43% of people who quit during the pandemic regret their decision, according to a report from UKG.
That’s why one of the biggest talent acquisition trends in 2023 is resignees returning to their old employers.
Talent acquisition leaders should look at “boomerang” employees as an opportunity. These workers have experience with your company and its culture, processes and values. They also know about the company’s strategy and goals. And while they resigned for a reason, recruiters have a powerful opportunity to discover what didn’t work the first time and how you can solve that challenge for former employees.
Not every ex-employee should be rehired. Perhaps you can’t fix the factors that led to their initial departure. Maybe their performance wasn’t stellar, or they contributed to a toxic workplace. Just because a former worker wants to come back doesn’t mean you have to agree.
Because you’re likely to receive increased interest from boomerang employees this year, develop criteria for when to accept returning employees and how to onboard them for a successful reunion tour.
Study Talent Acquisition Trends to Prepare for the Future
Recruiting is rapidly evolving because of changes in technology, evolving employee demands and a tight labor market. Understanding the latest talent acquisition trends is essential for surfacing and attracting the best talent available.
Recruiters have more access than ever to data and analytics to streamline their work, and they’ll need to use these assets efficiently. Talent acquisition must be increasingly agile — continuing to identify a wide talent pool while homing in on hybrid and boomerang talent. Study these trends, see how they apply to your recruiting strategy, and position your talent acquisition function to be competitive in the long run.