Understanding key trends in talent acquisition

talent acquisition trends
Posted on 05 April 2024 In Talent Search

Facing challenges and implementing innovations keeps working life interesting and leads to much-needed improvements. Recruiters, in particular, are facing an environment that calls for strategic handling of the talent acquisition process. With unemployment rates in the US and UK currently hovering between 3-4%, talent acquisition has become a highly competitive field. This has driven advances and out-the-box thinking which benefits both job-seekers and businesses looking to acquire top talent.

The industry has been bolstered by a multitude of exciting talent acquisition technologies, but changes in mindset are part of the solution too. It could even be said that we are undergoing a paradigm shift with far-reaching benefits for attracting and evaluating talent. This article clarifies how current trends in talent acquisition are being implemented in practice, how they might benefit businesses, and how recruitment professionals can take advantage of these trends to boost their efficacy.

The latest trends in talent acquisition

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Despite increased competition, recruiters are working smarter rather than harder. The secret to their enhanced efficiency is AI tools, which can be applied across various stages of the recruitment process. Here are just a few examples:

  • Programmatic recruitment advertising based on set parameters to ensure broad yet relevant exposure – resulting in an expansive high quality talent pool.
  • Monitoring and reporting on performance metrics so recruiters can focus on channels that consistently produce top candidates, increasing talent acquisition ROI.
  • Using a quantitative approach to screening resumes and applicant ranking to reduce the likelihood of unconscious bias and build confidence in quality of hire.
  • Conducting preliminary interviews online to clarify applicant expectations and eliminate any early mismatches.
  • Automatically scheduling interviews based on hiring managers’ and applicants’ availability for a smooth candidate experience.

As you can see, this eliminates much of the legwork recruiters had to do in the past, leaving them free to focus on monitoring results, adjusting parameters, and attending to the “human” side of recruiting. With efficient handling of applications and with recruiters able to build better relationships with job seekers, the full cycle recruitment experience is enhanced. Recruitment professionals can focus on work that only humans can do, and applicants experience a more efficient process during which they know where they stand and what they should expect.

Naturally, this requires the use of AI-driven talent acquisition software to address a variety of tasks. To see what a complete suite of recruitment software should be able to do, view Broadbean’s selected range of market-leading tools

Diversity and inclusion

Most recruiters would be quick to say that their attitudes towards applicants are unbiased. The truth is that bias is often unconscious; even the wording of job ads could be deterring talented applicants by indicating an implicit preference for certain types of candidate. Bias is likeliest to affect women, people of color, and people with disabilities but may also extend to factors like age, physical appearance, neurodiversity, and sexual orientation.

Valuable talent may be excluded if unconscious bias in talent acquisition processes is not addressed. In doing so, HR professionals can make their contribution towards enhanced organizational performance. McKinsey reports that diverse organizations demonstrate better performance than their peers thanks to factors like improved morale, access to multiple perspectives, and enhanced ability to innovate. 

AI may hold at least some of the answers to resolve this issue. Technologies implementing well-trained AI eliminate bias in job advertisements and candidate screening, offering a wider diversity of shortlisted talent. But mindsets still matter. Recruiters need to make a conscious effort to shortlist a diverse list of qualified applicants, select a representative interview panel and evaluate candidates using a skills and evidence-based approach.

A focus on candidate experience

Conditions prevailing in today’s jobs market mean that applicants can afford to be selective about the opportunities they pursue, particularly in certain sectors. Research company McKinsey attributes this, in part, to attrition following the aftermath of the pandemic. Many healthcare workers, retail employees, and educators opted for career changes or even left the job market altogether. This has given rise to a competitive talent acquisition environment in which creating excellent candidate experiences has been identified as a factor that gives recruiters an edge. 

Prompt communication, creating personalized experiences for job applicants, and a focus on recruitment that goes beyond the hire and embraces onboarding are among the strategies being applied. And, with a database of strong candidates that can be accessed when posts fall vacant, recruiters can improve time to hire by reaching out to former job applicants. As a result, it’s not just those likeliest to land currently advertised posts that must benefit from a positive candidate experience.

Creating excellent candidate experiences requires a thorough mapping of the candidate journey, with every touchpoint being optimized so that the overall impression is positive. Attempting to do this without tech to help you is extremely difficult. For example, you may be confronted with dozens or even hundreds of applicants all of whom are in different stages of the recruitment process. Dedicated recruitment software helps employers to track processes and automate workflows, leaving no opportunity for dropped balls. 

Round out candidate’s experiences with regular interpersonal contact at key points in their journeys and by implementing an effective onboarding process for new hires. It’s not just a matter of keeping candidates’ interest alive during the early stages of recruiting – there is evidence that positive candidate experiences, including effective onboarding, contribute to employee retention – so workflow automation can also help expedite this process without compromising on quality. 

Employer branding

Applicant-faced employer branding is being consciously prioritized among businesses hoping to attract top talent. Just as businesses develop brands to foster recognition and positive associations among consumers, they’re now taking a closer look at what their brands mean to job seekers. Marketing businesses as great employers has become the norm, with multiple companies showcasing employee stories and the employee benefits they offer on social media and other advertising platforms. 

In doing so, they’re raising awareness about themselves as desirable employers, showcasing their values and the benefits they offer in their workplaces. With awareness raised through their employer branding campaigns, they boost their overall reputations while making people excited about the idea of becoming their employees. When posts fall vacant, well-branded employers benefit by attracting large numbers of enthusiastic applicants, and more top-quality, highly motivated people who may not otherwise have been seeking employment.

Employee retention and further development

It’s long been understood that high staff turnover isn’t good for any business’s bottom line. There are recruitment costs, training costs and onboarding costs, not to mention the time it takes for new employees to reach full productivity.

With employees enjoying increased potential for mobility in a high-demand job market, employee retention becomes all the more important. Many academic studies and articles deal with the topic of employee engagement and retention. However, we should not lose sight of the fact that it begins with recruiting the right people. The “most qualified” candidate may not be a good cultural fit, so the challenge for recruiters is looking out for candidates who are likely to be happy in their work and remain with the organizations they serve. 

This has led to a renewed focus on employee development – hiring people with potential and offering them a roadmap towards personal and professional development and career advancement. The University of Massachusetts reports that this approach leads to heightened engagement and a 34% greater likelihood of retaining employees. Once again, it begins with recruitment and the identification of highly motivated candidates.

Facing modern recruitment challenges with Broadbean

Almost all the latest trends in talent acquisition ultimately point towards the use of tech tools to enhance recruitment processes. By leveraging technology, recruiters can achieve results that would otherwise require massive investments in people hours while eliminating bias and improving hiring outcomes. 

Data-driven hiring begins with Broadbean. From formulating ads to placing them, sorting through and managing applications, and implementing onboarding workflows, we give you access to cutting-edge tech tools. Compete effectively in the job market. Achieve your recruitment goals. Let’s work together for your success.

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