8 critical talent acquisition and recruitment trends in 2024 recruitment management system (RMS)


What is recruitment?

Recruitment is the process of finding, screening, hiring and onboarding qualified job candidates. The recruiting process is relatively straightforward, but advances in technology, a tight labor market and a workforce pool that spans five generations can make the first step -- finding potential candidates -- challenging.

Recruitment is a subset of human resources (HR) and a key part of HR management (HRM). Skilled recruitment efforts make a company more attractive to potential employees, a strategy that can directly affect a company's bottom line.

Why is recruitment important?

Employees are the lifeblood of companies, so finding and attracting the best candidates possible is of utmost importance. A poor recruitment effort can result in unfilled jobs and a loss of revenue, while successful recruitment will bring in the right candidates quickly and ensure a business can move forward.

In a competitive hiring market, employee retention can be tricky, but an effective recruitment strategy minimizes that risk by ensuring the right people are hired into the right roles.

When recruiting is done well, an organization's workforce is engaged and in a position to succeed and thrive. It gets good ratings on hiring sites, such as Glassdoor; attracts better candidates; has less turnover and can build a talent pipeline.

How does recruitment work?

To ensure recruitment activities are well thought out, effective and efficient, an organization should develop a recruitment strategy covering items such as the organization's size and attractiveness, the overall economy, the competition for similar candidates, labor laws and other considerations.

The hiring process is similar across organizations, however, the steps and associated tasks can vary. For example, one organization might require candidates to do a pre-hire assessment while others might not.

Typical steps in the recruitment process include the following:

  • Conduct a job analysis to determine position requirements.
  • Develop a job description, if one doesn't exist, based on the analysis. It should include skills and competencies, experience and education, as well as position-specific requirements, such as the ability to lift heavy objects regularly.
  • Evaluate the job by comparing it to other positions in the organization to determine the overall value of the position. This can be done using a point system. The goal is to ensure the compensation is equitable, based on comparable positions.
  • Get the job description and pay range approved.
  • Develop a job posting, which is like the job description but written with a marketing slant that takes advantage of the employer brand to help attract candidates.
  • Use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to post the job. Common places to post jobs include the company's intranet or web portal to notify employees and the organization's external recruitment or career site, job boards and social media.
  • Educate everyone involved in the hiring process to ensure awareness of the laws and company guidelines they need to follow. Examples include not asking candidates their age, marital status and other personal information not directly related to the job.
  • Use recruiting software to screen submitted resumes.
  • Perform a first interview, possibly by phone, to confirm basic information and gauge the candidate's interest.
  • Develop and share interview process guidance to help hiring managers conduct good interviews.
  • Conduct a second interview with the hiring manager or hiring team. In small organizations, interviewees might also meet with the CEO or executive director.
  • Send a pre-hire assessment to the candidate. This can be a personality type test, a coding test for software development roles or similar assessments.
  • Perform reference checks with current and former employers and personal references.
  • Carry out background checks, such as validating the candidate's education, and do a criminal history check.
  • Have the candidate take a drug test, if that's legal in your jurisdiction and required for the position.
  • Negotiate the contract, including salary or hourly rate, number of vacation days, bonus eligibility and other items the company offers or the candidate requests.
  • Send the job offer to the candidate for review and acceptance.
  • Hire the candidate, and move them to the onboarding process.
List of 7 steps of recruiting
Recruiting consists of seven key steps from job analysis and description to onboarding.

Sources of recruitment

When looking to fill open roles, employers have two options: look internally or hire from the outside. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Internal candidates need little to no onboarding. They're familiar with the company and it's familiar with their past performances. However, moving an existing employee into a new role leaves the old role to fill.

External candidates can bring fresh eyes, enthusiasm and skills to a company, but it's vital to ensure new employees will be a good cultural fit. Recruiters must ensure that external candidates learn about the company culture as part of the hiring process.

Types of recruiting techniques

Some companies still rely on a "help wanted" sign on the door, but most organization tackle recruitment the way they do marketing -- with a multi-tiered approach. Recruitment marketing can include everything from promotion on social media to billboard ads, public relations campaigns and even bonuses to current employees for successful candidate referrals.

Your talent acquisition team can attract qualified candidates with these techniques:

  • Internal recruitment. Post open positions on your internal career site.
  • Retained recruitment. Hire a third-party recruitment agency to fill job vacancies. This can involve an upfront fee and perhaps an additional fee once a candidate is hired.
  • Contingency recruiting. Engage a third party to recruit on your behalf, but pay a fee only if a qualified candidate is hired.
  • Staffing recruitment. This type of recruiting also involves a third-party recruiter but is often used to fill short-term or temporary jobs.
  • Outplacement recruiting. A type of recruiting is sometimes offered to employees who have been involuntarily terminated. The service supports former employees in their job search.
  • Recruitment process outsourcing. RPO involves completely outsourcing recruitment to a third party. The goal is to reduce the cost of recruiting and allow resources to be allocated elsewhere.
  • Temporary recruitment professional. A temporary employee or consultant is hired to help an organization's recruitment team occasionally rather than hiring a full-time recruiter.
  • Career fairs. Whether in person or virtual, these events give your organization an opportunity to meet qualified candidates and market your employer brand.
  • Campus recruiting. Participating in campus recruiting events can help in recruiting new graduates and co-op students.
  • Employee development and succession planning. Developing employees and preparing them for a new role is good for the employees and reduces risks associated with hiring external candidates.
  • Partnering with outside organizations. This approach attracts a more diverse workforce and underrepresented communities, such as immigrants and minorities.
  • Networking. Meeting other people in the community provides an opportunity to share information about your organization.
  • Social media. Posting open positions on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn is a popular choice. Search engine ads that pop up in response to a query are another option.
Diagram of the process flow for hiring and onboarding
The hiring process starts with the job description and requisition.

Recruitment vs. talent acquisition

Recruitment and talent acquisition are both subsets of HRM. Recruitment is a more immediate action; it comes into play when an organization is looking to fill newly opened positions. Talent acquisition is a forward-thinking process that looks to codify strategies to find and hire top talent. Talent acquisition is concerned with future hiring, while recruitment is more immediate.

For example, a recruiter might post a job description on a company website or social media platform to quickly fill a position. On the other hand, talent acquisition specialists might conduct more in-depth analyses about what each division or department within a company will require in the future. This makes the timeline for talent acquisition considerably longer than recruitment. Recruitment and talent acquisition are both important to an organization's overall HRM strategy.

Latest trends in recruiting

As recruiting has become more competitive, many vendors have developed recruiting software, such as ATS and recruitment management systems (RMS) to automate the recruiting process. These automation systems can help the talent acquisition team streamline the job application process, improve the candidate experience and facilitate interview scheduling, among many other benefits.

Some organizations are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) screening tools to help more quickly identify potential candidates, assess strengths and weaknesses, and generate questions that can speed up decision-making. Various AI-driven recruiting tools help recruiters and expedite the hiring process.

Organizations with many high-turnover positions have begun processing applications via mobile texting, providing applicants with a simpler method to apply for job openings.

To showcase the employer brand and attract top-rated job seekers, organizations are tailoring their recruitment activities. For example, an organization recruiting for an entry-level position might post the position on its website and a job board, such as Indeed. When recruiting for an executive position, it might use additional methods, such as hiring an outside recruiter and identifying passive candidates who have the required skill set.

Large employers use other strategies, such as brand advertising, which showcases a company's perks and benefits, and promotes the culture and work styles. They might highlight a strong Net Promoter Score, which is a popular measure of customer loyalty. To attract certain groups of employees, such as millennials and Gen Zers, a company might stress the social value of the work being done.

List of ways to ensure a positive job candidate hiring experience
There are many ways a company can ensure job candidates have a positive experience.

Effective recruiting best practices

Recruiting can be challenging, especially when you're trying to find qualified candidates for positions that are in high demand. Here are some tips on how to effectively attract new candidates:

  • When selling the benefits of the company to candidates, don't oversell since it can lead to new-hire turnover.
  • Don't just post and hope. Actively search for qualified candidates, including passive candidates not looking for work. Platforms like LinkedIn have greatly enhanced a recruiter's ability to find candidates who might be great for a position.
  • Keep candidates warm, even if you don't hire them, because another position might open tomorrow that they would be well-suited to fill. An ATS or RMS can make this easier by sending regular communications to candidates.
  • Tailor your communication with candidates, even with automated replies. A simple automated email can go to all applicants who don't meet your minimum job requirements and a different one for candidates you interviewed.
  • Focus on recruiting people who have hard-to-find skill sets and competencies, then train them for job-specific tasks. This will help ensure you find candidates who fit your organization's culture and bring the right mindset to the job.
  • Emphasize your brand. If your organization has great brand recognition or is recognized for doing great things, use that in your recruitment marketing.
  • Get to know the business and its leaders so you can better support them and provide candidates with optimal experiences during the hiring process.
  • Ensure that all the data related to the hiring process, including each candidate's resume and interview notes, is stored in one location so it's available to everyone and accessible in case of lawsuits or audits.

New technologies -- and AI systems in particular -- are becoming more prevalent and useful in recruiting, yet they are still not silver bullets. Learn the challenges of AI tech in recruiting.

This was last updated in April 2024

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