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8 talent acquisition and recruitment trends in 2023

With workers returning to the office and the effects of the "great resignation" still being felt, recruiters now have to appeal to candidates worried about salaries and inflation.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has diminished in many countries, the "great resignation" is in full swing and creating huge turnover and recruitment challenges for many organizations. Now, inflation and the rising cost of living -- along with the corresponding demand for higher salaries -- are creating new headaches for recruiters.

Those pressures are also having an impact on eight ongoing and emerging trends that should have a prominent place in your recruiting strategy in 2023.

1. Remote interviewing

Working from home emerged as a major trend in talent acquisition and recruitment in 2021 and it looks set to continue into 2023. Despite many businesses reopening their offices last year, remote work is not just here to stay: It's much bigger than it was before the pandemic. Similarly, remote interviewing became a necessity for hiring during the pandemic and should remain relevant as businesses continue to include it in their operating strategy.

With remote interviewing, job interviews take place on video conferencing platforms, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex, or via specialized video interviewing tools, such as HireVue and Montage. The technology also facilitates collaborative hiring by making it easier for other departments to participate in the interview and selection process.

Although remote interviewing has become a prominent trend, it isn't without its challenges. Presenting oneself in a professional manner can be difficult if it isn't possible to interview from a tidy or professional location; further, the presence of children or pets at home can create a noisy and distracting environment for both interviewer and interviewee. Unforeseen technical challenges -- even those that are out of a candidate's control -- can cause candidates to become flustered and embarrassed, which ultimately can lead to recruiters being put off a candidate. Luckily, many of the video conferencing technologies have introduced custom and blurred background options and their reliability has improved. And people are now used to seeing a variety of settings for video meetings.

Although the pandemic has eased with the widespread rollout of vaccines and other treatments, remote interviewing looks to be here to stay because of its convenience, ability to be used on short notice and usefulness in collaborative hiring.

2. Candidate experience

The pandemic helped to make 2021 the year of the employee experience and the trend has continued. It accelerated the need for employee listening programs and for developing an experience that maintains the health and well-being of employees, promotes positive work-life balance and gives them the positive experience that will encourage them to stay after the pandemic is over. This emphasis on providing a good experience also extends to candidates, who have so many options available to them. It is more important than ever to make sure that the candidate experience is easy and enables candidates to quickly apply for jobs.

Organizations that focus on building a positive experience and company culture for employees are found to be more successful and profitable. The same effects apply to the candidate experience. Upgrading career websites and using surveys to get feedback from candidates are two ways employers have improved their candidate experiences. In addition, recruitment marketing and career site software can help personalize the hiring process and gather analytics to help improve the candidate experience.

Candidates want career websites that are easy to use and can help them quickly and easily set up a profile, search for jobs and apply. If these processes are not straightforward, job hunters will navigate to career sites that have been optimized in these ways. Candidates are also unlikely to recommend career platforms they find to be awkward, slow and complicated.

But the candidate experience doesn't stop there. It continues after a candidate has been placed in the candidate pool for a job. How companies communicate with candidates, organize and conduct interviews and execute follow-up processes shows candidates how professional an organization is and whether they would want to work there. In an already competitive labor market that is being disrupted by the "great resignation" and inflationary pressures, the overall experience is crucial to not only attracting the best talent available but winning over that talent from competitors and building a strong employer brand.

3. Diversity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion is another area of growing focus for HR leaders that directly affects talent acquisition and recruitment. Statistics show that businesses with a diverse workforce and inclusive workplace have better productivity and profitability. Many organizations are looking to boost the diversity of their workforces and recruiters are responsible for identifying and including a wider diversity of candidates in the talent pool.

These goals bring potential challenges: Recruiters might hold a racial or gender bias for or against certain candidates, for example, or neglect highly qualified and experienced candidates.

Racial diversity statistics in the tech industry
Recruiters are now expected to make diversity in hiring a top priority. Many industries, including tech, have minority hiring rates that don't reflect the general population.

4. Contingent workers

Staffing the workforce is increasingly difficult as businesses face a prolonged period of disruption and uncertainty caused by ongoing COVID-19 infections and quarantine rules. Fluctuating business needs require flexibility, and contingent labor can help meet those demands. Many employees have found that contracting can be more profitable than regular employment and does not tie them to a single employer.

Over the past few years, there has been an upward trend in using contingent workers and creating a hiring process expressly for them. Talent acquisition is different for contingent workers than it is for full-time employees, and organizations need to be set up to seek out, recruit and process these types of hires. A vendor management system can be a useful tool for managing procurement of contingent workers, but organizations should also be prepared to use their career site and social media marketing to appeal to contingent workers and set up different interview methods and vendor approval processes. Whatever you do, know that recruiting contingent workers remains a trend at many companies.

5. Analytics

While not strictly a recruiting trend -- HR in general is adopting analytics at a rapid rate -- analytics remains a hot topic that will affect how organizations define their talent acquisition strategies and recruit talent.

The use of analytics across talent acquisition processes assists data-driven decision-making and helps provide insights to identify areas of strength and weakness. It can also reduce the cost of talent acquisition practices, identify problems and blockages in the process, and fill vacant roles more quickly. Additionally, talent analytics can prove the effectiveness and ROI of your recruiting software investments.

More specifically, analytics can help provide recruiters with metrics such as the following:

  • source of hire
  • time to fill
  • time to hire
  • age of job (how long a job has been open)
  • offer acceptance rate
  • cost per hire
  • quality of hire
  • vacancy cost (how much it costs the organization while the position remains vacant)
  • diversity

With predictive analytics, which is also trending up, recruiters can project and predict future trends, such as estimated future candidate performance, predicted time to fill, interview acceptance probability and predicted tenure of a candidate.

Advances in technology mean that aggregation, trend identification, visualization and predictive analytics are now standard parts of most recruiting software.

6. Robotic process automation

Robotic process automation (RPA) is an increasingly popular technology that can automate manual, repetitive activities. RPA bots are capable of performing a vast array of recruiting tasks that normally take several hours. RPA performs operations on a bulk scale that doesn't require any level of human intervention. For example, verifying documents for a large number of candidates requires a lot of effort but doesn't need a person to be involved. A bot can simply process each document for verification and upload the results into an applicant tracking system. This can save recruiters significant time and effort.

RPA is trending because the technology can do a tremendous amount of heavy lifting at high speed, while simultaneously adding value and automation to talent acquisition processes. When combined with AI, the technology can source, screen, sort and rank candidates to create a pipeline of qualified candidates that are likely to succeed in vacant positions, based on the skills and potential gleaned from candidate profiles, resumes and social media. These steps involve highly repetitive manual tasks, but by using an RPA bot, recruiters can cut the effort from hours or days to minutes.

7. Artificial intelligence

One of the fastest-growing areas of talent acquisition software today is the use of AI to improve ways to source, identify and engage talent. These range from smart talent platforms, such as Eightfold AI, to job-posting platforms, candidate sourcing and screening, chatbots, interview scheduling and natural language processing (NLP). AI is also used to minimize bias in candidate identification, selection and hiring.

Unlike RPA, which performs a large volume of manual, repetitive tasks, AI can perform intelligent activities, such as reviewing resumes for specific skills, characteristics or keywords. AI can add intelligence to high-volume tasks, helping recruiters review a large number of job boards, process documents and read and process data from those sources.

Recruitment chatbots can help engage candidates and provide details about jobs while they search. NLP helps organizations write job postings and offer letters more accurately and appealingly while keeping them free of unsuitable language that might discourage some candidates from applying. It also enables chatbots to be user-friendly and accurate when responding to people.

In addition, machine learning adds continuous improvement to AI, which means the software becomes more effective the longer it's used.

8. Skills, competencies and other attributes

Assessing skills and competencies and using them to source, screen and match candidates to open vacancies is becoming a much hotter topic thanks to the power of AI. Although skills and competencies have been used in talent management for quite some time, particularly for identifying and matching successors to key positions or identifying career paths, they haven't always been used effectively in talent acquisition. Some HR software vendors are now including other attributes, such as interpersonal skills, aspirations and motivations in their systems.

Having an awareness of particular skills and competencies can be critical for hiring the right employees. For example, a healthcare position requires specific skills compared to a psychiatrist, yet they may also overlap in one or two key areas. Nontechnical or soft skills, such as time management and critical thinking, as well as hard skills, such as engineering and software development, must all be considered. Having the right software to help you match the right candidates to the right jobs based on a set of skills and competencies will increase the success of your recruiting process.

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