Alyssa Stahr

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#TAGBlog – 2018’s Talent Acquisition Trend Predictions

Categories: Recruitment

We may not have a crystal ball in our hands, but industries have a way of allowing us a glimpse into what the future may be. It is how we plan, how we act and how we grow.

One of TAG’s vendor partners, Phenom People, recently released its predictions for the talent acquisition industry in ebook form: ”10 Talent Acquisition Predictions for 2018,” and we at The Arland Group agree with a lot of what is planned for the next year. One of my personal interests in the ebook was at the very beginning, when Phenom People released its panelist survey predictions from 2008 regarding 2018. Predictions then included an increased focus on social networking; millennials redefining jobs by working more from home; and communication through video, email and texting instead of traditional phone calls. That was a whopping 10-year span of thoughts that came to fruition, and hopefully we’ll be right with our 2018 forecast.

Technology, Technology, Technology

Everyone I polled for this blog, along with the Phenom People report, spouted out Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality as key game-changers. Alex Brown, manager of recruitment marketing at Fiserv, said that AI and machine learning will find its place and not be used as a buzzwords or cool widgets any longer. “Some will fail; some will rise to the top. As technology makes processes more efficient, be careful not to sacrifice quality of hire for speed.”

Sharon Lynch, TAG’s senior director of media and strategy, said “AI being added to the recruiter toolkit as a way to increase efficiency in interview scheduling and even more so when it’s added to Open Web Search will be keys in 2018.” Jessy Dyson, account management team lead, agreed. “AI will become increasingly important. Keep an eye on everyone who partners with Google for Jobs. They’re seeing increased traffic and with that often comes increased opportunities and different products.”

Gina Prestifilippo, director of media and strategy, named VR as a mind-blowing tool for TA. “I’ve heard of organizations who have used VR at career fairs and stated the line for their booth was outrageous, and it was mainly because the students were using VR. It may seem odd to more conservative organizations, however, using VR to show prospective candidates your company culture, company and community events, day-in-the-life for job positions, etc. This is everything a candidate wants to know and see before committing their time and energy. What better way to show the company culture than seeing it as if you were already there.”

Non-Biased, Diverse Hiring Practices

This doesn’t just include diversity in hiring alone. It also includes more non-biased language in the form of, you guessed, it — technology. Phenom People says that technology advancements will remove bias as much as possible through non-gendered language on job postings.

Prestifilippo says that diversity recruitment marketing, while always an important aspect in TA, will now more than ever be an important investment for organizations. “What is the diversity your organization wants to achieve? Who is your audience? What is the message? What channels will reach your targeted audience? Include your employee resource groups, and show the group’s activities within the company and your community, etc. Show diversity and what you are doing to empower diversity. Give the candidate reason to find meaning in a career with your organization.”

Personalizing the Candidate Experience

Candidates are sharing their thoughts loud and clear, but one telling note is that they want better job descriptions and more personalized care throughout the entire candidate interviewing experience. Brown agrees that candidates are demanding a more personalized experience, and the top talent will go to those employers who win in this space. Lynch says that she sees more companies interested in rewriting and updating job postings with a more candidate-focused approach. “This provides candidates a better view into a company versus postings, which are a copy-paste of an internal-facing legal document.”

Another extension of the personalized experience includes SMS and social media messaging. Talent Board recently its 2017 North American Candidate Experience Research Report, and candidates said that the No. 1 most frustrating thing in applying is never hearing back from a company. This could be not only after sending in a resume, but after interviewing as well. There are more ways to communicate now than ever before, and Prestifilippo says that SMS social media messaging should be a practice that organizations are using today. “With more than 12 touchpoints a candidate views before applying to a position, you should be connecting and making yourself available to candidates at every step of the journey. Everyone is on their smart phone and everyone is on social media. Engaging with candidates on a personal level through text messaging and/or social messaging will help you build rapport and trust with your candidates.” 


The Arland Group is a recruitment marketing and communications agency. We believe people do their best work when they find their best job. Integrating strategy, media and creative, we specialize in building clear, authentic employer brands that close the gap between candidates and exciting careers around the world.