November 20, 2019 – If you’re in the recruiting industry today, your job might be unrecognizable in five years — even if you retain the same job title. That’s because the role of recruiters and how your job is done is swiftly evolving. “Recruiter” is one of the most in-demand jobs as businesses brace for a future where talent is everything. But a new report by LinkedIn says that your team will have to master new skills, metrics and tools.
LinkedIn’s study, “The Future of Recruiting: 7 Ways Your Role Will Change,” is based on input from thousands of those in the search field, billions of LinkedIn data points and interviews with global talent leaders.
“Competition for top talent has gotten fiercer, so recruiting has taken on a new urgency,” said John Vlastelica, managing director at Recruiting Toolbox. “But I don’t think we’ve stepped up yet the way business leaders want.”
“Currently, managing recruiters is like managing superstar sales people,” said Arkarin Phureesitr, head of HR at Central Group. “Everyone is highly specialized and has a very specific purpose. In the future, they’ll be more well-rounded and analytical—more like business people.”
Prediction No. 1: Recruiting will become even more important than it is now.
Recruiters have become the recruited. According to LinkedIn data, demand for recruiting professionals has jumped by 63 percent since 2016, and that trend is expected to continue. Talent will simply matter more, said the report. As automation takes over the most repetitive tasks, the work left to humans will be more creative, less predictable and more consequential to the business overall.
The LinkedIn report said that since the market for recruiting pros is getting more competitive, now may be a particularly good time to be proactive: Capacity planning can help you figure out how many recruiters you’ll need ahead of time. Failing to plan ahead can be costly: Companies that wait until they’re in urgent need of in-demand talent are more likely to pay more and lower their standards.
Prediction No. 2: You’ll have to get used to changing your hiring plans.
Every team has hiring goals that change over time, but if you feel like the pace of change has been speeding up lately, you’re not alone. LinkedIn asked thousands of talent acquisition professionals about their teams’ top priorities from now until 2024. The clear No. 1 answer: Keeping up with rapidly changing hiring needs.
As business models, markets and goals change rapidly, the report said that recruiting teams will need to be able to pivot quickly. “One way to stay agile is by making sure recruiters are comfortable bringing in all types of talent,” said LinkedIn. “Instead of only hiring within one business line, try to mix things up and hone your general recruiting skills.”
Prediction No. 3: Recruiters will bring more business strategy.
Many recruiting jobs still revolve around executing a few core tasks, like sourcing, interviewing, or closing candidates. “The Future of Recruiting” report said that it’s one thing to execute a hiring plan, but it’s quite another to design a hiring plan — and in the future, companies will ask recruiters to do both.
Strategic thinking, problem solving and general business acumen will be as important as knowing the ins and outs of recruiting. We already see this at the highest levels of talent acquisition, where more than one in three (35 percent) current heads of recruiting came from a role outside of HR, according to LinkedIn data. “In this more strategic role, leaders and rank-and-file recruiters will be the ones telling the business when they need a new hire — rather than the other way around,” the report said.
Prediction No. 4: It will be easy to track recruiting activity, but you’ll care more about calculating business impact.
Time-to-hire is the most commonly tracked hiring metric, according to LinkedIn’s survey. But as ATS platforms like Talent Hub make it easy to automatically log action-based metrics, your attention will turn to measuring business outcomes. Once you have a system that automatically calculates stats like time-to-hire for you, you’ll be able to spend more time on calculating more strategic, impactful metrics.
The most useful such metric is quality of hire, as 88 percent of talent acquisition executives agree. While most don’t use it yet, LinkedIn said it expects that to change over the next few years. Business leaders will soon expect recruiting teams to have these kind of metrics at the ready.
Prediction No. 5: Better tools and tech will be key to boosting your recruiting team’s performance.
LinkedIn also asked recruiting professionals about the best ways to improve recruiter performance over the next five years. While most agreed that adding flexible work options and offer training opportunities would be effective, the top answer was investing in better recruiting tools and technology.
The report said that this tech won’t replace recruiters, but it will reduce busy-work and save time. For example, LinkedIn has spoken to companies who say that asynchronous video interviews (where candidates submit a video of their answers) reduced a three-week screening process to 48 hours.
Video interviewing was the fourth-most impactful tech tool in the survey. But adding any new technology can lead to challenges in implementation and adoption. “That’s why it’s critical to make sure the selection and rollout of the tech involves lots of input from the end users (i.e., the actual recruiters using the tools),” the report said.
Prediction No. 6: Engaging passive talent, analyzing talent data and advising business leaders will be key skills for recruiters.
The LinkedIn report said that engaging passive candidates, analyzing talent data and advising business leaders are valuable skills today, but that they will be invaluable in five years. Over 80 percent of talent acquisition executive in the survey said they’re all growing in importance for recruiters.
Platforms like LinkedIn have made it far easier to identify top candidates. But with so many other recruiters going after that same talent, the biggest challenge will be standing out from the crowd and truly connecting with candidates.
Rather than simply entering data correctly, recruiters will also need to leverage data-driven insights to drive decisions, the report said. “And instead of executing orders, recruiters will also need to advise business leaders and hiring managers — that means pushing back and setting the strategy, not just following it,” the study said. “Fortunately, all of these skills can be learned, but it won’t just be a matter of adding a few training sessions. Putting a premium on these skills involves a culture change as recruiters expand beyond their traditional roles.”
Prediction No. 7: Your recruiting team will probably have more non-recruiting specialists.
Recruiters can (and often do) take on the work of many people: data analyst, marketing guru, tech whiz. Still, wearing all those hats can get tiring. That’s why many companies are enhancing their recruiting teams by adding specialists dedicated to talent analytics, recruitment marketing, and recruitment tech, said LinkedIn.
Those were the three most impactful roles according to the survey, and they still aren’t very common. By 2024, however, LinkedIn expects there to be many more.
Since these roles have rarely existed within recruiting, “you will have to be flexible when integrating them into your team,” said the report. “Once you learn how they can best contribute, you’ll find that these new roles will add a new depth of expertise while allowing recruiters to focus on what they do best.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media