Job Seeker Market? A New World for Recruiters

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Posted recently (3/9/2019)

Can't quickly find the right talent? Think the market is extremely tight for available/matching candidates? Well, you're right - we're in a signifciant job seeker market, and the recruiting industry is on the edge of a tipping point. After years of shifting economies and a move towards candidate-centric strategies, it's the dawn of a new era of recruiting. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States unemployment rate fell to 3.7% in October 2018, a record 50 year low! While there's never been a better time to be an American in the workforce, it's also never been harder to be a recruiter.

With the need to evolve our lens of the recruiting landscape, here are a few insights from a top analytics firm who recently completed a survey of nearly a thousand recruiters:

1. Recruiters need to align to raising candidate expectations

Navigating a tough talent market is not a new challenge. With nearly all of today's qualified candidates comfortably employed and more open jobs than available talent, recruiters are forced to come up with more creative ways to find diverse candidate pools and attract candidates. Today, there are new standards and success metrics that human resource departments care more about than just cost or time (such as retention rate and performance of hire) to ensure they're hiring the best while aligning to budgets.

It's also interesting that 74% recruiters believe hiring will become more competitive in the next 12 months while 31% of recruiters count quality of hire as the most important success metric, followed by retention rate (23%). When looking at candidate sourcing and employer brand management, recruiters noted the top investments for growing an employer brand are: social media (47%), company career website (21%), and marketing and advertising (12%).

A majority of recruiters (57%) believe implicit bias is a real problem within the American workforce. However, most recruiters say they have no goals in place to increase diversity due to lack of time. Thankfully, new AI services are helping recruiting teams regain time to devote to qualify larger candidate pools.

2. Recruiters are updating how they engage with candidates.

Since candidates are in the driver's seat more than ever, recruiters are engaging with potential hires in new ways. Texting candidates and Instagram are becoming more popular channels for candidate direct reach-out. Once they've signed on, candidates no longer accept a mediocre hiring or onboarding process. Buyer's remorse is definitely on the rise among newly hired employees resulting in recruiters investing more time within their departments to help ensure new employees get up to speed quickly and effortlessly during the onboarding process.

It's also interesting to note specifically that 25% of recruiters are investing in recruiting efforts on Instagram (especially millennial recruiters at 35%) and there's a strong focus, which shouldn't be a big surprise, for those working at technology companies (63%). 43% of recruiters have used texting to reach out to candidates or current applicants with a very strong 88% reporting positive feedback from the candidate.

3. The market is changing due to supply gap shifts

With such complicated dynamics, recruiters are facing more intense challenges than ever (even while fixing their interviews) — and this new era of the discipline is raising the stakes. Soft skills that originally were a "nice to have" have now become necessary - with strong conversational skills helping to speed up the pre-qualification process. This stress though has taken its toll on the recruiters with an enthusiasm decrease of 20% among recruiters compared to last year, and candidates have additional negotiating power (both salary and benefits). To help increase the speed to hire, especially with soft-skill qualification, many recruiters are turning to AI services (such as FirstScreen) to help empower candidates to self-serve phone interviews while at the same time getting candidates to hiring managers at an unprecedented speed.

That being said, over the past 12 months, almost 75 percent of recruiters have noticed an increase in salary negotiations from their candidates.

As with this new world recruiters are experiencing, we are in an unprecedented marketing with complicated dynamics - no doubt there are bigger, more intense challenges than ever for candidates and this new era of the discipline is raising the stakes.

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