Thoughts on recruitment in 2017
While I do not see anything significant coming out of 2017, some of the trends brought about in 2016 will continue to deepen. Online recruitment, the same as any recruitment process, is driven by the supply of jobs. They are like the movies (the job boards make money off the popcorn) – without them, no-one will visit the cinema. How and where these jobs are posted and how candidates are dealt with is going to make all the difference.
Job aggregators taking a stronger hold
Job aggregator websites list every job and job seekers prefer starting their searches there rather than on Google. Job boards have been quoted (by a study in the US) as seeing Indeed as a greater threat than LinkedIn. Not only do job aggregators list all their clients jobs and then sell the clicks going back to them, but they also now command sizeable CV databases, allow companies to post ads and even take on a larger part of the recruitment pie (e.g. shortlisting).
Yet without the job boards, job aggregators would crumble quickly. This fickle relationship is only going to get more tricky as some job boards now actively pursue strategies that would release them from the dependance on traffic from referrers such as job aggregators.
Slight easing of the process for job seekers
With application effort (mostly time) for applicants still high relative to offline applications, not much has been done to make the process easier for job seekers. Yes, there is a new “CV builder” startup born everyday and some ATS systems now do have one less field to fill in, but in general this quote of mine still stands: “Looking for a job is a job.”
Those companies, job boards, recruiters and ATS software systems that greatly ease things for candidates will be more successful in satisfying clients and increasing revenue. In 2016, there was not much of this going on, though I stand to be corrected – thus my prediction for 2017 is only a slight improvement.
The slow emergence of more efficient recruitment
Websites like Hired.com and OfferZen.com are taking jobs where the skill availability has a large discrepancy in supply and demand and turning recruitment on its head. Instead of saying: “Hey candidates, check out our jobs”, they’re saying: “Hey companies, check out our candidates, but only if you comply to our rules”. Their growth has been phenomenal and it’s not hype – they’re selling real value. Almost every company I know that requires the skills they house is on their client list.
This works because it is far more efficient for companies to approach candidates through these databases and deal directly with applicants than to pay recruiters. In any event, the scarcer the skill, the fewer recruiters out there who actually know how to find it (e.g. how to headhunt, for example). As the economic environment in most countries continues to only slowly improve, so will the insistence on reducing the recruitment costs it has. This is going to hopefully force many recruiters to start watching where they spend their online recruitment advertising dollars and teach them a thing or two about attribution.
All in all, 2017 is going to be a good year for online recruitment, with things just becoming more efficient and effective. I’d love to hear about anything you think the year will bring in the field. Recruitment in 2017 is thus looking bright and predicted to continue being a valuable part of every business.