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Updated Jan 19, 2024

Hiring in the Digital Age: 5 Modern Recruitment Trends to Adopt

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Max Freedman, Business Operations Insider and Senior Analyst

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Technology is changing the world as we know it, including the way we do business. Hiring managers must acknowledge these advances and invest in innovative recruiting strategies. This way, your company can keep up with other businesses that use advanced technology to attract and retain top talent

We’ll explore modern recruiting trends that can improve the hiring process and touch on traditional recruitment methods that are still valuable. 

The future of recruiting

Below are five modern-day recruiting strategies to implement when seeking new employees.

1. Targeted recruiting ads

Have you ever searched for a product on one device while scrolling through social media and later seen an advertisement for it on another device? If so, you’ve been targeted. Targeting helps marketing efforts reach more relevant consumers instead of random ones.

For example, say you’re a bookworm who follows book reviewers on Instagram, purchases novels on Amazon weekly, and searches book quotes on Pinterest in your free time. If so, you’ll likely see more targeted ads for book-related products. The process of connecting to target customers benefits brands and consumers.

Targeted recruiting ads serve the same purpose. Job searchers within a specific industry want to see relevant career opportunities. You can increase the likelihood of appropriate candidates seeing your ad by using the right keywords, job descriptions and details.

Many recruiting software applications and services help you target candidates and place your ads in front of people with appropriate job skills and experience. Targeted ads are seamless, saving time and creating opportunities for both the hiring company and the job searcher.

Did You Know?Did you know
Many successful entrepreneurs skipped college or only partially completed it. Some have even argued that college is a waste of money for entrepreneurs.

2. Artificial intelligence (AI)

With artificial intelligence transforming business in many arenas, companies should consider investing in AI technologies that simplify the hiring process. AI can eliminate time spent on the following tasks:

  • Reviewing cover letters and resumes
  • Sending out job postings
  • Sorting through applications 
  • Handling applicant-tracking processes
  • Making job openings more accessible to the public

“Corporations, SMBs and even sole proprietors looking for freelancers in the gig economy are increasingly relying on AI to streamline the hiring process,” explained Keith Johnstone, digital marketing and demand generation manager at RBR Ltd.

Danny Shteinberg, CMO of Gloat, an anonymous recruitment platform, says AI is invaluable for hiring managers. “Hiring managers are able to make better-informed decisions, as AI tools are capable of assessing thousands of candidates almost instantaneously, selecting the most suitable person for a specific role and the company,” Shteinberg said. “As opposed to HR managers spending the bulk of their time sifting through cover letters and application forms, they can concentrate on other HR matters, such as employee retention.” 

However, there are some caveats. Just as AI can adopt human behaviors, it can also adopt human prejudices, whether subconscious or not. Johnstone noted that using AI for recruiting sometimes leads to bias, which prevents diversity and inclusion in the recruitment stage.

According to Johnstone, if recruiters went by certain AI algorithms alone, many accomplished individuals, like Steve Jobs and Anna Wintour, would be weeded out due to their lack of degrees.

In other words, AI can make recruiting more black-and-white than gray if you only go by the books. Shteinberg advises investing in the latest tech that uses natural language processing (NLP) and advanced algorithms. Then, make sure it’s programmed without discrimination or back-end politics playing a part.

“While AI in recruitment is being rapidly adopted, hiring managers and human resource teams should begin by first educating themselves on the technological options available, then start asking the right questions,” added Johnstone.

He recommended asking the following questions:

  • What problem am I trying to fix?
  • What does success look like?
  • What does failure look like?
  • What are the unintended consequences?
  • Do I have the time, energy, and resources needed to implement, manage, and scale these programs should they work?

“If the technology makes sense, slowly integrate it following a test-and-learn approach,” Johnstone advised.

3. Search engine optimization (SEO)

Improving your SEO increases your recruiting ads’ visibility. There are many straightforward ways to do this, but the most crucial are ensuring your website is optimized for mobile and utilizing SEO. 

  • Optimize your website for mobile. Many job seekers opt to apply from their mobile devices. In fact, according to 2021 Appcast data, almost 61 percent of job candidates apply via mobile devices. If your application process isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you miss out on quality candidates because you failed to adapt.
  • Use social media for SEO. To increase your ads’ visibility, capitalize on the SEO and enhancement tools various social media platforms offer. Focus on building your brand and its digital presence by interacting with consumers and sharing content that reflects who you are and what you believe in. Social media-driven traffic will boost your ads and encourage the right applicants to want to work for you.
Have employees use Instagram for business to post live, behind-the-scenes looks at their jobs or company events. Actively respond to Twitter followers to attract attention to your business, and share Snapchats of new products.

4. Online personality surveys

Some recruiters may ask job candidates to take online personality surveys as part of their job applications to narrow down the interviewee pool. The goal is to eliminate candidates who don’t fit the company culture before an interview occurs.

Structure your online personality surveys to determine each job candidate’s key qualities and traits. Ask the candidate how these traits might pertain to how they operate in work environments. Plus, since survey data is objective, personality surveys can reduce subconscious bias in the hiring process.

5. Video conferencing

Many companies conduct first-round job candidate interviews via phone and later rounds in person. However, today it’s more common for later-round interviews to happen via video conference, given the convenience for everyone involved. Hiring managers no longer need to find time for an interview only when a candidate can physically arrive, and candidates no longer need to travel. This is especially useful for candidates who don’t currently live close to the worksite.

Consider a video conferencing platform that includes breakout rooms, so interviewers and interviewees can easily split off amid group interviews. Not every videoconferencing platform includes this feature — for example, GoToMeeting doesn’t have it. Nevertheless, GoToMeeting is our top pick for small business video conferencing services, given its low costs and large meeting sizes. 

Key TakeawayKey takeaway
Read our GoTo Connect review to determine whether this platform is right for your video conferencing job interviews. If it isn't, our guide to choosing a video conferencing service should help you find the right platform.

Traditional recruitment methods still worth using

The future of recruiting won’t entirely leave traditional methods in the dust. The following traditional approaches are still worth using.

  • Online job boards. Many job seekers use LinkedIn’s job-hunting services, as well as sites like Monster, Google Jobs and Indeed. Continue posting your job listings and descriptions on these platforms — you’ll likely generate many leads. 
  • College job fairs. Many college students want to find employment immediately upon graduation. That makes college job fairs an excellent way to recruit employees. Registering for these events is typically easy: Contact the fair’s organizers, pay your registration fee, and share any required information. Show up with brochures and business cards to educate job candidates and give them a way to contact you. While at the event, conduct quick interviews with candidates who seem like potential matches. Take notes, give candidates space to ask questions, get their contact information, explain the next steps, and follow up. Compare and contrast the candidates you interacted with to find the best potential fits for your open roles.
  • Website career page. The “careers” or “work with us” pages on many companies’ websites can yield interest from people who might not have otherwise been seeking work. Maybe someone who already likes your organization sees that you have a job opening and realizes they’d love to work for you. Or maybe someone currently seeking a job stumbles on your website and immediately notices a link to look at your open jobs. In either case, you’ll capture leads from the same place where people can learn all about your business.
  • Internal promotion. The people currently within your organization may qualify just as strongly for any current openings as the people outside it. Pinpoint your best employees, determine which ones might be ready to move up within your organization, and ask them if they’re interested in applying. If so, conduct interviews as usual and choose the best candidate. You’ll save significant time and money on the onboarding process since an internal hire will already know so much.

Recruiting then, now and always

Modern technology is certainly improving the hiring process, but many traditional methods remain just as fruitful. Combining some of the old with some of the new might be your best bet for finding top-quality job candidates. If one of the methods you try from this list doesn’t quite pan out, you can easily pivot to the others.

Sammi Caramela contributed to the reporting and writing in this article. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

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Max Freedman, Business Operations Insider and Senior Analyst
Max Freedman has spent nearly a decade providing entrepreneurs and business operators with actionable advice they can use to launch and grow their businesses. Max has direct experience helping run a small business, performs hands-on reviews and has real-world experience with the categories he covers, such as accounting software and digital payroll solutions, as well as leading small business lenders and employee retirement providers. Max has written hundreds of articles for Business News Daily on a range of valuable topics, including small business funding, time and attendance, marketing and human resources.
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