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Hiring in the Digital Age: 3 Modern Recruitment Trends to Adopt

Future of recruiting
Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

A decade ago, you probably wouldn't have thought that your speaker could deliver dad jokes on command. You probably wouldn't have expected to see ads on your social media apps for that product you were just texting your friend about either. Yet, here we are.

Technology is changing the world as we know it, and that includes how we do business. Whether it's for the better is up for debate; nonetheless, if we want to keep up, we must adapt.

Hiring managers should acknowledge these advances and invest in smart recruiting. Otherwise, they'll be left in the dust – with no smart robot vacuum to clean it up. Here are three modern recruitment trends and how to adopt them. 

Have you ever searched for a specific product on one of your devices, then saw an advertisement for it on another device while scrolling through Instagram later that day? If so, you've been targeted – but don't worry, it's not as bad as it sounds.

Our devices know a lot about us, from our interests to our location. And while that might seem invasive, it's the price we pay for being so digitally connected and reliant today. Because of this, marketing efforts can reach more applicable consumers rather than random ones.

For instance, if you're a bookworm who follows profiles of book reviewers on Instagram, purchases novels on Amazon once a week and searches book quotes on Pinterest in your free time, then you might see more targeted ads for book-related products. This tailored process benefits both brands and consumers.

The same goes for recruiting ads. Job searchers of a specific industry will want to see career opportunities relevant to them, and you can increase the likeliness of this happening by using the right keywords, job descriptions, and details on your ad.

Many recruiting software applications and services help you target candidates, placing your ads in front of the right people with the right skills and experience. Targeted ads are seamless, save time and create opportunities for both the hiring company and the job searcher. [Searching for recruiting software? Check out our best picks!]

With AI on the rise, companies should consider investing in technologies that simplify the hiring process. AI can eliminate time spent reviewing cover letters and resumes, sending out job postings, sorting through applications and on other applicant-tracking processes; it can also make their openings more accessible to the public, according to Danny Shteinberg, CMO of Gloat, an anonymous recruitment platform.

"Corporations, SMBs and even sole proprietors looking for freelancers in the gig economy are increasingly relying on AI to streamline the hiring process," added Keith Johnstone, head of marketing at Peak Sales Recruiting.

According to Forbes, AI has the power to "assess everything from innate empathy and politeness to attention to detail and cultural fit," thanks to its natural language processing (NLP) and machine-learning algorithms.

"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," said Shteinberg. "Hiring is becoming smarter, making recruitment easier and more effective. 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, this is not always without fail. Just as AI can adopt human behaviors, it can also adopt human prejudice, whether subconscious or not. Johnstone noted that using AI for recruiting sometimes leads to bias, which prevents diversity in the recruitment stage.

According to Johnstone, if recruiters went by some AI algorithms, 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, going only by the books. To benefit from AI, you should invest in the latest tech that, as Forbes noted, uses NLP and advanced algorithms, and ensure it is programmed without discrimination or back-end politics playing a part, said Shteinberg.

"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 yourself these 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," he said.

There is more garbage on the internet than there is gold. You don't want your job postings to get tossed in the bag just because you didn't invest your time evolving like other companies.

Improving your SEO increases the visibility of your recruiting ads. There are many simple ways to do this, but one of the most important is making sure your website is mobile-optimized.

Many job seekers opt to apply from their mobile devices. In fact, according to Indeed, 78 percent of millennials, 73 percent of Gen Xers and 57.2 percent of baby boomers have used mobile job search as of 2016. If your application process isn't optimized for mobile devises, you miss out on quality candidates simply because you failed to adapt.

Another way to achieve better SEO is by utilizing social media, which is not only a place to connect with your friends – it is your friend.

Capitalize on the various tools each platform offers, such as Facebook for Business and LinkedIn Recruiter. You can also simply focus your attention 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.

Have one of your employees take over Instagram Live for a behind-the-scenes look at their job or an event they're attending. Actively respond to your Twitter followers in a manner that attracts attention to your page. (Ever read Wendy's feed? You'll thank me.) Share Snapchats of new products.

Even if you focus on one single platform, it's better than lacking presence altogether. This traffic will boost your ads and encourage the right applicants to want to work for you.

Sammi Caramela

Sammi Caramela has always loved words. When she isn't working as a Business News Daily and Business.com staff writer, she's writing (and furiously editing) her first novel, reading a YA book with a third cup of coffee, or attending local pop-punk concerts. The only time Sammi doesn't play it safe is when she's writing. Reach her by email, or check out her blog at sammisays.org.