The Future of Recruiting 2023 report by LinkedIn offers us 17 predictions for the future of talent acquisition.
In this episode of the Building a Modern Employer Brand podcast, I’m taking you through these 17 predictions.
Listen to episode #137 The Future of Recruiting 2023
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Prediction 1: The Role of Recruiting as a driver of business-critical change
The pandemic challenged the entire recruiting industry when many talent acquisition professionals lost their jobs.
As we were heading out of the pandemic, we realized how forcefully the work life had been pushed to change.
This is now leading to the role of recruiting, changing from a support function to a driver of business-critical changes from how companies hire to what competencies and potential they need to hire and what types of employment opportunities will be offered.
Strategic talent acquisition requires experienced recruiting professionals
I can agree that talent acquisition needs to be treated as a more strategic function than in the past.
Sometimes I’m curious about what some employers think when they put inexperienced recruiters in charge of who becomes considered for job opportunities.
We need to value experience in this strategic gatekeeping and gate-opening role much more than we have ever in the past.
I still keep hearing people talking about the quality of applications as the key criterion for selecting candidates forward when it should be obvious that we are not hiring applications but actual people.
An experienced talent acquisition professional can read between the lines and see the potential even when it isn’t written in big, bold letters.
Prediction 2: Talent Acquisition will have more say over pay
According to this report, compensation is back to being ranked as the number one priority for candidates globally.
With rising inflation, stagnating wages and increasingly competitive job markets, talent acquisition needs to have its eyes heavily pierced on talent market data and insight.
We should listen closely to what talent acquisition tells us about what a competitive salary is these days.
The report states poignantly:
And while we gather insight and pay attention to what makes a competitive package, we also need to learn to communicate better our total offer – including all benefits worth value for our people.
And not just that, but also learn about whether there are preferences towards specific types of benefits with age, experience and status of life because it does.
Customising benefits, at least to some extent, will likely add a competitive advantage for your company.
Prediction 3: Recruiting will double down on employer branding as talent regains leverage
Recruiting professionals understand that the war for talent has not let up, even if hiring has slowed down – temporarily.
While less hiring typically means less power for employees and job seekers, 64% of recruiters predict that the future of recruiting will be more favorable to candidates and employees (as opposed to employers) over the next five years.
That’s why building a compelling employer brand and clarifying your employer image and key messages are more important than ever.
The report states:
With most recruiting budgets expected to shrink or stagnate, employer branding stands alone as the only line item where most TA pros expect an increased investment this year.
What this means is that those organizations who put the brakes on employer branding now may end up hurting them even more than if they simply slowed down with talent acquisition.
Prediction 4: Recruiters will need a more strategic set of soft skills
As talent acquisition hits a new era, LinkedIn CEO reminds you about something important:
“Even though you are not changing jobs and continue to work in recruiting, the recruiting job is changing on you.”
If you wish to be seen and taken as a strategic business partner in the coming years, you need to develop some critical skills.
The Top 5 soft skills recruiters will need in the future
- Better communication skills – as pointed out by 78% of the respondents.
- Improved abilities to build relationships – stated by 73% of the respondents.
- Adaptability – as noted by 58% of the respondents.
- Problem-solving skills – chosen by 53 % of the respondents.
- Better business acumen – as stated by 51% of the respondents.
When I look at these top 5 soft skills, I can tell those of you who jumped on Talent Marketing School and have followed, listened to, and educated yourselves with my content I’ve spoken and educated you about these for years already.
So, some of you listeners are way ahead of your peers. Good on you!
And why not remind you here of the Instant Employer Brand Accelerator™️ program that guides in-house recruiters on rebuilding your recruitment process in ways that help you accelerate employer branding, use company data to profile the hiring need much better and drive better business results from your campaigns and talent acquisition.
Do not hesitate to ask me more about this opportunity!
Prediction 5: Recruiters will collaborate with more learning and development
81% of inhouse recruiters say they need to work much closely with their learning & development counterparts in the future.
Why, you may ask.
I’ll tell you what the report says.
As recruiting leaders’ portfolios expand to include things like internal mobility, skills-first hiring, and employee retention, they’ll need to cooperate more with L&D to prepare internal talent for new roles, identify skill gaps, and ensure your company is a place people can grow their careers.
Prediction 6: Generative AI will let recruiters focus on the human part of the hiring
Tools like ChatGPT and other generative AI may help TA in time-consuming tasks such as writing job posts and personalised candidate messages.
Did you know a Finnish talent acquisition software company Talent Adore has offered AI-powered candidate feedback for years?
However, we can still see AI providing us at most, just drafts needing the human touch for polishing.
74% of the respondents hope to get AI to help with more repetitive tasks, while 67% want to make it faster and easier to source candidates and 59% wish AI help to engage with candidates.
Prediction 6: Despite the economic uncertainty, employers remain committed to building a diverse workforce
While 69% of recruiters say the economic uncertainty is negatively impacting hiring, 74% say it has not lowered the priority of DEI in hiring.
DEI strategist Dr Tana Session says:
“DEI is a priority to the next generation of employees. Their expectation is to see leaders who look like them and to know organizations are committed to DEI long-term — not only during times of social crisis.”
Prediction 7: Employers will hire more contract workers as a hedge against uncertainty
Economic uncertainty and preparing for the recession means fewer employers are willing to hire full-time employees turning the recruitment attention towards contract workers, freelancers and other gig workers whose contributions can be scaled up or down on demand.
Prediction 9: Employers need to become better at keeping an eye on what candidates want the most
To stay competitive, employers must assess and reset what they offer for their candidates and employees to ensure their offer continues to stay competitive.
Every time I see a job post stating, “we offer a competitive salary and benefits”, I wonder if that employer has assessed the competitiveness of their offer or if they are just saying so.
This report shows job seekers’ top priorities and selection criteria are compensation, work-life balance, and flexible working arrangements.
The fastest-growing priorities for job seekers
- Flexible working arrangements – the expectation for remote work is here to stay
- Compensation – inflation eats our net earnings, and that’s why job seekers value compensation more now than for a while.
- Supportive managers – when people work in remote teams, leadership meets very new expectations, and leaders need to pay more attention to how to support their teams.
- Clear goals from leadership – same as above. Clarity is key when everything around you shakes and stirs.
- Job security – not surprised as we have seen so many layoffs already at the start of this year, and it’s only the end of Q1!
Prediction 10: Recruiting pros will have to recalibrate their pitches to candidates
According to this report, recruiting pros tend to get tunnel vision on the most important priorities, to the detriment of other still-important factors.
In reality, candidates’ preferences are more diffuse and less top-heavy than a simple list might suggest.
Instead of stating the most obvious claims, show candidates examples of your key competitive strengths as an employer and workplace. Employer brand content marketing is the best way to clarify your offer and make your culture and the ways of work more transparent to your target audiences.
Prediction 11: Gen Z will reward employers who value development and diversity
Gen Z, that’s, talents born later than 1996, have probably graduated already and starting their careers. Like forever in work life, seniors and juniors expect and typically value quite different things at work.
However, this report states that Gen Z’s priorities significantly differ from their parent’s generation, Gen X.
Progressing one’s career and learning new skills are super important to younger workers: they’re over 50% more likely to value moving up the ranks than Gen X.
I think this is a bit misleading calculation, though. If you ask Gen Z, who are at the start of their career, and any generation older, you’ll find life has come on the way of progressing our careers at quite the same speed as we did when we were at the start of our careers.
The logic is slightly lost in that part of the report.
But I do agree with the following statement:
The younger generation is much more focused on the importance of having an inclusive work environment.
Prediction 12: Skills-first hiring will become the gold standard
Since 2019, the share of recruiter searches on LinkedIn that include a skills filter has grown by 25% — and today, recruiters are 50% more likely to search by skills than they are to search by years of experience.
Employers have begun to embrace skills-first hiring — the practice of valuing a candidate’s skills over more superficial signals like an impressive educational background or previous employers.
However, the report states that only 64% feel they can accurately assess candidates’ skills today.
This takes me back to what I said at the start of this episode: assessing the suitability and fit of a candidate is a skill that needs learning and experience, and its not something you have when you first start recruiting.
Prediction 13: Companies are ditching the expectations to hire college grads whenever possible, and this furthers diversification
According to this report:
There’s a growing consensus that removing four-year requirements is one of the most important things you can do to promote diversity. Members of underrepresented groups are far less likely to have attended college — but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the skills and potential to succeed.
Research shows that workers who didn’t go to college but have experience perform almost as well as college grads on critical measures like productivity.
Prediction 14: Skills are becoming a critical currency
94% of recruiters agree that understanding the skills employees do and don’t have is necessary to make informed decisions.
TA teams must distinguish which skills are true “must-haves” for a role — and which are merely “nice to have.”
Part of having a skills-first strategy is going beyond just hiring to ensure you’re looking at the larger picture. First, you need to understand the skills that your business needs.
This makes me so happy to read as I have spoken about this for over a decade and what is also engraved in the Magnetic Job Post framework I teach in the Instant Employer Brand Accelerator™️ program.
Prediction 15: The recognised value of internal mobility & upskilling
The shaky economy is forcing companies to look within more frequently when filling open positions: 75% of recruiting pros say internal recruiting will be an important factor shaping the future recruiting over the next five years.
Putting more emphasis on those career paths and development plans is getting more critical than for a long time.
Prediction 16: Upskilling will be a key tool for retaining a diverse workforce
Based on this report, 81% of recruiting pros say upskilling and reskilling employees will be important factors shaping the future of recruiting over the next five years.
Qualifications have long carried an overweight when assessing a candidate’s or an employee’s quality up for promotion.
We are seeing the mindset shifting as it’s much more about skills and experience and the potential to grow and learn new skills.
And the final prediction is:
Prediction 17: Learning will be a compelling driver for candidates, not just employees
Career advancement and skill development are among the top 5 most important priorities and selection criteria for candidates in 2023.
You may want to prepare a compelling answer to these questions:
If I join your company, will you help me develop new skills?
Will you offer me a clear path to advancement?
Will you help me grow, even if I only stay at your company for a couple of years?
According to this report, job seekers are asking these questions, and they will get louder in asking these.
Creating a culture of learning and focusing on internal mobility isn’t just a must-have to engage and retain current employees — it will be critical to the success of your recruiting efforts.
The concluding words from this report
I can wholeheartedly agree with the concluding words of The Future of Recruiting 2023 report:
Change is coming to the world of recruiting, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be a passive observer. As a talent leader, you’re in a position to reshape how the world works — and ensure it works for everyone.
Ultimately, the future of recruiting belongs to those willing to build it. And as a change-maker at your organisation, the future of recruiting belongs to you.
Are you embracing your future and building the life you want and deserve, or are you going to be passive and wait for someone to offer you the goods?
I know, as my listener, that you will embrace your future and start planning what these predictions mean for your career and life and start taking action.
Ok, that’s all for this week, my friends!
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My name is Susanna Rantanen, and I teach branding, marketing and communications for the HR Industry professionals who want to build a successful career and get the life you deserve!