Trends in Talent Acquisition

Talent acquisition, like all other functions, continues to change and evolve as time goes on and as new challenges and technologies emerge. Though 2017 is almost halfway through, here are three trends that are projected to continue throughout the year.


1. “Legacy Diversity” isn’t the only focus for hiring diverse candidates.

“Legacy Diversity” focuses on demographics and culture, like race, gender, ethnicity, age, ability, and sexuality. While this definition of diversity is unarguably essential, something called cognitive diversity is just as important. This type of diversity refers to thought and experience and how these two factors impact an individual’s past and future. Experiential diversity consists of physical and social identities and how those differences impacted past experience. Thought diversity looks at an individual’s hard-wiring  and how the biological and neural makeup of the brain affects both lived experiences and future decisions. By putting a hiring emphasis on both legacy and cognitive diversity, companies can leverage a wide variety of skill sets and opinions to make informed business decisions.

2. Technology can help predict response rates.

With an influx of new technologies, it’s becoming possible for a recruiter to predict how likely a candidate will be to respond to their email or call. Software and applications can now pick up on cues that give employers/recruiters a new level of insight. For instance, some sourcing systems can assess the candidate’s current company on how well its performing, how long someone in a certain role stays there, and employment trends compared to the rest of the industry. Other types of software also alerts recruiters when people update their online profiles. All of these factors can help predict if someone is looking for their next role and can be a strong indicator if they’ll respond to a new opportunity. However, this technology isn’t something to completely rely on; it doesn’t take into account the potential candidate’s personal circumstances, their career goals, or the personality of both the candidate and the recruiter.

3. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) has gained popularity in the recruiting industry with systems like IBM’s Watson helping spur interest in mechanical intelligence. Watson in particular helps companies build a better relationship with clients because it can “understand all forms of data, interact naturally with people, and learn and reason, at scale.” Watson has already moved into the TA space with 3 new technologies; a machine learning platform that prioritizes open positions, social listening for an organization and their competitors (leveraging public forums like Glassdoor and Twitter), and finally a tool that matches candidates to jobs by scoring them on experience and skill.

Machine learning can help sort and discover talent; most recruiters use search terms to find candidates and sometimes discover that their search either yielded a small number of results or incorrect results. Often times candidates use different language or terms to describe their skills, so recruiters have to look for all sorts of variations to find a skill match. However, companies can now use tools with semantic search capabilities that translate skills for them and provide more accuracy.


While this is only a very small sampling of trends for 2017, they seem to be popular ones mentioned in industry news and in surveys. There are probably dozens of others circulating, so what have you seen so far in your company?


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