How Technology is Impacting Recruiting in 2017

January 24, 2017

According to a recent survey conducted by CareerBuilder, the hiring outlook for 2017 is the strongest it has been in over a decade. Of the over 2000 hiring managers surveyed, 40% expect to hire full-time employees this year and a third expect to add part-time, permanent staff. Half expect to add temporary or contract workers to their teams.

Recruiting new employees and filling open positions is a time-consuming process, and in companies without a dedicated HR/recruiting department, this task often falls to busy managers, diverting them from their essential job responsibilities. Even for staff whose sole focus is the recruitment and retention of employees, the task of sourcing new talent still carries considerable headaches. Online job postings drive hundreds of applicants for open positions, placing a huge burden on the individual tasked with narrowing the candidates down to a reasonable pool and the high cost of turnover places big stakes on the ultimate hiring decisions. As with any complex, multi-step process, technology can be a game-changer in recruiting and in 2017, advanced recruiting technologies promise to disrupt the HR space.

Expansion of Applicant Tracking Systems Capabilities
As more organizations move toward using applicant tracking systems (ATS) to manage the volume of applicants for open positions, we can expect to see the features of ATS to evolve to meet the needs of high growth companies to find top talent. The majority of resumes submitted to an ATS may be reviewed briefly if they fit the profile for an open position but after that are unlikely to be seen again. In 2017, advances in ATS technology are expected to enhance the systems’ resume screening capabilities to allow for the ability to efficiently review previously submitted resumes for new positions. This added talent rediscovery feature can save time and money, helping organizations potentially avoid the cost of sourcing a new position and taking weeks, if not months, off the time it takes to get to a hiring decision.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expected to lead to further enhancements in recruiting technology as it is adopted by more employers. AI can have a significant impact on the recruiting process by truly automating certain aspects, thus alleviating some of the more repetitive, time-consuming tasks recruiters face. AI also fosters predictive analytics, which can be used to predict which candidates would be the most likely to be successful new hires.

Using Virtual Reality to Attract Millennials and Generation Z
More companies in 2017 are expected to focus on the quality of the applicant experience, and technology can play a big role in improving that aspect of recruiting. In a recent Forbes article on Workplace Trends in 2017, virtual reality was highlighted as a potential newcomer to the HR technology arena, as manufacturing companies begin to incorporate it into their processes. Offering virtual reality tours of corporate headquarters and using virtual reality goggles to provide an inside view of a locomotive or an oil and gas recovery machine are the types of technology enhancements drawing attention at career fairs as manufacturing employers compete for millennial talent.

Improving the Applicant Experience Through Improved Mobile
LinkedIn’s recently published Mobile Recruiting Playbook highlights the fact that while 72% of applicants have viewed an employer’s website on a mobile device and 45% have applied for a job via mobile, only 18% of job postings are optimized for mobile and just 13% of organizations believe they have invested adequately in making their recruitment process mobile friendly.
How can mobile improve the applicant experience? Possibilities include the ability to use a mobile device from application to offer acceptance, increased use of texting as a communication channel between recruiters and applicants, and mobile optimization of all web-based recruitment videos and tools.

2017 will be an exciting year for recruiting as more employers compete for talent in the workplace. Technology will play a pivotal role in an organization’s ability to attract, screen and select talent. Companies of all sizes can benefit from bringing more technology into the hiring process. With the availability of tools like ATS to alleviate the burden of lower-value activities, virtual reality to bring the workplace experience to the applicant, and mobile-optimized recruitment, hiring departments will have greater success in finding and securing the right people for their business.