Talent teams have never had an easy job. Whether they’re trying to meet aggressive hiring goals or doing more with less, the pressure is always on to find the right people at the right time.
In 2023, talent acquisition is undergoing another shift due to changing trends. The most obvious culprit is artificial intelligence (AI), but there are other less-known factors transforming the way recruiting teams approach talent acquisition.
1. Artificial intelligence (AI): Faster and more personalized recruiting and outreach
The interest in AI reached new heights following the launch of OpenAI’s Chat GPT-4 in March 2023. While AI applications were already a part of recruiting prior to GPT-4, new AI capabilities have made this technology more entrenched in the recruiting process.
Today, AI in recruiting offers more than just automated resume scanning. Conversational AI (aka chatbots) can answer job applicants’ questions, offer job suggestions based on candidates’ skills, and accept their applications. Generative AI can write compelling job descriptions and personalized email campaigns to nurture candidates. And AI-supported talent acquisition platforms provide millions of comprehensive talent profiles to help you find the right people faster.
All of these capabilities have resulted in tangible benefits. Findem’s most recent report found that 65% of talent leaders say AI is more efficient when sourcing talent and is able to expand their team’s reach.
2. Talent attributes: A new kind of talent data that goes beyond keywords
Chris Galy, Findem’s chief evangelist, pointed out in a recent blog that the majority of TA and HR leaders are now being asked to do more with less. And high-quality, comprehensive talent data is essential to helping recruiting teams make the right hires while operating with fewer resources.
“The vast majority of HR and TA leaders I talk to are being asked to do with less (time, people, or resources) without much reprieve on the ‘do more’ part.” – Chris Galy, Chief Evangelist at Findem
Attributes are a new kind of talent data that helps companies find the exact people they are looking for. They are not keywords or Boolean strings but data-driven candidate insights generated from trillions of data points from public sources like GitHub, ResearchGate, and company earnings reports.
“SaaS experience,” “entrepreneurial spirit,” and “saw a company through IPO” are just some of the millions of attributes, including both hard and soft skills, you can use to surface the top talent for your job openings. Attribute-based search also significantly reduces the amount of time it takes to find and hire talent. For example, online therapy provider Path was able to cut time-to-fill by 80%.
3. Internal mobility: Focusing on promoting from within
Doing more with less isn’t just impacting talent teams. The tumultuous market conditions have also led many organizations to prioritize internal mobility, a process of upskilling and promoting internal employees instead of making new hires. Employees are also interested in making career moves without changing employers – a 2023 report found that 73% of workers are interested in learning about opportunities at their current company.
There are two main advantages to internal mobility: improved retention and employee engagement. Both benefits are crucial in the unpredictable business environment we find ourselves in. Organizations can hold on to their best talent while creating an environment where employees meaningfully engage with their work.
An added advantage is the lower cost of promoting an existing employee to a new role rather than investing in onboarding a new worker who isn’t as familiar with your processes and company culture.
An internal talent marketplace streamlines the process of making internal opportunities visible across the organization and matching existing employees with new opportunities. It’s particularly beneficial in large multinational companies, such as Schneider Electric, which implemented an internal talent marketplace for its 135,000 employees. Two months after launch, 60% of employees were using the marketplace.
4. Talent pipelines: Casting a wider net to find the right people
There are multiple reasons talent pipelines (pools of vetted candidates) carry special importance in 2023. First, unpredictable market conditions require companies to be able to shift their recruitment strategy quickly and be prepared to hire in any kind of job market. A pipeline gives recruiters access to vetted candidates, so they can spend less time hunting for talent, whether they’re trying to fill many roles at once or just one niche position.
Second, the tight labor market in some industries means companies will have to consider adding candidates with unconventional skills or experience to their pipeline. This means hiring managers could change the requirements for education, location, or level of experience.
Access to comprehensive talent data is crucial for expanding your pipeline with qualified candidates you might not have considered before. Looking at the candidate’s attributes, not just their resume, will help you get a complete picture of their abilities and growth potential. Attributes also allow you to segment your pipeline based on role, seniority, and other important factors.
5. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB): A continued focus on creating a diverse workforce
In 2023, U.S. employers continue to focus on DEIB. According to Findem’s 2023 State of Hiring and Recruiting report, 90% of employers have at least one diversity-related hiring goal. The top diversity goals address the age of hires, their gender, and race.
AI talent acquisition platforms, like Findem, can help organizations diversify their applicant pool and also track diversity metrics through different stages of the recruiting funnel. Before you even start sourcing, you’re able to see how diverse your talent pool is and adjust your hiring strategy accordingly. For example, if you see there are few female software engineers at the location you’re hiring for, you can expand the role to multiple locations.
Beyond AI-supported platforms, some employers also invest in partnerships to improve diversity. Chelsea C. Williams, founder and CEO of Reimagine Talent Co., recommends asking your employees about the organizations that have had the greatest impact on them. Then, you set up partnerships with those organizations to attract potential candidates from diverse backgrounds.
6. Candidate experience: Improving your employer branding through considerate interactions
Last year, candidate resentment increased for the second year in a row. (Although this was not the case in North America, the figure still remains historically high.) The top reasons behind the candidates’ dissatisfaction are lengthy hiring processes, a lack of respect for their time, and a low salary. Candidate experience has always been relevant. But in light of rising candidate resentment, there is an even greater opportunity for companies to stand out with a positive candidate experience.
Regular communication is needed to show you appreciate the job seekers’ time. This can be done via email automation – most ATS platforms include an email feature, and some will even notify you if a candidate is kept in one stage for too long.
Feedback is another way to improve the candidate experience. When you offer helpful advice to a candidate who didn’t make the cut, it shows you value the time they have invested in pursuing a job at your organization. It leaves a positive and lasting impression on the candidate that turns them into ambassadors for your company.
7. Contractors: The rise of a flexible workforce
In an unsteady market, companies are increasingly turning to contractors to fill empty roles without growing their headcount. In 2022, payroll company Gusto reported that the number of companies that pay contractors on its platforms increased by 11%, bringing the contractor-to-employee ratio close to one to five. LinkedIn also reported that the percentage of job ads for contractors rose by 26% from May to November 2022 compared to the same time period in 2021.
Beauty product company Alleyoop is one of the organizations that changed its hiring approach in 2023 to include more freelancers and fewer full-time roles. The original plan was to hire 10-15 full-time employees, but the company added just four people to its headcount and covered other positions with contractors and freelancers.
Alleyoop made the choice based on how critical the job was – if it was a key role, then the company offered full-time employment. If it was a nice-to-have, the job was offered to freelancers.
8. Candidate nurturing: Hiring slowdown puts the emphasis on building relationships
In June 2023, US employers added 209,000 new jobs. This is roughly 7% lower than originally forecast and the lowest gain in two and a half years. The hiring slowdown now requires employers to build relationships with job seekers until it’s time to hire again.
Depending on your industry, you might be getting regular inquiries from highly qualified job seekers who you have no other choice but to turn down. Instead of never reaching out to them again, use this opportunity to engage them with a drip email campaign.
As Findem advisor Brett Coin shared in a recent blog, “The most successful nurturing content created an emotional connection between the candidates and the company.” This can be done via email personalization and making sure your emails are always useful to your audience.
Get more insights into hiring and recruiting in 2023
Findem’s latest State of Hiring and Recruiting Report shines a light on the key recruitment trends and metrics in 2023.
With insights from over 300 human resources leaders, we dug deep into how companies are using recruiting tools and where AI fits into the picture. We also explored the key recruiting metrics HR professionals are using – and which goals most teams are missing.