As we barrel towards 2024, we’re finally entering an era where workplace trends can evolve without being inherently connected to the Covid-19 pandemic or the remote work revolution. It feels good, doesn’t it?
While these workplace trends grow and change, there’s one industry that grows and changes right alongside it: recruitment. Recruitment strategies often act as a shadow of current organizational and engagement practices; if prospective employees want to see something in a company, they’ll also want to see it in the job description.
Not every hiring trend is a reflection of general employee engagement practices, however. Some strategies have taken on a life of their own, for better and occasionally for worse. Let’s take a look at some of them!
AI and Chatbots
The biggest disruption in the world of work post-pandemic has undoubtedly been the sudden surge of advanced artificial intelligence. While it’s not rising against the human race (yet), it has made plenty of tedious tasks a breeze, and recruitment practices are no exception.
Companies can use AI to do everything from writing job descriptions to giving candidates interview questions themselves and using algorithms to sort through them. New utilities for AI are being developed every day, and they’re only improving. So, while we can’t stop anyone from streamlining their processes, we can offer one piece of advice: keep it human.
It sounds oxymoronic, but you need to mix human elements in with AI tools to assure incoming candidates that you’re not a soulless corporation that lets introductory processes run completely automated. If you’re using AI language as a base for job descriptions, add a line that’s a little out-of-the-box that a robot would never write, such as making a pun out of your company name. If a candidate goes through an AI candidate screening, follow up ASAP with a personal welcome. It’s called “human” resources, after all.
The same goes for chatbots, which have actually become a more useful tool than you might expect – career sites that utilize chatbots see a 95% uptick in lead conversions, per Phenom. Not to mention, that study was done in 2020, right before they began improving drastically. They’re a great idea, so long as you make sure they aren’t too… botty.
A Mind for Diversity
There are plenty of intertwined reasons focusing on DEI is good for recruiting, especially in the year 2023. Candidates like to work in teams that contain individuals similar to themselves, candidates appreciate companies that pay mind to social justice initiatives, and hey, candidates want a successful company – workplaces that are marked as particularly diverse are 33% more profitable on average!
This also extends to the hiring pipeline itself. If a candidate speaks with four company employees as they travel through the interview process and each person is a white male, they might raise an eyebrow. First impressions are everything, after all.
There’s one catch to diversifying your staff, and that’s avoiding tokenism. Tokenism is the act of hiring folks from different backgrounds and groups just to say you have them on your staff. This seems a bit tricky at first… you should hire people from all backgrounds, but you shouldn’t hire people because they’re from different backgrounds? Well, not exactly. The difference lies in your intent and your inclusivity.
A workplace that has one gay man, one Asian woman and one black woman that don’t feel connected to the culture probably hired them for “token” reasons. However, a workplace can have that same lineup while treating them with respect, including them in the circle, and honoring the parts of their culture that they’re proud of. It all boils down to, as usual, being a good people leader.
Recruiting from Within
Internal hiring isn’t a new idea, but with the renewed focus on retention and culture in modern organizations, hiring from within has become a vital strategy for many teams. After all, it keeps teams gelled and cultures consistent, and it saves money on recruitment and training that would normally be necessary for newcomers.
Not only does it retain employees by, well, holding onto them, but it also inspires other employees to stick around for their shot at the next step. Forbes’ 2022 Talent Retention Report tells us that almost 30% of workers who quit their jobs cited few opportunities for growth or advancement as one of their primary reasons.
Another tip? Rather than searching for workers who are interested, publish job postings somewhere where your teams will see it, like some sort of online dashboard, for instance. Let them come to you!
Social Media Recruiting
Reaching out to prospective hires on Linkedin is a tried and true method of connecting with applicants… though that’s not quite what we’re here to discuss. With today’s younger crowd having been brought up on the internet, many recruiters and HR teams have actually leveraged Facebook, Instagram and X (Twitter) to attract their next generation of employees.
This isn’t to say you should message professionals on Instagram the same way you would on Linkedin – it could work, but it’ll put a lot of people off. Instead, treat it more like the “awareness and interest” parts of a sales pipeline. Let them become interested in you. This could be through posting directly about your work culture, sharing helpful advice about your industry, or by simply being bizarre.
How do we know this works? A huge 59% of employees cited their company’s social media presence as one of the reasons they chose to join that organization. Turns out that your company’s Twitter sells its culture more than it sells its product.