The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent in October, its lowest level since 2001. A strong economy means increased hiring — in fact, according to the Employer Outlook 2018 report from Indeed, 61 percent of hiring managers plan on hiring more employees in 2018 than they did in 2017.
This is, of course, good news for recruitment agency owners looking to grow their companies and boost profits in the new year. The ones who succeed will be the ones who stay on top of industry trends and adjust their strategies accordingly. As we wrap up 2017, let’s look at the six trends that recruitment agency owners need to know in 2018.
1. It’s a mobile-first world
Some remarkable mobile stats to kick things off:
- Mobile devices will account for 79 percent of global internet use in 2018, Zenith predicts
- A whopping 90 percent of job seekers use their phone as part of their job search, Glassdoor reports
- 87 percent of companies depend on employees to use their personal mobile devices for work purposes, according to Syntonic
What does such mobile dominance mean for agency owners? Two things:
- You must take mobile job seekers into account. Optimize your website and job postings for mobile. According to The Mobile Playbook from Google, 57 percent of people wouldn’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site, and 40 percent have gone to a competitor after a bad experience with a mobile site.
- You must make it easy on your employees to use their phones for work. Enable them to be good at their jobs by providing mobile access to leads, job postings and other sales and recruitment activities. TrackerRMS is accessible via mobile — your employees simply log in via their mobile device and start working.
2. Your CRM is everything
A robust, vibrant CRM takes center stage in 2018, as agency owners further understand that the intelligent use of data drives growth. The most innovative and aggressive companies use the best technology — after all, your sales and recruitment teams are only as powerful as the tools and reports you give them access to.
A powerful CRM will:
- Facilitate recruiting across databases and job boards, without ever leaving the platform
- Manage your pipeline and qualify leads
- Pull double duty as a relationship management system, giving recruiters and account managers complete access to all data
- Provide real-time and custom reporting that enables informed decision-making and offers clarity on employee performance
3. Use of artificial intelligence is growing
Artificial intelligence — the use of learning and problem-solving computer algorithms — has phenomenal implications for employee productivity. In fact, in a survey conducted by the AI language company Narrative Science, 80 percent of executives said AI solutions boost employee performance.
How so? AI automates the more mundane sales and recruiting tasks, such as screening resumes, scheduling interviews and updating candidates. In addition, screening chatbots and social media scraping tools can “work” for your staff, freeing valuable time they can now spend with clients, prospects and candidates.
AI is what will enable you to do more with less in 2018. Read this post for more information on increasing productivity at recruitment firms.
4. Use of social channels is on the rise
According to HireRight’s 2017 Employment Screening Benchmark Report, social media is the fastest-growing channel for finding and recruiting new hires. Use of LinkedIn, Twitter and similar platforms for recruitment grew 10 percent from 2016, whereas job boards fell 3 percent.
There are two aspects to this trend:
- Recruiters are using social media to identify qualified candidates. Social platforms enable them to target specific skills, interests and industries better than job boards permit, and the sharing nature of social media encourages users to share a posting with someone they think would be a good fit.
- Recruiters are using candidates’ social profiles as a screening tool. Is your candidate a terrible writer? Do they bash their current employer? Or perhaps they glorify drug use, post racist rants or otherwise demonstrate their undesirability. These are all things recruiters may be able to find out by perusing a candidate’s social profiles.
There are legal considerations in this regard, however. The Society for Human Resource Management has a guide about using social media for recruitment.
5. Don’t forget about passive candidates
Seventy-five percent of the workforce isn’t actively looking for a job, according to LinkedIn — but, they would talk to a recruiter, if the offer was attractive. With unemployment at an all-time low and the demand for talent high, your firm should strengthen its passive recruitment strategies in 2018. This means:
- Use social media. Yes, you can find and recruit candidates via social media as described above, but there are also more latent applications for social media recruitment. Every time you post about company culture, share helpful content and engage with users, you’re using social as a recruitment tool.
- Use ALL online outlets. Social media isn’t everything. Your company website, online job boards, online review sites, and paid advertising are still powerful tools to reach candidates.
- Focus on the opportunities for growth. Passive candidates aren’t unhappy where they’re at, so recruiters really need to focus on the growth opportunities with their offer.
- Ask the right questions. Your ideal candidate might not even know what’s out there. Ask the questions that get them thinking: What’s your dream job? Are you currently in your dream job? What kind of perks would increase your job satisfaction? Use their answers to showcase your opportunity in the best light.
6. A focus on employee wellness means greater employee satisfaction
Flexible hours, the ability to work remotely, a smooth onboarding process and a general commitment to wellness — this is what people want from their jobs. Employers who give it to them will be rewarded with loyal workers who stay with the company for years. Major drivers of employee satisfaction and retention include:
- Telecommuting. 37 percent of U.S. employees have telecommuted, Gallup reports. If you don’t already, consider offering your staff work-from-home days.
- Proper onboarding. A study conducted by the Wynhurst Group found that when new hires went through a qualified onboarding process, they were 58 percent more likely to stay with the company for longer than three years.
- Flexibility. Flexible schedules make for happier, healthier employees, researchers from University of Minnesota found.
Such wellness trends will continue to grow in 2018, and agency owners who create a work environment focused on such will retain employees.
Final word: Tech is at the center
Have you noticed a theme with the above trends? Access to exceptional technology is at the heart of each of them — even number six, for without good tech, remote work and proper onboarding would not be possible.
TrackerRMS is a complete relationship management system for recruitment agencies. Empower your staff with the sales and recruitment tools, data and analytics they need to be successful and grow in 2018.