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Not All Recruiting Trends Are Created Equal

The trends in recruiting and talent-acquisition technology that we should—and shouldn’t—be paying attention to.
By: | February 13, 2019 • 4 min read

I’m super excited to speak at Recruiting Trends & Talent Tech LIVE!, being held Feb. 20 through Feb. 22 in Las Vegas. In fact, I’ll be speaking on my birthday (I’ll be 27-ish!), so you have to come to Vegas and buy me a drink. In fact, this isn’t confirmed yet, but conference owner LRP Media Group is seriously considering changing the name of this year’s conference to Tim’s Ultimate Birthday Bash & Recruiting Stuff!

(Doesn’t that sound completely awesome? I want to do one of those foam dance parties!)

What am I actually going to talk about? The trends in recruiting and talent-acquisition technology that we should be paying attention to—and a few that we shouldn’t.

Recruiting: Now the Most Important Function

In my new book, The Talent Fix, my buddy Kris Dunn wrote: “Tim Sackett has done 10,000 sh*tty HR-tech software demos, so you don’t have to!” He’s only slightly off on the number (it’s probably more like 1,000). I’m a complete geek for recruiting tech, and I’m constantly working with my own recruiting-tech stack, so I speak as a practitioner. I also speak as a leader who has to figure out how to make my team more effective and efficient while working with a limited budget.

One of the trends I’ll definitely address is what recruiting technology is worth your money and what is probably worth waiting on. We all know that the recruiting-technology space is moving so fast that it’s causing all of us, even those who geek out about it, massive amounts of confusion. Should we automate this part of our funnel? Should we be using chatbots? Where should we focus AI integration in the stack? What’s on the horizon that we need to keep our eye on? The list of questions in my own mind is endless.

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I’m not one to try and over-complicate recruiting and recruiting processes. It’s not like we’re trying to launch a space shuttle. At its core, recruiting today is no different than recruiting decades ago. If we break it all down, we have jobs on one side, we have candidates on the other side and we need to find ways to match those two pools.

The difference that’s causing the most commotion right now is historically low unemployment, which has put talent acquisition at the forefront of most business-strategy conversations. In about a decade, recruiting has gone from a function in HR to maybe the single most important function in any business. I haven’t met with a CEO or COO of an organization in five years where recruiting wasn’t the No. 1 topic he or she wanted to discuss.

Evolution of the TA Leader

When I think about trends in talent acquisition, one of the biggest that no one is talking about is the evolution of the talent-acquisition leader over the past decade. It used to be that corporate TA leaders were probably doing a drive-by in their HR careers—and not a drive-by to which they were looking forward.

If you look at the most successful organizations in the world today, you’ll almost always find a dynamic TA leader and, most likely, that leader has never spent one day of his or her career in a traditional HR role. Some of the greatest TA leaders I work with today didn’t come from traditional recruiting roles. It turns out, if you can run a tight, productive operation of any kind, then you probably have some great skill sets to run a recruiting function.

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Another trend I’m seeing globally is corporate TA shops beginning to build their own internal recruiting agencies. For years, many on the corporate side of the fence discounted this. Agency recruiting is a $3 trillion business, but what the heck do they know? Corporations are finally starting to pay attention and throw aside the belief that “our” recruiters don’t recruit “that” way.

Which way is “that” way? Oh, you mean that they do actual recruiting!

When I look at the greatest corporate-recruiting functions, I’m seeing dynamic recruiters and sourcers who rival anything you’ll see on the agency side. We see recruiting departments with great technology stacks, successful measures, and innovative ways to compensate and reward those on the team who perform best. What we are beginning to see are corporate talent-acquisition shops that are no longer cost centers, but rather are driving the future of the organization.

Today’s corporate-recruiting shops are not the personnel departments our parents ran. This isn’t your grandpa’s Oldsmobile!

Make sure you put Recruiting Trends & Talent Tech LIVE! on your calendar for February. Go out and buy me a nice birthday present, and I’ll see you in Vegas to talk about all the talent trends that matter!

Tim Sackett is the president of HRU Technical Services and blogs at the Tim Sackett Project.

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