Ask the Experts: Talent Pros Reveal Their Future Predictions

What’s the recipe for an eye-opening conversation on talent? Take a room full of industry leaders and cutting-edge practitioners, ask an open-ended question, and watch the predictions unfurl. That’s exactly what happened when we recently gathered recruiting and talent industry analysts and pros to ask “How is the talent industry changing?”

Their answers reflect back on the past (oh the days of faxing job applications!) and how far we’ve come as an industry. There’s plenty to look forward to, as these folks speculate on some of the ways technology and other forces will shape our profession in years to come. Let’s dig in!

We’re moving at a blistering pace

Reflecting on the pace of the recruiting lifecycle,Tim Sackett, President, HRU Technical Resources, says, “Everything keeps getting automated faster. Like when I first started recruiting, it was literally paper résumés and calling people, and the whole process just took longer.

Just how fast are we moving? Glassdoor’s “What’s Ahead for Jobs?” report found that in 2017, the average job interview process took 23.8 days. And thanks to technology that helps us monitor milestones, remind us when candidates have been stuck in a stage for too long, and measure metrics like days to offer, we can continue to bring that number down.

Recruiting roles are becoming more specialized

Consider some of the ways technology has changed business—we’re now able to do complex data visualizations, understand customer behavior and motivation, and segment messaging so it’s meaningful for a particular portion of our audience. George LaRocque, founder of HRWins, sees this as an opportunity for recruiters to take advantage of these trends and become more specialized in their roles:

“I think recruiters are going to be in a position where you see some that look more like data analysts, some that look like more of that engagement specialist, some who look more like marketing people.”

HR tends to attract people from broad backgrounds, which means there’s often an easy flow of ideas and strategies from other departments and areas of expertise. The HROS Future of Work Report 2018 found that two-thirds of HR professionals have come to HR from other areas of the business, “bringing their experience and departmental rigor with them and infusing their HR teams with new skillsets (and mindsets).” Check out our recent profile on Shane Noe, who worked in finance at several high-profile Silicon Valley companies before taking on his current role as Head of Recruiting Operations at Box.


Optimizing operations has become a priority

With all these changes to technology, recruiting has an increased ability to maintain and shape operations, both tactically and strategically. Kyle Lagunas, Research Manager at IDC, says, “The thing I’m most excited about in the talent acquisition space now is seeing operations become a really core part of talent acquisition today.”

We’re seeing an increased hunger from talent pros to own their data and know how to wield it. And recent research published on the HR Dive blog shows that 80% of respondents feel they have a say in and are contributing to their organization’s total strategy. The research also indicates that analytics is a “major driver of HR’s strategic role, with 95% of respondents saying they’re using it in 2018.”

Focusing on people never goes out of style

If some of the latest trends in the talent industry make you feel a little nervous about your job security, you’re not alone. The HROS Future of Work report found 27% of HR folks expressing concern over AI and automation and how these changes would affect their work.

But despite all the advances in technology and changes to our field, there’s one thing that never goes out of style, and that’s the fact that the talent industry revolves around people. Zach Iscol, Founder and CEO of Hirepurpose puts it this way:

“No matter how great the technology is that’s coming down the pipeline, there will always be a role for human beings in the process because at the end of the day you’re evaluating individuals and you’re evaluating people, and no algorithm or technology will ever disrupt that.”

How do you see the talent industry changing in the coming years? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section!

Melissa Suzuno

Melissa Suzuno is a freelance writer and former Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse. Melissa previously built out the content marketing programs at Parklet (an onboarding and employee experience solution) and AfterCollege (a job search resource for recent grads), so she's made it a bit of a habit to help people get excited about and invested in their work. Find Melissa on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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