The 5 Best Innovations in Recruitment of 2017

Data confirms our suspicions: Hiring is getting harder this year.

According to LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends Report, 56% of recruiters report their hiring volume will increase in 2017, but only 26% of them say the size of their recruiting teams will increase.

That means time-constrained recruiting departments are on the hunt for the best innovations in recruitment to help them succeed this year. Many of these innovations leverage some form of AI recruiting software to streamline or automate parts of the recruiting workflow.   

Here are the 5 best innovations in recruitment that I think will become big in 2017.

1. Machine learning for automated résumé screening

On average, 75% of résumés are estimated to be unqualified, which is why manually screening résumés is still one of the most time-consuming parts of the recruiting process.

Using an ATS to help automate the résumé screening process was a huge boon for recruiters and talent acquisition professionals. The next innovation in automated résumé screening uses machine learning. Machine learning is a type of computer program or algorithm that has the ability to teach itself by analyzing data and continually learn to increase the accuracy of its solution.

Designed to integrate with an ATS, automated résumé screening uses machine learning to analyze your job description and your existing résumé database to learn which candidates became successful and unsuccessful employees.

It then applies the knowledge it learned about the experience, skills, and other qualifications of successful employees to new candidates to automatically screen, grade, and rank the strongest ones.

Machine learning for automated résumé screening is one of the best innovations in recruitment because it promises to drastically reduce the time spent screening résumés. Not only that, it can be programmed to ignore demographic-related information such as the candidate’s race, age, and educational background that may be contributing to unconscious bias during hiring.

2. Algorithms for candidate rediscovery  

Large companies will collect thousands—even millions—of résumés over the years. But once these résumés go into an ATS, the majority of them are never looked at again. Recruiting expert Glen Cathey calls it the #1 mistake in corporate recruiting: the failure to search your past candidates.

Candidate rediscovery is the ability to mine your existing résumé database using an algorithm to match previous candidates to current reqs. Candidate rediscovery using an algorithm works similarly to automated résumé screening using machine learning.

An algorithm is a procedure or formula that puts data inputs through a sequence of steps to produce an output that solves a problem. The algorithm analyzes your job description and then searches your existing résumé database to rediscover candidates that are the best matches for the job requirements.

Candidate rediscovery is poised to become one of the best innovations in recruitment because it allows you to tap into a candidate source that’s already under your nose without spending additional money on candidate acquisition.

3. AI chatbots for candidate engagement

According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 58% of job seekers have a negative impression of a company if they don’t hear back after submitting an application.

In today’s extremely competitive talent market, employers can’t afford to lose qualified talent due to an inferior candidate experience. Similar to consumers, today’s candidates want and expect continuous and immediate feedback.

Artificial intelligence (AI) in the form of chatbots can improve the candidate experience by providing immediate engagement. Artificial intelligence is a machine that can mimic human abilities such as learning, problem solving, planning, and perception.

An AI chatbot can be programmed to interact with candidates in real time by answering their questions about the job, asking pre-qualification questions, and providing updates and next-step suggestions.

If AI chatbots become mainstream in recruiting, they will help solve one of the most hated parts of the job search for candidates: the application black box.

4. Natural language processing for job descriptions

Research has found that the language you use in your job description makes a difference in the talent you attract. For example, using too many “masculine-type” words (e.g., ambitious, dominate, challenging) tends to dissuade women from applying.

Software that uses natural language processing can analyze your job descriptions to identify potentially biased language and suggest alternatives to attract a more diverse candidate pool. Natural language processing is a computer program’s ability to understand spoken or written human speech.

CareerBuilder found that a bad job posting is the third most important reason why job seekers have a negative perception of a company. Improving your job descriptions is low-hanging fruit for not only attracting a stronger talent pool, but also a more diverse one.

5. Partner marketplaces for end-to-end recruitment management

Instead of single vendor HRM systems, recruiting departments have embraced the best-of-breed integration model.

This has given rise to ATS partner marketplaces of complementary recruiting tools that integrate easily for end-to-end recruitment management.

Partner integrations are one of the best innovations in recruitment because they allow you to pick the best-of-breed solutions. This means recruiting teams are able to be more nimble, innovative, and cost-effective about solving their specific recruiting needs.

How these innovations will affect recruiters in 2017 and beyond

It’s an exciting time right now: Innovations in technology such as AI are poised to transform nearly all aspects of our lives. Recruiting won’t be exempt. As technology continues to reduce the administrative burden of recruiting (e.g., manually screening résumés), experts predict the recruiter role will transform into a talent advisory function.

As talent advisors, recruiters will need to create strategic partnerships with hiring managers and executives. To get buy-in, recruiters will be expected to be subject matter experts on the best talent acquisition tech solutions on the market to reduce KPIs such as cost per hire. They will be expected to measure the ROI of their recruiting efforts such as quality of hire and link it to business outcomes such as increased revenue.

Most of all, recruiters will be expected to adapt, adopt, and add a human touch to any new innovation designed to improve the recruitment process.

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Ji A Min

Ji-A Min is the Head Data Scientist at Ideal, software that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automate low-level, repetitive tasks and quickly move top candidates through the recruiting funnel. Ideal’s AI can instantly screen and shortlist new candidates, uncover strong past candidates that are a great fit for a new role, and initiate candidate contact—all within your existing ATS. Learn more at Ideal.com. Ideal is proud to be a partner of Greenhouse. Learn more about how Ideal works with Greenhouse here.

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Talent Operations