The Skills That Will Matter More for Recruiters in the Future — and How to Develop Them

November 18, 2019

In a new report from LinkedIn, The Future of Recruiting, we surveyed nearly 3,000 global talent professionals about the recruiting skills that would become more important by 2025. Three key skill sets emerged: Engaging passive candidates, analyzing talent data to drive decisions, and advising business leaders and hiring managers.

These results point to a new role for recruiting teams — one that is more proactive, strategic, and advisory. That means your team has a real opportunity to elevate its position within the organization and earn that coveted seat at the table. 

To do so, it will pay to start preparing now. Here are a few essential skills your team will need to develop — and some LinkedIn Learning courses to help you get started. 

1. Engaging passive candidates

These days, it’s not enough to put a job post out into the world and wait for candidates to come to you. Nor is it enough to find a few promising candidates and send them a templated message. Great candidates have grown weary with generic outreach — and the more templated messages they receive, the more they’ll seem like white noise. 

Amidst all the noise, you can make your voice heard and successfully engage passive candidates by strengthening your communication skills. The right words at the right time can make a candidate sit up and take notice. And once you have their attention, you can use those same skills to deepen their interest — making them excited to learn more about your company and role. 


Related: 7 Ways to “Hack” Your Interactions with Candidates, Glen Cathey Style


Communication skills are on the rise: between 2015 and 2019, the number of recruiting professionals who listed them as an expertise on their LinkedIn profile rose 202%. Still, only 8% currently list this skill, so there’s plenty of room for improvement. 

One of the best things about boosting your communication skills is how useful they are throughout the hiring process — from your first email or InMail right through to phone screenings, interviews, and the offer phase. And being a better communicator isn’t just useful for engaging candidates. It also makes it easier to collaborate with your team, request the resources you need, and communicate results to your leaders, so taking the time to develop this skill can pay off on a daily basis.

Recommended course: Communicating with Confidence — including tips on how to organize your thoughts, speak naturally, and use body language to better express your ideas. 

2. Analyzing talent data to drive decisions 

With recruiting becoming less about following a hiring strategy and more about driving it, data analytics will soon become a vital component of recruiters’ jobs. While your team may hire a specialist down the line (47% of recruiting pros think hiring a talent analytics specialist would be impactful), it doesn’t hurt to familiarize yourself with these techniques now. In fact, the benefits can be far-reaching. 

For one thing, data analysis skills enable you to make smarter, data-driven decisions — helping you pinpoint trends in the talent market, predict which candidates will make the best hires, and steer your leaders and hiring managers in the right direction. They can also help you improve your team’s performance and set more realistic goals

Just by looking at the data your organization already has at its disposal, you can learn a lot — like when an employee might be on the brink of leaving.

About 2.5% of recruiting pros list data analysis skills on their LinkedIn profile, with this skill growing 111% since 2015. To boost your data prowess, check out these tips from industry analyst Josh Bersin, or explore the course below. 

Recommended course: Learning Data Analytics — including tips on how to clean data, interpret existing data, and avoid common mistakes.

3. Advising business leaders and hiring managers 

It’s one thing to recognize patterns and trends in the data and another entirely to know what to do about them. That’s why you’ll need to become a nimble problem solver in order to advise your business leaders and hiring managers — and help shape strategies that don’t fall at the first hurdle.

Strong problem-solving skills don’t just help you find creative solutions to challenges. They can also help you to get to the bottom of any problem, ensuring you’re treating the root cause, not the symptoms. As a result, you’re less likely to make costly missteps and more likely to find solutions that can take your organization to the next level. 

Problem-solving skills have risen 111% among recruiting professionals since 2015 — yet only 2% list these skills on their profile. You can solve the problem of your team’s not-quite-perfect problem-solving skills by taking a course like the one below.

Recommended course: Problem Solving Techniques — including tips on how to identify the real problem, brainstorm effectively, and analyze risk. 

Fostering skills development pays off in more ways than one

Whether you’re building an internal training program or utilizing online courses like the ones on LinkedIn Learning, encouraging your team to develop their skills has benefits beyond the obvious gains for your company. By helping them grow their careers, you can improve their job satisfaction and retention — leading to a more passionate, dedicated team. 

For more insights into the skills that will redefine recruiting, as well as six more predictions about how your role will change, download The Future of Recruiting Report today

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