New Report Reveals the Trends That Will Define Recruiting in 2017

October 3, 2016

Nope, it’s not too early – it’s time to start for planning for 2017. The best way to do that is to look at this current year, assess how you stack against your peers and think about the trends that will shape your work over the next year.

To help with that, we just released our annual Global Recruiting Trends 2017 report. The report is based on a survey of around 4,000 corporate talent acquisition leaders across 35 countries and it will give you a look into how recruiting leaders perceive the importance of their teams, the top metrics and priorities they track, as well as how they spend their budgets and where they’d like to invest.

The report reveals a very nuanced picture of the state of talent acquisition – talent leaders are cognizant of their team’s importance and feel confident that they are helping drive business decisions at the C-level, yet they are struggling with the lack of resources and investing in the most strategic projects.

You can see some of the highlights in the infographic below or you can download the full report for a deep dive. If you want to see different data cuts, we also have a Small and Mid-sized Business Recruiting Trends report, as well as one for staffing firms.

Talent acquisition has a prominent seat at the executive table

The recruiting organization has never been the most glamorous department in the company. It doesn’t directly bring in revenue or create game-changing products. Yet, it is the quiet enabler behind these company successes and this has not gone unnoticed.

Over 83% of recruiting leaders state that talent is the number one priority in their company and that their team regularly meets with the C-suite. This confidence also carries over into workforce planning -- 75% of leaders say that their team is key to the company’s efforts there.

Recruiters will be even busier this year and are focusing on finding mostly sales, operations, and engineering talent

The importance of the recruiting department of course translates into more responsibility. The majority of recruiting departments, 56% of all respondents, expect to have to hire even more people this year.

While the global numbers are very positive, this is the first time in five years when the year-over-year growth is slowing down. This subtle cooling of the job market reflects hiring slowdown in Brazil, China, and parts of Europe.

As most departments across the globe will be focusing on sales, operations, and engineering talent, recruiting teams have to start thinking more strategically about how to find and recruit these talent pools. Relying on data to pinpoint locations where the supply of talent is higher than the demand is a crucial first step. Another successful tactic is targeting each of these functions with highly customized employer branding content.

The top sources for quality hires are employee referrals, job boards, and social professional networks

Speaking of finding talent, almost half of recruiters say that employee referrals are their top source of quality hires. That not surprising, given that referred employees are faster to hire, perform better, and stay longer in the company. The other sources that complete the list are job boards and social professional networks, along with staffing firms and internal hires.

Budgets go to traditional tactics, but branding tops investment wish list

Having a glimpse into how other recruiting teams spend their budgets is always exciting and this is the first year we have this data. It turns out that because recruiting budgets are so tight, leaders tend to spend them rather conservatively. Over 50% of the spend for most companies goes to job ads and recruitment agencies. Around 17% of the budget is allocated to technology which allows the teams to create leverage and automate their workflows (especially important when headcount for recruiters is tight).

Despite recruiters sharing that employee referrals are the top source of quality hires, very little budget gets allocated to referral programs. Same with employer branding – described as one of the most important trends, it is one of the last places where teams invest.

Where it got really interesting is when we asked leaders where they’d invest if money weren’t a constraint. At that point, 53% of leaders say that they would prioritize investing in long-term strategic plays like employer branding, 39% in tools, 38% in candidate experience, and 29% in upskilling their teams. If you are looking for “venture bets” for 2017, exploring some of these areas may be a great idea.

Diversity, screening automation, and data are key future trends

Given that recruiters report limited headcount and budget, while hiring demands are growing, it makes sense that automation is top of mind for the industry. Automation would increase the speed of screening candidates, minimize human bias, and help assess soft skills more precisely. Many companies are also interested in diversity and purpose initiatives as a way to differentiate from competitors and boost engagement. Large companies are driving the focus on big data, listing it as their #1 trend.

To read more about the top trends that will define recruiting in 2017, download the Global Recruiting Trends report.

To receive blog posts like this one straight in your inbox, subscribe to the blog newsletter.