Recruiting in the Era of Gen. Z and AI: 3 Trends to Watch
As the saying goes, change is the only constant. That saying has never been as true as it is in recruiting right now.
Five generations of employees now work together in offices where constant technological advancement is changing how work gets done and who — or what — is doing it. Many employees now demand remote work options, and others would rather be independent contractors than traditional hires. All of this combines to create a complex workforce landscape that recruiters must navigate in order to get the best talent in the right roles.
For anyone in the recruiting and HR space, the sheer quantity and pace of change can be mind-boggling. Ensuring that your recruiting process is on trend and relevant to today’s workers is difficult when workers’ priorities seem to shift every day.
The first step is understanding the trends and how they are changing the world of work. Here are three major trends that recruiters, hiring managers, and organizations will need to know if they are to maintain successful recruiting and hiring processes:
1. Artificial Intelligence Is Pervading All Industries (Not Just Tech)
By now, it’s obvious that technology has transformed the way we work, sell, and interact across most industries, with artificial intelligence (AI) being the most recent example.
But what does the rise of AI mean for recruiters?
Ninety-six percent of senior HR professionals already believe AI can improve talent acquisition and retention efforts. According to the “Global Recruiting Trends 2018″ report from LinkedIn, AI will most significantly impact sourcing, screening, and nurturing candidates.
What might AI in recruiting look like in practice? It’s likely that candidates will come to expect more automated, data-driven experiences, especially during the early stages of the process. Chatbots are already conducting screening conversations and scheduling interviews via text message, and this technology will likely become more widespread. AI technologies may also make in-person interviews more efficient, as well as facilitate the increased use of video technology in the interview process.
Interestingly, LinkedIn’s report also found that the five recruiting tasks AI is least likely to take over are relationship-building, seeing candidate potential beyond credentials, judging culture fit, gauging interpersonal skills, and convincing candidates to accept offers. So while AI will help with the basics, recruiters will need to turn valuable data points into hiring decisions by engaging directly with candidates to cultivate relationships and assess more intangible qualities.
2. Increasing Competition for Top Talent Is Solidifying the Need for Top Recruiters
According to a recent McKinsey & Company report, superior talent can be 400 times more productive than average talent. In highly complex occupations like management or software development, high performers are a whopping 800 percent more productive than their average counterparts!
Given these statistics, it’s no surprise that companies looking to stay competitive are investing heavily in recruiting and retaining the best talent available. But that’s no easy feat: As SHRM points out, today’s employers are facing the biggest talent shortage since 2007, when the great recession occurred.
The problem, however, isn’t a shortage of workers; plenty of people are looking for jobs. Instead, organizations are struggling to find employees with specialized skill sets to fill specific needs. This is good news for recruiters: Now, more than ever, organizations need recruiters’ help to source and secure qualified talent.
3. Generational Differences Will Drive Even More Change
Over the last few years, organizations have adjusted their workplaces and processes to appeal to the millennial generation. Now, Generation Z is entering the workforce with its own set of expectations and experiences, requiring even more organizational change.
Diversity is a major concern for this generation. A survey taken at EY’s 2017 International Intern Leadership Conference found that 84 percent of Gen. Z-ers believe their ability to work with people from all backgrounds sets them apart from older generations. Gen. Z is the most racially diverse generation in the US, with nearly half identifying as non-Caucasian. Furthermore, 59 percent say they have friends of a different sexual orientation. Our modern work world’s emphasis on diverse and inclusive environments might be just the right thing to get Gen. Z-ers excited about working for your company.
Gen. Z’s progressive workplace expectations should prompt new ways of thinking for recruiting leaders. The Forbes Human Resources Council suggests dropping gimmicky recruiting tactics in favor of increased authenticity. Another key will be helping Gen. Z-ers clearly imagine their career paths at your company.
In our age of constant change, the key for recruiters is to stay informed, quickly identify the patterns affecting their work, and take swift action to adapt to and accommodate evolving employer and employee needs.
Kimberly Schneiderman is senior practice development manager at RiseSmart.