Gauging the Talent Landscape: The Top Challenges and Priorities of Recruiters in 2019

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Resume-Library recently conducted a survey of more than 300 hiring professionals to better understand the challenges they’re currently facing, their priorities for the year ahead, and the new technologies they believe will shape the future of our industry.

Here are some of the key recruiting and hiring trends to look out for this year, based on the results of the report:

Top Challenges

As you’re probably aware, candidates are currently driving the job market. This means they have greater power when it comes to their job searches. They can pick and choose which companies are worth their time, rather than simply accepting the first offer that comes along.

Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that hiring professionals across the US told Resume-Library a lack of talent is the key challenge they currently face. Their second biggest challenge, related to the first, is difficulty in finding and engaging passive candidates.

Compounding the matter, the third, fourth, and fifth biggest challenges named by survey participants are a lack of time to search for resumes, a lack of resources to put into the recruiting process, and a lack of time to spend on screening candidates, respectively.

In short: Recruiters are struggling to find both passive and active candidates, and they lack the time and resources to strengthen their recruiting processes. It’s not a pretty picture.

Hiring Priorities for 2019

When asked about their priorities for the year ahead, 55.4 percent of hiring professionals said they would focus on building talent pools for the future, making it the top hiring priority for 2019. An almost equal percentage of respondents — 54.5 percent — named developing their employer brands as an additional priority.

It’s no surprise so many hiring professionals are focused on creating distinctive employer brands. In a candidate-driven market, job seekers put a lot of time into researching prospective employers. If your company has a bad reputation or an unattractive brand, you’ll struggle to attract and retain talent. Many candidates today would rather not have a job at all than work for a company where they’d be unhappy!

In an increasingly candidate-driven market, it also makes sense that 44 percent of hiring professionals said they will prioritize improving the candidate experience. A stressful and poorly managed recruitment process could send candidates into the arms of your competitors. It may even result in negative reviews of your company being posted online for all to see. On the flip side, however, a candidate who has a positive experience throughout the recruitment process is more likely to accept a job offer and refer others to your company.

Top Tech Tools

Technology could be the answer to many of the issues hiring professionals face in 2o19 — provided they have access to the necessary tools. Unfortunately, that is not the case for 11.9 percent of respondents.

That said, 83.3 percent of those who took part in the survey said social media would play a significant role in recruiting in the coming year. Social media is highly accessible, even for business low on resources, and it offers endless opportunities to search proactively for candidates and build relationships with them. It is also great for showcasing your employer brand, which we know is on many hiring professionals’ minds.

Interestingly, only 20.3 percent of those surveyed said that they’d be using artificial intelligence this year, despite all the talk of its benefits in recent times. What’s more, 51.8 percent of respondents suggested automation could make the candidate experience worse. Many also have concerns that AI could bypass highly qualified candidates as a result of restrictive or misaligned algorithms.

It’s obvious there are several trends to keep up with in 2019, and hiring professionals must be on top of their games if they are to compete in a tight talent market. If you want to secure the very top tier of individuals for your company, you must first become aware of what the talent landscape will look like this year. It’s not exactly pretty, but you can work with it if you know what matters most.

Lee Biggins is the founder and CEO of Resume-Library.

By Lee Biggins