How Companies Recruit in 2018

The shift in today’s employment market favors job seekers. Fewer people are out of work than in the recent past, and with positions to fill, companies are forced to try new recruiting methods and relax their candidate requirements.

This year’s Recruiter Nation Survey by Jobvite, a talent-sourcing technology company, reveals what 850 hiring professionals say about filling jobs and attracting workers. One result: 74 percent of recruiters believe hiring will become more competitive for employers in the next 12 months.

Based on Jobvite’s survey, these are seven notable trends to pay attention to if you are job hunting:

Recruiters are marketers.

One way for companies to stand out and gain attention from potential candidates is by developing a strong employer brand. Recruiters not only promote jobs but also tout the culture, benefits and other perks of working for the company.

According to recruiters, the top ways to invest in promoting an employer brand are social media platforms (47 percent) and the company’s career website (21 percent). Recruiters also say they’ll invest in some traditional marketing and advertising (12 percent). You can expect to see companies promoting themselves, not just their openings.

[See: 8 Skills That Set Millennials Apart at Work.]

Company reputation is important.

It isn’t enough to just market the company. Companies need to deliver on what they promise. Job seekers are savvy about researching companies and one way they do this is by looking at anonymous reviews on sites like Glassdoor. These reviews reveal what life is really like inside the company and what to expect during the recruiting process. Jobvite reports that 75 percent of recruiters say Glassdoor reviews are at least somewhat important to the hiring process.

If you don’t already look at company reviews, perhaps this will encourage you to investigate and learn what candidates and employees are saying.

LinkedIn is no longer the only place recruiters go.

Last year Jobvite reported that 92 percent of recruiters used LinkedIn compared to 77 percent this year. Why would fewer recruiters rely on this tool? Though Jobvite’s study didn’t delve into the reasons, it may have something to do with the fact that most people aren’t very active on LinkedIn. They set their profiles and forget them.

Recruiters are turning to social media platforms where they know potential candidates are active. This might explain why more recruiters are turning to Facebook (63 percent) and Instagram (25 percent). These two social media platforms have more regular users.

On those platforms, you may want to name your professional aspirations and include a link to your LinkedIn profile or personal website or portfolio. You should also pay attention to what you post on these sites.

[Read: How to Land an Entry-Level Job.]

Your reputation is important, too.

When hiring, employers are checking out candidates on social media and by searching the web. This isn’t new. But what are they looking for? Believe it or not, recruiters do find information that will help move a candidate forward in the process.

Recruiters reported that they are looking for candidates who have engagement in local or national organizations or groups related to their profession (60 percent), examples of written or design work (58 percent) and mutual connections (36 percent).

However, recruiters are turned off by a candidate’s reference to marijuana (58 percent) and alcohol consumption (42 percent) on social media. They also do not appreciate political rants (47 percent). And even spelling and grammar mistakes (43 percent) work against candidates on social media.

Recruiters are less picky about social skills.

During the interview process, recruiters are looking for candidates who closely match the role. In the past, recruiters could be picky. But this year, Jobvite reports that recruiters’ insistence on strong conversational skills and enthusiasm decreased by more than 20 percent across the board compared to last year.

This is the breakdown of what matters to recruiters as they assess candidates during the interview:

— prior experience (55 percent)

— conversation skills (49 percent)

— knowledge of the industry (41 percent)

— culture fit (35 percent)

You should take the time, prior to an interview, to review the job posting carefully to make sure you are familiar with the terminology, skills and technology mentioned. Also, research the company’s culture by reviewing the career page for videos and employee testimonials. Even though recruiters say that a candidate’s enthusiasm isn’t as important as it once was, do make sure you show your interest in the company and the role. This will help you stand out as a candidate.

[See: What Business Jargon Really Means.]

Texting is a work tool now.

Recruiters want to communicate with potential candidates, and while email is the traditional tool of choice, recruiters are slowly starting to adopt texting. Jobvite reports that 43 percent of recruiters have used texting to reach out to candidates or current applicants. This may help recruiters connect with the younger workforce or those who prefer texting to email.

Don’t be surprised if a recruiter reaches out via text. Also, keep in mind that grammar and punctuation matter, even while texting.

Candidates are backing out on offers.

Imagine signing an offer and then backing out. Well, that’s happening, and some workers are even ” ghosting” by simply not showing up for the first day of work. Seventy-five percent of recruiters say they’ve seen a candidate change his or her mind after signing an offer letter.

The good news for you is that recruiters have gone back and hired someone who was a second- or third-place candidate or wasn’t initially a good fit. If you’re not the top finalist in a hiring search, you should always send a thank-you note and let the recruiter know you are still interested in the role. You never know what will happen.

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