Recruiting Trends to Watch for in 2019

If you thought recruiting top talent was tough going in 2018, experts predict 2019 will be even tougher. 
Why? Because today’s increasingly competitive recruiting challenges are set against a backdrop of ever-changing, more sophisticated and even more costly recruiting trends.
Here is the short list of trends to watch for, so that you can position yourself for success by better preparing for and prioritizing your recruiting resources in the coming year.
Some Trends to Watch For in 2019
The current job market is talent-driven. You no longer get to pick them, they pick you. This is where Inbound Recruiting becomes so essential. Inbound recruiting is a strategy where your company works to attract candidates and get them to choose you as their next employer. The goal is to attract, convert and engage candidates through many different forms of media using SEO, SEM, and branding techniques.

  • Marketing tactics in recruiting are absolutely essential. Are you taking advantage of all your in-house Marketing expertise?
  • Employer branding. Three out of four candidates check you out online before applying. Is your reputation up to the task, or holding you back? A negative candidate experience will spread faster and more effectively than a well-designed email blast. When that happens:
  1. Don’t Overreact

Remember that the people who post negative reviews online, on sites like Glassdoor, do so anonymously, which undermines the effectiveness of the review. A few negative comments probably won’t outweigh all of your positives. But a raft of them can be a problem.

  1. Be Open

Should an applicant ask about a negative post they’ve read somewhere, own it. Then tell them why it is wrong. Most can be honestly explained through dynamics like layoffs, expansion and other organizational changes.

  1. Build the Brand

It’s always a good idea to build out your company’s brand on sites like LinkedIn, widely seen as the most credible employment social media site. This is the place to honestly describe your company culture. If you don’t already have a company page on LinkedIn, establish one. Have employees write in support of the company. Those that do will probably be proud to sign their name to it.
If you’re wondering what kind of impact negative online reviews really have, here’s one answer. Software Advice, a company that provides research and user reviews on software applications, surveyed 4,600 job hunters and found that “having a positive presence on Glassdoor can improve your brand and help pique applicants’ interest in your company.”
The answer is simple. Take a well-educated approach that keeps you calm, professional and true to your company culture. Be sincere, never show anger, work to improve any issues that might exist within your company and create a positive relationship with employees. When employees like you, they’re unlikely to lash out, despite the anonymity of their reviews.

  1. Invite Criticism

You might also consider issuing a yearly anonymous employee survey that invites criticism, letting your employees express any issues they have internally to prevent further negativity on Glassdoor.

  • Social recruiting is now far more than simply posting job ads on your favorite, go-to social network sites. Your competitors are using social media networks proactively to identify candidates by their skills and interests, then connecting with them to build a relationship — and ultimately get them to apply for an opening.
  • Video recruiting. Video increases online search visibility. Research shows job postings that use video are more readily picked up by search engines and clicked on more often than those that don’t. Plus, video can tell a compelling visual story about your organization, and good storytelling is a great way to lure top candidates.
  • Data-Driven Recruiting and HR Analytics are being manipulated to tailor recruiting methods in which planning and decision-making are based on data acquired through HR applicant marketing, and tracking platforms and programs.
  • Employee referral programs remain one of the most productive paths for filling open positions. Tried-and-true employee referrals are more sought after than ever. Candidates referred in-house take the least effort to hire and onboard and are generally more successful.
  • Talent sourcing. That’s the industry term, but a more common analogy is just better fishing tactics. A LinkedIn survey found 36% of professionals were actively seeking new jobs at any given point in time. But 90% said they were very open to learning about new opportunities. So, while 36% are ready to bite, 90% will nibble. It’s all about what bait you’re using.
  • Collaborative interviewing and (hopefully) seamless hiring round out the trends. These are conscious efforts to assemble the best mix of in-house talent to interview well and encourage selected candidates to come on board.

Making the commitment to get the most from your recruiting efforts, to use your time and energy wisely and effectively, and to pursue only the most likely paths to recruiting success is a key step.
Leverage emotions
A key point to keep in mind is that recruiting is all about emotion. Everyone likes to believe they are being objective, but first impressions are lasting impressions and a bad vibe while waiting in the reception area can sabotage a recruiting “deal” before it starts.
On the other hand, there are many job candidates who embrace an employer after one inspiring conversation and a few social media comments about the company’s unique culture. Take home: It takes just one “moment of truth” to seal the deal and just one to undo all your hard work.
Adopt a marketing mindset
Define your employer brand crisply and sell it to the world through your website, social media platforms and your current employees. Why is your organization a great place to work and to build a career? If you’re not clear on the answer, they won’t be either.
You want the candidate to think: “Wow, people really love working there. I could see myself building a career with this company.”
Be humble …
Going back to the notion that it’s a candidate-driven market, always communicate respectfully and give people the information they need to evaluate both the job opportunity and your organization.
… and genuine
Throughout the recruiting process, don’t leave people hanging. Get back to applicants promptly, thank them for their interest and explain respectfully when you’ve decided to move on to other candidates.
Social media job sites are filled with negative comments from job applicants who felt they were treated poorly. And word spreads fast. Strive to create a positive candidate experience for everyone, even the candidates you reject, because they may be best friends with your best new candidates.
Speak to the candidate’s aspirations
Culture is the No. 1 reason people choose jobs, but it’s more common to think it’s all about the paycheck. Ask yourself, “What’s driving the candidate who is seated in front of me?”
Try to tap into and uncover their aspirations and career dreams. Just getting them to talk about their career dream is a great step in the right direction.
Then, show them how working for your organization will place them on a path to achieving their dreams.
“Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” said Steve Jobs to Pepsi exec John Sculley, to lure him to Apple. Sculley took the job.
Treat them like a star
Have one of your best people greet candidates on arrival, usher them between meetings and make sure they have time for breaks and to check their messages. All interviewers should be coached on how to make these magic moments count. Remember: The candidate is watching.

Rich Henson
Rich Henson, a member of the HRMorning staff, has spent the past two decades developing potent HR and Management content that helps guide successful leaders forward with confidence. He is a former editor and reporter with The Philadelphia Inquirer. Email: