Nursing our New Year’s Eve hangovers and regretting the eight tonnes of chocolate we managed to squeeze in over Christmas, we struggled in to work this morning with slight headaches, giant extra-hot, extra-strong coffees and really, really tight jeans.

 

Opening our emails, we found thousands of applications from active candidates who speak fourteen languages fluently, are the perfect cultural fit (for everything) and have quantifiable experience using all the latest backend and frontend technologies in rapidly-growing, global startups…

 

We wish.

 

Many things will change in 2018, but the shortage of active candidates will not be one of them.

 

 

 

The scarcity of tech talent and the huge global demand for IT professionals means the need to reach and engage passive candidates is as urgent as ever.

 

Thankfully, sourcing passive candidates is becoming faster and more intuitive because of advances in AI and Big Data. As the price of recruitment software continues to drop and interfaces become more user-friendly, companies are increasingly incorporating data-driven techniques into their recruitment strategies. And it’s working.

 

Now the hangovers are fading (and the number and strength of our coffees is going down), we’ve compiled the five biggest tech trends we believe will change passive candidate recruitment in 2018.



1. AI

 

Prediction: We might get AI. We won’t get a pet robot dog.

 

Although robot dogs probably won’t make it into our office this year (unfortunately), it won’t be long before AI software will be sourcing passive candidates on our behalf, or at least helping us do it. 62% of companies will be using some form of AI by the end of next year, compared to only 38% at the beginning of 2017.

 

Software that can pull candidates from external databases, find relevant candidates in existing ATS applications and automate the screening process already exists.

 

We’re just watching and waiting for it to get cheaper and easier to use. Black Friday AI sale, anyone?

 

 

2. Big Data

 

Prediction: We won’t get a Big Data Engineer either.

 

Does anyone else feel like data is getting so big and unwieldy it’s actually getting harder to harness and evaluate? We’d love a Big Data Engineer as much as a robot dog, but employing someone just to look after Big Data is still beyond the budgets of most startups. Luckily there are a load of new software applications that can help.

 

“Tools like automated data capture and predictive analytics will become the foundation of a new customer-centric culture.”

Mike Restivo, Bullhorn

  

By the end of 2018, data will be helping internal HR teams gain a better understanding of what makes existing employees, teams and departments successful, and using this info to create targeted job descriptions and ads to search for the most relevant profiles.

 

Think Tinder, but for recruitment.

 

A world where recruiters can match a candidate based on their cultural fit, as well as their skills and experience, could be just months away.

 

 

3. Social media aggregation and distribution

 

Prediction: Social media will reign supreme. Again.

 

Social media has become such an integral part of recruitment, it’s hard to remember back to a time when Facebook, Google and LinkedIn weren’t helping us reach and engage with new networks. Candidates are already rejecting traditional CVs for online portfolios and digital profiles, and we bet it won’t be long before the traditional resume disappears altogether.

 

As a result, the proliferation of automated social media aggregation and social job distribution technologies will continue into 2018 and beyond.

 

While “people aggregators” can help give recruiters a more holistic view of a potential candidate (and therefore identify the most relevant passive candidates), they can also give rise to unintended biases - and this is rightly set to continue as a hot topic in 2018.

 

 

4. Video conferencing and VR

 

Prediction: The world will get a little bit smaller.

 

Thanks to massive advances in video conferencing and virtual reality in 2017 it’s now as easy to hold meetings with employees from all corners of the globe as it is with the people sat right next to you.

 

As physical offices shrink and remote working grows, the location of active and passive candidates will become even less of a barrier in the hunt for talent in 2018 - great news for recruiters and sourcers.

 

Last year, we placed more international tech talent than local EU candidates in top European startups. They have outstanding experience, great qualifications and a shedload of enthusiasm. Plus, they're easier to bring on board than you think.

 

 

Putting the tech into tech recruitment

  

It’s more important than ever for recruiters and sourcers to embrace tech. Luckily 2018 is the year it will all get a little cheaper and easier. Except perhaps for the office robot dog and Big Data Engineer.

 

Soon software will not only be able to tell us how to recruit passive candidates and where we need to look for them, but also when teams are stretched and what experience and skills are missing.

 

What tech can’t do, yet, is communicate effectively with potential candidates. Although chatbots and automated scheduling are going some way towards easing the pressure on recruiters’ schedules, we’re still a long way from any form of automated recruitment.

 

Need help finding passive candidates? Get in touch.

 

Image: Diana Hlevnjak @ Shutterstock