Predicting Predictions: 2018 Recruiting Trends


I’ve been writing about recruiting so long that I can almost predict the next wave of posts I’ll be reading.

Actually, scratch that. I’ve been reading about recruiting and everything related to it for so long that you’re all becoming a little predictable. Some recruiting blogs are like a dog with a bone – they just can’t let go of one particular topic at a time. Others have random quality posts but most of it is just a regurgitation of 2009 posts with a little more reality weaved in. Then, you have all of these really brilliant people that write one post a week, sometimes, but they always knock it out of the park. I will really wish those people would write more because it would hopefully slow down my final and least favorite type of blog: the blogs written by marketers at HR technology companies.

I generally don’t have an issue with the people that write them. They have all been incredibly kind and intelligent when I’ve met them at their booths or sponsored parties. However, they all follow a content formula that I hate. From the 12 days of recruiting to election puns galore or what to do this Fall to hitting a home run in recruiting during the World Series, they very intentionally try to make everything about recruiting to the detriment of this little thing called learning value.

The place where I find these companies are most offensive are when they write their predictions for the next year. And they all do it. My issue with their predictions is that,well, they’re predictable. 8 times out of 10, the entire post is written in reference back to some feature on their tool and they pretend that it’s a trend that everyone is following. There’s no forward thinking or reality checks required. They don’t actually consider the audience but just assume that this – like every other holiday of the year – is an opportune sales moment. Another lead for the funnel. I’m here to tell you, young marketer, that you are wrong. It’s typically not another lead for your funnel but some lonely marketer at another company stealing your content to repurpose for their own holiday season. Your customers want value, not words for the sake of writing.

Now, I’ve gone off on this bad practice then ironically thought to myself, “I could probably write a better list.”  So I did. No one paid me to say anything in particular. This doesn’t represent the feelings of my company. But this does represent hours of reading. It represents what I’ve picked up from talking to people who are doing the work every day and the analysts who read even more than I do. The real heroes.

And it’s a little snarky. It’s who I am.

2018 Recruiting Trends

  1. Most of you won’t even see real AI, let alone buy it for your company. Until most HR ladies don’t have to call IT to plug in a USB mouse or get on wireless, there’s just no point.
  2. The big move for “advanced” organizations will be chat bots. Good on them, I love a chat bot. Try putting a decent video on your site that people will actually watch while you’re at it.
  3. Because LinkedIn has kicked out the chrome extensions, people are finally going to pay a little to train their sourcing teams. This is partially aspiration, but pray with me now.
  4. Benefits and PTO management are still going to suck. Sorry.
  5. We’re still going to talk nonstop about the gig economy. Probably won’t be the year that you really feel the impact, though. People are too nervous about US politics to bet on your hourly gig.
  6. We are finally going to have to face the reality of social media for recruiting. In Europe, that means removing it from your searches. In the U.S., Facebook is trying to disrupt the entry level and hourly job market. Pay attention.
  7. It’s time to make the investment in referrals. With more jobs than talent, your typical persuasion tactics just won’t work. You need software that is going to make referrals easy and incentives structured.