2018 Recruitment Trends – Whats Happening in HRTech

With 2018 upon us, it’s a good time to review 3 trends shaping the future of hiring solutions. It’s a constant battle to attract and retain finance and accounting talent. After surveying our base of clients, we found these common themes in their HR strategy that you should consider in the upcoming year.

Shared Economy Model for Temp Staffing

Or shall we say the Uberisation of temporary workers. This is a trend that we’re going to see over the next few years, in particular temp staffing for finance and accounting roles.

We’ve seen this disintermediation in other industries, like Uber has dramatically changed the transportion industry.  We’re seeing this already in recruitment with tools like Task Rabbit and Thumbtack, where you can literally use an app to just find somebody available to do handyman work.

With a simple swipe on your smartphone, you pay by credit card to hire a professional to complete your job. The final step is a feedback mechanism where both the pro and you rate each other.

App based automation has completely transformed a number of different sectors and industries:

This trend will penetrate further, and we are going to see it more in temp volume staffing. At a recent HR Tech conference, a speaker described recruiting and building a team as parts of a computer. You can go to a computer store and buy parts and pieces which provides you the flexibility to add various parts to your setup. Temp staffing works the same way. As long as somebody has the right skill set, companies are becoming more accepting of part-time and temporary assignments.

Going back to the example of Uber – the driver doesn’t matter. The car type doesn’t matter. As long as the app helps you get from Point A to Point B, then it’s as good as taking the subway or a yellow taxi (if you’re in New York).

This shared economy is the way of the future in all segments of recruiting and temp volume staffing. Perhaps you need a receptionist to come for a day and you have simple requirements. They arrive and leave at the specified hours and can manage a simple scheduling tool.

The current workflow is that another admin or office manager will call a staffing agency which provides a list of resumes. Then you must take the word of the placement agency (who is paid on a commission) that their temp worker will be the best of the lot.

In the Uber model of temp staffing, you’ll still need a phone – your smartphone. You open the app and then filter through thousands via a matching algorithm filtered on a few different criteria. You get real profile pictures. You get real resumes. You can probably even call these candidates.

Based on several reviews (not just the “expert” opinion of one placement agency), you hire the best person. And one more thing:

Just like Uber, the company also vets the professionals for criminal history and only lists real professionals who can do the job successfully. Hence, you won’t even need to do background checks. And just like Uber, this will be on-demand so your temp receptionist can be at your office the next day.

Because of this trend to Uberizing temp staffing, we’ve developed the app that can help companies with on-demand talent. We’ve seen a larger portion of our placements as temp staffing because companies have found that temp staffing (especially at start-ups) are cost-effective solutions to their finance and accounting needs.

For a full comparison of the pros and cons of full-time versus temp staffing, check out our article.

The industry hasn’t fully shifted into app hiring for full-time employees. Perhaps one day but we’re not there yet. The reason is cost. When was the last time you purchased something via an app that cost you more than a few thousand dollars?

When was the last time you bought a car online? Most people would say never because buyers like to test drive the car, kick the tires, talk to the “experts” at the car dealership and shop around.

It’s the same thing with recruiting full-time employees. Full time workers are a big investment – not just in terms of money but also time. You’ll be sitting next to this person 40 to 80 hours a week. You’ll be going to “war” with this person in various conference calls and client meetings. You want to make sure the fit is right.

Scanning profiles from an app doesn’t provide enough insight on some of these qualities. Technology is great at presenting quantitative data. It still has a long way to go in terms of assessing the human qualities that recruiters look for when evaluating a new hire.

Online Reputation Management

Reputation is really important, and organizations pay top dollar for agencies to manage their online presence. It’s also important in the tourist and travel industry. For example, Trip Advisor was one of the first to do this on mainstream. On Trip Advisor, a user can read thousands of reviews on a particular hotel property or experience.

Yelp is another example, where the success or failure of a local restaurant could depend on user generated reviews of the establishment. Yelp has replaced the need to pick up the New York Times Sunday edition and check out the hottest restaurants. Now, all one needs is to head on over to Yelp and find the best restaurants for any genre or type.

In 2018 and beyond, we see this ratings system extending into the recruiting industry. What if you search for accountants in New York, look up their resumes, and rank them by ratings?

Today, the filtering system is the agency. An agency collates resumes, and they send the resumes to the client. At Vested and other similar apps, we’re seeing clients eager to cut the middleman out. The middleman mind you who’s incentivized to fill the placement, regardless of fit, to get paid. They want direct access to the candidate. They want to see their resumes and a way to score them according to their opening.

With this trend in mind, job seekers would do well to maintain a professional online portfolio. Update LinkedIn and fill out their Vested profiles completely. These steps will help you stand out among the crowd.

Online reputation extends to companies as well. This is why Glassdoor or similar sites are so popular. Candidates want to read reviews and see star ratings on companies.

Candidates don’t want to be stuck in a job with a company with a bad reputation. Hence, companies nowadays spend thousands of dollars for agencies to manage their online reputation. A Glassdoor rating or Vested profile can have a direct impact on your ability to recruit and retain top finance and accounting talent.

Active Management of Candidates (Outreach Model)

Finally, the last big trend is the concept of active management. Currently, most HR strategies are passive in nature. HR departments will only start seeking candidates, when a spot opens up in one of the divisions. When an opening arises, HR departments initiate their flow: call the agency, farm for resumes, screen for resumes and hope one of these resumes come from the ideal candidate.

This reactive approach to recruiting is not the optimal way to manage personnel. In this approach, you’re always at the mercy of active job seekers which may not suit the requirements at that moment in time. Often, these are not the best candidates in the industry.

In the active management model, HR professionals don’t wait for an opening to reach out for candidates. HR professionals are constantly reaching out. They search in LinkedIn for the best profiles. They read blogs or watch videos from authoritative sources. They engage and connect with them and maintain a strong rapport.

In sales and marketing, this is called “pre-selling.” When a salesperson pre-sells a product, they are informing customers about the product or service, and through informative content, the salesperson hopes to create future demand. Marketers often point out that it takes seven contacts before a salesperson can make a sale. Hence, there is a lot of pre-selling before a consumer actually purchases a product.

This concept of pre-selling interest in potential employees can work really well in the recruiting. When we surveyed our most active users (companies who are hiring), we found interesting results. They use Vested (along with LinkedIn) to nurture interest from candidates who have attractive profiles.

They spend half the time setting interviews and funneling candidates to the recruiting flow, and they spend the other half reaching out and “pre-selling” the organization to ideal candidates.

Our clients who use the active management model have higher conversion rates when they bring in candidates they’ve already pre-vetted via prior outreach campaigns. They’ve identified top candidates and pre-sold them on the benefits of working at their organizations.

Vested as a Next-Gen Hiring Solution

After reviewing the results from our clients, we at Vested feel even more confident that our platform is the next-gen recruiting tool to connect job seekers to companies who need them. It’s a platform where both sides can interact with each other and “pre-sell” the benefits of a working relationship.

It’s a cost-effective platform, where hiring managers have direct access to candidates. It’s a platform pushing the boundaries and laying the groundwork for the future of the recruiting industry.

(Photos from Upsplash)