Recruitment Trends 2018: Supercharge Your Talent Sourcing With Programmatic Technology

2018 Recruitment Trends: Supercharge Your Talent Sourcing With Programmatic Technology [source: https://unsplash.com/photos/0VGG7cqTwCo]

“When it comes to the future of work, ‘late adopter’ is the same thing as ‘out of business’” – Jacob Morgan

As we approach year’s end, it is a good time for employers to take a look back at recruitment performance during the year, revise strategies, and use recruitment trends to devise new ones.

And as recruitment technology advances, new trends enter the place—trends that employers need to understand by looking at the current, central drivers of the labor market:

In 2018, companies have to understand and implement the following trends that are already shaping the future of recruitment:

  • How employers need to reach job seekers across different online channels by understanding their touchpoints
  • How recruitment budgets benefit from a “holistic view” that encompasses analytics, cost evaluation, and the application funnel
  • How automation helps employers to focus on the core aspects of their recruitment processes while optimizing costs

Diversification: Sourcing from Various Channels

As Internet penetration rates and connection speeds continue to soar worldwide, people are spending more time online: the average U.S. internet user spends over six hours online, between desktop and mobile screens.

Multiplatform usage is increasing [source: http://bit.ly/2wsUkUq]
Multiplatform usage is increasing [source: http://bit.ly/2wsUkUq]
While online, job seekers are presented with a variety of channels to interact with, including websites, social media, and mobile apps. Each channel is a different opportunity—or touchpoint—for recruiters to reach potential candidates with relevant messages and content.

Job seekers are classified into two categories:

  1. Active: job seekers effectively looking for opportunities and visiting specific websites, such as job boards, careers pages, and social media apps where openings are posted.
  2. Passive: potential job seekers not actively looking for a job, but who can be presented with job opportunities anyway in any available online and offline channel.

It is within these different contexts that organizations need to reach prospective candidates where they are, carefully considering the different current sourcing channels and touchpoints available to the modern job seeker.

Perengo - Day of a Job Seeker [source: own infographic]
Perengo – Day of a Job Seeker [source: own infographic]
Thus, a well-executed recruitment strategy requires an effective diversification to achieve optimal results.


Budget Optimization: Holistic View

The Importance of Analytics

Operational improvement is a common business practice, as an optimized performance yields better financial results. This is where analytics play a key role because, as Peter Drucker is famously quoted, “what gets measured, gets improved.”

HR departments are no strangers to this reality: recruitment operations benefit greatly from analytical approaches. This is why future HR leaders are setting up their hiring processes by leveraging state-of-the-art analytics tools that assist them in improving their processes in real-time.

A carefully devised analytics framework can optimize the several stages of the application funnel (website visits, applications, interviews, offers, and hires). By understanding the different metrics involved in the recruitment funnel, employers can effectively deploy strategies that increase recruitment performance and assist in achieving business goals.

These strategies tie nicely with the above-mentioned trend: sourcing diversification, since correctly approached analytics, allow recruiters to get an overall, actionable picture of the different channels available online.

The final goal of a finely-tuned, analytics-enabled recruitment campaign must be to achieve the best possible results by obtaining more qualified hires at a lower cost, thus optimizing the recruitment budget while maximizing the output of onboarded talent.

Sourcing Cost

Recruitment budget optimization requires a knowledge of where the prospective candidates are coming from. It also requires knowing the actual amounts spent to acquire those candidates and to get them flowing through the application funnel.

This effort goes through an analysis of the different sourcing channels where job seekers spend their times. Employers also need to carefully consider the different types of costs involved in the application flow, each one of these linked to a specific metric that can be measured and optimized: cost per mille (CPM = cost per thousand impressions), cost per click (CPC), cost per application (CPA), and cost per hire (CPH).

The ongoing trend is to enhance the cost per hire metric by including all the right costs. This brings about a more complete perspective: the effective cost per hire or eCPH, which is much more useful for evaluating recruitment costs. Also, the eCPH metric allows employers to make more strategic decisions in order to continue optimizing their recruitment processes.

Awareness vs. Re-targeting: Recruiters need to be aware as to why certain campaigns have higher/lower cost [own figure]
A final key metric to take into account is the lifetime value (LTV) of new hires, also called the quality of hire (QoH). This customizable metric allows recruiters to measure values such as new hire performance, turnover and retention rates, and even HR managers satisfaction levels. Every employer chooses the LTV metrics that better fit the analytics framework of their companies.

Application Funnel

Employers that fully comprehend how job seekers turn into actual candidates, by leveraging the power of the application funnel framework, are a step ahead in regards to recruitment budget optimization.

Simplified recruitment success calculus [own figure]
Simplified recruitment success calculus [own figure]
By understanding the candidate journey through the funnel, employers are able to optimize every stage of the application flow: from the branding elements that draw job seekers into job postings sites, all the way to the candidate selection and subsequent insights that yield further improvements to the process.

The prevalence of mobile phone usage among modern job seekers is an important factor to consider when implementing recruitment funnels. Quick applications are essential to turn job seekers into actual applicants and potential hires.

The “Five C’s of Usability”: consistency, clarity, concision, credibility, and convenience are key to creating optimized application pages. Also, businesses have to understand that “mobile optimized” pages are not the same as just “mobile responsive”: not every responsive site is necessarily optimized for conversions. By applying conversion optimization best practices, employers can effectively achieve quick application flows, which increase application completion rates, decreasing CPA and CPH. The end result: a fully optimized recruitment budget.

Simplified example of Quick Application pages [own figure]
Simplified example of Quick Application pages [own figure]

Automation: Reduce Time and Focus on What’s Important

The modern recruitment landscape is giving way to an increasing automation, as job postings have evolved over time, from the old “Help Wanted” signs to newspaper classifieds to state-of-the-art programmatic ads.

With programmatic recruitment, employers can reach the most relevant, qualified job seekers by automating ad placement. This is implemented including real-time optimization capabilities, so the right job ads reach the appropriate candidates anywhere and every time.

Employers are starting to understand the benefits of automation in their recruitment processes. They are conveniently automating a number of core tasks, such as job distribution, budget allocation, and channel management.

Benefits of automation via programmatic recruitment include:

  • Cost optimization: since automation makes recruitment processes more efficient, employers are able to better allocate their recruitment budgets, resulting in reduced CPA and CPH.
  • Improved application flows: focused on the actual performance of applicants along the funnel and aided by the analytics features that continuously optimize recruitment efforts.
  • Fewer errors: carefully designed application funnels, featuring programmatic optimization, are like well-oiled machines, producing consistent performance and more qualified hires.

A major, overall benefit of automation is that it helps businesses to focus on their core goals. It takes the burden out of the kind of menial tasks that end up demanding more time and resources than actually necessary.

In the HR field, automation improves the hiring experience for candidates, as the real-time optimization features inherent to programmatic recruitment get job seekers attracted to offers that are more relevant to their interests, goals, and skills.

In turn, this automation-led improvement increases conversion rates from applicants to hires—the biggest controllable lever in the recruitment funnel.


Bottomline: Use Technology to Improve Your Recruitment

Employers need to keep an eye out on the ongoing recruitment trends in 2018. To recap:

  • Diversification: job seekers spend more of their time in different online channels, in both active and passive job search modes, so employers need to reach them wherever they are.
  • Budget optimization: recruitment analytics play a key role in the optimization of both sourcing costs and application funnel performance, allowing businesses to obtain better financial results.
  • Automation: in order to reach job seekers across a wide variety of touchpoints, and to optimize recruitment budgets, employers need to harness the power of recruitment automation platforms that help them effectively streamline their operations.

All these recruitment trends can be easily implemented and leveraged by means of a proven programmatic ads platform that lets employers reach the most relevant job seekers across the web, while improving their recruitment budgets, and automating their recruitment campaigns for optimal results.


If you have insights and opinions on this topic please share your thoughts.

Thanks, Team Perengo


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Perengo is a programmatic recruitment platform.

High-growth businesses and Fortune 500 companies use Perengo to solve their recruitment challenges at scale. The platform provides tools for operational recruitment automation and strategic business intelligence.

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