The future of recruiting is much like the future of any industry: UNDETERMINED. The art and science of hiring has changed so much in the past few years, that all of us are wondering, what is next? Here, the experts weigh in on what skills you’ll need to survive in the future of recruitment: 

This question originally appeared on Quora. Answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.

Q: “What is the future of recruitment?”

“…Tomorrow’s recruiters will be creative marketers, able to effectively market candidates, jobs, their organizations and themselves through a variety of online and offline channels. They will be brand champions, at ease working up and down and inside/outside their organizations. They must be technically fluent and know how to wrangle metrics to develop actionable strategies, ones that are nimble and can rapidly pivot with the business. They will understand what social media is, what it isn’t, and how to effectively incorporate it into various programs (recruiting, branding, talent communities, etc).

They MUST be self-motivated and curious in order to keep pace with the rapidly evolving talent landscape. The recruiting world is changing fast, if recruiters aren’t driven to keep up they will struggle…” Lars Schmidt (@thisisLars), Founder of Amplify Talent, former recruiting leader at NPR

Lars knows whereof he speaks. After all, he recently worked with Hootsuite on their recruiting efforts, has shaped the recruitment marketing at NPR (and started NPR Life) and has recently begun efforts to create an open-source HR community. Is today’s recruiter ready for tomorrow’s demands? Sangeeta Narayan isn’t so sure. There is one key skill that has been driven to near extinction in many recruiters due to the advent of both sourcing and recruiting technology.

“…TALENT DISCOVERY: When there was no or little internet, the way to recruit was to network like crazy, map out company org charts by cold calling and talking with people etc.

TALENT ACQUISITION: Technology has made us recruiters lazy. We send 100+ emails through LinkedIn. It used to work but now it is just spam from a passive candidate’s perspective. It’s a great way to get the active to almost-active people interested in talking with you and/or to expand your network slowly. But if you want to fill your search now, start talking to people…” Sangeeta Narayan (@recruitingdiva), Recruiter, Catapulse Partners

And this is the crux of a decades-long debate. Pick up the phone recruiters! Are we becoming lazy? Is social recruiting truly something that can replace a telephone conversation?

It’s a tough question, one that millennials, the largest generation in the workforce in a mere four years, will have a hand in shaping the answer to. In fact, millennials MAY prefer phone and face to face communication more than we originally thought. “Despite growing up in the digital age, millennials haven’t abandoned person-to-person contact,” said Mattersight CEO Kelly Conway (@Mattersight). “Contrary to popular belief, we found that most millennials prefer to communicate in-person and over the phone because it allows them to have the most meaningful conversations.” So what does this mean for the growing social recruitment movement?

Leon Mueller, of Squelo is bearish around job postings and job boards, but agrees with the other experts that direct sourcing is the way to go (phone or no). He also anticipates a more competitive market, which only underscores the need for better candidate experience and retention opportunities that companies overlooked during the recent recession.

“…This might be old news but it will continue to become more and more important: direct sourcing. Already 93% of the companies use or plan to use social initiatives to support their recruitment. Employer branding has become a huge topic over the past years and so will direct sourcing continue to become more important. Direct sourcing has improved the quality and quantity of candidates as well as reduced the time to hire. 69% of recruiters expect hiring to become more competitive over the next years and direct sourcing has become the major tool to win the ‘war for talent’.

Less Job Postings. As direct sourcing is becoming more important, the old traditional job board will lose its importance…” -Leon Mueller (@MySquelo), Co-Founder of Squelo

It’s worth noting here that a mix of practitioners and vendors were answering the question. Among them, Entelo founder Jon Bischke and Hired.com founder, Matt Mickiewicz, both of whom are actively creating technology to disrupt the market whose future they are (in this question) predicting. The interesting thing is, they are saying the same things.

“To stand out and get attention, companies will have to be more open and more transparent about the opportunities they are hiring for – and that includes compensation details upfront.”  -Matt Mickiewicz (@MattMickiewicz), Hired.com

It seems as though the future of recruiting is heavily in the hands of the beholder.

The industry will change with time, and with it the workforce. But perhaps no one has a long a view as Gerry Crispin of CareerXRoads, who imagines a future so different, and so integrated, that it may not even involve recruiting or HR at all….

The freelancer working in 2-8 hour segments for a different firm each day for example is never ‘recruited’. This re-engineered and reinvented temporary placement model operating off dozens of online platforms like eLance, oDesk WorkMarket etc is already a billion dollar marketplace and estimated to be a 23 billion dollar industry within 5 years by Staffing Industry analyst… and few if any recruiters will be involved. In fact, I doubt HR will be involved at all. Someone in purchasing will manage the whole lot.

Automation Technologies may for the first time in history destroy many more jobs than are created (recruiting among them). If it comes to pass, and I think it will, the unintended consequences of this reversal (See The Future of Jobs in The Economist in January) the impact on recruiting will be the least of it. The few new jobs that are created and critical will be populated by individuals THROUGH their networks. These highly specialized networks already exist but are not yet serious communities of interest…that will be begin working collaboratively with young people from the time they chose a school and a major.”  -Gerry Crispin (@GerryCrispin), CareerXRoads

No matter what your opinion on the future of recruitment, (and we’d love for you to start the conversation on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn!) here at Click Boarding we believe that once someone comes into your organization, it’s your job (and ours) to give them the best first day ever. Like peas and carrots, recruiting and onboarding are inextricably linked. So as we watch the future of recruitment unfold, we’re creating the future of employee onboarding with our open API, paperless process. Learn more here.


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