PART 2: The Recruitment Trends of 2017 onwards


If you read our last blog post, you’ll see that we took you through what recruitment looks like today and the current problems it faces.

Rebounty, alongside other organisations in the space, are making strides to fix this process - and in this blog post we’ll explore what is trending in recruitment and is likely to be for the next several years.

If you’re involved in the hiring or acquisition of new talent, it’s crucial that you stay up to date with the latest trends in the industry.

As we are now halfway through 2017, it seems only fitting that we take time to look at what is happening in the job recruiting world. So, we present you with Rebounty’s Mid-Year Recruitment Trends Report for 2017.

As an industry that has changed dramatically over the last few years, job recruiting continues to be morphed by technology, economics, and time.

Job recruiting is a growing industry. As it becomes harder for companies to find the right candidates, recruiters and their agencies are experiencing pay raises, on average 7.6%!

From artificial intelligence to changes in workplace cultures, recruiting is an industry that is uniquely positioned to see how the changes in society affect the workforce. In this report we analyze six major trends and how they will affect your business.


Artificial Intelligence

A Google search of Artificial Intelligence (AI) produced the following definition:

“The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.”

We know that AI is going to change the world, but how is it going to affect the recruiting industry?

Meet Mya.

Mya is the first fully automated recruiting assistant to hit the market

Created by FirstJob, Mya is the first fully automated recruiting assistant to hit the market. As Louis Efron writes in Forbes, Mya,

“[E]ngages with applicants, poses contextual questions based on job requirements, and provides personalized updates, feedback, and next-step suggestions. By delivering custom messages designed to address specific recruiter pain points, and acquiring critical applicant answers, Mya enables recruiters to focus their time on interviewing and closing offers.”

In other words, the goal for Mya, and all recruiting-specific AI, is to weed out candidates so the human recruiters can focus on those with the right requirements.

Companies are beginning to use AI to help simplify the process in a number of ways:


AI is often the first introduction candidates have to a company.

AI bots are increasingly being used to assess right as they begin the process, assessing human qualities that are important to the job. AI is used to measure a candidate’s interaction (including their ability to say “please” and “thank you” in written correspondence) to determine both their cultural fit and basic skill level.

Perhaps your company’s communications are more casual and utilize a lot of exclamation points. Maybe your culture is more formal and words must be chosen carefully.

Regardless, AI bots like Mya can measure a candidate’s style compared to your company’s.


Matching qualified candidates with open positions.

Sometimes the resume descriptions for the same position can vary widely from person to person.

Not everybody describes their previous experience in the same way. A management position could be described as a supervisor, coordinator, or a foreman!

This is a pain point for recruiters across the spectrum, and can result in many qualified candidates being turned away.

AI has the potential to fix this though.

Now all recruiters have to do is enter a few keywords about a job, and the software has the ability to make conclusions about the resumes it is reading to see if an applicant might fit the qualifications.

Rather than relying on simply finding keywords and flagging a resume, Artificial Intelligence programs can connect the dots between longer sentences and job descriptions to find applicants that might be missed otherwise.


Taking over scheduling.

AI assistants are on the rise in the workforce. With the ability to scan emails and communicate quickly with applicants, it is a dream come true for busy recruiters.

Rather than playing phone tag or risk losing an email with important information, the bots can ensure that communications are handled appropriately and quickly. It’s like having a human personal assistant but without the human error!


If you’re a recruiter, AI will make your life easier.

Artificial intelligence is nowhere near the point where it can completely replace human jobs.

Rather, it is simply functioning as a way to eliminate the tedious frustrations that come with a corporate workforce.


Big Data

Like AI, big data is slated to change everything about our daily lives.

The difference is that big data is already being employed in every sense.

In general, data scientists are in higher demand in 2017 than in previous years because data is only becoming increasingly important to companies. In fact, Glassdoor ranked Data Scientists as the best job in America in their 2017 report!

Big data will continue to affect recruiting in 2017.


Sourcing new hires with data.

Data gives unique insights into where an applicant came from, how they interacted with the company previously, and what their personality is like based on their social media.

However, those functions are just the beginning of the possibilities of what data can do for recruiters.

In April of 2017, Google Hire hit the scene.

In April of 2017, Google Hire hit the scene.

Data and Google are synonymous, and the company wants to leverage the data it already has on people to make the job recruiting process easier. This is a powerful tool that is slated to create a dramatic difference once it is fully actualized. As Jordan Novet wrote back in April

“Google Hire could represent competition for companies like Greenhouse, Indeed, Jobvite, LinkedIn, and Oracle’s Taleo.”

Released in April of 2017, it is still in beta testing. However, if your company is interested in learning more, you can do so here.


Data is also increasingly being used to understand the recruiting process.

As Iain Hamilton, founder of People Traction stated for Undercover Recruiter:

“Until now we have focused our data analysis on the source of a hire, how long it takes to hire someone and the more advanced have been using data to remove blockers in the recruitment process. Now we are going to be able to understand every interaction a candidate has with our business and hence the content which best influences their decisions to apply and accept a position. Talent Generation Management is here.”

Essentially, rather than simply using data to understand where a candidate came from, recruiters can now use it to understand how to improve the process of bringing new people on.

Data can measure all aspects of the recruitment operation: from how long a recruiter spent chatting with potential candidates to how long it takes for a new hire to become productive.

This allows businesses to learn how to improve the candidate experience to find better talent.


How your HR team can effectively use big data

There are many different ways to utilize data, but we wanted to provide a few steps to point you in the right direction.

  1. Discover what drives your employee engagement: What makes your employees happy to contribute to their work? What detracts from their experience? How can you change your recruitment or hiring process to increase engagement in the workplace? This also helps your workers in the long run.

  2. Predict future success: What has made your most recent hires successful? If you track what makes hires great, you will be able to find the commonalities to search for in new talent.

  3. Use data to plan, not just analyze: When you have enough data, your team can use it to evaluate employees, understand their background, and then create plans to find more candidates like your top performers.


Social Media

Social media has changed everything about how our lives operate, including job recruiting. With a a number of advantages, social media is molding to become one of the most effective ways of recruiting.


Social media helps find candidates.

  • Employers can match with candidates at a faster pace and lower cost
  • Social networking helps determine cultural fit and engagement with the company
  • Higher response rate in job postings on a social network because there is less spam
  • Ability for job posting to spread virally
  • Reaches qualified candidates who do not visit job boards
  • Ability to parse through connections

The obvious example of social media shaping the recruiting world is LinkedIn. The website is perfect for recruiting because it is built on the idea of professionalism. Recruiters can also quickly access the job history and connections of a potential candidate!

However social media is not just limited to LinkedIn, and increasingly Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are being used for recruiting purposes.

What is awesome about these platforms is that job postings shared through a company’s profile are likely to reach people who already love the company: the followers.

Followers can then be individually investigated by recruiters to determine their culture fit and personality.


Social media also helps candidates make decisions about companies.  

As we wrote in our previous post, many applicants develop their opinions about a company through research into the organization’s values and culture.

Social media falls under this umbrella.

In fact, 59% of employees said a company’s social media presence was a factor in their choice of workplace!


Be creative with social media.

There are many surefire ways to use social media as a recruiting tool, and if you aren’t using social media yet these tips are a good place to get started:

  • Create a presence across numerous platforms: Create a company jobs page that is separate from your main page. This ensures that your messaging is targeted and doesn’t interfere with your branding.
  • Get current employees involved: Ask employees to share their experiences about working for the company, then make it easy for them to share that content across the internet!
  • Keep your social media updated: If your social media is not active it will detract from the user experience and potentially the candidate experience.
  • Utilize hashtags strategically: In fact, create one for your recruiting process!
  • Offer advice to potential candidates: Let candidates know that their time is respected and that you are not trying to blindside them in the interview.

However, creativity is also valued among applicants, particularly those on the younger end of the spectrum.

A prime example is Beautiful Destinations, a creative agency with a focus on travel. Last year they were in need of a new content creator, and they asked users to create their own travel video and use #worldscoolestjob to apply.

The response was staggering. The company received over 65,000 applications.

The World Coolest Job

The applications for the World’s Coolest Job closed in October.

The success of this campaign hinged on the flexibility of the application and the ability for users to think creatively.

It also utilized social media to showcase the personality of the company, the subject of the next section of this report.


Company benefits and branding

The workplace culture has not simply become more relevant to recruiters, it’s also more important to candidates. Since the market is in the candidate’s favor right now, applicants have the ability to shop around and see which company is the best fit for them.

As such, companies need to create a brand that is appealing to potential hires.

“I expect to see a lot more through video and engaging the ‘candidate’ experience through social media channels such as Instagram and Snapchat” wrote Lysha Holmes, Founder of Qui Recruitment for Undercover Recruiter in 2016.

Companies will need to begin promoting the many benefits they have that can influence a candidate’s opinion of the enterprise.

What is Most Attractive to Prospective Hires

Source: MRI Network

MRI Network found that benefits most attractive to prospective hires include:

  • Competitive compensation packages (49%)
  • Emphasis on work-life balance (42%)
  • Collaborative environment (40%)
  • Advancement opportunities (40%)
  • Fun, engaging, company culture (38%)
  • Sense of camaraderie (38%)

To attract new hires, understand your company culture and benefits and advertise them over social media. Have current employees talk about their own experiences and help candidates understand why your company is the best place to work.

Every Voice Matters

Courtesy of Edelman’s 2016 Trust Barometer

Edelman found that candidates trust the information put out by companies, but that they valued the input of an employee over a CEO.

Even more than employee testimonies, candidates value the input of friends and family. When someone sees the benefits that are offered to a friend, they will actually believe that that those benefits are real This is why networks are still important! another reason that networks and referrals through companies like Rebounty are highly effective!



An increasingly important value in the workforce is flexibility.

As technology allows work to become more mobile, economic conditions shift, and new platforms begin to emerge that connect freelancers with businesses, it seems that many people in the workforce are favoring flexibility over stability.

Let’s look at some statistics:

  • 47% of full time employees do not have flexible working encouraged at their workplace
  • 67% of employees wish they were offered flexible working
  • 58% of people believe that working out of the office would increase their motivation
  • 45% of people in this survey spent over an hour commuting each day
  • 56% of commuters feel stressed or flustered at least once per month
  • 53% of people feel they would be more productive if they could work outside of the office
  • 70% of workers feel that remote working makes a job more attractive

In short, flexibility can not only increase productivity and motivation, it can also increase the morale of your workforce.

If employees do not need to waste time commuting to work, they can get more done and have a better work-life balance. They can also avoid the stresses of commuting and unexpected life events affecting their work.

Particularly among Millennials, flexibility is crucial. As this generation is beginning to take over and dominate the workforce, they are shaping it to fit their needs, whether that is a nap after lunch or working on a Saturday morning to make up for going to a baseball game on Wednesday afternoon.

The multigenerational workforce

Courtesy of Slalom

As this generation grows, companies will need to adapt accordingly. By improving the lives of your employees you will be improving the brand of your business, making it more attractive to top-talent hires.


Increase in contract workers

Reflective of this drive for flexibility, a growing trend in 2017 is the rise of the freelancer (or “gig”) economy.

As such, this means that more companies are starting to hire highly skilled people on a shorter-term basis. The number of self-employed people has been rising steadily in the 2010s, and contracted positions are beginning to become more and more popular, even among those at the highest executive levels of some companies

As Bronwen Hann, President and Senior Partner at Argentus Supply Chain Recruiting reflected in the Undercover Recruiter in 2016,

“Whether you want to call it contracting, or consulting, or the “gig economy,” more companies than ever are choosing to “rent” rather than hire talent, even at the director level and above.”

In the U.S. alone, 51% of employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers this year as of March 2017, and increase from 47% from last year. The gig economy takes up an estimated 34% of the workforce in the U.S., a number that is supposed to rise to 43% by 2020.

This trend is consistent across borders. As reported by Owen Gough in July of 2017 about the United Kingdom:

“According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, over the last decade the number of self-employed workers in the UK has surged from 3.8 million to nearly 4.7 million. The figure has risen by 174,000 in the last year alone with 15 per cent of the entire UK workforce now self-employed.”

As the workplace becomes more mobile, recruiters are going to be increasingly hiring short-term team members.


More contracted workers means more specialized skills.

The future is unpredictable, and sometimes freelancers and short-term employees are the solution.

Sometimes a situation arises where you will need a specific skillset, but only for a specific project.

Luckily, freelancers and short-term contracts give you the ability to bridge this skills gap.

Freelancers and contract workers tend to specialize in a specific skillset to help differentiate themselves among a huge market. They become experts in their field and know the best ways to get a job done quickly and effectively.

With your project being steered by someone who knows exactly what they are doing, it is typically of higher quality and is produced faster than it would be when done by your in-house team that might not be as familiar with the process.


Contracted work generally give a great ROI

If you are looking to remodel your kitchen, you have two options:

Option One is to do the entire project yourself, an endeavor that you likely don’t have all of the necessary skills to execute. You can spend hours scouring the internet for tutorials on install a countertop and fumbling with the new sink.

Option Two is to hire a contractor to do the work for you. They have the necessary skills and labor to finish the job quickly, but also years of experience in the process.

While Option One might lend itself to funny stories later on, you will inevitably lose money in time wasted learning how to do the project. You’re better off outsourcing the work so it gets done quickly and efficiently, and so you can get back to your kitchen as soon as possible.

Your business is no different. If your team is struggling to execute something, contracted work is a great way to save time, and money, in the end.Because the process can move much more quickly and the quality of the product is high, a freelancer is generally a worthy investment.

Here is a starting list of some of the savings you gain with freelancers:

  • No salaries
  • Lower recruitment costs
  • Less time lost
  • Save in costs of health insurance, company benefits, etc.

While freelancers are no replacement for full-time employees, they are great solutions for outsourcing work. If you are hiring highly skilled people for a short time, they can help institute systems to make the job more effective in the future.

UK Freelance Workforce Breakdown

via The Raconteur

At DGR Marcomms, the company invests in freelancers instead of full-time employees. Beyond their small core team, the company relies on highly skilled freelancers to get the work done.

“This has a number of benefits...It means that no matter how busy we get, we’re always able to cope with the workload. We just get extra freelancers in. It also means that the quality of work is higher as we’re able to select the right specialist for each project.” -Mark Gill in Raconteur

This allows the entire company to live the lives they want.

Recruiters need to understand this and adjust accordingly. It may be the case that your team does not necessarily need a new full-time hire; rather, a highly-skilled contract worker might be able to provide a solution to your challenge.


Build your list for potential hires.

When you have been using freelancers or shorter-term employees for a while, you build up a list of people who work well with the company.

While this list is great to keep around for recurring work needs, it’s also the perfect place to find your next full-time employee.

Many times you’ll find someone that just fits well with the company. Maybe you like their writing style or their personality. Whatever it is, it’s likely that you will have an arsenal of people that you enjoy working with.

This makes them great people to reach out to if a new position opens up. They likely have some insight to the company culture, enjoy working with you, and understand what the company does and how it can improve!



To summarize, let’s recap the six major trends we covered in this report:

  • Artificial intelligence, which makes the recruiting process faster
  • Big data, which helps source new hires and understand the recruiting process
  • Social media, which helps spread the word about job opportunities and is an indicator of company culture to potential applicants
  • Company benefits and branding, which make your organization more attractive in a candidate-driven market
  • Employee flexibility, which is becoming a major driver of company cultures
  • Increase in contract workers, which helps bring specific skills into a company

These are a lot of changes, but they are also manageable as long as a company is aware of them. Companies that understand how dramatically the world is changing right now will inevitably be the ones accelerating into the future.

As 2017 carries on, these are major trends that will continue to shake up the world in general, not just recruiting. Remaining proactive is the key to staying ahead of the curve!