How Recruiters Will Impact Your 2018 Job Search

If you’re tired of recruiters pitching you mundane positions that require programming languages you haven’t used in a while, you may want to know more about the trends that will impact your career search in 2018.

To help you meet your career-related resolutions in 2018, here are the major recruiting trends you should know about—and some ways to take advantage of the changes.

A.I. Goes Mainstream

According to a recent study, some 62 percent of companies plan to invest in A.I.-powered recruiting software in 2018. Instead of using keyword matching and prior experience to identify prospects, these tools often use predictive capabilities to find up-and-coming professionals who are interested in expanding their skillsets.

“We’ll see wider mainstream adoption of artificial intelligence tools and technology in 2018,” explained Ji-A Min, head data scientist for recruiting software firm Ideal. “Each tool is designed to improve a specific process in the recruiting lifecycle such as sourcing, recruitment marketing, outreach or candidate screening by making them more accurate, targeted and hyper-personalized.”

Some tools are capable of learning the skillsets of current employees and using deep learning to identify prospects with similar attributes. Generally speaking, the new tools are designed to make better matches, noted Britt Ryan and Lisa Holden, head of recruiting and senior manager of public relations (respectively) at Entelo.

Action Steps: Because A.I.- enabled sourcing tools search the entire public web, showcasing your hobbies, interests and career aspirations (and keeping your online information up-to-date) will increase your chances of hearing about growth opportunities. “Be very direct about what you want to learn, and what you’ve been dabbling in on the side, if you want to be contacted about stretch projects and roles,” Ryan said.

Talent Pools Get More Diverse

In a bid to expand talent pools, recruiters are increasingly willing to consider non-traditional candidates. To that end, many of the latest sourcing tools remove photos and replace candidate names with initials in order to support an unbiased sourcing process.

Action Steps: If you’d like to work in tech but don’t have a traditional profile, focus your résumé on your approach to work, emphasizing what you’ve delivered in previous roles. This could attract the attention of recruiters who may be willing to consider your unconventional background.

Employers are Scrapping Up-Front Screening and Topgrading

Rather than adding even more hoops for job candidates to jump through, companies are shortening the application process and making it easier to get your foot in the door, according to Chad Melloy, director of search and compensation-consulting firm The Overture Group.

“Some clients have stopped administering coding tests and assessments before they bring in a candidate,” he said. “Many are willing to have a conversation with someone before they proceed to the assessment stage.”

Action Steps: Engage with hiring managers and current employees before you spend time applying or taking tests. Request an informational interview or get to know the ins and outs; if possible, participate in the company’s online community—some firms maintain forums or message boards.

Personalized Outreach

If you’re tired of receiving generic, irrelevant email pitches from recruiters, you’re not alone. Things have gotten so bad that some frustrated tech pros have posted samples of their “generic” responses online.

The problem is that a majority of recruiters don’t track email open rates or click-through rates, so they keep doing the same thing. That’s starting to change, however: Recruiters are using new tools to forge connections with candidates by providing personalized email outreach, targeted job opportunities and customized follow-up.

Action Steps: “Publish your wish-list,” advised Nicole McAndrew, executive recruiting manager for The Overture Group. While you will probably continue to receive some off-target inquiries from recruiters, broadcasting your top three to five career goals or your ideal opportunity may help you receive more relevant information and job postings.

Total Package Approach

Employers are realizing that compensation is not always the deciding factor when candidates decide to accept or reject a job offer. As a result, they are putting greater emphasis on the overall package they offer tech pros, including opportunities to telecommute or work with cutting-edge technologies in a creative culture.

Action Steps: It’s important to know what is most valuable to you before starting your job search. Many employers are willing to modify an offer or customize a package if they know what matters most to you and why.

12 Responses to “How Recruiters Will Impact Your 2018 Job Search”

    • The recruiters that frustrate me are the ones that ignore the line on my Dice profile that says I’m not open to relocation and send me jobs that aren’t located anywhere near where I live — especially those that think that LA and San Francisco are close together just because they’re in the same state.

      • Ahhh, so this IS as common as I thought, Frank. Thanks for confirming that. I’m also frustrated and had been debating whether to toss Dice and LinkedIn for that very reason. Legit sites with illegitimate recruiters.

  1. Unless the rigged game of preferring cheap, unskilled guest workers vs actual professionals is stopped, and candidates can actually have a fair shot at real jobs, the Information Technology sector is doomed.

    US Americans have zero protection from predatory recruiters and predatory employers. Our own citizens are responsible for this, it is at our own hand and our own peril.

    It’s impossible now to tell if half the jobs are even real jobs, and not scams to get you to submit your resume, only to be ignored after you send the resume. The rigged game is that the recruiters and employers are really just looking at H1-Bs, not American citizens, because the H1-B is cheaper and more compliant because they have a visa that can get easily yanked.

    There has to be major reform to the job market so that candidates have a real, fair shot at jobs, and know that they were actually considered, and in the end, why they were passed on.

    Everything today favors recruiters, employers and middle men.

    There’s nothing for the candidate to ensure their application or resume was actually submitted, and reviewed by a real hiring manager. Instead, all we know is that somebody got our resume, they “said” they submitted it, and it went through some kind of software scan because the HR People have no clue what the skills are. Failing the software scan of your resume fails the candidate.

    As our country becomes less and less and technology literate in the workplace, with fewer and fewer American professionals from our own country who know how these systems work in our own country, we are seeing the rapid decline of our civilization. We lost the edge in manufacturing, now we see the decline of software literacy, handing over our prized technology to a bunch of gold digging foreigners who bring nothing to America but displacement of Americans from the job force. Is this the America we want?

    • Agreed! I always thought that “right to work” laws were in place to protect the American worker. Well, I recently found out the hard way that those laws use deceptive language in order to cover up the fact that those laws actually protect the employers, recruiters, and the middlemen by allowing them to freely exploit the American worker in ways that are illegal in any other environment such as the Federal employment market. I have seen blatant amendment rights violations go unchallenged because the laws not only allow it but encourage it in the private sector and are not designed to protect the worker. This country is now upside down and how long it will exist is anyone’s guess.

  2. Patrick

    Well if any of these things are happening, I haven’t seen it yet. I just got a coding challenge from a recruiter today, so I’m sure it’s still an employer by employer basis.

  3. I am tired of recruiters that send an email saying you look like a good match for this job. The salary is 15.00 an hour. I have over 20 years of experience. Looking at my resume, you will see a very broad IT base. I do not want an entry level position in the same thing I have twenty years of experience doing. I got into IT to learn new things and to grow. Over 10 years locked into the same position is not my fault.

  4. 99.99% of the recruiters that contact me through Dice and LinkedIn are the worthless Indian scum so called recruiters that contact me for completely irrelevant jobs in places that are nowhere near where I live. Dice needs to find a way to filter out these scummy scammers. Some of them are at least honest enough to tell you they are simply collecting resumes hoping to land a client.

  5. It’s a shame that recruiters have gotten SUCH a bad reputation over the last 5-10 years or so. My agency is based in NY and we try very hard to focus on candidate-job matches for skills, salary and location to avoid wasting anyone’s time.

    I get calls all the time for offshore RPO’s (recruitment process outsourcers) where you get a very cheap India-based recruiter to source candidates. I tried one once, but no one would take his calls, so we do all of our sourcing directly.