Allie Hofer
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The word “resolution” has probably been ringing in your ears since the calendar flipped to 2018. From cutting back on various vices to making time for healthy habits, we all vow to hit the reset button, create a strategy to improve ourselves, and realize our goals in the new year. For many of us, this list of goals also includes landing your dream job. While you’re dusting off your résumé in preparation for that job, businesses are revamping their talent acquisition processes and creating a new onboard process once you earn the position. Job seekers, recruiters, employees, and employers: you’re going to want to know four ways talent management systems will trend in 2018:

1. Recruiters will get personal. Job seekers will get choosy.

We all have experienced that crushing feeling when you realize that, rather than being a desirable, sought-after candidate, you’re simply a nameless application ID number in a company’s talent pool. Recruiters and HR representatives have become aware of the adverse effect such impersonal interaction has on applicants’ interest in the position and must amend their communication methodology and talent strategy. In order to appeal to candidates as part of the war for talent, recruiters will need to become more strategic in their talent acquisition and invest in greater communication intimacy. For instance, they should avoid sending standardized messages in bulk to candidates on LinkedIn. Instead, each query should be customized to fit the candidate, mentioning specifics about his or her professional background, such as current place of employment or career development. Wouldn’t you be more inclined to engage with a company who intentionally reaches out to you as an individual?

2. Recruiters will get proactive. Job seekers will get communicative.

Protocols of old wouldn’t trigger a search until a position became available, but in 2018, we will see companies building talent pool pipelines despite not having position availability as part of their talent management strategy. These channels open access to a range of options and place potential hires “on deck,” even before vacancies occur. The shift from the traditional “reactive” style to a “proactive” business strategy allows for streamlined hiring and expedited return to full business functionality. The talent management process of the new year is dedicated to assembling teams today for tomorrow’s needs. So job seekers, if you’re interested in being included in these pipelines, prepare for a decent amount of “touch-base” communication with these recruiters so they keep you in mind as potential employees. 

3. Recruiters will get serious. Job seekers will get cross-examined.

Have you ever been asked an off-the-wall question—seemingly irrelevant to your skills—in a job interview, such as, “If you were a kitchen utensil, what would you be?” that left you in a panic? You’re surely not alone when it comes to facing ridiculous, seemingly unanswerable inquiries in an interview setting! Recruiters and human resources managers often run talent searches under the guise of creativity, when, in reality, such “clever” tactics are not effective talent management solutions—they leave candidates unamused and serve as poor predictors of their actual on-the-job performance. Many businesses will replace the ineffective talent management strategy with more structured, committee-centric interviewing. This strategic, multi-person, and logical talent management process will produce a more well-rounded assessment of job applicants and how they will fit in the position. Listen up, job seekers! Be prepared for cross-examination, with all those behavioral-based questions you’re reading about.

4. Workplaces will get educational.

Another significant change aims to take advantage of current employee bases and maximize their collective expertise and competencies. Adam Grant—Wharton professor and co-author with Sheryl Sandberg of one of my more recent favorite books, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy—asserts that more businesses will strive to hire Chief Learning Officers (CLOs) to lead employee populations in learning new skills and competencies. Rather than treading water while waiting for a position to be filled, companies are hoping to revitalize their training onboard processes to equip their staff with the know-how required to bridge the gaps. Investing in CLOs and their own people will fortify businesses during job displacements, facilitating smoother transitions and successions and possibly even erasing the need for certain position designations altogether—ultimately leading to greater organization success.

The Gist:

You aren’t the only one looking to mix it up in 2018. Across the business world, HR departments resolve to overhaul the historical systems of hiring and develop new, more strategic talent management solutions. As a job seeker and a company’s potential candidate, an employee hoping to stay relevant in your position, or someone working in HR, you can anticipate professional adaptations in the new year.

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Allie Hofer is an HR professional and work-life balance enthusiast. She's a professional in Human Resources (PHR), Society of Human Resource Management – Certified Professional (SHRM-CP), and Recruiter Academy Certified Recruiter (RACR). After having her first child, she opted out of the traditional office setting to work from home. Since then, she's been consulting with organizations in the public and private sectors to support the human resources function in recruiting, compensation, training and development, and performance managementShe started Office Hours to offer a boutique HR solution for small- and medium-sized businesses and to help candidates navigate and completely own their career paths.