We live in an ever-changing working environment.
Social, cultural, political, and technological upheaval has become business as usual.
Because of this, HR professionals need to stay aware of current talent acquisition trends and how they might impact their companies.
Educating yourself on current trends and leveraging them brings tangible results to your hiring strategy. It makes a huge difference in productivity and efficiency, and may even be the difference between a great candidate experience and a poor one.
That’s because talent acquisition is a strategy. Recruitment is the act of hiring, but talent acquisition initiatives are how you attract and secure talent. In fact, recruitment is a subset of talent acquisition.
Current talent acquisition trends include things such as:
AI in talent acquisition
Flexibility in the workplace
This article serves as an all-in-one guide to the top 13 talent acquisition trends currently circulating in the hiring world, providing an in-depth description of each one, with links to a full guide on each subject.
Countless talent acquisition strategies in the modern era are taking advantage of trends like recruiting automation, flexible work hours, and hiring for behavioral competencies.
These trends are gaining traction fast in the current labor market. Increasingly more talent acquisition leaders are using them, and that means more candidates expect them.
Integrating these global talent trends into your recruiting teams’ strategy is a great way to stay competitive and attract top talent.
There’s a lot to explore, so let’s dive in.
1. Recruitment marketing
Publicize your company’s value as an employer through marketing campaigns and newsletters
2. Recruiting automation
Create a smooth recruiting process by automating certain HR tasks
3. AI in talent acquisition
Leverage AI to check job descriptions for keywords and communicate with candidates
4. Data driven recruiting
Monitor and measure HR data to improve the hiring process
5. Behavioral competencies
Gauge the candidate as a whole by evaluating attitudes and personality traits
6. Boomerang employees
Welcome former workers back into your company to leverage great past talent
7. Contingent workers
Extend your workforce by hiring alternative workers, such as freelancers and contractors
8. Flexibility in the workplace
Offer flexible hours and locations to help support candidates who need it
9. Remote employees
Offer remote work and give candidates what they want
10. Recruiting internationally
Broaden your talent pool by recruiting top international talent
11. Candidate nurturing
Foster an ongoing relationship with top candidates to lead them down a recruitment funnel
12. Candidate experience
Prioritize good communication, prompt responses, and a smooth hiring process
13. Employee wellness
Offer employees wellness support in different ways, including physical, mental, emotional, and financial
Recruitment marketing helps promote your company’s value as an employer. Yes, you’re marketing your status as an employer like a product – and it’s a great idea.
There are many recruitment marketing strategies:
Recruitment email marketing
Monitoring HR analytics
Building and nurturing employer branding
Social media recruiting
Even just social media recruiting alone is a recruitment marketing rabbit hole to explore.
New talent acquisition trends like this evolve because today’s candidates find work the same way they research topics or buy products: by browsing social media, trolling search engines, and reading online reviews.
You want to market your company like a product so you find qualified candidates, both those who are actively searching for a job or are just passively interested.
EasyJet, a British airline group, saw remarkable success with this talent acquisition trend.
The company discovered that 78% of parents aged 45 or older want to take on new challenges after their children leave home. They used this information to build a hiring campaign targeted at older adults.
Since 2018, the company has seen an increase of 27% in cabin crew members past the age of 45.
Candidates expect a quick hiring process with thorough communication, but when some job ads receive nearly 900 applications, you’re going to need a little help.
Recruiting automation is pre-programmed software that helps hiring managers save time by automating a variety of HR tasks, including:
Sourcing and sorting candidates
Sending out replies, follow-ups, and documents
Shortlisting and rejection
Hiring managers deal with high volumes of candidates now more than ever.
Job postings have increasingly more applicants due to factors like a global-reaching workforce and skills-based hiring empowering people to apply for roles they don’t have the degree for, but have the skills for.
Automation helps sort through candidates, find high-quality candidates without them slipping through the cracks, and reject candidates gracefully. And all of this improves both your talent management and the candidate experience.
How big of an impact can automated recruitment have on your hiring process? Revolut improved its time-to-hire by 40%.
Being a European organization, this British-Lithuanian financial services company often needs to assess the language proficiency of its candidates. Manual language testing was time-consuming, leaving candidates disengaged and lengthening the hiring process.
But after automating its language proficiency testing with TestGorilla, it drastically improved the time taken to assess candidates so recruiters could focus on more important tasks.
AI in recruiting is the use of artificial intelligence to improve the hiring process, resulting in higher efficiency and reduced costs.
AI is distinct from automation because it’s software that was programmed to think like a human, while automation is pre-programmed by a human to run certain tasks.
AI is used for many hiring tasks, such as:
Checking job descriptions for inclusive and exclusive keywords
Creating and posting job ads
Optimizing applicant tracking systems
Consistently communicating with candidates
Informing workforce planning
The rise of AI has been quick over the past few years. It’s making certain jobs obsolete and creating new ones at the same time. It can be a delicate topic for some organizations, but many are eager to leverage this technology to improve the hiring process.
L'Oreal is one such organization. The famous personal care company uses an AI-powered HR chatbot called “Mya” to help screen candidates.
This tool leverages AI to ask candidates questions, verify their eligibility, and resolve any questions they may have about the company.
With Mya’s help, L’Oreal was able to process a staggering 13,000 candidates in seven months with a team of only 145 recruiters.
We know that AI can be a tricky subject when it comes to recruitment. Many companies are aware of the infamous risks it poses when it comes to building hiring biases.
However, there are ways to mitigate these risks and benefit from AI hiring tools. For our list, read our guide on AI in talent acquisition.
Data driven recruiting is when talent acquisition teams use measurable facts and statistics to inform the hiring process and hiring decisions.
Many new talent acquisition trends just make logical sense, and this is one of them. If sales teams track successful prospect data, why shouldn’t HR teams track successful candidate data?
Here are a few common metrics to measure:
Source of hire
If you also use skills tests, you can also use data in one of the most crucial areas of recruitment strategies: determining candidate skills.
Data driven recruiting is taking off quickly. Technology is advancing rapidly and giving HR professionals more visibility into and control of the hiring process than ever.
This visibility helps companies like Juniper Networks improve their recruitment process.
This company uses data to determine where top-performing employees come from and where they go when they leave the company. Juniper Networks’s aim is to learn about diverse industry career paths.
This strategy helps them source and attract better, more relevant talent.
Many HR experts agree that it isn’t what you do in a job; it’s how you do it. That’s why so many organizations have started hiring for behavioral competencies.
Behavioral competencies are attitudes and personality traits that help predict job performance and success. These include (but certainly aren’t limited to):
Organizational and industry knowledge
Recruiters are beginning to realize the full effectiveness of power skills. Traditionally, HR professionals looked for rigid degree and work history requirements, but increasingly more of them are prioritizing soft skills and transferable skills.
Why? Because, unlike hard skills, many soft skills can’t be taught. In fact, 89% of hiring failures happen due to a lack of soft skills.
It’s for this reason that Devereux Cleo Wallace, a healthcare organization, developed a competency-based hiring system.
Renee Adams, the organization’s recruiter, discovered a turnover rate of 60% within the company. Looking for the “right” degrees and experience wasn't enough.
To remedy this, instead of relying on resumes, she implemented a new system to measure which employees had the right competencies. Renee found that it was critical to prioritize empathy, composure, and listening ability.
Boomerang employees are people who left your organization and came back at a later date with the intention to rejoin.
These employees leave for a number of reasons, including new opportunities, life events outside their control, or even a desire to try a new career path.
Reasons they leave
Reasons they return
Life events outside their control
A desire to try a new career path
They miss the culture
They miss their coworkers
They made a hasty exit
Former employees are attractive candidates for a number of reasons, such as being familiar with company policies and culture, or being pre-qualified for the position.
Traditionally, companies were staunchly against rehiring former workers – some of them even had policies in place to prevent it – but nowadays, boomerang employees are one of the top talent acquisition trends 2023 is seeing.
Why the change? Much of this is due to the Great Discontent. Thousands of employees left during the thick of it, and are now returning to their old companies for monetary or cultural reasons.
We believe this is a strong change for the better, and we practice what we preach.
John Kim, a member of our sales team, left TestGorilla to pursue a new career, and even though it offered great challenges and a competitive salary, he came back.
John missed our friendly, inclusive culture. And when he returned, we were overjoyed to welcome him back.
Contingent workers are people who perform work for your company in a nontraditional manner, usually on a project-by-project basis or for a set amount of time.
This term is a broad one that covers many different types of workers:
Some common contingent roles include recruiters, writers, editors, web developers, and graphic designers. However, it doesn’t stop at traditional roles – increasingly more jobs are being offered as contingent roles, like business managers.
This is one of the new talent acquisition trends linked to the Great Resignation (many of them are, aren’t they?).
With so many people exiting their roles, massive numbers of workers took to project-based hiring and contract employment, helping the gig economy to boom.
In the past few years, we’ve seen several contingent worker-based companies flourish, including Uber, DoorDash, Upwork, and Fiverr.
Uber has seen so much success that it’s now created a career app called Uber Works. This app enables staff to track time and log breaks, while also helping potential candidates apply for jobs.
Candidates use the app to learn information about pay, work location, and necessary skill sets. Uber Works then helps interested candidates complete a skills assessment.
Candidates want flexible working policies, which are quickly becoming non-negotiable for securing great talent.
Flexibility in the workplace doesn’t just refer to remote work. It’s a broad term that refers to a person’s work being flexible in terms of time and location.
Here are a few examples of flexible work:
Flexible start and finish hours
Term time work
Flexible work enables employees to more easily achieve a healthy work-life balance. For example, a working parent might use flex time work to complete their work when their child is at school and then get off in time to pick them up.
Workplace flexibility became one of the top talent acquisition trends after the pandemic made it necessary for so many people.
But it’s also tied closely to the rising global workforce and companies that prioritize employee wellbeing and realize the impact flexible work has for working parents, students, and people with alternative lifestyles.
Robert Half realizes the importance of flexible work. This company offers hybrid, remote, and on-site work, depending on the employee. It touts itself as a "people-first company" and wants to show that through its working policies.
Its senior director of human resources and change management, Lizza Diaz, said this about their flexible working policy:
"[O]ur employees’ survey feedback was taken into account in every aspect of the development, communication, and rollout of the new flexible work options."
Lizza adds, “Every task force member from the cross-functional teams was highly invested in keeping top of mind our employee experience and the need to cultivate a culture of trust, accountability, and adaptability in the new hybrid work model.” 
This trend is a subset of flexible working, but important enough to merit its own point.
Remote employees are workers who don’t perform their responsibilities on-site; rather, they do their work from home, in co-op office spaces, or even at cafes.
The pandemic gave rise to more employees using and demanding remote work. Because so many companies had to switch to remote work, countless candidates don’t want to return to the office.
For some people, either they get remote work, or it’s back to the job board.
This means it’s the perfect time to harness this talent acquisition trend to draw in great candidates – and remote work means you have a talent pool open to the world.
Our team at TestGorilla is living proof of this. We’re a 100% remote company with employees all over the globe, including Europe, North America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America.
Recruiting internationally enables a company to open its opportunities to many more qualified individuals, resulting in a wider talent pool and new perspectives.
As technology continues to rapidly evolve, reaching out to an international workforce is becoming just as easy as local hiring – so why not take advantage of having millions more candidates to build a more diverse workforce?
It also creates opportunities for companies to expand their reach into different talent pools and job markets, potentially increasing their customer base in other countries as well.
For example, you hire an international salesperson from France who’s bilingual. This opens the door to hiring more French people or expanding your sales to France if you get enough speakers of the language.
International hires also enable a company to have extended working hours and a wider range of perspectives and opinions, which boosts innovation.
Wider talent pool
Enriched company culture
New and different perspectives
Enhanced company reach
Extended working hours
Concentrix uses this tactic as one of its top recruiting trends.
This company offers remote work in more than 40 countries, and it’s also dedicated to supporting each member of the team, regardless of location.
Its company statement says:
"We believe supporting our clients and their customers shouldn't be limited by location, so we've built a remote culture that meets the demands of today's radically changing business landscape."
And this attitude is appreciated by its people. According to Glassdoor, 81% of employees would recommend working at Concentrix to a friend.
Not all candidates are just a speedy application to an open job ad – some of them are a relationship that’s slowly, steadily cultivated.
This is called candidate nurturing, and it's the process of building and maintaining a relationship with potential hires, often passive candidates.
Candidate nurturing helps nudge candidates down a recruitment funnel, much like sales.
Candidate nurturing can be a part of a recruitment marketing campaign using advertising and newsletters to foster a relationship with candidates, but it can also be more personal.
With high-priority candidates, candidate nurturing may look like sending LinkedIn messages or crafting personal emails.
This trend was used to great success by Intel. This company’s email campaign received a 50% open rate and more than 25,000 clicks – and it drove more applications than any other 2022 email campaign.
Why is this trend important? Because it prioritizes the candidate experience.
Nurturing candidates improves your employer brand and shows candidates that they matter to you, which is essential during the current battle for talent.
What’s the candidate experience? Funny you should ask.
You’ve probably heard the term “candidate experience” a lot lately, and for good reason.
The candidate experience is what a job seeker thinks of a company’s hiring process. It’s quite literally the total positive experience of the candidate going through the stages of hiring.
A good candidate experience consists of:
Clear and prompt candidate communication
A quick and smooth application process
Respect for candidates’ time
Responding to questions
Telling them “no” when it’s a no
Prioritizing candidates has become non-negotiable due to the Great Resignation, the skills shortage, and the record low unemployment rates.
Companies need to provide a positive experience for job seekers, not just for current candidates, but countless future candidates.
Because of the internet, it’s never been quicker and easier to share your experience as a candidate with thousands of people – and businesses want to ensure those people are sharing a good experience.
Aramark is a food service, facilities, and uniform services provider that prides itself on its great candidate experience – particularly its social media campaigns for its campus recruitment programs.
Aramark is committed to thorough candidate communication and always being accessible. Through this, it was able to drive candidate engagement and brand awareness.
Wellness programs aren’t exactly new, but proudly prioritizing employee wellness sure is one of the top talent acquisition trends 2023 has on display.
Employee wellness is all about promoting employee health and wellbeing in all its forms, including:
But isn’t employee wellness an old staple? Why is it trending right now?
This answer is probably getting tiring, but it bears repeating: Companies are doubling down on their commitment to employees and candidates.
Skills are at a premium, and companies need to show they prioritize their people to secure the best talent.
One company that has a great wellness strategy is Accenture, a business that attends to both physical and mental wellness. Mental health is unfortunately common to neglect, with most programs focusing solely on physical aspects like nutrition and fitness.
On the mental side, it offers employee assistance programs, which provide confidential support for issues like stress, substance abuse, depression, and anxiety.
But it also supports the physical side. It has services where employees can ask physicians health-related questions, and it also has gamified programs for promoting fitness.
Global talent trends are something to keep a close eye on. It’s important to be aware of what the best talent acquisition professionals are doing and what candidates want.
This means this isn’t something to sleep on – if you want current candidates, you need to use current trends.
We recommend starting small. Harness a few hiring trends to start, like automated recruitment. Using automated skills tests enables you to also leverage data driven recruiting at the same time.
To read up on the tactics you can use to own these trends, read our blog on talent acquisition strategies.
Or to get an idea of the types of skills tests you can use in your recruiting automation plan, browse our test library.
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Katz, Lee Michael. (January 29, 2015). "Competencies Hold the Key to Better Hiring". SHRM. Retrieved August 1, 2023. https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/pages/0315-competencies-hiring.aspx
"‘People First’: Lynne Smith, SVP of Global HR at Robert Half, Explains Our Company’s New Work Philosophy". (August 22, 2022). Robert Half. Retrieved August 1, 2023. https://www.roberthalf.com/blog/robert-half-news/people-first-lynne-smith-svp-of-global-hr-at-robert-half-explains-our-companys-new-work-philosophy
"Concentrix Reviews: What is it like to work at Concentrix?". Glassdoor. Retrieved August 1, 2023. https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Concentrix-Reviews-E31549.htm
Bernadette. (2022) "Intel Case Study | Early Career Recruitment Campaign". Stories Incorporated. Retrieved August 1, 2023. https://storiesincorporated.com/case-study/case-study-early-career-recruitment-campaign-at-intel/
"2021 RippleMatch Campus Forward Honoree - Aramark". (2021) RippleMatch. Retrieved August 1, 2023. https://resources.ripplematch.com/2021-campus-forward-honoree-aramark
Martis, Lily. "7 companies with epic wellness programs". Monster. Retrieved August 1, 2023. https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/companies-good-wellness-programs
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