Recruitment expert Dr John Sullivan identifies the most progressive hiring trends that are yet to infiltrate a majority of organisations.

Most articles on recruiting trends highlight what I consider to be obvious approaches that many firms have already adopted.

But my perspective is unique because I am focused on what I call bleeding-edge trends - they have been adopted by less than 5% of the major firms.

However, they are important for all recruiting leaders to know because they signal the path that all progressive firms will eventually have to follow.

Trend 1: The shift in power to the candidate means current approaches will stop working

83% of recruiters report that the power has shifted away from where it has been for years, the employer, and toward the candidate.

In a candidate-driven marketplace, active-recruiting approaches simply stop working.

Now that top candidates are in the driver’s seat, the best have multiple options, recruiters must dramatically increase hiring speed, offer a great candidate experience, and shift away from assessment, towards excellence in 'selling candidates.'

Once candidates realise that the power has shifted to them, many will develop an arrogant 'why-should-I-work-for-you?' attitude, which you must adjust to if you expect to land the best.

Trend 2: The mobile platform begins to dominate every aspect of recruiting

Most firms have finally figured out that individuals should be able to apply for a job directly from their mobile phones.

However the best firms are realising that the mobile platform should dominate every area of recruiting, because of its versatility and its incredibly high response rate (compared to other communications platforms).

The mobile platform should be the primary mechanism for communicating with prospects, spreading your employer brand messages, viewing recruiting and job description videos, and pushing relevant vacancies to applicant communities.

Eventually it will be used by most to offer live Hangouts for candidate skill assessment, for most candidate interviews, to find referrals, and finally to allow individuals to accept job offers directly on their phone.

Hiring managers must be able to approve requests, post jobs and videos, review resumes, schedule interviews, and other administrative tasks from their mobile phone. Employees must be able to do all referral administration and apply for internal openings on their phone.

Trend 3: Shifting to compelling offers becomes essential

During the down economy, almost any offer was accepted. However, in today’s marketplace where top candidates get multiple offers, the offer generation process must be radically updated.

That means sign-on bonuses, exploding offers, and identifying and meeting a candidate’s job acceptance criteria will become essential once again.

In addition, hiring managers, compensation specialists, and recruiters will need to update their skills and approaches for creating compelling offers and selling in-demand prospects and candidates.

Re-learning how to successfully combat counteroffers from a candidate’s current manager will also become essential.

Once candidates realise that power has shifted to them, many will develop an arrogant 'why-should-I-work-for-you?' attitude, which you must adjust to if you expect to land the best.

Trend 4: Perhaps the biggest surprise will be the shortage of top recruiters

As recruiting volume and difficulty both ramp up, firms will begin to realise that there is a significant shortage of talented and up-to-date recruiters.

Expect a bidding war over the few available top corporate recruiters. A lack of quality, leading-edge recruiter training will unfortunately also make the experienced recruiter shortage even worse.

Trend 5: Videos begin dominating recruiting messaging

Online video now accounts for 50% percent of all mobile traffic. So now that viewing videos (rather than static pictures or reading text) has become widely accepted, they must be used in every aspect of recruiting.

If you’re not already using video job descriptions, videos for employer branding, video employee profiles, video job postings and video job offers, you need to realise that authentic videos are an essential supplement to all traditionally print messaging.

Videos make it easier to see and feel the excitement at your firm.

Trend 6: Turnover issues dramatically impact recruiting

Turnover rates continue to spiral upward (they went up 44% last year).

Increased turnover will mean that the volume of recruiting will increase significantly, but the firm’s reputation for high turnover will also impact your ability to recruit new talent.

Given the high impact of new hire turnover, firms will need to begin assessing candidates on their likelihood of an early departure.

So now that viewing videos (rather than static pictures or reading text) has become widely accepted, they must be used in every aspect of recruiting.

Trend 7: Learning to hire whenever scarce talent becomes available

During periods when top talent is extremely scarce, the best targets enter and exit the job market over a matter of days.

That implies recruiting functions must shift from their traditional recruiting model, where you hire only when a position becomes open, to a completely different approach, where you hire whenever top talent applies to your company.

That means when a top talent applies for a critical high-volume job at your firm, you begin the hiring process immediately and make an offer quickly, even if there is currently no vacant position.

Yes, this means that you will hire some talent a few weeks before you need them, but that results in a lower cost than being unable to fill jobs at all because no qualified talent is available when one of these high-volume positions eventually opens up.

Trend 8: De-emphasising resumes and accepting online profiles

Resumes have many weaknesses, but the primary reason that they need to be made optional is hiring speed. This is because few employed candidates have any interest in, nor do they have the time required, to update their resumes.

They simply can’t become a candidate at your firm until they update and submit their resume.

Firms must learn to eliminate the 'resume update wait' by instead accepting LinkedIn profiles for referrals and at least the initial application for regular job openings.

LinkedIn profiles are generally more accurate than resumes because they are viewed by so many individuals that any misstatements would be instantly discovered.

Trend 9: Sourcing will add a 'find-their-work' component

Some of the most competent professionals have weak resumes. Fortunately, with the growth of the Internet and social media, it is now becoming possible to find the actual work of most professionals.

And this is a good thing because an individual’s work is almost always a better representation of their capability than their resume.

Employees looking for referrals and recruiters need to also focus on discovering the great ideas and the writing, the pictures, and the video representations of their work and the actual work samples of 'hidden individuals' who couldn’t be found based solely on their resume.

As an added benefit, your firm gathers information on new approaches, whether you end up hiring these individuals or not.

Firms must learn to eliminate the 'resume update wait' by instead accepting LinkedIn profiles for referrals and at least the initial application for regular job openings.

Trend 10: Boomerangs return as a primary source

Boomerang rehires of previous high-performing employees have proven to be one of the highest sources of quality hires. Because so many have been released, there is an abundant talent pool to choose from.

In addition, keeping track of corporate alumni is now so much easier because you can find them easily on LinkedIn and on social media.

Because of their speed, low cost, and high quality of hire, expect boomerang rehires to reach 15% of all hires at major firms.

Final thoughts

Many industries are finally experiencing dramatic growth, and as a result, their executives are clamouring for the talent required to continue that growth.

Meeting these high-level growth, speed, and innovation needs is difficult enough during normal times.

But the escalation of turnover rates, combined with vicious competition for top talent, has produced a level of difficulty that recruiting leaders haven’t faced in years.

If the goal of your firm is to dominate your industry, you will need to be on the bleeding edge of recruiting practices. You can’t expect to provide your firm with a competitive advantage if you simply copy the recruiting practices of your talent competitors.


Dr John Sullivan specialises in providing bold and high-impact strategic HR solutions to the world’s biggest organisations. He is also a headline speaker at Talent Management Asia 2015.

This two-day annual event is focused on global best practice HR strategy and features an agenda dominated by pan-Asian case studies and leading global thought leaders.


To review the topics and agenda, check out the stellar speaker list and reserve your seat visit before it’s sold out.

For more information please contact Carlo Reston on +65 6423 0329 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..