December 06, 2017 7:30 AM

The Biggest Recruitment Developments of 2017

Toward the end of 2016, we heard whispers that 2017 was to be ‘The year of the Algorithm’ and there’s no doubt that the application of tech did indeed play a major role in how the industry matured. But what were this year’s biggest developments? Were there any shocks? Well, if one of the internet’s giants entering the fray counts as a shock then yes, we had a big one and a nice riposte from another major player. But before we get to that let’s take a look at some of the other developments so far this year. 

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AI took the driver’s seat

At the beginning of the year, we introduced you to the AI that we felt was poised to disrupt the industry. And while we were on the right track, when we said that AI was the future of recruitment, we had no idea that it would take such a firm hold of the industry in such a short space of time.  

In what seemed like the blink of an eye, recruiters were incorporating AI-led software into their daily work processes. From resume screening to appointment scheduling, recruiters embraced AI in all its shapes and guises. To say it’s been a boon to the industry would be a huge understatement and while some markets have yet to adapt fully, we can only see it becoming more prevalent in 2018.

And no, we have yet to hear of a single recruiter who has lost their job to a machine. Put your pitchforks away all you AI scaremongers; there are no job-stealing robots in this industry.


Texting made a comeback

It was only a matter of time before someone made the connection between old-school texting and the fact that candidates carry smartphones around all day. 2017 saw SMS texting make a comeback, but the most interesting thing about this innovation was that it was old tech given a new lease of life. 

In 2017 we saw several companies such as Trumpia come to the fore offering dedicated software that allowed recruiters craft personalised text messages for their candidates. And with 90% of text messages opened within three minutes of being sent, you can see how this particular tactic gave many recruiters’ efforts a serious boost as many looked to move away from conventional email marketing.  


We automated recruitment marketing

Now you may have heard the phrase ‘recruitment is marketing’ quite often in recent years, and well, that’s because it’s true. Companies must now put as much effort into building a positive brand image for their potential candidates as they do for customers.

And as you probably know this is all about engaging potential candidates, and it’s more often done so through the publishing and sharing of content through various media channels. But this is a time-consuming process, and while there have been options to automate some of the simpler tasks for some time, 2017 saw recruiters reap the benefits of automated recruitment marketing.

Software such as SmashFly allowed recruiters to spend much of their time in 2017 focusing on more important tasks while their marketing worked on autopilot. Yes, marketing on autopilot is now a thing, and we have to say, we love it.


Google for Jobs and Google Hire

As far as innovations go, Google for Jobs was a pretty big one. In fact, it was probably one of the most far-reaching developments within the industry in a decade. By introducing a search engine for jobs, Google did the unthinkable and forced the entire industry to sit up and take note.

And while it certainly had an impact on how recruiters tailored their job postings it didn’t quite upset the industry as many had expected it to. Of course, in the future, it means that smaller jobs boards will have to up their game considerably in order to remain relevant but to the recruitment industry as a whole, this new job search function can only have a positive effect.

Google’s attempt to get a foothold in the lucrative ATS niche is a little different. It has yet to gain any real traction, but we can imagine that if in the future if they monetize Google for Jobs, Hire will become part of a deluxe suite of recruitment apps. A package that contains AdWords, Jobs, and Hire would be a nice addition to the busy recruiter’s toolbox.


Microsoft and LinkedIn’s Resume Assistant

But just when you thought Google had leveled the playing field, along came Microsoft and their new acquisition LinkedIn to throw an elephant-sized spanner into the works. Resume Assistant took aim at Google for Jobs and blew it right out of the water.

This incredible innovation saw Microsoft and LinkedIn do something that no one could have predicted or even thought possible. In one fell swoop, they completely removed Google from the job search process.

By offering candidates the tools to enhance their resume based on industry trends and the resumes of successful professionals, Microsoft and LinkedIn gave us all a masterclass in the handling of big data. And to then bypass the world’s largest search engine by allowing candidates to apply for jobs without leaving Word was borderline genius.

Of course, Resume Assistant is in its infancy, but if Microsoft’s claim that 80% of the world’s resumes come through Word is true, then we should see some feedback on this new feature fairly soon.


2017 certainly was a year of innovation and growth in the recruitment industry, a trend that we hope will continue into 2018 and beyond. It’s incredible to think of how far the industry has come in the last five years alone, and if we’re honest we can’t wait to see what new developments will rock the industry as Google for Jobs, and Resume Assistant did this year.


So what did your company do to embrace these new developments? Did you automate your work processes? Or maybe you incorporated texting into your recruitment efforts? And what about your talent sourcing? Have you implemented any changes or are you still stuck in the same slow and time-consuming processes? You know you don’t have to be, right? We have a few sourcing consultants here in vsource HQ that are itching to get started on a new sourcing project for 2018. So why not help them out and drop us a line. Adding a vsource pro to your team could be just the boost you need for 2018.





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