Talent Acquisition: 5 Trends to Watch in 2018

As 2017 fades into the rearview mirror, it’s time to look at what’s ahead.

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Is there any indication that recruiting and hiring will get easier? Barring unforeseen circumstances, it isn’t likely. However, paying attention to these trends may give you a leg up on the competition.
Work flexibility becomes the norm. Work flexibility is no longer a perk. Employees – and job candidates – now expect that companies will accommodate other aspects of their lives by offering flexible hours and/or remote work opportunities, at least occasionally.
How important is work flexibility? Numerous surveys find it at or near the top of the list of what candidates consider when evaluating a job opportunity.
If your company hasn’t yet embraced flexibility, this is the year to get on board … or risk losing your staff.
Employers increase their commitment to diversity and inclusion. A recent survey from job site Glassdoor finds companies plan to spend more on diversity and inclusion programs in the coming year. It is not simply about “doing the right thing”; there is a practical reason for the move. Companies find that a lack of diversity and inclusion is a barrier to recruiting success.
In addition, diversity in recruiting and hiring has been shown to lead to increased innovation. It also reflects positively on the company, which has the potential to positively impact the bottom line.
Healthcare benefits become even more attractive to employees and candidates. As health insurance premiums continue to increase at rates that far outpace inflation, and Congress continues to struggle to find a solution, Americans who have coverage through their employer have come to value the benefit even more. For would-be job changers, health insurance and related benefits are a major consideration.
The message? If your company offers healthcare benefits, tout them—and provide details.
Companies should expect to pay more for top talent. Employers that have been holding the line on salaries, and expect to continue to do so, may be in for a rude awakening. Savvy companies (a.k.a. your competitors) have discovered that money talks—and helps attract job candidates. Indeed, surveys show that all things being equal, a candidate will opt for the job that pays a higher salary.
Note to employers, especially those in the small to midsize category: If it’s been years since you’ve given your staff salary increases, this is the year you’ll want to rethink that strategy. And, while you’re at it, you may want to make sure your salaries are competitive. Tools at sites like Glassdoor,, and PayScale, among others, make it easy.
Nontraditional work arrangements will increase. Companies that still insist on traditional work arrangements, where all workers must be “company employees,” are missing out on a large talent pool.
Freelance employees (independent contractors) now account for 35 percent of the U.S. workforce. Paid interns and staffing firm employees also offer alternatives to recruiting and hiring traditional full-time staff.
When considering what arrangement(s) might work best for your company, don’t overlook retirees, who may want to return on a part-time, freelance basis. Research conducted by HCM research and advisory services firm Brandon Hall Group suggests a correlation between retirees and business success: High-performing organizations use retirees almost three times more often than other organizations.

Paula Paula Santonocito, Contributing Editor for Recruiting Daily Advisor, is a business journalist specializing in employment issues. She is the author of more than 1,000 articles on a wide range of human resource and career topics, with an emphasis on recruiting and hiring. Her articles have been featured in many global and domestic publications and information outlets, referenced in academic and legal publications as well as books, and translated into several languages.