Recruitment of the future – how to stay relevant

Robot & girl.

Written by Modiara Kamps

Modiara is a young professional with a broad understanding of business processes and leadership, who can be defined by a positive and creative approach to people, challenges and life in general. Working in the recruitment industry from the start of her career she follows upcoming recruitment trends and developments to actively implement this in the business.

Recruitment of the future. What does it mean?

As recruitment is always in motion and continuously subject to change, being a recruiter is so much more than finding the right candidate for a vacancy.

These days, a vacancy is approached from a strategic perspective, using multiple skills to attract the right candidate. Based on this skillset, you see a variety of recruitment specialists arise in the job market. The role of chief recruitment officer is gaining ground in the Netherlands, followed by recruitment strategists, recruitment specialists and recruitment coordinators who all bring different qualities to the table.

So, what skills do you need today (and tomorrow) to excel in our field?

#Tech skills

As a recruiter, it’s hard to imagine that you have no affinity with tech. You can use technology to optimize your recruitment process and improve your results. For example, there are well-known applicant tracking systems, like Recruitee, that practically act as a customer relationship management system for your vacancies.

You can also use technology to really make a difference for your candidate. Especially important is the impression you can make on a candidate by facilitating an optimal candidate experience. For instance, Jobpal is a start-up that facilitates engagement between candidates and companies and automates large parts of the repetitive communication.

How big your technological impact can be and how much you can stand out from the competition differs per company, of course. Don’t make it all digital but also deliver fun for your candidates!

#People skills

People skills are often more prominent with HR professionals who are patient, nurturing and focused on developing the talent your company already has. Recruiters are tenacious, driven, and sometimes even a bit aggressive. It’s a mindset that’s closer to business development and sales: we’re taking a value proposition to market and bringing something new into the company.

With the rise of chatbots and recruitment robots, the first selection is becoming easier as you can scan job applicants automatically and offer 24/7 digital support.

There is a large market for companies that help you filter the right candidates based on algorithms. Seedlink, for example, is an interesting company that analyses natural language patterns to predict the likelihood of success of both job candidates and employees.

Another example is Roborecruiter; an automated messaging platform, which uses chatbot technology to actively manage a candidate database at speed. The advantage is that automation removes human influences from the first selection round, and shifts the focus from checking diplomas and experience to making sure the candidate fits the company’s mindset.

#Marketing skills

What is employer branding 3.0?

In addition to the regular employer branding, there has been a shift towards recruitment marketing. For the last couple of years, people have seen the emergence of social media postings where jobs were promoted through Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Today, you see companies reaching out through niche channels, like StackOverflow and GitHub or mobile apps with personal profiles. An example of this personalisation is using Tinder as a channel by show personalized job-advertisements in between swiping through your potential partners.

This is one of Vonq recruitment marketing services, with their vision on ‘predictive hiring’, they allow you to target the right talent using the most effective combination of channels and predict the number of applicants you can expect.

It’s is not just about reaching the masses digitally, it’s important that you, as an employer, really do something different. Make an impact by publishing valuable content, a promotion that lingers. Heineken’s so-called guerrilla-recruitment campaigns for example.

Guerrilla Marketing

Translation: Chiraz Muradin, please call Hester Swane

Have you ever thought about your EVP? No? Check out this link to create a good basis for your marketing recruitment skills. Bringing the value proposition to market can also take place via the internal ambassadors of your organization.

Let one thing be clear; by speaking only about the overall employee satisfaction you won’t make it. It’s about the candidate experience from the beginning [first point of contact] to the end [leaving the company].So? How is your Glassdoor review? Are new employees also found through referrals? Check out Firstbird or Simppler for this.

Don’t forget your future employees can also bring along an interesting network. Something that’s often forgotten by many companies.

#Analytical skills

When you’ve published this costly content and you’re working hard to create more traffic, it’s nice to know who your new visitors are and what are they’re looking at. How do your vacancy texts read? Do you use Google Analytics or did you already take the next step and use Hotjar or Crystal?

Besides being analytical on the digital marketing side, it’s important to find a balance between key performance indicators like time to hire, cost per hire and quality per hire. In an increasingly scarce market, you can’t always save costs. And then we’re not even talking about the costs of a bad hire, a cost that’s often omitted.

To improve your key performance indicators you can start with forecasting by talking to your hiring managers about the expected vacancies. Is that tricky? Digitize this process with Foresight Forecast. They focus on creating a bottom-up tactical recruitment focus and help people make the connection between the business and enhancing your recruitment strategy.

An emerging key performance indicator trend is: DTSO (Days Talent Standing Out)

During the hiring process, candidates often have to deal with waiting time. When you focus to improve the DTSO KPI, you automatically touch many elements in recruitment, potentially improving them as you go along. Think of:

  • Connection with the business
  • More and better hires
  • Better candidate experience
  • Less burden on the internal organization
  • Change of role of recruiter

All of you who have experience in this field realize that saving time can make the difference between you and your competitor.

#Sales skills

As a recruiter, you’re much more than a CV matcher. It’s about building your network and a relationship with your target group. With the approaching GDPR, building a talent pool is becoming more difficult. Candidate ID is a company that has automated GDPR-compliance. Want to know how they do it? Check this out.

Recruitment is comparable to reaching out to prospects within your sales funnel. You can basically state that recruitment is marketing is sales nowadays.


Next to this, I see a shift towards meet-ups, events and presentations in places where your target group is located. To properly approach your candidate, there are systems that tell you how your candidate would prefer to be addressed. Let’s call this a CRM 3.0. Crystal knows is a good example of this.

Logically the best recruiters are hired more often because of the size of their network. Want to know your network strength? Check out: Your Linkedin social selling index or Klout score.

In short, you need a variety of skills to be an excellent recruiter in this digital era. If you ask me, it starts with streamlining and digitalizing your processes. Keep the basics in mind, what’s your company’s proposition? Which first impression do you make and when? To keep it simple you can closely track the candidate journey. By dividing this journey into pieces, you can optimize every part of the journey in an agile way. This doesn’t happen in one day, it requires internal support at all levels and external engagement.

Good luck with your recruiter journey! As we say at Ice: magic happens at the intersection between Digital, Data, make it happen and embrace change! Go for it!

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