In 2017, trends such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation, and big data and analytics started permeating into the recruitment scenaio. Many organizations also advocated workplace diversity and candidate experience in recruiting for better results. In the next one year, these trends will find a stronger foothold as recruiters have realized that in order to stay relevant and competitive, they always need to stay up to date on the latest emerging trends in recruitment practices. At the same time, as technology continues to augment HR activities in increasingly empowering ways, we would see new practices and trends evolving in the market.

Some of the major trends set to redefine recruitment or talent management in 2018 and beyond include:

No. 1 - Talent analytics on an upsurge

Speed of hiring is highly critical in the modern world. With the amount of competition vying in this field with quality candidates exploring job opportunities with multiple prospective employees at the same time, it is important for recruiters to cut down the time spent on identifying the right prospects, rummaging through CVs, cross-examining facts, and taking decisions. It is here that smart usage of talent analytics is taking the recruitment by storm globally and is now making inroads in India.

“Application of analytic tools will be sought to ensure that secure digital workspace provide the end-user with the best possible experience across the devices they use,” said Makarand Joshi –Area Vice President and Country Head, India Subcontinent, Citrix. With the help of big data and analytics, demand and supply trends, specific employee insights, salary trends, identification of talent pools among others are helping hiring managers to boost their decision-making process.

It is quite likely that there will be an upsurge in the use of this highly effective tool in India this year. Startups and small businesses, too, will take to analytics, to make their recruiting process more proactive, real time, contextual, and predictive in nature.

No. 2 - Artificial Intelligence to boost efficiency

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already making inroads in recruitment and, in 2018 we will see a sharp increase in the uptake of AI-enabled chatbots to match candidates with jobs. “Chatbots are playing a major role in tactical work like recruiting concierge, bot-run interview prep class, talent community management and responses to candidates,” said Francis Padamadan, Country Director, KellyOCG India.

As a result, recruiters can spend more time adding value to the sourcing and selection process: conducting interviews and selecting the right and quality candidates. AI will also help in automating many common daily tasks such as indexing and filing candidate records, onboarding, measuring performance and so on, contributing real business value.

Unlike the anticipation of job loss, automation and AI need not necessarily equate to the loss of human jobs; in fact, experts believe, it can help in augmenting current HR roles by eliminating low productivity tasks and tapping into AI to make informed workforce decisions. The resulting improved efficiency of the HR function will be recognized across the business.

No. 3 - Design thinking as a strategic HR tool

As more and more companies hire employees across different time zones, working on multiple projects and using various media, organizational design will evolve to accommodate a better workforce. Managers are likely to be hired on a project basis, warranting a shift in performance management. In 2018, we can expect managers to be providing real-time feedback and coaching in place of fixed review cycles.

“While originally developed in the context of customer experience and development of new products, design thinking also serves as an effective tool and set of guiding principles for HR leaders to identify meaningful moments that impact and engage employees in root cause analysis and brainstorming of alternative solutions, and in effectively driving change management around new initiatives,” said Chris Collins, director of the Cornell Center for Advanced Human Resources Studies (CAHRS) in his blog. For example, Collins sees businesses to be investing in mobile performance coaching applications to facilitate and track performance discussions in the next one year.

No. 4 - Augmented and virtual reality to boost hiring

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) will begin to find their way into HR and talent acquisition. In the next one year and beyond, one can expect more interactive job advertisements, go on a VR tour of your future workplace in the US, while sitting in India, and complete VR assessments during the hiring process.

AR/VR will also be used to enhance the employee experience by providing
simulations of tasks and work challenges, better preparing workers for real-world situations before they have to face them. In other words, the future of talent management will see a more symbiotic relationship between people and technology in the workplace.

No. 5 – Employee Wellness in HR and recruitment

According to a recent report, 55% companies will provide flexible working hours,  47% companies will enable employees to Work from home and 42% companies will promote their existing or new wellness programs. These are perks modern employees are looking for over and above their basic pay package. What matters more to them is the flexibility and freedom a company can offer. Work-from-home options, telecommuting, flexi work timings, are factors today’s recruits take a special liking to. Wellness programs is another area Indian companies have started taking more seriously in the recent past and this trend is here to stay.

Advanced and digital technologies will strengthen and augment the HR toolkit. In turn, HR will play a new, enhanced role in this landscape. In 2018 HR will be instrumental in preparing the workplace and the workforce for the tsunami of changes ahead. In doing so, HR professionals will also need to carefully ride the wave of change, rather than be swamped by it.