A recruiter looking at resumes.
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Tech recruiters have to keep in mind talent shortages, layoffs, budget cuts and economic uncertainty, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion mandates. Suffice it to say, it’s not an easy time to be a recruiter.

But LinkedIn’s The Future of Recruiting 2023 report finds that generative AI tools such as ChatGPT may take some of the pressure off. About two-thirds (68%) of hirers surveyed in February 2023 said they were “very hopeful” or “cautiously optimistic” about generative AI’s impact on recruiting.

“Generative AI — i.e., tools like ChatGPT that intelligently generate content — is a fascinating new technology that holds promise for talent professionals, many of whom believe it can help in time-consuming tasks, like drafting job descriptions and personalized messages to candidates, among others,’’ the report said.

The top recruiting outcomes hiring pro respondents said they would like to see from GAI tools are:

  • Automate repetitive tasks to prioritize more strategic work (74%)
  • Make it faster/easier to source candidates (67%)
  • Make it faster/easier to engage candidates (59%)

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How GAI can help recruiters

While the technologies and skills used in the world of work continue to change, today, both are driven by AI, said Jennifer Shappley, vice president of global talent and acquisition at LinkedIn.

“We know that the number one goal of hirers is to find the right candidate fast. Our recent research found that 75% of hirers hope that generative AI can help them uncover new candidates,’’ she said. Another pain point for recruiters is writing a job description, which can be a time-consuming and difficult task, particularly if they are struggling to attract the right candidates.

“With generative AI, we can integrate this technology into our products to help streamline parts of the hiring process, so recruiters can focus their energy on the more strategic aspects of their job,’’ Shappley said.

One way LinkedIn is doing this is by testing new AI-powered job descriptions that will make it faster and easier to write job descriptions and attract quality candidates for a role.

LinkedIn hiring predictions

The report laid out a number of recruitment predictions.

Continue building diverse workforces

Besides the use of GAI in the hiring process, LinkedIn is predicting that employers “will remain committed to building a diverse workforce” despite the uncertain economy.

Though most recruiting pros said hiring overall has been negatively impacted, three out of four said that DEI hiring is not being deprioritized — in fact, nearly 20% said it’s a higher priority now, according to the report.

Hire more contract workers

As a result of the tumultuous times, LinkedIn is also predicting employers will hire more contract workers “as a hedge against uncertainty.”

The job site based this prediction on the fact that in the U.S., for example, LinkedIn job posts for contract positions are growing much faster than job posts for full-time employees, which is relatively stable. The report defines contract positions as labor “contracted” out to a company for a finite amount of time listed by a contract, whether full-time or part-time work.

Keep recruiting/staffing in-house vs external is pretty evenly split

The data indicates a more stable split: 22% of companies expect to spend more on in-house recruiters this year vs. in 2022, while 23% expect to invest more in external staffing firms.

Stay informed about candidates’ top priorities

Another prediction is that companies will keep a closer eye on what candidates most want in order to stay competitive in a tight labor market.

Every month, LinkedIn surveys over 20,000 members about the most important factors they weigh when considering a new job. The top priority for candidates today is excellent compensation and benefits, by a fairly wide margin. This is followed by work-life balance and flexibility and comp, which the report said are also the two fastest-growing priorities year over year.

“There’s much more to your employer brand than good pay and flexibility, and offering them may not make you stand out — but be warned: If you don’t provide them, talent will take notice,’’ the report said.

Upskilling will be key to internal recruiting and diverse hiring

Two other predictions focus on upskilling. One is that business leaders will recognize the value of filling open roles with homegrown talent, given the shaky economy. Some 75% of recruiting pros said that “internal recruiting will be an important factor shaping the future of recruiting over the next five years.”

A related prediction is that upskilling will be a key tool for hiring a diverse workforce. Eighty-one percent of recruiting pros said upskilling and reskilling employees will be an important factor in shaping the future of recruiting over the next five years.

Tips for hiring leaders to attract tech talent

A key way to hire talent today is to focus on skills as opposed to pedigree, Shappley said. “Gone are the days where degrees were prioritized. Today it’s about skills.”

She recommended that talent professionals focus on three things:

  • Write job descriptions to include skills and not unnecessary qualifiers like a four-year degree.
  • Ask about a candidate’s skills during the interview process.
  • Help make sure the entire hiring team has a skills-first focus when hiring.

LinkedIn has been working on creating a skills-first labor market “that makes it easier for employers to hire and develop talent based on skills, and for members to stand out and get hired based on their skills,’’ Shappley said.