LinkedIn Report: 17 Predictions on the Future of Recruiting for Talent Leaders (2024)

Future of recruiting

Authored byGreg Lewis

Sr. Content Marketing Manager @ LinkedIn | Data-driven storytelling, content strategy, and actionable insights

March 21, 2023

If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that predicting the future can feel like a fool’s errand. And yet that’s exactly what recruiting and business leaders are asked to do: look ahead, prepare for the possibilities, and help their teams chart a course through the uncertainty that lies ahead.

The good news? First, you’re not alone. There’s a whole world of professionals facing the same challenges. Second, there are plenty of tea leaves to help you predict the future of recruiting — if you know where to look.

That’s the idea behind the latest data-driven LinkedIn report: The Future of Recruiting 2023. Informed by interviewing dozens of talent leaders, surveying thousands of recruiting pros, and analyzing billions of data points generated on LinkedIn, this report makes 17 predictions on the future of recruiting.

While every prediction may not play out precisely as described, preparing today can leave you better equipped for whatever tomorrow holds. These predictions fall into a handful of key themes:

  • The role of recruiting: from the proverbial “seat at the table” to using generative AI, here’s how recruiting’s remit is evolving.
  • Economic uncertainty: a look into how the macroeconomic picture is impacting workforce planning, DEI, and compensation.
  • Employer brand: the need to examine what candidates really want and whether companies are conveying that through their company culture.
  • Skills-first hiring: a move to assessing candidates by their capabilities and potential, not just their pedigree or experience.
  • Internal mobility and upskilling: why organizations are pairing internal recruiting practices with employee learning and development.

In short, recruiting leaders will be called on to be more strategic, adaptable, and in-tune with their talent about what candidates want, what skills they possess, and how their careers can grow within your company.

Read on for a detailed look at some of these predictions, or click here to read the full report online for all of the insights, advice, and perspectives on the future of recruiting.

Prediction on the role of recruiting: Recruiting leaders will drive business-critical changes

After braving the trials and tribulations of the pandemic and the Great Reshuffle, recruiting leaders have emerged with a stronger, more strategic place in the business. Some 87% of recruiting pros surveyed agree that talent acquisition has become a more strategic function over the past year.

LinkedIn Report: 17 Predictions on the Future of Recruiting for Talent Leaders (2)

The remit of recruiting leaders will continue to grow in both breadth and depth: You’ll be working with broader teams (such as learning and development) across the employee lifecycle, while also becoming more sophisticated on recruiting tactics like skills-based hiring.

“In the past year, I’ve seen more and more talent leaders get hired with a scope that goes beyond talent acquisition,” says John Vlastelica, founder of Recruiting Toolbox. “They’re expected to connect different pieces together and lead with a more holistic perspective.”

A similar sentiment is shared by Brett Baumoel, VP of global talent acquisition, engineering, at Microsoft, who noted how recruiters will have new responsibilities in the future. “In the next 18 months, recruiters are going to be asked to do everything,” he says. “Instead of aligning to one goal, you’ll be aligning to 10 business goals, and they may change every week. That’s why a recruiter’s learning agility is so critical.”

The upside of all this new responsibility? Recruiting teams will be able to profoundly influence the business in ways they couldn’t just a few years ago. “Recruiting professionals have never been able to make a bigger impact than right now,” Brett says. “You used to be able to say, ‘These hires helped our company.’ Now you can say, ‘I changed the makeup of our company, I changed where we work, I changed what we look for, and I changed how we hire.’”

Read all the predictions about the changing role of recruiting here.

Prediction on economic uncertainty: Employers will hire more contractors to hedge their bets on the business cycle

The labor market has confounded prognosticators time and time again over the last few years — for many, it’s never been so difficult to see around the corner.

To stay nimble and hedge their bets no matter which way the market moves, recruiting teams might increasingly turn to contingent talent, like contractors who work for a specified amount of time. This gives the business more room to react to changing market conditions without long-term commitments.

LinkedIn Report: 17 Predictions on the Future of Recruiting for Talent Leaders (3)

An earlier analysis of LinkedIn job posts in the U.S. showed that between May and November of 2022, the share of contract positions grew by 26%, while the share of full-time positions only grew by 6% in the same timeframe.

“On the rebound of any crisis, organizations usually learn a lesson about flexibility,” says Marc-Etienne Julien, chief talent officer at Randstad Global. Even as the market starts to improve, wary employers may still be drawn to contractors: “When bouncing back from a crisis,” he says, “demand for contingent work will spike quicker than demand for permanent staff, because employers don’t know yet whether the recovery will be sustained.”

LinkedIn’s own VP of global talent acquisition, Jennifer Shappley, believes it goes beyond just contractors. “This is part of a larger trend of getting more flexibility in how you scale your team,” she says. “It’s not just more contract workers, but also more flexible work arrangements, and more gig assignments internally that enable mobility and upskilling.”

Read all the predictions about navigating economic uncertainty here.

Prediction on employer brand: Recruiting will double-down on employer branding as talent regains leverage

While the economic outlook may be cloudy in the medium term, recruiting professionals appear more optimistic about the long-term prospects for candidates: 64% predict that, compared to recent years, the next five years of recruiting will be more favorable to candidates and employees, as opposed to employers.

That means companies need to stay focused on building talent pipelines, even if their hiring has slowed for the moment. That may be why many companies are taking this opportunity to refine or reinvent their employer brand.

Randstad’s Marc-Etienne sees it as a prudent step to take in anticipation of a stronger economy. “When the economy recovers, the competition for talent is going to spike back up very quickly,” he says. “So it’s really important for companies to make progress in how they position their employer brand and, more importantly, how they bring it to life.”

LinkedIn Report: 17 Predictions on the Future of Recruiting for Talent Leaders (4)

And though employer branding is but one of many line items in a recruiting budget, it was anticipated to grow even as budgets shrink overall. While most in-house corporate recruiting professionals believe their overall recruiting budget will stagnate or decrease this year, an ever larger share (60%) believe their employer branding budget will increase.

Of course, regardless of how much you budget for employer branding, it won’t be effective if it’s not an accurate, authentic reflection of your company culture.

“When you think about employer branding — how you articulate your culture to attract, engage, and retain talent — you need to go beyond performative,” says John Graham Jr., VP of employer brand, diversity, and culture at Shaker Recruitment Marketing. “Candidates can see through it. They’re tapping into their networks to understand who you really are, beyond what your career site says.”

Read all the predictions about employer branding here.

Prediction on skills-first hiring: Recruiting for skills, rather than pedigree, will become the gold standard

Skills-first hiring is the practice of valuing a candidate’s actual skills over more traditional signals, like an impressive alma mater or a decade of experience at a blue-chip employer.

Whether you look back at recent trends or look forward to future priorities, the skills-first hiring practice is on the rise and will be regarded as the gold standard.

LinkedIn Report: 17 Predictions on the Future of Recruiting for Talent Leaders (5)

Looking back, we can see that recruiters searching for candidates on LinkedIn are increasingly filtering by skills more than they were just three years ago. Looking forward, three out of four talent professionals (75%) predict that skills-first hiring will be a priority for their organization over the next 18 months.

Critically, hiring this way can make it easier to surface talented candidates who may not have the flashy experience or elite alma mater that often catches hiring managers’ eyes.

“How do we get better at filtering in, not filtering out?” asks Jennifer Paylor, head of global talent innovation and skills transformation at Capgemini. “Recruiters have been trained to copy and paste a job description so they can hire really, really fast. They’re not really looking at what the work requires and what skills are needed. That’s starting to change.”

Alex Fleming, regional president of Northern Europe at Adecco, has also seen a recent change. “There’s been a real shift in the past year,” she says. “We are in a scarce talent market, and recruiters need to think differently and be more flexible, thinking about potential and skills rather than qualifications and job titles.”

Read all the predictions about skills-first hiring here.

Prediction on internal mobility and upskilling: Recruiting will collaborate more with L&D

Recruiting teams are already starting to partner with learning and development (L&D) teams — but there’s still a long way to go. While 62% of recruiting pros say they already work closely with L&D, 81% say they need to work even more closely going forward.

LinkedIn Report: 17 Predictions on the Future of Recruiting for Talent Leaders (6)

According to the LinkedIn 2023 Workplace Learning Report, L&D professionals are seeing the same trend: Most (56%) say they’re already working more closely with talent acquisition this year.

Many companies are using this moment to strengthen the bonds between their two teams. “As hiring slows, now is the time for companies to review their workforce strategies and see how they can find and fill these gaps internally,” says Elsa Zambrano, SVP of talent and culture at NXP Semiconductors.

But even when hiring speeds back up, L&D teams will have a critical role to play — particularly when many companies are competing over a scarce talent pool with in-demand skills.

“In the future, companies won’t always have the luxury of hiring someone who has already done the job,” says Randstad’s Marc-Etienne. “Employers will have to really distinguish between what skills are good-to-have versus need-to-have, and how they can help employees learn more. That’s probably the most important adjustment companies need to make in the future.”

Read all the predictions about internal mobility and upskilling here.

Final thoughts

Again, every prediction we’ve put forward may not play out precisely as described. But recruiting and business leaders still need to look forward, anticipate what’s ahead, and help steer their company through the uncertain future.

“As recruiting leaders, it’s so important that we meet the moment,” says Jennifer Shappley, LinkedIn’s VP of global talent acquisition. “We can’t rely on the strategies of the past to build our future.”

Change is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be a passive observer as recruiting evolves. You’re in a position to reshape the way the world works — and ensure it works for everyone.

As a reminder, this blog post is just a preview — you can read the full report online (or download it as a PDF) to see all 17 predictions on the future of recruiting.

Acknowledgments and methodology

This report was informed by insightful interviews with numerous recruiting leaders around the world, to whom we owe our sincere thanks, including: Naif AlGhamdi at Almarai; Andrew Barnes at 4 Day Week Global; Brett Baumoel at Microsoft; Glen Cathey at Randstad; Alex Fleming at Adecco; Pragashini Fox at Thomson Reuters; Stacey Gordon at Rework Work; John Graham Jr. at Shaker Recruitment Marketing; Marc-Etienne Julien at Randstad; Stephen Lochhead at Expedia; Chris Louie at Thomson Reuters; Bjorn Luijters at Ahold Delhaize; Jennifer Paylor at Capgemini; Gemma Leigh Roberts at The Resilience Edge; Ruben Santos at Ahold Delhaize; Dan Schawbel at Workplace Intelligence; Lars Schmidt at Amplify; Michaela Schütt at Siemens; Clyde Seepersad at The Linux Foundation; Tana M. Session at; Jennifer Shappley at LinkedIn; Jaishree Sharma at Jubilant Pharmova Limited; Jade Shi at Alibaba; John Vlastelica at Recruiting Toolbox; Sophie Wade at Flexcel Network; Andrew White at Microsoft; and Elsa Zambrano at NXP Semiconductors.

LinkedIn Research surveyed 1,611 recruiting professionals in management seniority roles or above, in addition to 403 hiring managers. This survey was conducted in six languages across 20 countries between October and November 2022.

Behavioral insights for this report were derived from the billions of data points generated by the 900 million members in over 200 countries on LinkedIn today. Unless otherwise noted, all data reflects aggregated LinkedIn member activity as of January 1, 2023.

For the complete methodology, see the full report here.

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Topics: Data insights Talent leadership Future of recruiting

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