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Fad or fixture? Developments in recruitment marketing

fad or fixtureIf you read a lot of HR blogs and magazines – like I do – you will notice a lot of ‘forecasts’: ’12 key trends in HR for 2017′; ‘6 technologies that will change recruiting’; and so on. Heck, I’ve even done it. But – as you already know – many of these ‘critical developments’ and ‘revolutionary technologies’ will disappear. They won’t change much of anything (other than the size of a VC’s wallet). Yet others will live on and become fixtures in the recruitment marketing world. Which ones are fads, and which are fixtures? Let’s take a look:

  • Chatbot: Chatbots are a perfect example of what I would call ‘now a fad, soon a fixture’. Very similar to ‘social recruiting’. You can’t visit a job board or recruiting site without bumping into one of these intrusive little text boxes – but over time, the shininess will wear off and they will become more sophisticated and less ‘in your face’ – thus the fade from fad to fixture.
  • Programmatic job ads: Fixture. As with aggregators and social recruiting before it, programmatic is not the giant wave that will eliminate everything in its path – but it is a channel that worked in the consumer world, and works in the recruiting world.
  • Facebook jobs: If Facebook has its way, their Jobs product(s) will become a fixture. They’re making the right moves. They’ve got the captive audience. So it’s really up to them to make it work – or screw it up.
  • Tindr-ish job apps: Fad. Can the vast majority of employers find candidate nirvana via ‘swipe left, swipe right’? I don’t think so – hiring is just a little more complicated than that.
  • Google job stuff: Possibly a bit of both. The job markup that is driving Google’s online search results is definitely a fixture – it’s the framework we all have to work inside. Google Cloud Jobs Discovery – the search API – could be a fad (not enough players take it up, and it goes away), or it could become the de facto standard for job search for employers and recruiting sites. And Google Hire? I don’t know. Ask me in 12 months!
  • AI: As a term, it’s a fad – a way to lure investors and give some new glossiness to an existing product. As a real thing – finally, after many, many years, it is becoming a fixture. The deeper AI is embedded in a service’s processes and products, the more useful it is, in my opinion.
  • Diversity hiring: Fixture. After decades of ‘window dressing’, diversity hiring services are finally becoming part of the ‘standard package’ for many companies (not all). This doesn’t, of course, mean that companies are actually achieving diverse workforces – just that more of them are really trying, and demanding tools to do so.
  • Gig economy: Fixture AND fad. Let’s face it: the gig economy has been around FOREVER. Freelance writers? Lawn mowers? Temps in every industry? Come on. They slapped a new name on it, one company built a software platform for taxis (an industry that was already ‘giggish’), and suddenly everything was moving to the gig economy. 40% of the workforce by 2020? Don’t believe it. But freelancers – excuse me, giggers – are here, same as they always were.

So what fad or fixture did I miss? (I know I missed some!). Let me know.

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