Searching for a new job and finding the right person for a role is undeniably a task within itself for job seekers and talent acquisition professionals alike.
From writing a compelling resume to nailing an interview and tracking candidates to securing an offer, there's quite a deal of heavy lifting involved for all parties.
Even more, the advent of new technologies continues to redefine the job search landscape and talent industry. Every day, the ecosystem gradually evolves as candidate and employer demands continue to shift.
The future of the job search is still on the horizon, but a few things are for sure. People can expect trends like artificial intelligence, online personas and mobile applications to continue to transform our world.
What do you need to do?
AI: Enabling productivity and improving recruiting relationships
It would be amiss to not acknowledge the emergence of artificial intelligence in the hiring and job search space. Automation is already making waves today with chatbots, screenings, applicant tracking systems and intelligent interviews.
As employers continue to use machine learning to refine their recruitment process to find the perfect candidate, job seekers will have to rise to the challenge of adapting to emerging technologies. Candidates will have to become more comfortable with interacting with machines, from writing bot-friendly resumes to speaking to them throughout the hiring process.
While technology will enable efficiency within the hiring process by freeing up the time to complete mundane tasks, candidates and recruiters can also await more opportunities for face time and meaningful relationships.
"AI will never replace human recruiters in our industry, but it will enable recruiters to spend more 'human' time with candidates," said Denis Edwards, Kforce Chief Information Officer.
Candidates are treating the job search like an online shopping experience
Now more than ever, job seekers are treating the job search like a shopping experience, using an average of 16 to 18 sources when looking for a job. They're doing their due diligence to make informed decisions with prospective employers. Even more so, candidates are increasingly becoming aware of an employer's brand and reputation.
The job search of the future will continue to see this trend, with job hunters seeking out more content to learn about companies and their open positions. Peer review sites like Glassdoor and social media platforms will be used to gather an insider's perspective within a company and how employees perceive an organization.
"Companies with a competitive advantage are sharing compelling content (not just posting jobs) that adds value including why working at their organization is different than working at similar companies, which helps guide a candidate's decision to apply or accept an offer," said Allison Kruse, Kforce Director of Content & Social Media.
Online brand awareness and management will be critical for employers and recruiters who wish to attract active and passive candidates. For any organization looking to attract talent, the job seeker's trust will be the ultimate goal.
On a similar note, branding and online reputation will be equally as important for candidates searching for a job.
Online professional branding will be king
Gone are the days of requested references validating your professionalism and skill sets for prospective employers. We now live in a digital world where a job seeker's online presence is just as important as the coveted resume.
There's a growing desire among employers to experience candidates in 3D on paper, in person and online. They're Googling your name and will be for the foreseeable future. Candidates who want to land a job in the future will have to create the digital footprint employers want to see.
Job seekers should optimize their professional brand by showcasing commitment to their work, highlighting professional achievements, curating industry content and more.
"Your professional brand plays a pivotal role in your career. Regardless of if you are currently looking for a new job or not, it is important to strategically design and actively manage your digital persona," Kruse said.
"Future proof jobs" & the return of job security
In recent years, millennials entered the workforce and demanded job flexibility, career paths and stewardship. Currently entering the market is Gen Z -- individuals born during the mid-'90s to the early millennia. This generation now desires job stability in contrast to millennial job hopping.
Emerging workers will likely seek roles that are practical, staple and in high demand across various industries like health care, technology and finance. In turn, employers should prepare to offer training and development opportunities to foster career growth to attract future job seekers.
In fact, seven out of 10 people said that training and development opportunities influence their decision to stay with a company.
"Managers must ensure that there is an investment strategy aligned to training and development priorities. This can come through resources such as enhanced learning management and enablement tools, data analytics, surveys and more," said Ashley Ehlinger, Kforce Director of Training and Development.
The only apply is mobile apply
With the onset of the digital age, mobile devices continue to rise in popularity. The trend has created a new phenomenon that's only expected to grow -- applying to jobs on the go.
Nearly 79 percent of millennials use their phones to apply to jobs, with Gen Xers trailing behind at 73 percent and Baby Boomers at 57.2 percent.
Mobile apply jobs allow job seekers to save time by conveniently and quickly applying to jobs within minutes on their highly-accessible smartphones. Free mobile apps like Dropbox and Google Drive are excellent choices for candidates to store their resume to apply on the go easily. Downloading job apps and creating profiles also assists candidates in making the job application process as easy as one click.
Ultimately, the convenience of mobile platforms should encourage employers, recruiters and candidates to think mobile-first and consider how they can use mobile platforms to improve efficiencies in the application and hiring process.
In the future, job seekers and hiring professionals can anticipate technology to continue to revolutionize the job hunt and improve productivity. From chatbots to online branding and more, it'll be up to professionals to take advantage of emerging tools to continue to grow throughout the employment journey and stay ahead of the competition.