Why 8 in 10 hiring managers are putting diversity first

New data from LinkedIn reveals that 82 per cent of hiring managers are putting diversity first in 2018. Here's why.

The age-old hiring process is getting a major shake-up in 2018. This according to LinkedIn’s latest Global Recruiting Trends report, which reveals that the biggest trends set to change how recruiters hire this year are diversity, reinventing the interview process, data and artificial intelligence. The annual report surveyed over 8,800 recruiters and hiring managers from 39 countries to better understand these trends and help recruitment teams prepare for 2018.

“Over the past few years, hiring talent has become a repetitive, and sometimes transactional, process. But there is a shift happening, and these emerging trends are helping to elevate recruitment to a more strategic profession that focuses on the most important and gratifying parts of the job – the human part and thinking critically about how to win the right talent,” says Jon Addison, head of talent solutions at LinkedIn UK. “It’ll be a keen finger on the pulse with these trends that will help recruiters stay alive in our ever-evolving market.”

Diversity and inclusion are the hottest most crucial areas of focus for hiring managers, according to the study. Not only are eight in ten hiring managers open about this being a priority in 2018, but 42 per cent of the respondents identified interviewer bias as the third biggest issue facing the recruitment process. This level of awareness may be half the battle won.

Diversity is the mindset

The report revealed the most important trend is diversity, inclusion and belonging, with 82 per cent of UK hiring managers saying this is the key issue impacting how they hire. The data shows that companies now see having a diverse workforce directly correlating with improved culture (78 per cent) and a boosted company performance (62 per cent). Despite attention on the subject, many companies are still coming up against barriers, with nearly two-fifths globally struggling to find diverse candidates to interview and 27 per cent finding it difficult to retain diverse employees.

Reinventing the job interview

Traditional job interviews have been a standard for decades, but there is a shift coming. Half of UK respondents said that changes to interview techniques are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ important to the future of hiring, making way for a new-age interview process. The biggest problems for talent leaders are assessing a candidate’s soft skills, understanding their weaknesses, and interviewer bias.

In 2018, new tools set to emerge will help to revolutionise the process, including virtual reality assessments, meeting in casual settings and job auditions. This will make it harder for candidates to embellish skills and means they get to try a job for fit first.

Data continues to be key

Most professionals in the industry use data in their jobs now, but this is set to accelerate in 2018 with nearly two-fifths (38%) seeing it as one of the most important factors in the hiring process. Over two thirds (64 per cent) are currently making use of data for things like increased retention, evaluating skills and building better offers – but within the next two years, 79% are likely to be using data in their hiring process, suggesting an even greater reliance on it.

AI will become the secret assistant

The term artificial intelligence is often seen as threatening when it comes to jobs, but for recruiters who can receive hundreds of CVs a day it’s set to become the secret workhouse that helps them do their jobs better. Over a quarter of UK respondents said AI is the most important trend for 2018, helping them source, screen and nurture candidates – saving time and helping to remove any human bias. While AI can replace some processes, only 14 per cent think it will eliminate the recruiter’s job altogether; building relationships, seeing candidate potential and judging culture fit are amongst the top skills AI is least likely to replace.

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2016 to 2018.