Main image of article How Recruiters Will Impact Your 2018 Job Search
If you’re tired of recruiters pitching you mundane positions that require programming languages you haven’t used in a while, you may want to know more about the trends that will impact your career search in 2018. To help you meet your career-related resolutions in 2018, here are the major recruiting trends you should know about—and some ways to take advantage of the changes.

A.I. Goes Mainstream

According to a recent study, some 62 percent of companies plan to invest in A.I.-powered recruiting software in 2018. Instead of using keyword matching and prior experience to identify prospects, these tools often use predictive capabilities to find up-and-coming professionals who are interested in expanding their skillsets. “We’ll see wider mainstream adoption of artificial intelligence tools and technology in 2018,” explained Ji-A Min, head data scientist for recruiting software firm Ideal. “Each tool is designed to improve a specific process in the recruiting lifecycle such as sourcing, recruitment marketing, outreach or candidate screening by making them more accurate, targeted and hyper-personalized.” Some tools are capable of learning the skillsets of current employees and using deep learning to identify prospects with similar attributes. Generally speaking, the new tools are designed to make better matches, noted Britt Ryan and Lisa Holden, head of recruiting and senior manager of public relations (respectively) at Entelo. Action Steps: Because A.I.- enabled sourcing tools search the entire public web, showcasing your hobbies, interests and career aspirations (and keeping your online information up-to-date) will increase your chances of hearing about growth opportunities. “Be very direct about what you want to learn, and what you’ve been dabbling in on the side, if you want to be contacted about stretch projects and roles,” Ryan said.

Talent Pools Get More Diverse

In a bid to expand talent pools, recruiters are increasingly willing to consider non-traditional candidates. To that end, many of the latest sourcing tools remove photos and replace candidate names with initials in order to support an unbiased sourcing process. Action Steps: If you’d like to work in tech but don’t have a traditional profile, focus your résumé on your approach to work, emphasizing what you’ve delivered in previous roles. This could attract the attention of recruiters who may be willing to consider your unconventional background.

Employers are Scrapping Up-Front Screening and Topgrading

Rather than adding even more hoops for job candidates to jump through, companies are shortening the application process and making it easier to get your foot in the door, according to Chad Melloy, director of search and compensation-consulting firm The Overture Group. “Some clients have stopped administering coding tests and assessments before they bring in a candidate,” he said. “Many are willing to have a conversation with someone before they proceed to the assessment stage.” Action Steps: Engage with hiring managers and current employees before you spend time applying or taking tests. Request an informational interview or get to know the ins and outs; if possible, participate in the company’s online community—some firms maintain forums or message boards.

Personalized Outreach

If you’re tired of receiving generic, irrelevant email pitches from recruiters, you’re not alone. Things have gotten so bad that some frustrated tech pros have posted samples of their “generic” responses online. The problem is that a majority of recruiters don’t track email open rates or click-through rates, so they keep doing the same thing. That’s starting to change, however: Recruiters are using new tools to forge connections with candidates by providing personalized email outreach, targeted job opportunities and customized follow-up. Action Steps: “Publish your wish-list,” advised Nicole McAndrew, executive recruiting manager for The Overture Group. While you will probably continue to receive some off-target inquiries from recruiters, broadcasting your top three to five career goals or your ideal opportunity may help you receive more relevant information and job postings.

Total Package Approach

Employers are realizing that compensation is not always the deciding factor when candidates decide to accept or reject a job offer. As a result, they are putting greater emphasis on the overall package they offer tech pros, including opportunities to telecommute or work with cutting-edge technologies in a creative culture. Action Steps: It’s important to know what is most valuable to you before starting your job search. Many employers are willing to modify an offer or customize a package if they know what matters most to you and why.