2016 has been another strong year for HR and the talent market. Technology continues to shape how we work and communicate and in the years to come we’ll see further advancements in our work habits thanks to it. Looking ahead, you can expect recruitment in 2017 to focus on stronger employer branding and the overall candidate experience.

As job seekers and the talent market demand more from employers, companies need to embrace various strategies that can address these needs. Here are a few trends to look forward to in terms of recruitment in 2017:

The Employer Brand

The talent market’s perception of employers, their culture, work ethics and strength is becoming increasingly challenging for companies to maintain. With various social media outlets, blogs, and even review sites like Glassdoor, employees have several avenues to vent their frustrations, or spotlight their contentment. These have kept employers on their toes to improve, maintain and harvest a vibrant and pro-employee culture and environment. Now more than ever, the employer brand is a pivotal strength for companies to be able to attract and maintain talent. Hence, why it’s even more important to have a social media presence and that even a positive one!

The Candidate Experience

To attract the best talent companies will need to adopt a “customer focus” approach to their recruitment process. What that entails is an experience for candidates where they feel as pampered as the customers of the company. The process of recruitment in 2017 will see companies being more open to a personalized experience for candidates – an experience that focuses on them and how their careers can benefit from being part of the team. The entire process, of course, would need to be more efficient, swift and easier to go through as millennials and Gen Z are more impatient than the talent of previous generations.

The Engaged Culture

Nothing speaks more volumes about a company’s strength as its highly engaged employees. To have a stronger employer brand, more convincing and aligned recruitment managers and a positive work environment companies need to have strong employee engagement strategies. To truly be able to attract top talent from the market, every existing employee will need to play the role of a brand ambassador. The message they convey, whether a promising one or an intimidating one, will be directly impacted by how engaged, aware and aligned your employees are.

The Mobile Experience

Mobile technology has been king in the past 5 years and 2017 will be no different. People are more inclined to access company websites, career and recruitment pages, and conduct searches on their mobile phones than laptops and PCs. Failing to have a mobile friendly website and career page would seriously hamper your ability to attract talent. These days, nothing turns off people more than an archaic website that isn’t clearly visible on smaller mobile phone screens.

The Paperless Process

Nothing spells innovation and forward-thinking more than being paperless. Not only is having a paperless and fully automated process attractive to the environment, for the top talent it’s appealing to work for a company that’s concerned with its impact on society. And let’s not forget how simplified and efficient the entire recruitment process can be if physical, paper versions of resumes were done with. A company that’s embracing change, is constantly evolving to automate and is making an effort to be paperless is one that scores big points in the minds of candidates.

To have high performing teams a manager knows that its members must get along and work well together. They don’t have to necessarily agree with each other, but there should be synergies and enough chemistry that facilitates growth and delivers results. The same is with recruitment where candidates need to clearly understand and know the company they’re potentially going to work at. Recruitment in 2017 won’t just be about the candidate and what they bring – it’ll be about the company and how attractive they are.