Fri. Feb 21st, 2020

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5 Skills Every Recruiter Should Learn in 2020

It’s officially a New Year and, for many, that means it’s time for fresh starts and resolutions. That could mean anything from hitting the gym more, eating healthier, or maybe reading a title or two from that stack of books that’s been sitting on your bedside table. And with LinkedIn data suggesting that the top…

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It’s officially a New Year and, for many, that means it’s time for fresh starts and resolutions. That could mean anything from hitting the gym more, eating healthier, or maybe reading a title or two from that stack of books that’s been sitting on your bedside table.

And with LinkedIn data suggesting that the top priority for recruiters over the next five years is to keep up with rapidly changing hiring needs, it may be worthwhile to add learning new work-related skills to your list of resolutions. Armed with these new abilities and the fresh perspectives that come with them, it’s a chance to become even more indispensable and valuable to your company in the coming year and beyond.

Below are five skills that talent professionals and leaders believe will matter more in the future, many of which are featured in our Future of Recruiting Report. We’ve also listed some relevant LinkedIn Learning classes to give you a head start.

1. How to tell a good story

With a tight labor market that’s showing no signs of letting up in 2020, finding quality candidates is more challenging than ever. As a result, recruiters are tapping into often overlooked talent pools and increasingly vying for the attention of passive candidates.

No matter who you’re targeting, it’s important to stand out from the crowd. Generic or templated outreach messages are often ignored, so try taking some time this year to learn the art of telling a good story. Here at LinkedIn, recruiters use storytelling to attract potential candidates, and they’ve built an easy-to-follow framework that can help you tell more meaningful and emotionally-based stories.

With this skill in your back pocket, you can do so much more than provide potential candidates with a standard list of perks, benefits, and key tasks. Instead, you’ll be able to weave a compelling narrative about the role, your company’s culture, and the candidate’s past experience to show why this is the perfect job for them. Not only does this show that you took the time to really think about how they would fit into the role, but candidates will also be drawn in emotionally and have a clearer picture of what it would feel like to work at your company.

And as an added bonus, think about how those storytelling skills will help you outside of work. You’ll easily be able to fill those awkward silences the next time you’re at a dinner party — and you’ll be a hit when it’s your turn to tell a terrifying tale around a campfire.

Recommended course: Shane Snow on Storytelling — including tips on how to maximize connections with your audience and how to create a culture of storytelling for your entire team.

2. How to analyze and make sense of data

Although recruiting will always require people skills and that human touch, making data-driven decisions will be increasingly important in the future. In fact, between 2015 and 2019, the number of recruiting professionals who listed data-analysis as one of their skills on their LinkedIn profile grew by 111% — and there are no signs that this trend is slowing down.

There are plenty of ways that taking a thoughtful and creative approach to data can help you find great candidates and address larger business needs. For example, IBM used data to predict and prevent turnover, the FBI took a hard look at its numbers to improve diversity among their agents, and here at LinkedIn we used data insights to pinpoint geographical trends in how we hire engineers.

Crunching the numbers can help you spot trends and potential blindspots in your strategy to attract, hire, and retain the best people. What’s more, it can also help you get that sometimes elusive seat at the table with your company’s biggest decision makers (more on this below). If you’re equipped with data and know how to tell a compelling story about those numbers, you can be that much more convincing in everything from requesting additional resources to putting your stamp on the overarching talent strategy of your company.

Recommended course: Data Analytics for Business Professionals — including tips on how to plan and deploy an analytics strategy, make data-driven decisions, and identify when data is potentially flawed.

3. How to adapt to an industry that’s changing fast

With talent increasingly difficult to find, what worked for recruiters in the past may not continue to work in the future. That means adaptability will be a must-have skill going forward. One day you may be texting a candidate with the details of a role and offering increasingly flexible work options, the next you could be searching for passive candidates with hashtags or pivoting to a hiring strategy that finds more candidates internally. You’ll be rolling with the punches and changing your best practices continuously.

Learning to be more adaptable, however, can be challenging. After all, we’re often creatures of comfort and routine, and veering away from a path that’s been tried-and-true in the past can be difficult or just plain scary. But if you take the time to sharpen this skill, you’ll be rewarded with another tool to tackle the increasingly complex world of recruiting, including dealing with bias in artificial intelligence, choosing the right technology tools for your organization, and meeting the needs of five different generations working side-by-side in the office for the first time ever.

Recommended course: Creating a Culture of Change — including tips on how to reduce stress in the face of change, embrace transformation, and create a culture that isn’t afraid to think differently.

4. How to influence business leaders

The days of a recruiter’s job being limited to simply filling reqs and taking orders from hiring managers are long gone (if they ever really existed). Recruiting professionals are increasingly being asked to take on a more strategic role in partnership with key decision-makers, and in The Future of Recruiting Report, 82% of those surveyed believe advising business leaders will become more important to…

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