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Written by Josh Bersin.

The corporate recruiting market just gets hotter and hotter. We just returned from a two week tour through Europe and attended the iRecruit conference in Amsterdam, where we had the opportunity to talk with dozens of top recruiting managers.

Here are the 9 hottest trends we see from our research, highlighting some of the newest startups in the space.


1. Corporate Talent Networks.

With the growth of LinkedIn LNKD +0.03%, Twitter, Facebook FB +0.22%, Glassdoor, Indeed, and a variety of other tools available to promote your employment brand, companies have now evolved from a model of “candidate relationship management” to a model of building a “talent network” from which to recruit. The “talent network” is not just a place to post jobs, it’s a place to attract people: and it includes fans, candidates, employees, alumni, and even customers.

These “talent networks” (AT&T T -0.02%, Microsoft MSFT +1.03%, IBM IBM +0.94%, many companies now have them) are viral product and service communities and they create magnetic attraction among prospective employees, customers, and partners. Vendors like Avature, BraveNewTalent, Jobs2Web, Oracle Taleo Social Sourcing Cloud Service (formerly SelectMinds), and Smashfly help you build them.

2. Social Sourcing.

Sourcing candidates over the web is critical to success today. The granddaddy of these solutions is LinkedIn, which sells the LinkedIn Recruiter tool to HR organizations. Most recruiters will tell you that having a LinkedIn recruiter license is the “cost of entry.” Many of the recruiters I talk with rely heavily on LinkedIn but no longer see it as a competitive advantage – because everyone else has it too.

A whole barrage of exciting tools have been created to help companies better find and source key candidates. In the technology space interesting tools include Entelo, Gild, TalentBin, and RemarkableHire which are out there looking at all your social footprint to evaluate your technical prowess. These companies mine your personal code postings and other social information to create a profile and actual “competency ratings” based on your social data.

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3. Recruiters as Sourcers not Recruiters.

As companies globalize and look for more specialized skills, the role of the recruiter becomes more and more important. And where do we want recruiters spending their time? Interviewing people? Or sourcing great candidates?

The highest-performing companies are now pushing more and more responsibility onto the shoulders of hiring managers (training them how to interview) and letting recruiters focus on high-powered sourcing and initial screening. The more “assessment” we push to hiring managers the better.

At Oracle, where recruiting is an art, the company specializes its recruiters on narrow job areas and gives them administrative support for social networking, ad management, and scheduling. The recruiters are very senior and they are measured on their ability to strategically source and attract passive candidates, often from competitors. Hiring managers play a major role in the process and partner with recruiters on sourcing and assessment.

4. A Barrage of New Assessment Science.

The science of human assessment will never stand still. Tools like Myers-Briggs and hundreds of other personality or skills assessments have been around for decades. Today, driven largely by the power of the cloud, there seem to be an explosion of new assessment tools.

Some of the hotter companies include Evolv, Logi-serve, PeopleAnswers, SkillSurvey and Checkster (background checking), Smarterer (customized skills testing) as well as the large legacy providers like SHL, DDI, Hogan, Kenexa (IBM), KornFerry, Profiles International, Wonderlic, and hundreds more. I can’t possibly do this market justice in a few paragraphs, but it’s growing with new providers who not only provide great validated tests, but also collect employee performance data so they are starting to provide real-time feedback on the tests themselves.