Hiring & Recruitment Trends

IRI Podcast Episode on New Trends In Hiring & Recruitment

Hiring and recruitment trends are more challenging today than they have ever been before, which means you’ll need every tool in your arsenal to win over the best talent and keep your company on top! That means engaging in best practices when it comes to hiring, but it also means being aware of today’s hiring trends, and having the clarity to see your company through the eyes of your candidates. Today's guest is Mandy Gilbert, the Founder and CEO of Creative Niche, a specialized recruitment firm that provides creative staffing and workforce management solutions to multinational corporations as well as major advertising, digital and public relations agencies. Here, she explains: 

  • Why deconstructing your employment experience is such an important first step in winning over talent;
  • Why diversity should be a conversation, not a checklist;
  • The "happy balance" of hybrid work; and
  • The continued value of hiring internal candidates for leadership positions!

If you prefer to read along while you listen, we've done all the hard work for you! We listened back to this episode and took notes below, and access is free! 


Being a Strong Voice in Talent Acquisition

  • Where there are challenges, there are always opportunities, and organizations must be committed to changes they make to accommodate new hiring and recruitment trends.
  • The biggest opportunity in talent acquisition is to understand the hiring and employment process from start to finish.
    • This means understanding the company’s reputation, compensation and benefits compared to other companies, how your company is attractive to prospective employees, what the job postings look like, inclusivity, etc. Additionally, it is important to understand the interviewing and onboarding process, and being able to identify places of improvement, and asking the right questions about attracting and retaining strong talent. 
    • A company’s culture is not a checklist, and it is important to keep tabs on how the company is developing and evolving.
    • It is also very important to protect and maintain the company’s brand and being able to communicate that messaging throughout the company. 


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Keeping Up with the Times

  • Employees at every level at a company must know about internal changes and be able to talk about it. Companies are able to use platforms and resources to create a space where employees are always learning.
  • As HR professionals, it’s not only important to know about changes within the company, but also how those changes apply to roles you are recruiting for.
    • This calls for collaboration between HR and departments within a company to understand the opportunities, strategy, room for improvement, and other new hiring and recruitment trends.

Hiring Trends & Updates

  • In December of 2021, Ms. Gilbert wrote an article for inc.com, titled 5 Hiring Trends That Will Impact Recruiting in the New Year, addressing what HR professionals might expect to focus on in 2022. Here’s what she outlined, and, as we look at the mid-point of the year, if those trends have shifted:
    • Increased focus on diversity and inclusion
      • A DEI focused recruiting process can nurture a more inclusive talent acquisition process. And more companies are adopting platforms to eliminate potential biases.
      • All companies should prioritize equity throughout the hiring and onboarding process, everything from job descriptions to referrals to assessments. 
      • Incorporating tech in recruiting is another trend to make the process more equitable by eliminating internal biases.
      • Diversity should not be a checklist, but a conversation about fostering a diverse work environment and culture from the beginning. 
      • Trend Update: Ms. Gilbert anticipates more visibility in hiring, and holding organizations accountable through training and awareness.
    • Increased incentives and referral programs
      • More organizations are offering more perks for employee retention such as referral bonuses for successful hires.
      • Employers have been experimenting with and adopting new and different ways to attract and retain talent.
      • There is also more flexibility in perks that are nonfinancial rewards such as gifts, tech, paid time off, or time. 
      • Trend Update: Deconstructing the employment experience can also sometimes help determine the best incentives for your specific workforce.
    • A cross-industry shift to hybrid work
      • Hybrid work is here to stay
      • Remote work came about more quickly, and is now much more normalized in the workforce. 
      • Ms. Gilbert believes that if you hire the right people, it doesn’t matter where they are working from. People can still be actively engaged and contributing to the workplace.
      • Most companies likely would not be 100% remote, but there will very likely be hybrid workplaces so there can still have an in person element, a sense of culture, and shadowing for junior staff members without being on site all of the time. 
      • Trend Update: Ms. Gilbert does see a continued shift to hybrid and sees it as a “happy balance” that is appreciated by employees as well
    • Return to hiring internal candidates
      • It is easier to get internal employees to take on more responsibility than it is to bring in new leadership or management candidates and integrate them in the culture.
      • Better to grow internal employees into leadership and hire “juniors” from outside the company, so you can foster and grow them, in turn, within the organization.
      • Internal hiring creates the opportunity to let current employees grow and try new things, which can also increase retention rates.
      • Trend Update: For a lot of sectors, this is something you should revisit periodically, to make sure you're growing your people and providing them with opportunities to try new things and take on more.
    • Focus on employer branding and social issues
      • There is a shift in younger people to want to work at a company that represents them and their values, and as industry leaders, companies need to adjust. Employees may want more flexibility, to set goals, and to work with managers to determine their path for success in roles.
      • This trend creates a stronger voice in the workforce, and challenges leaders to be stronger and bring something new to the table.
      • Trend Update: As this shift in employee expectations is felt throughout the generations, and as more young candidates enter the workforce, this trend will likely continue and be embraced.

Creative Niche

  • Ms. Gilbert started Creative Niche which is a specialized recruitment company that focuses on tech advertising, marketing design, and public relations.
  • Creative Niche works with Fortune 500 scale tech companies to help them find the best talent to grow their business.
  • During the pandemic, Creative Niche launched another company called Rise by Creative Niche, which is a plug-and-play talent acquisition partner to scaling companies. 

Mandy Gilbert Background

  • Entrepreneurial Masters Program (EMP) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Executive Leadership from the Bell Leadership Institute
  • Graphic Design from George Brown College
  • Ms. Gilbert is the Founder and CEO of Creative Niche, Inc.


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