As 2015 rounded out, I laid out my predictions for 2016’s key recruitment trends to be on the lookout for. They included mobile platforms, social media, referral programs, and internet job boards. The foundation for these predictions was based upon the vast amount of booming digital media available at any moment at our very fingertips.

As a government contractor closing out the 2016 recruiting year, it’s time to take a few minutes to reflect back on 2016’s recruiting trend predictions. The biggest trend predicted for 2016 was accurate. Advances in technology morphed with dynamic career sites and created a new way of employment hiring and job seeking –  mobile applications and dynamic job boards. Trends that declined in 2016 include: paper resumes, cover letters and click & apply company career websites. Companies shifted focus more on the employer’s branding and digital recruitment practices, specifically in the field of social media. This has allowed for the expanded impact of the traditional, active recruiter.

A deeper look into 2016’s predictions.

Dynamic job boards were the number one tool used by employers and candidates for employment in 2016, according to the Huffington Post. Employers are taking advantage of the increasing number of digital tools available to make the company branding and candidate application process mobile-friendly. Along with booming technical apps and the continuously growing number of social media sites, I successfully predicated that user profiles would become the dominant representation for candidates.

As predicted, 2016 brought us a morphing vision of the internet job board, in the form of mobile apps. The days of a job board with the typical resume submission that contains only a recruiter resume viewing board are now obsolete for hiring and job seeking.

What to look for in 2017

Trends to be on the lookout for in 2017 include: multi-social media profile interlacing sites to create a “one stop shop” with all-inclusive profiles; progressive interviewing with webcam/video interfacing, and finally REFERRALS! I’m sticking with the digital age driving all facets of employment; from the preliminary posting/applying stages and well into the selection stages.

With the de-emphasizing of cover letters and resumes, new forms of data leveraging through robust profiles have emerged. Multiple-platform social sites are creating one super profile for candidates. Unveiling and purging profiles in one unique location will allow recruiters and candidates to enhance their ability to engage in robust queries to best match skills sets with opportunities.

Progressive interviewing will roll-out steadily into the new age of technology and employment. Mobile apps and integrated software programs marry the human-centric aspect of interviewing with the ease and flexibility of remote interviewing from any location. Webcams mixed with multi-media capable mobile devices will eradicate the old rigid structure of the “in-person” interviewing process while still maintaining the personalized individual connections and rapport building capabilities. Phase Two of securing employment, past the application stage, will become a vital focus in 2017.

The final predominant trend of 2017 will be the continued use of the highly popular referral program. Referrals are significant for recruiting for both the candidates and employers. Employers, such as Smartronix, continue to recognize the value in all candidates, even those who do not move to employment status with us. We leverage all candidates as another form of a recruitment tool by offering external referral incentives.

2017 Advice for Job seekers:

Perfect, complete and sanitize every social media profile associated with your name. Varied new sites will begin to pull and merge multiple social sites to create your “super” profile. Ensure it’s the image you want to represent you. Much like last year, use your mobile device and load it with the top social media sites that would not normally be used for employment and maximize your networking by thinking outside the box.

2017 Advice for Employers:

Continue to steer clear from the over-tricked out company career sites and reallocate those funds into employer branding on social sites and marketing. Spend time on social media internet sites that are not just specific to job boards; choose the job boards that offer more for your time. Prep your software and webcams to jump into 2017 with video/web cam interviewing. Networking will always remain KEY; so keep in mind that everyone is a referral. Follow the Smartronix external referral model, as there is added value in every person you speak with.  Candidates have the potential to make money while helping their colleagues. No one’s time is spent in vain. If your referral process can be leveraged by all applicants and current employees, everyone wins!

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Maria Whitney is a Senior Recruiter at Smartronix. She's been in the HR industry for 13 years; focused on recruiting for over 11 years. Her experience ranges from private sector Engineering, Banking and Cleared Intelligence, to Cleared IT. Visit her on the Cleared Network.