Call Sales +44 808 164 2563
< Back to Hiring Blog

Unlock Your Next Breakthrough: Discover the Top 7 Talent Acquisition Trends of INSPIRE '23

May 25, 2023
10 min read
Learn how iCIMS can
help you drive ROI

If there’s one word that dominated iCIMS’ fourth annual INSPIRE conference, it’s breakthrough.

“Now more than ever, the work of talent acquisition empowers companies to break through to new heights, to transform their communities, and ultimately to change the world — one new hire at a time,” remarked iCIMS CEO Brian Provost during the opening keynote.

The award-winning conference brought together talent acquisition innovators from all over the world to share their best ideas. Live streamed and in-person, the event united leaders and practitioners from every industry to discuss the challenges that define the TA profession — and the ideas, techniques and technologies that will transform it.

“That’s what today is all about,” Provost said. “Working together as a group with the right tools, the right insights and the right experience to create breakthroughs of your very own.”

Watch INSPIRE on demand here. Or, first, read up on the conference highlights below.


#1: A thoughtful approach to generative AI

Audience applauds at INSPIRE 2023

Since ChatGPT was released publicly last fall, the technology has quickly made its way into every aspect of life. People are using AI to map out their summer gardens, to speed up note taking, to spur innovation. People are also using it to apply for jobs; in a recent iCIMS study, 47% of grads said they would consider using an AI bot for their resume. But to HR pros, that’s a deal-breaker.

Despite the concern, AI is proving useful to TA. The technology can help teams sort resumes at scale, search their talent pools for best-match candidates and reduce bias in the hiring process.

Still, AI can’t work as a human thinker, iCIMS CTO Al Smith pointed out during INSPIRE’s opening keynote. ChatGPT and similar products use generative AI, which means that they consume massive amounts of information from the internet to produce those garden plans, notes, and ideas. While the technologies promise a host of exciting benefits, they also create a number of problems people — and companies — can’t overlook, including data quality, accuracy and ethics.

“I want to assure you that we are committed to responsible AI,” Smith said. He encouraged attendees to do the same. “You’re the human in the loop. Use it to help you solve problems beyond human scale.”

As TA pros experiment with AI, continual discussions about its responsible use are a must. iCIMS VP of Product Strategy Andreea Wade recommended staying somewhat skeptical.

“Don’t fall in love with it. Understand it,” she said. “As a builder, once you go past the initial excitement of something new and cool, you realize that it’s foundational to understand the ethics behind it. You have to build responsibly. You have to have a human in the loop.”

Read more: Responsible AI — Ethics and automation in recruiting


#2: Automate small tasks, at scale, for big gains in efficiency

The best candidates are on the market for only 10 days, which means recruiters need to act fast to get top talent. But efficiency has always been an issue for recruiters, who have long been kept from strategic work by repetitive tasks.

Automation is changing that reality, allowing recruiters to work much more efficiently. Tools like the iCIMS Talent Cloud have freed up thousands of hours for recruiters. Here are three of the top wins iCIMS customers reported:

  • Scheduling automation | Rameen Fattahi, director of recruiting, operations and insights at Rivian
    When Fattahi schedules a candidate interview manually, the whole process — reaching out, requesting availability, coordinating schedules, confirming the time — takes about eight minutes. But with iCIMS’ Zoom scheduling integration, it takes about one minute. “Multiply that by 75,000 phone screens to get 10,000 hires, and now you’ve saved more than 8,000 hours a year,” he said.
  • Swift candidate experience | Stephanie Shaw, VP of enterprise technology at The Wendy’s Company
    Applicants at Wendy’s can submit an application and schedule an interview in under two minutes with the help of an iCIMS chatbot. The quick process not only helped drive down the median time-to-hire at Wendy’s restaurants to just five days, but 80% of candidates who apply schedule an interview. These wins netted an 8% increase in new hires over three months.
  • Fast-growing talent community | Christy Spilka, VP and global head of talent acquisition at iCIMS
    Spilka has witnessed iCIMS’ journey to a top employer as customer zero. The company saw its talent community grow tenfold after adding invitations to join to every page of its career site. The iCIMS platform helped the company reduce the interview cycle time by two days and time-to-fill by two weeks. Meanwhile, it saw candidate experience grow by 530% — a metric it tracked by asking for candidate feedback via SurveyMonkey.


#3: People analytics drive diversity goals — and the bottom line

Keynote talk "Make breakthrough DEI decisions with talent analytics" at iCIMS INSPIRE 2023

Most employers understand the business case behind DEI. They know the statistics — the ones showing that racially diverse teams outperform non-diverse teams by 35%. Or that workplace diversity is important to 76% of job seekers when considering a new gig.

What they may not understand is how to build diverse teams, or a culture that supports them. Organizations need people analytics to get real-time insights into their progress toward goals like these, according to Carla Williams, senior director of people analytics consulting at Visier.

People analytics allow organizations to see the issues thwarting long-term progress. Companies that have made initial progress on hiring more women into executive roles, for instance, may see their efforts relapse once women start to leave. Why? Because those roles often get filled by men.

“Organizations that use data to understand where some of those biases are occurring can take action on those things,” she said. “They see impact over time, and they’re able to sustain those results.”

Too often TA pros get stuck reporting, never making the jump to analytics. Reporting shows what’s happening. Analytics shows why it’s happening, and what’s to be done about it.

Once TA pros have unlocked the power of analytics, they get to start making decisions. But these decisions don’t make a difference on their own, Williams said: “Data is good, but data doesn’t make decisions. It’s important to have the information, but then have a conversation.”

Learn more: Download the DEI Hiring and Retention Playbook


#4: Pay transparency resonates with Gen Z and leads to more diverse applicants

Panel of speakers on the mainstage at INSPIRE 2023

Many companies have been including salary ranges in job posts as pay transparency laws have cropped up around the U.S. But there are plenty of reasons outside compliance that compel companies to post their pay ranges. For instance: The practice could help attract younger and more diverse applicants.

According to iCIMS’ Class of 2023 report, 43% of entry-level applicants said they would not apply for a job if the salary range is missing from the job posting.

“That’s a lot of applicants,” said Rhea Moss, global head of workforce and customer insights at iCIMS. “And they aren’t just the ones in states with pay transparency laws.”

But it’s not just young applicants with expectations about pay transparency. Nearly half of women said they would not apply to jobs without pay ranges, compared to 30% of men. Similarly, when the salary isn’t listed, Black students are almost twice as likely to not apply as white students.

“Think about all these DEI efforts we’ve been talking about,” Moss said. “That could be greatly hurt by not sharing pay information right up front.”

Read more: Pay transparency — How iCIMS solutions helps you do it right


#5: Candidates or consumers? Expectations are on the rise.

Keynote session "How to create consumer-like talent experiences" at iCIMS INSPIRE 2023

Candidates expect a hiring experience that’s as easy as online shopping. They want experiences that are curated, personalized and seamless. How can TA teams deliver?

Recruiters need to take on the role of marketers. But they’re held back by legacy software that doesn’t provide the tools they need to be those marketers, said Rachel Morgan, senior product marketing manager at iCIMS.

“A recruitment marketing strategy should be seamless. It should be as seamless as shopping at Kim Kardashian’s Skims.”
— Rian Schilligo, VP, HR business partners

That’s why iCIMS is developing Candidate Experience Management, the best of iCIMS CRM and Marketing Automation together in one solution. iCIMS CXM  combines industry-leading pipeline curation with  comprehensive event management, AI-powered sourcing to supercharge experiences via career sites, chatbots and more. These tools will afford recruiters a deep understanding of candidates, allowing for a hyper-personalized experience.

Read more about iCIMS CXM.


#6: (Most) job seekers still want flexibility

Networking happy hour at INSPIRE 2023

Flexibility remains a focus to employers as companies continue to grapple with their work arrangements. The topic is also important to employees: According to a recent iCIMS survey, 93% of workers said flexibility was top of mind. And nearly two-thirds ranked where they worked as one of the top three factors in deciding whether they would accept a job offer.

iCIMS data revealed a widening gap between employers and employees when it comes to flexibility:

  • In Q1 of 2021, 23% of applications were submitted from out-of-state job seekers, and only 10% were hired.
  • In Q1 of 2023, 32% of applications were submitted from out-of-state job seekers, and only 11% were hired.

“While employers are hiring some out-of-state workers at a steady rate, we see an influx of out-of-state applicants,” said Rhea Moss, global head of workforce and customer insights at iCIMS. “This data indicates that there may be a disparity between what candidates want and what employers are willing to give.”

While location is certainly important to workers on the whole, one group isn’t as keen on remote work: Gen Z. Only 8% of Gen Zers said remote-first or hybrid work was the most important thing they would consider when deciding whether or not to work for you as an employer.

Learn more: Read the iCIMS Class of 2023  Report


#7: Internal recruiting shrinks the skills gap and curbs hiring costs

Keynote session "The state of skills: A fireside chat with IDC and iCIMS" at INSPIRE 2023

Here are two stats that will scare TA pros:

  • Two-thirds of HR pros admit that employees often leave to take roles that could have been offered internally.
  • By the end of this decade, the demand for skilled workers will surge past supply, resulting in a global shortage numbering beyond 85 million people.

Employers can confront these problems with a united strategy, said Gina Smith, research director at IDC.  By pairing skill building with career building, organizations can shrink their skills gap and reduce turnover at the same time.

“If you can marry the career path and the goals of an individual employee with the goals of the enterprise at large, that’s where the magic happens.”
— Gina Smith, research director

To increase internal mobility, employers can think of career paths as multi-directional. Employees can move upward, of course, but they can also move laterally and geographically.

Companies can use tools like the iCIMS Talent Cloud Opportunity Marketplace to connect employees to internal job opportunities and empower talent. These tools are essential to building an internal mobility program, as they send job alerts, pair people and opportunities, and pinpoint skills gaps.


INSPIRE 2023 is a wrap

What kind of breakthrough does your TA team need this year? Watch INSPIRE 23 on demand for more talent acquisition trends, ideas and best practices.


Learn how iCIMS can help you drive ROI

Explore categories

Explore categories

Back to top

Join our growing community
and receive free tips on how to attract, engage, hire, & advance the best talent.

Read more about Events

Kingfisher's insights, the Cloud Lounge and new hiring insights: RecFest 2024

Read more

3 strategies to build your winning workforce from Europe’s TA experts

Read more

What we learned at Unleash, the world’s most influential HR tech conference

Read more

About the author

Al Smith

As Chief Technology Officer, Al Smith leads the creative and technology teams behind iCIMS’ product portfolio, providing its 2.4 million global platform users with the world’s leading talent cloud. Smith is leading the company as it develops innovative solutions that empower employers at every stage of the talent continuum, allowing leaders to attract, engage, hire, and advance the world’s best talent.  

Read more from this author >