Recently the Society for Human Resource Management identified certain trends that will heavily influence hiring in 2017. For the first time in the history of the labor market, technology has converted all companies into “technology companies” regardless of the service they provide or widget they create. As identified by Byrne Mulrooney, CEO of Los Angeles-based Futurestep, a Korn Ferry company specializing in recruitment process outsourcing, technology will tie all these trends together. “It doesn’t matter what industry our clients are in—everything from manufacturing to professional services and retail—every company can now be classified as a technology company,” he said. “This has forever changed the way talent acquisition experts do their jobs, and what candidates have come to expect.”

Further to stay ahead employers will have to gain a new level of flexibility and creativity in their offerings as competition for qualified personnel heats up. “Without an embedded commitment to mobile, candidate experience and branding, your recruiting team is likely losing candidates you don’t even know about,” said Lars Schmidt, the founder of Amplify Talent, a recruiting and branding agency in Tysons, Va.

Defining the leading trend boils down to one phrase “Mastering the Data = Mastering the Universe”

In business, sales and marketing teams have long relied on using big data to respond to emerging trends that are unseen when only examined by human intuition. But now mastering big data and complex algorithms has moved into the HR department. According to John Sullivan 2017 is “the year of the algorithm.” Sullivan asserts that the recruiting function will finally “begin the shift away from a decision model based on past practices and intuition and toward data-driven decision-making.” Further to Jon Bischke, CEO of Entelo, a social sourcing and talent analytics software company in San Francisco. “Talent teams are finally catching up to their colleagues,” he said. “In 2016, we saw recruiters … adopting technologies to automate aspects of their daily workload and leveraging the rich data stores they’ve amassed to create meaningful and actionable recruitment plans.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, the second leading trend suggests AI will get a vote in the hiring process.

HR and talent acquisition teams will be hearing more about how artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and bots will impact their workplace plans. In a 2017 Harvey Nash HR Survey it was found that 15% of HR leaders polled from 40 countries said AI was already impacting their hiring plans. Another 40% expected AI and automation to alter their plans in 2 – 5 years. “The way we interact with AI right now is really simplistic,” said William Tincup, SHRM-SCP, an expert on recruiting technology and president of recruitment media company RecruitingDaily. “It’s like going from paper to digital. You used to write things down on a Post-It note to remind you to do something. Now you have a program where you type those things in and it reminds you,” he said.

2017 will be a period of hyper competitive recruiting in a resurgent market that will require HR departments and professional recruiters to reach into resources previously reserved for big data marketing and start-up tech firms. Other trends will likely emerge as the year unfolds and how the hiring market responds will be interesting to watch.