Among the raft of the end of the year and new year blogs and lists, one that caught my eye was a report from UK recruitment firm, Hays. They've listed what they consider to be the recruitment trends we can expect to see in 2018. You can read the list here, but the words that jumped out at me were "artificial", "virtual", "augmented reality" and "automation".

I completely acknowledge that technology is playing an increasing role in recruitment, but the word "human" is conspicuous by its absence. In my business, finding talent to join us is our priority. We've refocused the primary purpose of our external brand to help us find the best people we can. All of our marketing activity is optimized to appeal to great people that might like to join our team.

We firmly believe that the only thing stopping us growing in the way we want to is finding more people good enough to do what we do. The rest becomes infinitely easier the more great people we have behind the brand.

Don't ignore experience.

My business partner Dave Hazlehurst is an employer-brand thought leader. He speaks at employer brand events around the world, so, as you might imagine, he has some great insight on this subject. Dave and I chat a lot about technology in the recruitment world, and, as he points out,  "Technology, and big data, in particular, has hugely impacted the way we do business in the 21st Century, but what about the art? We can't just ignore the subconscious know-how we've spent years refining through experience".

Embrace the human algorithm.

It goes without saying that recruitment is about people, and of course, technology must play its part. But it mustn't overshadow the crucial part that culture fit and personality have to play in the talent attraction process. Dave recommended I read the brilliant book by former Ferrari Formula One motor racing team boss Ross Brawn.

Those teams have incredible real-time analytics, not just at the race venue, but also real-time, big data beamed from a car driving at up to 200mph on a race track on one side of the globe to the race team's headquarters in England. They have hundreds of incredibly smart people monitoring the data in real time. They provide insight and information for the team and the driver to adapt their strategy as the race unfolds.

But, as Dave pointed out to me,  "That technology cannot feel, hear and see; you need all the senses of the driver. The driver feels first and thinks second. In the talent space, more and more digital analysis and analytics are being utilized, but we need to make sure the decisions we take around technology help us get closer to the candidate. Poor automation and execution make communication impersonal. It's the 'human algorithm' that provides marginal gains. It gives a competitive advantage to business and talent attraction".

Live the candidate journey.

I run an employer brand digital agency. Naturally, we embrace technology and have a thirst for it. But we have a passion for people first. This is why, more than ever before in recruitment marketing, we should be investing in understanding what makes people tick. This is where candidate experience and business strategy meet.

Having decided we needed to recruit for new team members, we treated ourselves the way we treat our clients. We looked at the journey we ask candidates to take from the moment they first touch our brand; online or offline. We gained insight into what they are feeling and thinking as they go through the process.

Candidates engage with brands via multiple channels and devices like never before. There are so many touch points. It's vital to consider at each stage of communication--how easy was the process? What will they remember about it? Would they be compelled to shout from the rooftops about the experience, good or bad?

Work hard to find the best people.

This is why our new website has one message aimed clearly at attracting prospective talent. The delivery of that message includes a full interactive campaign. Visitors view a seven-minute film we've made to showcase our creativity and brand values. They then take a cinematic culture quiz to help us learn more about their personality and motivations. Plus, we've created an Instagram collage that shows glimpses of the film and our vision, as well as Facebook Live Photo and video ads targeted at the talent we want to find. This is what it takes to find the best people.

We're putting passion into every aspect of our quest to create world-class experiences for our candidates. We'll then recruit those who share our passion for our work and our clients. Staying human we organically grow a culture with our customers at its heart.