As the competition for skilled talent continues to increase, it’s important to keep up with the trends that will be shaping the recruiting landscape in 2017.

According to LinkedIn’s global recruiting trends report, 2017 will be a great year to be in talent acquisition. Talent acquisition leaders will continue to move to the forefront taking a seat at the executive table and proactively help shape the future growth of the company — yet another reason to know trends that should be on your radar this year. Working with our clients over the past year, here are the key trends we’ve seen and where we think HR leaders should focus.

Rethink the candidate experience
In today’s candidate-driven world, it’s important to stand out from the crowd if you want to hire the best of the best. Candidate experience is a single factor that can help you stay ahead of the pack. Not only that, a great hiring experience can ultimately lead to better performance on the job, research shows that 15% of candidates who have a positive hiring experience put more effort into a job.

Upgrading talent
There is no doubt that certain industries like Oil & Gas, manufacturing and utilities have been going through significant change. And with that comes the need to hire a different set of skills and competencies that may not have previously existed within these organizations. The recent downturn in Oil & Gas opened up a new window of opportunity for firms to reshape their organization and hire for roles that didn’t previously exist. But, no matter the industry, it’s always important to be asking the question “Are there talent gaps within our organization?” If yes, it’s time to fix that by bringing on a new set of skills.

Create effective employer brand messaging
With top talent getting more offers, they are in a position to pick where they want to work. This is why a compelling brand message is necessary when it comes to enticing people to work for you. According to LinkedIn’s Global recruiting trends report, over 80% of leaders acknowledge that employer branding has a significant impact on their ability to hire talent. We see this challenge first hand, especially when trying to recruit talent to remote locations. If you don’t have a strong message and story to communicate to potential candidates, they won’t engage with your brand.

Having effective brand messaging helps you connect better with the best-fit talent and increases your chances of being seen as an “Employer of Choice”. To this end, employers should push out their message to targeted and engaged audiences using social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, along with more traditional advertising tools like online job postings.

Personalize the candidate experience
With talent hunting becoming more competitive than ever, there’s a stronger need for employers to think outside the box and devise innovative strategies. 57% of leaders agree that competition for talent is their top concern. Many recruiters are using the same tactics to source candidates: 92% of recruiters use social media; there are 43,000 LinkedIn Recruiter licenses, from which 1.29 MILLION InMails get sent each month and over 6.5 million active jobs posted on LinkedIn. Do you still think you’re the only one interacting with them? You have to cut through all of the noise to make sure you get noticed. If you’re into the habit of sending the same email to potential candidates, you’re most likely driving them away. Step up your talent acquisition strategy by taking the time to tailor your communications to potential candidates.

One of the best ways to elevate your candidate experience is to keep up with regular market research. According to a recent survey, 90% of global professionals are open to hearing from recruiters about new opportunities, but recruiters aren’t sharing enough information about the culture, what it’s like to work there, what’s expected of the role, and career growth opportunities. This clearly shows that recruiters need to be more in tune with how potential candidates behave, their preferences inside and outside of work and where they want to take their careers. Bridging this gap is crucial in creating better and more personalized candidate experiences.

Build great partnerships
The stakes have been raised — A-level talent is, on average, only actively on the market for 10 days; yet companies are taking longer than ever to hire. In fact, it’s taking companies an average of 68 days to fill an open role (that’s 21 business days longer than in 2010). If you really want to hire top talent, you need to go further than your usual recruitment strategies to tap into passive candidates. This is where a reputable, experienced search firm can be useful. Building an effective partnership with the right search firm can help you woo the passive A players that aren’t actively seeking a new job, but are open to new opportunities.

In the fast-moving world of business and recruiting, you simply can’t move the needle without being aware of the emerging trends. Strategize your recruiting efforts around these trends and stay prepared for the changes coming this year and beyond.