My Predictions for 2018

Most of the good predictions are already taken. Monster sells. CareerBuilder sells. Dice fails to sell. Nevertheless, there are some good ones left, thanks to technology and an endless stream new ideas percolating around the globe.

So, here goes:

  1. “Blockchain” is the new “AI.” Cryptocurrency news is already taking over my feed and inbox, and the underlying technology becomes all the rage in 2018. Companies like Moonlighting and ConnectJob are even introducing their own currencies next year. A company called Papaya Global lets you pay employees with Bitcoin.
  2. Glassdoor goes public. The more than $200 million in funding it has received has to come to roost sooner or later. Legal pressure and competitive pressure from the likes of Blind and LinkedIn should make this the year we finally get a Glassdoor IPO.
  3. Job hunters embrace voice assistants. Alexa, Siri, and Google will move beyond turning on your lights or giving you weather updates and actually become useful for job seekers. I expect “Alexa, send my resume to Boeing,” to be a thing someday. Why not 2018? Wearables, in contrast, continue to be useless for finding talent or work.
  4. DHI starts shuttering job boards. Dice’s parent sold off Health eCareers late in 2017, which represents the first of a handful of niche sites it wants to dump. The ones it can’t unload for any price get shut down. Dice also continues to be challenged, but that’s an easy prediction to make.
  5. LinkedIn buys Cornerstone OnDemand. Microsoft’s ATS is nothing to write home about. LinkedIn was part of a big investment in Cornerstone this year. LinkedIn needs a good gateway drug for all the AI it’s developing. Layoffs have already taken place ahead of a possible sale. For all these reasons, I’ll predict LinkedIn hits-up daddy Microsoft to gobble-up Cornerstone OnDemand, which, by the way, already has rumors floating around that a For Sale sign is already on the front yard.
  6. Entelo, HiringSolved get acquired. Sourcing solutions are all the rage, particularly if you can automate the process, which clients are going to start demanding (if they’re not already), and the big boys oblige. As a result, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Entelo and HiringSolved get sucked up by bigger fish who need to add their tech to their portfolio. Entelo seems best positioned, having raised a new round of funding recently and attracting some top talent to the roster. Indeed may be a likely suitor.
  7. Applicant tracking solutions continue to creep toward $0. Thanks to Google Hire and others, applicant tracking solutions are starting to feel the cold winds of commoditization. SmartRecruiters went back to embracing a free option and Indeed went free last year. That won’t change, and 2018 will have ATS providers scrambling to figure out this new paradigm. The good news is they’ll make a lot of money by getting 30 percent from third party apps that set up shop. The biggest platforms win while niche players fade.
  8. VR sees the light. Companies looking to cash in on virtual reality have largely come up empty-handed, and employment has been no different. I expect that to change, as headsets become cheaper. VR is a good fit for employment — think virtual interviews, company tours, pre-screening and job training — and we start seeing a few things bloom in 2018.

Last year was a blast to cover as a blogger. Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn entering the space was like a perfect storm of activity. I don’t expect being so spoiled in 2018, but I also don’t think it’ll be a major snoozer either. Buckle up.

Joel Cheesman

Joel Cheesman has over 20 years experience in the online recruitment space. He worked for both international and local job boards in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. In 2005, Cheesman founded HRSEO, a search engine marketing company for HR, as well as launching an award-winning industry blog called Cheezhead. He has been featured in Fast Company and US News and World Report. He sold his company in 2009 to Jobing.com. He was employed by EmployeeScreenIQ, a background check company. He is the founder of Ratedly, an app that monitors anonymous employee reviews. He is married and the father of three children. He lives in Indianapolis.