Global Recruiting Trends for 2016: Technology and Human Nature Share Centre Stage
Finding, hiring and retaining top talent is crucial to the success of any business. The competition for professionals in high-demand sectors is fierce, meaning jobs need to be marketed — not just offered — to the right talent.
And even if you find the perfect person for the job, and you’re able to meet her salary and flex work and benefits expectations, you’ll also need to ensure your employer brand is transparent and enticing, your workforce engaged, and overall employee word-of-mouth on social media is positive.
We’ve turned to the experts to tell us how global recruiting trends will change in the upcoming year and going forward from there. While technology continues to play a big role, so do things that make us human in the first place — like gossip, our subconscious, and the importance of relationships.
The Value Being Blind
There are 3 upcoming recruiting trends to be on the look-out for, Andrew Rusnak writes for RealMatch. They are:
- that the candidate experience is becoming increasingly important;
- that automated keyword systems used to streamline relevant resumes don’t seem to be working all that well; and
- that the ability to work remotely is an increasingly expected perk.
The immediacy of sharing experiences — both good and bad, but especially bad — across all forms of social media is why Rusnak counsels caution with respect to the recruiting experience and interview processes. “The Internet is the new word-of-mouth, so be careful,” he warns.
He also acknowledges the ease with which you can “set in place simple keyword-sniffing programs” to weed out unsuitable applications. However, the very technology that can make a recruiter’s life simpler can also eliminate highly qualified candidates. A person who uses even slightly different terminology (which would be immediately recognised as appropriate by a recruiter) might be bounced by a program that doesn’t contain those phrases in a line of code.
There are arguments (of course) in favor of using algorithms to evaluate applicants. Joe Dixon at Talent Management writes about a recently published National Bureau of Economic Research paper, for example, that suggests a recruiting algorithm might be better at finding qualified applicants than people are.
Not only did the study find that “machines that use computer algorithms do a better job evaluating a job applicant’s technical skills, personality, cognitive skills and overall fit for a job than a recruiting professional,” but
- the machine’s candidates tended to stay 15 percent longer than those selected by humans, and
- hiring managers who ignored the machine’s recommendations hired less-qualified applicants.
John Sullivan, Professor of Management at San Francisco State, writes at ERE that anonymous resume screening and blind interviewing could alleviate “the significant unconscious biases that many hiring managers and interviewers have.”
Various approaches to counteracting hiring biases include additional training to make those in HR aware of them in the first place. Secondary means include literally hiding irrelevant information by conducting interviews over the phone (precludes visual biases) as well as written interviews (precludes voice biases).
Companies recruiting in 2016 should keep an eye on an American trend in which 25% of the US workforce “teleworks” with some frequency, according to Global Workplace Analytics. Further notes of interest include:
- 50% of the US workforce holds a job that is compatible with at least partial telework.
- 80% to 90% of the US workforce says they would like to telework at least part time.
- 3.7 million employees (2.5% of the workforce) now work from home at least half the time.
- Fortune 1000 companies around the globe are entirely revamping their space around the fact that employees are already mobile. Studies repeatedly show they are not at their desk 50–60% of the time.
- Regular work-at-home, among the non-self-employed population, has grown by 103% since 2005 and 6.5% in 2014. This represents the largest year-over-year increase since before the recession.
- The employee population as a whole grew by 1.8% from 2013 to 2014, while employees who telecommute grew 6.5%.
Using the statistics from LinkedIn’s 2016 Global Recruiting Trends, both Amy Canter at CEOWorld Magazine and IT sales recruitment specialist Lucas Blake are of the opinion that future trending issues include:
- Finding better ways to attract talent in high-demand sectors, and offering packages enticing enough to onboard them. Nearly half of the talent acquisition decision makers have difficulty finding candidates, almost as many are unable to meet compensation demands, and close to 40% struggle with other firms competing for the same talent.
- Sites such as LinkedIn will become increasingly important in finding talent. More than 40% of businesses surveyed are already sourcing from social professional networks and Internet job boards, and some 30% find employee referral programs useful, as well.
- The effort to create an effective employer brand identity will continue, with more than half of those surveyed recognising that a strong employer brand is effective in attracting top talent. Branding tools range from social media and professional networks to the corporate website itself, a trend also expected to continue and grow.
- Employee retention will be another 2016 recruiting priority, as confirmed by one-third of the survey respondents. In fact, nearly half the businesses in the survey said they use retention statistics to evaluate the quality of hires.
A Closer Look at Employee Referrals
Sabrina Baker, CEO at Acacia HR Solutions, calls employee referrals a gold standard recruiting practice, especially for small businesses. In fact, she is very specific about the size of the company that would benefit most: A “business with less than 200 employees, limited budgets and very few resources.”
In order to be successful, Baker writes, the employee referral plan needs two things:
- Definitions of how the plan works and “what types of employees well in the business”; and
- Frequent reminders for employees.
And at Social Media
Narcis “Nachos” Radoi takes a look at recruiting through the use of social media, based on a study done last year by Jobvite. Writing on the Petroplan blog, Radoi thinks that a trend may be developing to bypass the heavy-hitters of social media and professional networking sites (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), and use sites like XING, a 9-million member business networking site for German-speaking countries.
This move may could lessen competition at both ends — for job seekers as well as recruiters, especially in the high-demand sectors.
Sharon Joseph, writing for for iPlace USAOne, expects mobile recruiting to be a major trend in 2016. This type of recruiting allows recruiters to market and network with candidates personally.
“Candidates are spending a lot of time web browsing, researching, and job hunting on mobile apps and prefer applying via a one-click option, where they can upload, edit, and link their resumes using their mobile device,” she explains. “Recruiting/career websites should optimise their website for mobile viewing and allow employers and applicants to view, upload, edit, and link their resumes using their smartphones and tablets. Virtual career fairs, informational webinars and mobile-based application processes are efficient ways to reach a large number of better qualified candidates today.”
Some Trends Never Change
The team at Eliassen Group says recruiters shouldn’t forget to find and engage with “passive candidates.” These are people who aren’t actively looking for new jobs or career changes, so you won’t find them in the usual places, like job boards.
“That said, think again about where they are engaged. Most industries have associations that might author reports, publications, host events and even online communities. Are you thinking about these venues and resources when seeking seasoned and talented professionals?”
The rationale behind this isn’t simply to immediately make offers, but to get to know those people: “By building relationships with people in the places where they spend time, you will build strong relationships that translate to brand advocates and an expanded talent pool.”
If that doesn’t seem to be much of a departure from the tried and true, it isn’t. “Where we see trends,” the Eliassen Group writes, “we can always look to certain core skills and concepts that have withstood the test of time. While some …. tactics have changed, one thing remains at the forefront: recruiting success is about building strong relationships.”
Applying Intelligence to Find the Best Candidate
Of course, going through publications, online publications and social media profiles is extremely time-consuming. That’s why Marley Dominguez, CEO of Haystack, says at Business News Daily: “We expect that the next trend will be not just sourcing social and mobile recruiting data, but actually applying intelligence to summarising the important information.”
Interviewed in the same article, Bob Myhal, CEO of NextHire, confirms the move toward a “digital hiring model.” This model goes well beyond the automated keyword systems used to streamline relevant resumes, as previously discussed.
“Cloud-based hiring tools will allow recruiters and hiring managers to easily and affordably find, evaluate and organise top job candidates, while innovative assessment and filtering techniques will help provide a 360-degree holistic view of top applicants,” he explains. “Through biometric data, companies like NextHire will better predict which candidates are most likely to be a good fit for a position, and which are not.”
Sarah Strahan at Paxus IT Recruitment agrees with this view of the future of recruiting, writing that “whilst social media has opened up a much wider talent pool for recruiters, it’s not time efficient to manually sort through profiles and social network data. In 2016 it is predicted that the next trend will be not just sourcing social and mobile recruiting data, but actually applying intelligence to summarising candidate data.”
Although it seems almost a natural next step that recruitment consultants will no longer be necessary, given the ease with which talent can be found on social media, Strahan maintains that they “will never become obsolete.”
“Candidates still need to be screened, nurtured and sold the position and the company,” she writes. “Companies need recruiters to work the social media sites and reach out to potential candidates. Finding candidates through LinkedIn can be time consuming. Managers often don’t have time to network on LinkedIn to source passive talent or to keep track of the market and competition.”
The Biggest HR Challenge
Kelly Dingee at Fistful of Talent says the biggest challenge HR faces in 2016 is disconnect. Why?
The Strategic Recruiting Manager for Staffing Advisors, Dingee writes: “That’s where the money is — showing your HR generalists how to do everything…giving them the ability to hire/fire and fill out an ACA form…showing them how to scale up and down depending on their company and department needs versus just showing them how to admin. That’s how we get to rectifying the disconnect, bringing all aspects together under the one roof they should be under — HR.”