Shane Creamer and Simon Parkin of Granite Consulting, a recruitment consulting firm based in Canada, spoke at February’s HRPA 2011 conference, Canada’s conference and trade show focusing on HR issues and trends, about 10 recruitment trends businesses can expect as 2011 progresses. So, what, according to Creamer and Parkin, will many businesses, particularly in the U.S. and Canada, see more of as this year continues?
Labor Market Trends
Creamer and Parkin started by sharing their observations on labor market trends in Canada. Canada currently has a 7.8 percent unemployment rate, and they discussed the effects of an aging population on a constantly changing workplace (something U.S. businesses can identify with as well); over 50 percent of the Canadian workforce is 40 years old.
We know companies are hiring again; as Creamer and Parkin put it, “the ice is coming off the market” and the economy has gained back jobs lost in the recession. As we’ve discussed here on The Hiring Site, employee morale should not be a trend, and the recession has made many candidates and workers less loyal and trusting of employers. Many employees, Creamer and Parkin said, are continuing to feel uncomfortable with their current employers, but aren’t willing to trust any new organizations recruiting them.
Among other things, companies will have to focus more on the retention of their own talent (as highlighted in the latest hiring forecast, many workers are already looking for greener pastures), and there will be a shift away from traditional career paths and work values as the generational differences in the workplace become more pronounced.
So, what else is ahead for 2011?
Top 10 Recruitment Trends of 2011
#10 Talent becomes more mobile in a stronger economy:
“More mobile” doesn’t equate to more workers using smartphones to look for jobs (though indeed more are) — no, it means more of your employees will be moving to other companies. As more new positions are created this year, companies will experience higher turnover (as mentioned above) and will have to recruit to backfill that lost talent. We will see more candidates countering or turning down offers as the competition for talent continues to heat up. It’s important for employers to remember that, in or out of a recession, top talent will always have job options.
Companies don’t necessarily have the luxury of time as they might think they do; candidates (or even their own employees) are out there talking to other companies all the time. Are you keeping the retaining and recruiting of your talent top of mind?
#9 Recruitment In-sourcing vs. RPO:
This trend is toward selective, not full, recruitment process outsourcing. We will see outsourcing occur more often in the recruitment of high-volume, repetitive roles, and for the function of candidate sourcing only. There will be more RPO growth in the U.S. than Canada; more Canadian markets are focused on building internally. More executive recruitment functions are moving in-house, which is reflective of a growing transparency in the market. Increasingly, candidates can go online and see for themselves who holds which recruiting or leadership positions at a company,for example, rather than being forced to stay in the dark or play the guessing game to get in contact with the correct person.
#8 Gen Y Recruitment:
Gen Y recruitment is nothing new — but it’s evolving. You’ve likely read at least a handful of blog posts or articles lamenting the impact of Gen Y on the workplace or pigeonholing members of Gen Y into a defined set of characteristics. And this knee-jerk reaction isn’t terribly surprising, as employers are simply struggling to figure out how to make so many contrasting generations work harmoniously together in the workplace. But as Creamer and Parkin point out, it’s not fair to restrict this generation of workers into the whole “this is what Gen Y’s about” bucket. Just like members of other generations generally have some commonalities based on the society and culture they’re grown up with, you can’t necessarily throw them all into a bucket with a clear label. It’s important that employers remember people in Gen Y are not all the same, either.
So what general observations can be made about Gen Y workers?
- Gen Y members were raised in a technologically sophisticated and stimulating environment and they’re generally accustomed to instant gratification.
- Gen Y workers likely bring distinct values and expectations of what relationships with employers, managers and the workplace should be like.
- These workers face rising tuition costs and escalating personal debt.
- Nearly a third of Gen Y members have a blog, and they share intimately with their online networks.
Speaking of blogging, the job search experience has become increasingly social, and it’s not uncommon for candidates to blog about their experiences with a company during the interview process. The thoughts on a company, positive or negative, once online, can be extremely powerful. Companies must be aware that individuals have the opportunity to broadcast their experiences to a very wide audience, and that that message has the ability to spread very quickly. Negative company sentiment can spread very rapidly, but the impact can be very long-term. Tread carefully and
Recruit Gen Y candidates by using the right key messages and proper mediums:
- A company can no longer tell candidates “work hard and the rewards will come” – Gen Y wants a more definitive timetable tied directly to specific rewards.
- The traditional corporate recruitment promise of a long-term career isn’t as much of a selling point to this age group, so focus on the growth opportunities you can offer them.
- This generation tends to be largely peer influenced. Have current Gen Y employees out there on the front lines of your recruitment efforts, leading the information and interview sessions with your candidates.
Employers are smart to learn more about Gen Y, but to keep an open mind about what they find. Gen Yers bring a lot to the table; learn how to view their differences as strengths for your business — and don’t assume that one experience with a candidate or employee is indicative of the behavior of an entire generation and let it dictate your recruitment process.
#7 Talent Management:
Twenty-five percent of new hires regret taking their new job within first year, according to a study by Deloitte. There is a larger focus on talent management as we move through 2011, as well as on internal talent movement. Many companies are focusing on building talent versus buying talent, and talent retention is also of course top of mind for many employers.
#6 – Growth of Contingent Labor in Canada:
In 2010, more than 1 million Canadians held contract roles for an organization. Now, one in every eight positions in Canada are contract or temporary. Canadian organizations are beginning to build an effective talent strategy around contract labor.
#5 – Talent Pipelining:
We’ve spoken at length about the importance of building a talent pipeline (and here and here), as it helps employers get more return out of their recruitment efforts using the fewest resources, build a stronger employment brand, and create better relationships with candidates. As Parkin and Creamer stressed during their presentation, talent pipelining needs to be built into the recruitment process for key roles, as the push of relevant content and information to “nurtured” candidates helps build a company’s employment brand and increase passive candidates’ engagement and trust. The emergence of candidate sourcing/research teams is also an increasing trend.
Creamer and Parkin add that many companies are also looking beyond the typical ATS to customer relationship management platforms (CRMs).
#4 – The Globalization of Recruitment:
I recently wrote about global HR trends for 2011, and as Creamer and Parkin discussed during their presentation, recruitment no longer has a solely local focus. Companies are looking internationally for new talent pools and hard-to-find skill sets. With this change comes adjustments to vastly different cultures and multiple languages — something that many companies are still sorting out. In a nutshell, recruitment is getting much more complicated and specialized.
#3 – Candidate-Centric Recruitment Process:
It’s no secret that many candidates are dissatisfied with the current hiring process offered by companies. As Creamer and Parkin joke, it’s as if employers are sending the message, Dear Mr./Mrs. Candidate. Thank you for taking two hours out of your busy life to apply to us online. Your resume has been sent to a virtual black hole, and no one from our company will ever verify that you actually exist. Expect never to hear from us.
As we’ve stressed in the past, treat candidates like you would a client or customer — in a very real sense, they are your customer (and down the line, they may in fact be in a position to do business with you). They also have a large network of friends and colleagues who will likely hear about their experience with your organization. And while you may have to let them down, letting them down is better than not responding to candidates at all.
A poor or lengthy recruiting process can really hurt your organization’s chances of bringing the best talent onto your team. Just as candidates must sell themselves to you, you must sell your company to candidates. What’s your employment value proposition; how are you attracting, engaging, and retaining quality talent?
Begin to create a more candidate-centric recruitment process by adding more of a “human touch” to your process. Communicate with candidates when at all possible, and let them know where they stand as the process moves from phase to phase. Unplug cumbersome technology and flawed screening filters, and provide feedback and coaching. View all candidates as a customer or potential future customer, client or employee.
#2: Social Media for Recruitment:
Social media: It can be really overwhelming. Most of us are familiar with the major social media platforms — and they are playing an increasing role in recruitment as companies realize they must diversify their recruitment efforts to stay on top. Mobile technology is emerging as a recruitment channel, as companies are also realizing the power of texting and mobile apps for recruitment. Even location-based social networking sites like Foursquare have growing possibilities for businesses and recruitment. Tablets like the iPad are also becoming more popular for work use as these devices increase the business applications offered, and companies are beginning to examine the power of tablet applications to help strengthen their employment brand and company profile.
Video interviewing is a trend that more and more businesses (and candidates) are starting to pick up on, and platforms like Skype, the largest network on the Internet, are also becoming more popular for use in interviews or for virtual meetings.
As Creamer and Parkin remind us, social media is just another factor in your recruitment success — it’s not the be-all, end-all answer. Using these mediums can be powerful — but the content you put out and the messages you are sending to candidates and employees must be relevant.
#1 — The Demand for Experienced Recruiters:
Recruiters today are being asked to do more with less, making it increasingly difficult for them to be successful. The demand for experienced recruiters is high — and the recruiter of yesterday has changed to reflect a demand for those who have an in-depth knowledge of the company for which they’re recruiting. “Generalist” has morphed into “Specialist,” “Administrator/Processor” into “Trusted Advisor/Consultant,” and “Gut Feeling” decisions to “Results/Metrics-Driven” ones. Successful recruiters are getting closer to the business and doing a lot of leg work to get results.
Let us know — What recruitment trends listed here are you seeing in your own business?