Each January sees a raft of predictions for the business year ahead, and the recruitment and HR sectors are no strangers to this phenomenon. General shifts in behaviours, expectations and technological development tend be gradual processes and continue irrespective of the calendar, but the annual summary often provides a useful way to benchmark progress.
Last year I had a stab at some of my own predictions on the Broadbean blog, so for 2015 I thought it was time to take a look at other major predictions and decide whether we were likely to see them come about this year or not. Or in the parlance of a music TV show from a bygone era - I'll vote each one a Hit or a Miss.
In no particular order, here are the my Top 7 recruitment and HR predictions for 2015!
There Will be a Shortage of Top Recruiters
A prediction from US thought leader Dr John Sullivan. The premise is that an increase in hiring volumes, coupled with the difficulty of finding the right talent, will expose a lack of recruiters with the right skills for today's market, leading to a bidding and poaching war. There may be something in this, however it may also have been true for other years too. The nature of recruitment is changing, and today's recruiter requires different skill-sets, but most of this will come through evolution and general up-skilling. I don't see a 2015 bidding and poaching war, but a growing realisation that capabilities, attitudes and behaviours need to change. So this one's a MISS for 2015.
Personalised Candidate Communications
Bersin by Deloitte point out that in a world where we can personalise our M&M chocolates, and most brands are able to address us by name in messaging, why do job applicants receive either no messages or automated ones. He believes that this will start to change. I'd like to think that he'll be right on this one, though I'm not sure if there's an appetite for it. First we need to look at reducing application volumes with better targeted recruitment marketing and then recruiters can act as proper community managers, developing relationships with those who already have a connection with our business. Will this happen in 2015? I think there's a chance as businesses have to get smarter to attract the people they want - so a tentative HIT from me.
From Jobs to Gigs
Small Business Labs see a trend for this year in workers using their multiple skills and talents to create a varied portfolio of roles and assignments. They see three drivers - need to earn money, lack of job security and a desire make work more interesting. I can't see much to disagree with here, in fact I would say that it' a trend that's already happening. What will accelerate in 2015 I think is accessibility, with firms able to acquire these services directly rather than through traditional intermediaries. I would class this an observation rather than a prediction but it's a definite HIT.
Focus on Retention
"Recruiting can sometimes be like filling a leaky bucket - companies need to stop the source of loss by developing a strategy and plan to fix it before filling up with new talent" says Jessica Miller-Merrell, from Blogging4Jobs. She has a point. Developing employer brand has been tipped by a few commentators as a priority in 2015 but Jessica is right to identify retention as a crucial, and often overlooked, part of this. There needs to be a fluidity to talent management enabling us to recruit not just today's best fits but also the people who can take on different roles within the business in future. With some positions clearly proving difficult to fill, internal solutions should come to the fore in 2015, so Jessica's prediction is a HIT from me.
From On-boarding to Pre-boarding
There is US research showing that more than 1 in 5 new employees leave their role within the first 45 days, whilst 4% quit after day 1! Anecdotally, there is clearly a feeling that if anything is likely to go wrong with a new hire then it will happen during the first 3 months, which places an emphasis on two areas - the way we hire and how we on-board. It is becoming increasingly important that the acquisition process sends out a signal about the type of company we are to work for, as in a competitive market the talent we need will almost certainly have options. On-boarding needs to start as soon as the connection between candidate and hirer is made. In fact Gary Franklin, founder of the Forum for In-House Recruitment Managers, kicked off a recent In-House recruitment conference by saying "On-boarding starts from the very first contact, not from when the offer is made". Can a recruitment market still obsessed with cost and time per hire metrics see a shift in attitudes during 2015? The optimist in me says yes, so I'm rating it a HIT.
Less Reliance on CVs
Someone, somewhere is always predicting the end of the CV. It's been happening for many years now, but they still form the cornerstone of the talent acquisition process. Even when we source the candidate directly there remains a requirement to produce a summary of experience and achievements to date, so will 2015 signal the start of something new? There are three areas of thinking to support this - online profiles tend to be more up to date and representative of what a candidate is doing now, that people who are currently employed rarely have the time to re-write their CVs so to delay the application process whilst they do may mean missing out on relevant people, and finally that some roles now require a mix of skills that might not be apparent (or easy to find) on a traditional CV. I think that there is value in all of these points, and that gradually we will see a range of sourcing approaches that increase the likelihood of people being hired without the need for a traditional CV, but with the investment that we still make in CV based recruitment technology, and speed still a key hiring metric, a shift away from CVs is probably a MISS for 2015…but I remain hopeful it will be a hit sometime soon!
Jobs to People not People to Jobs
Bill Boorman visits a lot of global recruiting conferences, and advises technology companies, so can usually be relied on to spot an upcoming trend, and one of his predictions for 2015 is that businesses will effectively stop trying to attract applications and focus on marketing to candidates. Certainly a recurring pain point for recruiters is the high volume of applications. In Bill's whitepaper on the future of talent acquisition he talks of removing the application process altogether, and instead inviting people to become candidates of the organisation, then using their data to make relevant jobs visible to them. I have referenced this in previous posts for Broadbean. I do believe that this is a trend that will eventually become more prevalent for larger corporates and in-house teams - in fact businesses such as Zappos have already stopped advertising roles, and aggregators are able to take roles to better targeted job seekers. I can see more large or niche brands embracing this approach during 2015, although for the majority of organisations it will require a major shift in mindset and focus before real progress is made. For the coming year I rate this a HIT for some and a MISS for others.
So there you have my take on 7 of the main recruiting predictions for this year. Is there a trend that I've missed that you're sure will go mainstream in 2015?
Let us know what you think…