Economy, Media and Millennials Will Drive 2015 Recruiting Trends
By: John Rossheim
If the economy continues its upward trajectory in 2015, recruiters will find themselves in greater demand while facing a steeper challenge in closing deals with top talent.
Top 2015 recruiting trends will include the ever-growing influence of Millennials as that generation’s oldest members hit mid-career, and the rise of fine-grained recruitment marketing in many Internet genres.
Good candidates will be even harder to land in 2015. As long as unemployment continues to moderate, talent will feel the power. “The marketplace for employees is getting stronger and stronger,” says Jim Link, chief HR officer at staffing firm Randstad. “If you have an in-demand skill set, you’re in a good place to change positions.”
Candidates will be more open to considering a move. Feeling that the job market and economy are less scary, more workers will think about leaving the security of a known employer.
“People are more willing to look around, and they’re getting a lot more creative about networking,” says Julie Desmond, IT and software engineering recruiting manager at search firm George Konik Associates.
To succeed in the talent market, employers must be proactive. Gone are the days of the early 2010s when employers could just post jobs on their own career sites and wait for many qualified candidates to queue up. “Companies will need to be very competitive in 2015,” says Chuck Pappalardo, manager director of Trilogy Search. “This means fast-tracking hiring processes, starting talent searches sooner rather than later, and budgeting in accordance with what will be a dramatic upward pressure on salaries and benefits.” It should also mean a greater reliance on external recruiters.
More clients will face the music. More and more companies will decide that now is the time to pull the trigger on new hires — even if at greater cost. “Clients are holding back less, and they’re more open to relocating candidates,” says Desmond. “A big client said to me, ‘I’m starting to realize that we’ll have to raise our pay rates for 2015.’ ”
Market demographics will drive recruitment. In 2015 companies will hire with target markets in mind, whether generational or linguistic. “We’re looking to sell our product into Spanish speaking homes and businesses,” says Jamie Thomas, vice president of talent acquisition at Combined Insurance. “So I brought in a recruiting program manager for key markets like Hispanic communities.”
Recruitment marketing will put a finer point on segments. To get noticed, employers will use tech to target key candidate pools. “Our recruiting efforts have a new focus on technology: CRM, customized outreach, and targeted microsites and landing pages,” says Thomas.
Micro-targeting will hit the big time. “Talent communities — cultivated networks with hard-to-tag skill sets — are all the rage,” says Mark Phillips, CEO of search firm HireEducation. “In 2015 the trend will be getting your message to every member of a talent community — immediately.”
Millennials will demand a plan. The leading edge of the Millennial generation is reaching midcareer status, and they’re making demands that lean, relatively flat organizations may find difficult to fulfill. “Millennials now represent the largest segment of the American workforce, and they want to have a designated career path,” says Link.
The contingent model is moving into new sectors. Whether as high-priced consultants or low-wage temps, “more workers are interested in doing tasks for a variety of employers,” says Link. This is happening not just in IT but also in engineering and even finance and accounting.
Companies try before they buy — with an added risk. Temp-to-perm will continue to be a tempting strategy for employers that have the power to draw lots of viable candidates. “Companies are bringing on new employees as temps for six months to try them out before putting them on the payroll and adding benefits,” says Lynne Sarikas, director of the MBA Career Center at Northeastern University. But employers and recruiters should put themselves in the shoes of candidates: If you want a permanent position and there are more and more full-time opportunities in the market, why would you settle for glorified temping?
References and reputation will matter. References are regaining their reputation for providing qualitative validation when screening candidates. “Employers are putting greater emphasis on what previous managers and co-workers say about job candidates,” says career consultant Dana Manciagli. “Technology, such as SkillSurvey, is changing the way references are being contacted via an online approach.”