By Paula Santonocito
Whether your organization’s 2012 plans include hiring two employees or 2,000, it’s important to be in the know about recruiting practices. Here are 12 recruiting trends for 2012 to help you keep current.
Face to Face. If you haven’t yet embraced social media for sourcing and recruiting, 2012 will be the year you’ll be faced with the decision to get onboard or risk getting left behind and losing choice job candidates to the competition. With 17 million Canadians now on Facebook, the social networking site has truly become a place where people gather. Other social networks, like Twitter and Google+, will also gain additional traction as recruiting sources in the year ahead.
Social Search Gets Easier. Whether you’re a social butterfly or a novice, recruiting social can be tricky. Each social networking site has its own nuances, which can make it difficult to come up with a uniform process for sourcing and recruiting prospective employees. On top of this, social sites regularly role out new enhancements, rendering yesterday’s shortcuts obsolete tomorrow.
This is where new tools like Foupas, Followerwonk, and FindPeopleonPlus can really make a difference. Foupas, a Facebook search engine, lets you search Facebook groups, pages, profiles, and more. Followerwonk allows you to search Twitter bios and compare users. Meanwhile, FindPeopleonPlus, a search tool for Google+, returns all kinds of information people have provided in their Google+ profiles and messages.
Measuring Social. For the past year or two, recruiters and sourcers have been touting the benefits of social media. Employers, acknowledging the huge audience and recognizing opportunity, have put resources toward social recruiting. Now, however, they want to see return on their investments. Look for social recruiting metrics to become a hot topic in 2012, as best practice organizations tout ROI.
Fewer Degrees of Separation. Social networking sites like Facebook and business networking sites like LinkedIn allow for connecting with people you barely know or people you don’t know at all. LinkedIn has a feature that encourages introductions, where Facebook routinely recommends friends who aren’t friends at all. For recruiters, sourcers, HR professionals, and hiring managers, these features have the potential to create assumptions that influence hiring decisions. With fewer degrees of separation in the online world, it becomes essential to find out if the Joe, the job candidate, really knows Tom, your vice president of accounting, or if they are merely online “friends” of a friend and may have had no contact whatsoever.
Goodbye Black Hole. You’ve heard job seekers lament about the black hole for years. They apply for a position, never to hear back from the hiring organization. Well, apparently their complaints are finally getting attention. Thanks to technology and greater interest in creating a positive employment brand, best practice organizations are focusing on improved candidate communication. What does it mean to you? The competition is responding to job applicants, raising the bar in terms of candidate expectations.
It’s All about Transparency. The title of the Harry Nilsson classic “Everybody’s Talkin’” sums up the world in which job seekers live. But, unlike the song’s lyrics, “I don’t hear a word they’re saying,” people do hear—and they’re listening. Sharing via social media and websites like Glassdoor, where people rate the companies they work for and their employment experiences, means potential employees have unprecedented access to information about your organization, its culture, and its work environment. This transparency is why so many employers are joining, if not initiating, the conversation.
Increased Use of Virtual Interviewing. Once considered a fad, virtual interviewing has gained tremendous traction. Mark Newman, chief innovation officer and founder of HireVue, a leading provider of digital interview solutions, tells HR Insider the company doubled the size of its customer portfolio in 2011, a portfolio that now includes employers in more than 120 countries.
What’s driving the growth? “HR professionals are being pressured to do more with less,” says Newman. “Five years ago, companies received approximately 50 applicants per job opening; today that number is over 200 applicants for most industries. Interviewing and hiring manager collaboration is the biggest bottleneck. Innovative solutions such as digital interviews provide a better candidate and manager experience – more innovative, convenient, and consistent – while empowering HR to screen and select more candidates much faster, at a lower cost.”
So what will 2012 hold? “HR leaders will tap innovative social, mobile, and video solutions to keep up with the pace of business while providing an improved experience to candidates and managers,” Newman says.
You Gotta Get Mobile. Statistics for mobile usage are nothing short of astonishing. In case you missed HR Insider’s “HR by the Numbers” mobile infographic, here’s a recap. Just last year, the rate of smartphone adoption among Canadians was 18 percent (Nielsen), it increased to 41 percent in 2011 (TNS), and is projected to hit 85 percent in 2014 (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission). Communicating with candidates via mobile is no longer an option. It is a practice that must be included in your recruitment strategy for 2012 and beyond.
Job Boards Are Dead. Perhaps you’ve already heard the hype. Job boards don’t deliver choice candidates; other methods produce better results; yada, yada. But don’t go bidding a fond farewell to job boards yet—or anytime soon. Job boards that continue to innovate by adding content and community features to further job-seeking efforts are alive and doing quite well. In fact, a job board with a 13-year history tells HR Insider that 2011 was its best year ever.
Flexible Work Arrangements. New data from FlexJobs, a leading website for flexible job listings, shows remote work and flexible jobs are available in a wide range of industries. Administrative; medical and health; customer service, education and training; and computer and information technology top the list of flexible job fields. However, Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of FlexJobs, says some surprising, more traditional jobs also exist in the remote and flexible jobs arena. Among positions offering all or some telecommuting are attorney, high school math teacher, regional human resource director, and chief executive officer.
Understanding Accommodation. Say “accommodation” and the tendency is to think, “people with disabilities.” Yet, accommodation has a variety of meanings in the 2012 world of work. It might, for example, mean allowing an employee to wear a hijab, a religious headscarf, at work. Or it might mean providing an employee with flexible work arrangements to care for young children or elderly parents. Accommodation, with all its connotations, will become increasingly important as the workforce becomes more diverse, the population ages, and technology allows for options.
You Want What? Social media, mobile technology, and the growth of flexible jobs give job candidates more leeway when it comes to negotiating the terms of a work arrangement. Therefore, it’s more than a little likely that you’ll get an oddball request or two. But, before you say no, you may want to consider any request in the context of the employee you could be gaining. As the economy improves, both locally and globally, the war for talent will once again heat up and you don’t want to find yourself lamenting the loss of a great candidate over a minor, albeit somewhat unusual, request.