Recruiters don’t have the option to stand still. They have to adapt and use new and emerging technologies in order to stay current. As such, it’s important to take a moment and look to the future and anticipate what’s coming next.
Let’s consider some trends shaping the future of work in 2016 and beyond.
Digital technologies have freed us from tethered desks. We can now work from anywhere in the world as long as there’s an internet connection. This sort of freedom changes the traditional relationship between the employee and the employer. It allows for a healthier work/life balance, in turn leading to more engaged, happier, and effective workers.
Remote working is made possible thanks to increasingly sophisticated mobile devices, laptops, and tablets, alongside super-fast internet and 4g speeds. Recruiters should keep this in mind and expect to see more candidates (and team members) seeking out this sort of digital nomadic lifestyle.
Communication software company Sqwiggle builds tools that keep remote teams connected. Their business manifesto states:
“Remote working is about freedom. We enjoy having a physical and social connection with the ones we work with, but this usually means being forced to commute to an office and being shackled to a desk from nine to five. The future of remote working is about maintaining these social positives that come with the office setting while enabling the freedom that comes with being able to work where you want.”
Flexible working is more office based than remote working is. It offers employees the opportunity to enjoy increased control of their working week, sometimes taking the form of four, ten hour days instead of five, eight hour ones.
Or it might allow for flex-time with specific core hours. Employees might be required to be in the office from ten until four, but they can work around that, either starting and finishing earlier, or arriving and finishing later. Flexible working options are determined by the business itself and there are notable benefits for employees (and employers) as Bloomberg reports:
“When workers have control over their own schedules, it results in lower levels of stress, psychological distress, burnout, and (results in) higher job satisfaction.”
For recruiters, either flexible or remote work arrangements can make a difference when promoting a client’s vacancy. Research suggests that many candidates would take a salary cut in order to get flexible or remote working options from their job.
According to Amanda Bixby from Workpond:
“Companies should start to understand that they will be left behind if they don’t grasp the changing workforce demands and invest in supporting technologies and gain a strong belief that flexibility is a win, win.”
Gathering and analysing data lets recruiters understand where candidates come from. Recruiters need to use a good ATS and a good CRM in order to generate enough relevant information.
Rob Symes, a recruitment consultant for Campbell Black said:
“…what (data) does is it gives you an advantage over any of your competitors who are working with untested theories and anecdotal evidence. Even if it’s 2%, 3% advantage, it’s worth having.”
It’s well known that recruiters are great at stockpiling information on candidates, and filling databases with CVs. However, it’s important to understand how to use that data. Analysing, tracking, and interacting with data is a notable trend that’s affecting the recruitment industry, and recruiters who effectively manage their data will become ever more competitive.
Data fuels our understanding of our target market. It makes it easier for us to reach candidates and clients with relevant information. Plus, you can use the data you collect to share expert insights with your clients, keeping them up to date with relevant industry trends.
As Symes added: “Once people are aware that there is a data gap in recruiting, the next step is collecting data… You need software, algorithms, and - at the real cutting edge – machine learning – to spit out significant patterns that can then be used to make decisions.”
“Over the past three years, our recruitment has become more and more proactive. We are focused on establishing and building relationships with potential candidates, which includes ongoing two-way communication and understanding what they’re looking for. We also ensure we shortlist top candidates in a database for relevant future opportunities; this creates better efficiencies, saves us time and results in securing higher quality candidates.”
Stephanie Chara, Recruitment Officer at Jeanswest
Digital sourcing can also be referred to as proactive sourcing. Recruiters can approach passive candidates via social networks and other digital channels, building relationships with them before they’re even looking for a new job. This means a candidate is primed and ready for a discussion further down the road when a suitable job comes up.
The good thing about this approach is that recruiters get to know what a candidate wants from a job. By doing so, a lot of the groundwork is covered earlier in the process meaning that at decision time, the candidate is more likely to take a job.
There are plenty of online places to source candidates from. Social media sites are an obvious choice, but it’s worth considering blogs and online forums too. How you interact with people online is up to you, and likely determined by your audience.
For example, you can use Twitter’s search engine to find candidates and professionals via specific keywords and phrases. As Twitter is for the most part an open network, recruiters are free to connect with anyone.
Developing a sourcing map will help guide your recruitment team on social sourcing strategies. Make sure to use relevant research on where to find active and passive candidates, and break this up by sector and region.
But the most important part of digital sourcing is building long term relationships with candidates. Get to know them and you’ll find it’s much easier to match them with excellent job opportunities.
With smartphones becoming ever more prevalent (76% of UK adults own one), it’s clear that communicating with candidates on a mobile screen is one of the best ways to reach them. But texting and calling aren’t always the best ways to use this technology. Instead it’s worth using emerging channels such as Snapchat, Whatsapp, and even Tinder.
These options let recruiters communicate with candidates with more immediacy.
Closed communities are fast becoming the place to share content and communicate with people. Posting in niche places, like Snapchat and LinkedIn groups, means you can better control the people you interact with as opposed to the more open and public forums on popular networks like Facebook and Twitter.
But, it’s worth mentioning that although Snapchat has been a good avenue for sharing job adverts in the past, it’s now a medium that carries more weight as a tool for communicating employer branding. The platform lets you tell your brand’s story, building an audience in the process, one that loves what you do.
We all know the phrase (and we’re probably tired of it too) ‘content is king.’ Most of us have taken it to mean blog posts, and we’re all writing away, filling our websites with words. But often we don’t think about other forms of content.
Video is increasingly important and it can drive a considerable volume of traffic to your website. Forrester Research are often quoted as saying that one minute of video content holds the same value as 1.8 million words. Plus, video also increases your chances of getting a page one rank on Google by 53 times.
Jessie Hickman, digital consultant at Crunch Simply Digital, said:
"High quality video content has become an intricate part of the digital marketing framework. The gains in video advertising cannot be argued and recruiters are the next industry to feel the joys and benefits of video content."
From a recruiting perspective, video is even more valuable. As Hickman adds "…you’re not just selling a product; you’re selling a culture, a lifestyle and opportunities."
This brings us on to another trend that will shape the way that recruiters promote clients and sell jobs to candidates: employer branding. The way that a business is perceived can make all of the difference when it comes to attracting the very best talent.
Using video and other forms of multimedia can show off and promote an employer’s brand, and this is likely a trend that will grow in importance over time. Candidates want to know as much as possible about a business and its culture before they apply for a job.
Knowing the trends shaping the future of the recruitment industry can make your agency far more attractive to both clients and candidates. It will affect the way that you source candidates, and it will also shape your understanding of some innovative options that can be used when negotiating with your clients.
About the Author: Working as their Content Guru, Andy Mckendry plans, writes, and edits articles and blog posts for Firefish Software. He holds an MA in Professional Writing, and in the early mornings is known to gravitate towards the nearest coffee pot.
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