A new year brings a new focus on many things in business and one trend that is predicted to emerge this year is the importance of recognising that employee experience is a key to both finding and retaining great staff.
Let’s take a look at this trend, and others, that will emerge as pivotal in recruitment and HR in 2014.
1. The war for talent increases
Ask anyone advertising on mainstream job boards and you’ll often be told that one job ad gets hundreds, if not thousands, of responses. While the numbers seem to indicate that there’s plenty of talent out there, nearly every employer we speak to tells us that good talent is still very hard to find. And getting harder. The truth is that the pool of highly experienced, highly skilled and quality talent, especially in the non-executive workforce, is still very shallow which is why the next point is crucial to employers in finding and retaining the good needles in the haystacks.
2. Employee experience becomes all important
In 2013 the whole customer experience movement took shape and became the war cry of many organisations. In 2014 a new company focus is and will further emerge – and that’s the one of employee experience. To win in the aforementioned war for talent, companies are now realising that an employee’s experience within an organisation is every bit as important, if not more so, than the customer’s. Great employee experience not only makes for a great customer experience but it also creates advocates for an organisation and drives down recruitment and staff replacement costs in more ways that one. Firstly, staff stay longer however there’s another benefit. Staff refer their friends to an organisation they love thus providing companies with lower – if not zero – talent searching costs, which leads to the next point.
3. The move to Social Recruitment
Thanks to LinkedIn, social recruitment is now becoming a growth area. Finding staff through social – but work-related – networks is becoming both an efficient and an effective way to recruit. LinkedIn just about owns the white collar professional market but other platforms, such as Workible, are now taking care of the non-executive market. But steer clear of Facebook. As others have experienced (to their detriment) Facebook is the domain of people’s social lives and they don’t want jobs mixed up with photos of kids, dogs and what they were up to last Saturday night!
4. Growth of company and segment based social networks
We’ll also see individual companies embrace the whole social aspect to recruiting and many will – and are starting to – embrace their own company based social networks. As in the past, with specialist recruiters and job boards addressing market segments, social networks will follow suit – although having people in multiple networks will lead to the scattergun approach to recruiting that having hundreds of jobs boards has also done. Stick to the main social networks for the best results.
5. Recruiting will become more mobile
Like it or not, for most of us, our phones are now the first thing we reach for in the morning and the last thing we look at at night. As skilled marketers have always preached, to be able to get to the people you want, you need to get to where they are – and that’s on their phones. As job boards become more and more irrelevant, apps will take the place of websites (including mobile websites) as they service the instant gratification needs that we now take for granted. Smart recruiters know that good talent doesn’t hang around so, if you want to get the best access to the best people, get to them quickly – on their mobile devices.
6. The power shift to employees
It’s no secret that Generations X and Y are more informed and more discerning about the choices available to them – and where they work is just one of them. The war for talent coupled with more of these generations moving into the mainstream workforce means that there will be a significant power shift from employer to employee. Now, rather than the employer having all the choice, job seekers will be carefully screening their preferred companies to see who is going to give them what they want – and it’s not all about money. Gens X and Y want fulfilment, a sense of belonging and want to enjoy what they’re doing – which is why employee experience is so all-important in the next decade. Good talent at all levels will have more choice than ever before available to them and it’s the employers that will now have to fight for the best of them.
7. Internships become a career stepping stone
Ten years ago, internships were not something you heard a lot about but nowadays they’re becoming very mainstream. Universities actively promote internships as part – sometimes a necessary part – of the learning experience and more and more companies are using interns to find the talent they need. For many uni students, internships help them get a foot in the door of their preferred employers but employers take note! With internships becoming popular, don’t be surprised if there are some legislative or other initiatives to stop the exploitation of students as free labour. Those who do it right can find valuable employees. Those who exploit it can expect repercussions.
8. Flexible work becomes an expectation not a benefit
Just three weeks ago I had a conversation with the CFO of a major retailer about the issues surrounding the growth of flexible working conditions. His comment to me was interesting. He said that their experience is that workers don’t only want flexibility, they are now expecting it, and providing this was now the number one staffing issue on the company’s agenda. Interestingly, those companies that have previous run by the credo “it’s my way or the highway” have found that their staff actually prefer the highway – leaving them understaffed and with massive recruitment and re-training costs while those who have let employees have the flexibility they want find that their employee loyalty increases alongside their employee retention. There’s no point trying to fight a turning tide. Give people what they want. If you don’t, someone else will.
9. Video interviews become the norm
For many of us older than 25, the thought of applying for jobs via video still makes us cringe. This however, like it or not, is going to become the norm. Video interviewing platforms are springing up left, right and centre and not only save time (and therefore money) but also allow recruiters to see the person behind the resume. And with video on mobile devices, it’s a natural migration as we move to mobile recruitment.
10. Further increases in part time, casual and contract workforces – at the expense of full time.
You have to look no further than the ABS Labour Force Reports of the past couple of years to see the growth in full time jobs dwindling in comparison to the growth of part time (and flexible hours) jobs. In the last two years alone, according to the ABS, the number of people in full time work has increased by 40,000 while the number of people in part time work has increased by a whopping 158,000 – that’s nearly four times the growth! A recent article by Gary Swart the CEO of Odesk says that “the teams of the future will be like movie crews” – you get them when you need them – and Futurists agree that we’ll be moving from rigid full time roles to dynamic project based hiring.
Copyright Fiona Anson 2014. This article is copyright protected. It may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the author’s express written permission. To request use of our content, please email us at hello (at) workible (dot) com (dot) au.