5 Recruitment Trends for 2017

By Dave Nerz

recruitment-trends-wordleI like to begin each year with a look at what might shape the months ahead. Of particular interest is a short list of the most significant recruitment trends to watch, with a focus on how these trends will impact independent recruiters. These trends are actually a continuation of things that began gaining traction in prior months. If you are recruiting, you will be impacted by these 5 things in the year ahead.

  1. Candidates in Control
    The demographics of talent search will highlight a growing candidate shortage in 2017. In 2016, multiple-offer situations and turndowns of offers increased. Highly sought-after candidates realize the control they can apply to the recruitment process. Demands for salary, benefits, and other components of job offers will become increasingly contentious. In an economy that has stabilized considerably over the last 5 years, candidate comfort and understanding of the leverage they have will make recruitment more difficult. Moving talent from an acceptable employment situation to a new one will increase in difficulty. If employers are not connected to the realities of the market, many will waste time on lowball offers or make poor decisions in the negotiation process, believing they control the rules of the game. Candidates are feeling good and will prove it by walking away from situations and offers that are less than perfect.
  2. Employers will Engage More Analytics and Benchmarking Tools
    The cost of making hiring mistakes in growing. With candidate demands on the increase, employers will be spending more on future results to be delivered by what they may view as unproven talent. To minimize mistakes and the costs of bad hires, more employers will be using tools to assess cultural fit, skill proficiency, psychological benchmarks and a series of other comparative tools to predict a stronger likelihood of candidate success. This is both an opportunity and a curse for independent recruiters. There is an opportunity to be the providers of these tools and to grow revenue by initiating the use of these new tools. On the other hand, these tools may eliminate candidates that recruiters have invested considerable time in locating and attracting to job openings. Working with employers to understand their process early will be critical to reducing wasted time and effort.
  3. Employers will Need Help Delivering
    Employers have taken more of their recruitment needs in-house for perhaps 10 years or more. If global economies remain strong and continue to grow even marginally, the demand for talent will cause those that have gone it alone with in-house resources to become frustrated. There will be more opportunities for independent recruiters to fill openings in companies that may have eliminated independent search from their process years ago. Keep your eyes open. These jobs will be the “purple squirrels” and not the easy hires. Grow your strengths in the strategic headhunting and targeted search areas. Employers will be forced to pay for these most challenging of talent searches.
  4. Technology on Top of Technology
    Successful recruiters have embraced some forms of technology to speed process and deliver results. Many of the technologies that exist to source, track and contact talent fall short of perfection in some way. We are starting to see technologies that ride on top or over other technologies to make them more effective. ContactOut is one such tool that rides on top of LinkedIn to make it more useful. I am interested to know if you use any tools on top of tools to increase your effectiveness?
  5. Time/Demand will Cause Process Outsourcing
    I have not seen the effective use of services like outsourced list building and appointment setting used in executive recruitment as often as it gets used in other sales-related businesses. Most good executive recruiters have too much to do and yet in most cases continue to control the entire process from start to finish. Some have been through enough recruiting cycles to feel the pain of letting members of their internally created support staff go and do not want to do it again. I see more recruiters embracing outsourced services for a fee. These services can include list building, appointment setting, background checking, data entry, social media, email campaigns and a host of other virtually-provided services in support of creating more phone and productive time for the recruiter.

Let me know of other recruitment trends you see for 2017. I’m certain I missed a few that you are experiencing!

Independent Recruiter Blog


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