Is This Next Adler Prediction as Far Off as My Last Few?

I predict that the market is finally heating up. Of course, I’ve been wrong for the past few years, so you might want to take the next few ideas on how to get ready for 2011 with a grain of salt. Or not.

The market for top talent is definitely heating up, and you need to take some serious steps to stay on top of your company’s recruiting activities. In five informal surveys I’ve done in the last 15 days, three out four recruiters (sample of 1,000) suggest that for the professional worker, 2011 will represent the tipping for significant job growth, with 2012 being a banner year. At last.

Of course, all of this presumes that our political leaders don’t mess it up, which is a 50-50 proposition at best. However, assuming they’ll get it right, here’s what I see as some emerging trends that you need to consider as you get ready for the new year and beyond. These are based on a recent comprehensive U.S. survey I conducted with LinkedIn this past quarter. In fact, here’s a link to the whitepaper that we just released with all the nitty gritty details on what over 5500 professionals think when it comes to job-seeking.

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Adler’s Hiring Predictions for 2011 and 2012

  1. Recruiting leaders will be staying up at night, worrying about what they need to do first.
  2. Voluntary turnover will increase. In the LinkedIn survey cited above, 78% of fully-employed professionals said they were either open to accept a call from a recruiter or were looking in some way for another job. There is a great deal of dissatisfaction in the American workforce, even among those with jobs, and as green hiring shoots emerge, expect turnover to surge. This will initially create a lot of churn, with people switching seats in the hope the grass is greener. While it won’t do a lot for overall employment it will stretch existing corporate recruiting department resources. So you need to plan for this and get ready. This will at least give you a few hours of sleep and a significant edge over the competition.
  3. You’ll need to be a whole lot more proactive to get the best talent. A little more color on that 78% stat: only 18% of fully employed respondents said they’re actively seeking a new job by checking job boards and the like. A whopping 60% are either starting to talk to close associates in confidence (16%) or willing to consider the right opportunity if a recruiter reaches out to pitch them on it (44%). That 60% won’t be coming to you; you have to go out and find them.
  4. Using job descriptions for your ad copy will continue to be a waste of time. You won’t find these people using boring job descriptions on major boards. Niche boards will work if you combine them with compelling career-focused messages. It was clear from the survey that the best people, while open to exploring different positions, were by and large looking for career moves, not lateral transfers. So if your postings describe lateral transfers you’ll only attract a very small subset of the 78% of the fully-employed professional market.
  5. You need to be found easily. While 18% of the fully employed were somewhat active in their search for a new job, this is mainly through niche boards, aggregators, and search engines. So if your postings aren’t quickly found you’ll lose out on finding these people. Why not Google your job using the title, the word “jobs,” and the city, to check how well you’re doing on this front? Do not include your company name in the Google search. If your ad isn’t on the first page or the first page of the career site that is on the first page, you have some work to do.
  6. Farming will not yield the types of people you’ll be seeking in the future. Most of those who said they are actively looking in the survey had only 2-3 years of tenure with their current company and most were more junior level, consisting of light managers and staff. On one level this means that using any type of job board to find people, means you’re targeting those prone to turnover. On another level it means you’re unlikely to find senior managers and executives this way. This suggests that you’ll need to be more aggressive targeting passive candidates and building corporate recruiters who are more hunters than farmers.

The whitepaper provides more insight and advice on how to get ready for 2011 and 2012. One thing is sure: you can’t do what you’ve been doing these past few years if you want to hire top talent. While you might lose some sleep getting ready, you’ll feel a whole lot better in the morning knowing you’re on the right path.

Lou Adler is the CEO and founder of The Adler Group – a training and search firm helping companies implement Performance-based Hiring℠. Adler is the author of the Amazon top-10 best-seller, Hire With Your Head (John Wiley & Sons, 3rd Edition, 2007). His most recent book has just been published, The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired (Workbench, 2013). He is also the author of the award-winning Nightingale-Conant audio program, Talent Rules! Using Performance-based Hiring to Build Great Teams (2007).


10 Comments on “Is This Next Adler Prediction as Far Off as My Last Few?

  1. Lou’s post has been brought to you…by Lou and his training program. 😉 Since Lou and I are friends and he’s gone as far ask me to join his group, it should be known that we think very much the same way about recruiting and rehabilitating sore shoulders.

    But I disagree with him about 2011-2012 – not his predictions but the extent to which the years leading to the election will significantly reduce unemployment and increase job growth. 3/4 is a nice number but it’s like saying the 3/4 people say that next summer could be warm or hot: I don’t see the same recruiters (Lou and I run in similar recruiting circles) discussing and understanding the political, economic, social, and technological (PEST) landscapes that might impact recruiting. You know the saying: “It’s what you don’t know that can hurt you.”

    For one, I’ve always believed that CFO hiring is a leading indicator or employment (I said felt – haven’t looked at the data so if I’m wrong, please let me know) – and we aren’t seeing this yet.

    Political agendas will continue to drive job growth – and turnover. Although it’s constitutionality is being discussed in the courts, the reaction to Obamacare has been an increase in benefit costs and a ever increasing move to offload these costs to outsourcing firms. As the costs increase to the employee, I sense you’ll see more people change jobs to help them recoup out-of-pocket HC costs. Many businesses are playing wait and see with respect to how the new political landscape modifies what some consider to be business unfriendly policies; these policies are not employment growth actuators.

    Global economic policies scare the heck out of me; I’m looking at the EC and wondering how many countries they can support. Iceland, Greece, Ireland, talk of Spain… scary and not job growth friendly. How many quantitative easings will be implemented and how much will they affect the dollar? Weaker dollar, weaker job growth.

    Changing Social policies and norms – for example, the changing education landscape – will regionally and globally disperse job growth. With the US no longer the epitome of education, hiring will take place in areas where the appropriate levels of investments are made.

    Technology will continue to disperse hiring and both increase and reduce hiring. Talk about a double edged sword! It makes sense that more hiring will take place closer to where products are manufactured – in the US, this means one thing that doesn’t smell very good. But it’s the reality. I think the tie-ins to local and global currencies are drivers of this and it’s going to be tough to keep the jobs local. Perhaps R&D tax credits tied to patent filings, issuance is one way to go but this might be too performance based for our government.

    Lou, your predictions have always been pretty darn good and the current ones should hit the target. But the landscape is more complicated than ever which is why I wish more recruiters were PESTs and understood the competing landscapes and how they impacted hiring.

    Happy Hunting!

  2. Steve, what a great comment, almost worthy of an article itself. I agree with what you write and want to add even more. My recruiter friends in the finance industry predict a surge in home foreclosures. The banks are finally ready to offload their assetts onto the market. They’ve had home owners squating on property without paying for in some cases 2+ years without a home payment. In addition, they (finance recruiters) predict some commercial real estate foreclosures to rise too. Add in $100-a-barrell oil and inflation on other products as a result it’s going to dampen the recovery.

    This seems like a recovery underway that we’ve never seen before in my personal experience. Hiring has picked up for highly specialized R&D roles and executives but not elsewhere. The have nots are getting left behind.

    Am I seeing this wrong?

  3. One thing to address along with both Lou and Steves commentsis the amount for pent up demand for professionals in the managerial and technical ranks overall. That is currently driving hiring growth in those areas, but of course, this is not across the board or in all industries.

    This is a tough one to predict, on one hand it could go very well and like Steve stated the pesky government and related state of the housing market is already affecting hiring even though our clients are ready to make offers.

    50/50 is the best opinion I could give, it could get really, really better or we could double-dip and be right back to 2009 – I am hopeful that Lou is right!

    Recent Economic Forecasts

    Economic forecasting survey, Dec 2010 (WSJ): economic growth = 2.6% in 2010Q4, 3% in 2011; unemployment at 9.4% in June 2011, 9% at end of 2011; inflation = 1.8% in 2011

    Wells Fargo Securities Economic Forecast (latest forecast: Annual Forecast, Dec 2010): economic growth = 2.6% in fourth quarter, 2.6% in 2011 and 3.3% in 2012; core PCE inflation = 1% in 2011 and 1.5% in 2012; unemployment rate rises to 10% in the first quarter of 2011; declining to 9.6% in the fourth quarter of 2011 and 8.8% by the end of 2012; Fed begins to raise interest rates in the third quarter of 2012

    Livingston Survey (latest survey – Dec 2010): economic growth = 2.5% in first half of 2011 and 2.9% in second half of 2011; unemployment rate = 9.4% in June 2011 and 9.2% in Dec 2011; inflation (CPI) = 1.6% for 2011 and 2% for 2012

    Fed Forecast as of Nov, 2010: economic growth = 3-3.6% in 2011 and 3.6-4.5% in 2012 (note: these are from 4th quarter to 4th quarter while other forecasts compare yearly averages); unemployment rate = 8.9-9.1% in 2011 and 7.1-7.5% in 2012 (estimates are for 4th quarter of the respective year); natural rate of unemployment = 5 to 6% (range = 5 to 6.3%); inflation as measured by core PCE index of 0.8% to 1% in 2010, 0.9 to 1.6% in 2011 and 1 to 1.6% in 2012

    NABE (Bloomberg, Nov 2010): forecasts for 2011 – economic growth = 2.6%, core inflation = 1.3%, unemployment rate = 9.2% at end of year, 10-year Treasury = 3.25% at end of 2011

    Univ. of Michigan Economic Forecast (executive summary – Nov 18, 2010): economic growth = 1.9% in Q4 of 2010, 2.3% in 2011, 3.3% in 2012; core inflation (CPI) = 1% in 2010, 1.2% in 2011 and 1.7% in 2012; unemployment rate averages 9.6% in 2011 and declines to 9% by end of 2012

    Survey of Professional Forecasters (latest survey Nov 2010): economic growth = 2.2% in Q4, 2.5% in 2011, 2.9% in 2012, 3% in 2013; core inflation (PCE) = 1.2% in 2011 and 1.6% in 2012 (overall PCE inflation = 1.2% in 2010, 1.7% in 2011, 1.8% in 2012); unemployment rate = 9.6% in fourth quarter 2010, 9% in 2011Q4; average unemployment rate = 8.7% in 2012

    Bloomberg (Nov 11, 2010): economic growth = 2.2% in fourth quarter 2010, quarterly growth rises to 3.2% in fourth quarter of 2011; unemployment averages 9.3% in 2011
    Quarterly economic survey (USA Today – Oct 2010): economic growth = 2.2% in fourth quarter, 2.8% in 2011; unemployment = 9.7% at end of 2010, 9.2% in fourth quarter of 2011; inflation = 1.1% in 2010, 1.7% in 2011

    Associated Press Survey (Oct 2010): unemployment declines to 9% by end of 2011; economic growth = 2.7% in 2011, inflation = 1.7% in 2011

    NABE forecast (Oct 2010): economic growth = 2.6% in 2010 and 2011; unemployment = 9.5% in summer 2011, 9.2% by end of 2011; core inflation = 1% in 2010, 1.4% in 2011, fed funds rate = 0.5% by end of 2011; budget deficit = $1.2 trillion in 2011

    IMF (Oct 2010): includes global forecasts; US economic growth = 2.6% in 2010, 2.3% in 2011

    OECD forecast (see p3 – Sep 2010): economic growth = 2.6% in 2010 and 2011; unemployment rate 9.7% by end of 2010, 8.5% by end of 2011, inflation =0.8% in 2010 and 1.1% in 2011

    CNN-Money survey (Sep 20): lists forecasts of key economic variables by 31 economists; average forecasts for 2011 – unemployment in Dec 2011 = 9%, economic growth = 2.8%, inflation = 1.7%

    Reuters Survey (Sep 8, 2010): economic growth = 1.8% in 3rd quarter, 2.1% in 4th quarter, 2.4% in 2011

    CBO (Aug 2010): note – assumes all Bush tax cuts expire and other policy changes that are unlikely (need to make forecast assuming current policy; results in weaker forecast); economic growth (end of year comparisons) = 2.8% in 2010, 2% in 2011; unemployment = 9.3% in fourth quarter 2010, 8.8% in 2011Q4, core PCE inflation = 0.9% in 2010 and 1.1% in 2011; growth in potential GDP = 2.1% from 2010-2014 and 2.4% from 2015-2020

    OMB (July 23, 2010 – see p9): economic growth (end of year comparisons) = 3.1% in 2010, 4% in 2011; unemployment = 9.6% in 2010, 8.7% in 2011 (declines to 6% at the end of 2014); inflation = 1% in 2010, 1.6% in 2011; natural rate of unemployment = 5.2%, growth in potential GDP = 2.5%

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