What’s Hot

I am always looking for trends, new ways of doing things, or emerging practices that are changing, or at least influencing, the way we attract, source, assess, and recruit talent.

Some of them will most likely slip into history with little impact, but others will become the new way we do things.

Twitter is a recent example of an application that seemed of little practical use to recruiting until hundreds of people began to apply their creativity and developed interesting and useful ways to use Twitter for recruiting. It is being used by many organizations to announce new jobs to those potential candidates who follow them. It is used to help the recently unemployed stay connected and aware of open positions. It is used to communicate with a select group of prospective candidates or to students on a campus.

Here are three trends that I see as potentially significant. Please leave a comment letting us know what you are seeing, and what other tools, applications, or practices you think are emerging.

Simplicity in Sourcing

The first of the emerging trends is a turn to simpler and more basic ways to find talent. With a rise in applicants, many organizations are finding it less necessary to deploy search specialists or engage in complex sourcing strategies. They can focus, instead, on building their employment brand, often by using Facebook or some other social networking tool. They are also screening existing candidates better and are more focused on building a talent pool or community that can be tapped into as needed. In addition, many are tapping their own workforce for internal redeployment and for referrals.

All of this has reduced the need for in-depth Internet search and it has also lowered the need to post to job boards. In organizations with proactive recruiting teams, internal placements may reach as high as 15% while over 30% may come from referrals. With another 20% being sourced by third-party recruiters for reasons of confidentially or because the particular job is very specialized, only a small percentage needs to be sourced in other ways. A good social network page linked to an interactive career site can probably close much of that gap, leaving a tiny fraction to Internet search or job boards.

As I wrote in my article last week, a comprehensive talent strategy combined with internal development can reduce recruiting requirements significantly. I see this as a continued and growing trend, which ultimately means organizations will employ fewer recruiters but highly skilled in networking, relationship building, and who deeply understand the business.

Social Networks

We are seeing the power of social networking in recruiting growing faster than any other segment. Candidates are able to substitute their social networking profile for a resume at some organizations. Jobvite, an emerging applicant tracking tool listed by Gartner as one of its “Cool Vendors for Human Capital Software 2009,” allows candidates to link to their LinkedIn profiles. No need for a resume or to fill out anything. Jobvite also provides an organization a button to place on their career site that lets prospective candidates see the people in their network who already work at that organization. This provides candidates with ready-made connections into the organization as well as a source of information.

Social networks will become the ultimate sourcing and screening tools. Recruiters and particularly hiring managers will be able to see a more 3-D version of a person and get a much better sense of their past accomplishments and capabilities. But there are negatives, and many recruiters are concerned about candidate privacy and discrimination. The truth is, discrimination can and does occur in face-to-face conversations, in interviews, and even over the phone because of accents and the way people phrase things. Every new technology and application has to pass through a maturity curve, which is happening rapidly for social networks. Laws will change and policies will adapt to accommodate them.

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I think that over time candidates will find that they are better treated and more completely able to present themselves than they can today. I think that as social networking matures, candidates will find themselves moving from a generic social network like Facebook to more specific ones aimed at an industry segment or a profession, and then perhaps to organizational-specific ones. We will have to wait a while to see what model eventually takes shape, but the roots are growing and resumes, traditional profiles, and static career sites will fade away.

Internal Redeployment

Smart organizations prevent the needless loss of talent by developing barrier-free internal transfer polices, by shifting talent and skills as jobs change, and by operating development and coaching programs to help employees successfully bridge skill and experience gaps.

They are also beginning to practice sustainable talent management — sizing the workforce for sustainability through good and bad times — and filling peak needs with temporary and contract staff. But sustainability is not just about numbers; it is also about having the right skills spread across all employees. This means development is continuous, internal movement common and often, and that a goal is for every employee to be able to function well in three or four different positions.

The natural result of this will be more focus on employee development, the rise of learning portals with relevant information and on-line training classes; the capturing of the knowledge of experienced employees on videos (using storytelling, talking about how projects were completed and barriers overcome, and by sharing technical knowledge that might be useful to those who follow); and connections to coaches and experts willing to answer questions or provide skill training.

We will see that more and more people will stay with a single employer for longer periods of time, as they find it easy to get refreshed and retrained.

Kevin Wheeler is a globally known speaker, author, futurist, and consultant in talent management, human capital acquisition and learning & development. He has founded a number of organizations including the Future of Talent Institute, Global Learning Resources, Inc. and the Australasian Talent Conference, Ltd. He hosts Future of Talent Retreats in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. He writes frequently on LinkedIn, is a columnist for ERE.net, keynotes, and speaks at conferences and events globally, and advises firms on talent strategy. He has authored two books and hundreds of articles and white papers. He has a new book on recruiting that will be out in late summer of 2016. Prior to his current work, he had a 20+year corporate career in several San Francisco area tech and financial service firms. He has also been on the faculty of San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco. He can be reached at kwheeler@futureoftalent.org.


9 Comments on “What’s Hot

  1. While I appreciate your perspective on the diminishing need for recruiting firms and their expertise in sourcing top talent, I do take specific exception to your comments that social networking will replace the more traditional methods.Let’s not be premature in our analysis of the market today, as it is an exceptionally unbalanced one,and not the most stable of frameworks upon which one should be making such predictions.

    Once the economic turmoil settles and there is an increased need for top talent to be brought on-board in order to manage growth, things will return, in part, to traditional methods. Placement agencies, whether perm or contract, will experience some business decline, however not as deep as you have predicted. If one looks deeper into the rise of recruitment agencies as vital partners to industry, it will become clear as to why they will continue to be so in the future. In-house HR departments are either understaffed or overworked in most scenarios and that in itself supports the need for agency involvement in the sourcing, screening and hiring process.

    Suffice it to say that agencies recognize these changing and turbulent times as a sign that they too must change; there are many who have taken a hard look at themselves and have devised innovative ways to compete. I compliment and support their initiatives and wish them great success now and in the future.

  2. I would like to see the resume replaced, or have it noted as many do, the Linkedin profile, so we can easily see more information. Gone is the line, “references furnished upon request”, in its place, click here for the profile and recommendations on Linkedin. And…the best part.. the receommendations are easily believed since they are now part of the public profile of the candidate. Who would write a great recommendation if they didn’t stand by it? Its so much easier to believe dates, titles and the recommendations. I love Linkedin.

  3. Here is the ultimate in hot. Has anyone out there heard of “The Corporate Draft”. These guys are using the same process used by the NFL and alike to recruit professional atheletes via a ‘Draft’ and have applied that for Fortune 500 companies to recruit or draft Managers and Executive.

    A friend of mine who works at Amazon.com told me about these guys. The Corporate Draft just launched its marketing campaign for the 2009 Corporate Draft. They are sending companies company-customized football jerseys, ‘Draft day Tickets’, a ‘Game Day Program’, etc. to top recruiting Fortune 500 companies.

    Now some of us thought that this new recruitment process would have been more effective in stronger economic times, yet the Corporate Draft is marketing the Draft as a platform for companies to get exposure to demonstrate they are spending thier money wisely (Corporate Draft will certainly yield a cost savings respective to executive recruitment), using a media average americans can relate with.

    I just checked out thier website: http://www.corporatedraft.com

    Draft being held September 25th and 26th at the Radio City Music Hall, 2500 applicants and 50 Fortune 500 companies in attendance.

    Pretty innovative, pretty smart…

    Great Article Kevin.

  4. Here is a really hot way to display a resume. First, look at this standard resume website from OptimalResume.
    (note the video resume, letter and other buttons)

    Then, check this visual depiction taken from the words on the resume using wordle.net.

    Wordle.net is a great tool to help you visualize the emphasis of words on your resume because it uses an algorithm to display them. How cool is that!

  5. Thanks Kevin, a very good article! I enjoyed reading it and it gave me some clues for my own work. I’m a recruiter myself and our company is rather small but it’s expanding and I’ve been very busy lately searching for some candidates and your rich experience you shared turned out indispensable to me.

    WinRar free download http://freearchiver.net/

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