Each year, technology brings new trends to the HR world and how we recruit and retain employees. It’s up to businesses to stay on top of these changing trends if they want to acquire the best talent. Obviously, that’s easier said than done, especially for smaller businesses that may not have the time and resources available. That’s why LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends for 2016, created by a panel of experts, is a fantastic guide for HR professionals and hiring managers
The report is geared toward small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) looking to upgrade their recruiting processes for the New Year and is the result of surveying some 3,894 talent acquisition decision-makers who work in corporate HR departments. With recruiting talent and retaining employees becoming more important than ever, businesses are constantly on the lookout to improve HR. Thanks to this report—and the experts surveyed—a lot of the hard work is already done. Let’s take a look.
Identify Top Priorities
HR duties are widely varied, so prioritizing business needs is important for small businesses. The first section of the report found that businesses are focusing heavily on recruiting the very best talent and incentivizing employees to stick around. This certainly isn’t a new priority for any HR department anywhere: 42 percent of those surveyed said recruiting highly-talented candidates is a main priority, while 38 percent said the focus should be on employee retention. Other concepts, like improving the quality of hires, sourcing techniques, and pipelining talent were further down on the priority list.
Increase Hiring Budget for Better Hiring Practices
SMBs are growing steadily and that growth, as reflected by the HR pros participating in the survey, is likely to continue. 62 percent of respondents reported they expect an increase in hiring volume over the next year. Likewise, 46 percent predict their hiring budgets will increase accordingly. The two directly affect one another: the need for more employees necessitates a larger hiring budget, and better practices mean better employees.
Use New Ways to Find Top Talent
Recruiting high-quality talent seems to be the top priority among survey respondents, and many are wondering where to find it. The survey found that Internet job boards and social professional networks are the most popular sources for finding talent. SMB recruiters reported they lean more toward Internet boards (45 percent), while enterprise recruiters favor social networks (46 percent). Other recruitment methods mentioned include employee referrals, staffing agencies, and company career sites. Social media has been an effective way to find exceptional talent, and it appears that will continue to be a solid trend.
Win Over Top Talent and Measure Quality of Hire
SMBs and enterprise businesses alike are fighting over young professional talent. Most companies report looking to hire those who are freshly out of school (0-3 years). Internal candidates are also a source of talent, but not as popular as hiring Millennial talent. The tricky part is that there’s a lot of competition over this age bracket. The experts identified a few specific challenges SMBs have when trying to recruit Millennials:
- Competition was rated as the biggest challenge, at 35 percent
- Creating attractive compensation packages was second, at 32 percent
- A lack of interest or awareness in the company brand was third at 31 percent
After beating out the competition, SMBs report that measuring the quality of hire is the most important way to assess ROI. The majority of companies (51 percent) measure this using new hire evaluation, while 48 percent look at retention and turnover rates, and 41 percent measure the hiring managers’ satisfaction. This suggests that SMBs are shifting toward employee satisfaction as a valuable metric. A happier employee will show better performance, and that’s important to both employee and employer.
Brand Development for Effective Marketing and Recruiting
It’s no surprise that a lack of brand awareness is troubling to many businesses. Candidates’ familiarity with your brand is just as important as customers knowing your brand. Brand confusion is a business killer, so businesses are spending more money than ever on brand development. Furthermore, experts feel that a combination of channels is the most effective way to promote a brand. Respondents reported their most popular brand awareness channels, in order, as:
- Company websites
- Online professional networks
- Social media
- Word of mouth
- Employee advocacy
I believe that with an overall goal of brand awareness, the most effective strategy is to use a mixture of channels. A great company website—with a side of social media and industry authority—is a good starter recipe for raising brand awareness. And it’s important to note that any one of these alone probably isn’t enough to deliver the kind of results you’re looking for when it comes to attracting the best and the brightest. Recruitment today is as much about smart marketing as it is about anything else. If this topic interests you, it’s one I explore in depth in a Recruitment Marketing Series that I did for IBM, and contains lots of information you’ll find valuable.
The Future of Recruiting
Looking toward the future, finding and keeping top talent will continue to be a major priority. As technology and innovation evolve and continue to change the world of work as we know it, the way we recruit and retain talent will have to change and adapt as well. Businesses will focus on brand messaging related to corporate culture, innovation, social awareness, and other key things that are attractive to candidates, in an effort to not only attract, but retain them as well. As mentioned earlier, marketing now plays a central role in recruitment strategies, and it’s going to take much more than a few perks to get the attention of top talent. Lastly, measuring the quality of hire will continue to be the most valued metric by HR pros moving forward, especially as recruiting becomes more about the talent and less about the budget.
What do you think? Do the results reported here mirror your thoughts on this topic? What didn’t the experts cover that you find to be a challenge? Grab the report here if you’d like to explore in more detail: LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends 2016.
Other posts on this topic:
Increasing Engagement and Retention With Progressive Benefits
Employee Retention Begins in the Interview Process
4 Reasons Social Media is a Top Recruiting Tool
Ending the Phony War for Talent: Why the language we use in recruiting matters
A version of this post was first published on TalentCulture on 1/21/16