Eight Talent Arena Trends for 2016

Candidates are in the driver's seat, companies are hiring for potential rather than experience, and other hot trends.
Eric GoldsteinDecember 17, 2015
Eight Talent Arena Trends for 2016

Eric Goldstein

Eric Goldstein

With unemployment at its lowest rate since early 2008, the fight for qualified talent is fierce. New tools and tactics are needed to attract and retain the best and brightest.

Based on insights from 24 global experts, talent-acquisition firm Korn Ferry Futurestep has shared its views on eight emerging trends in global recruitment and talent management in 2016.

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Candidates Claim the Driver’s Seat

According to McKinsey’s 2015 Global Growth Model study, from 2005-2015 there were three times as many workers as retirees. By 2025, the ratio of workers to retirees will be 1:1, making the candidate pool much smaller.

Couple that with a need for specialized employees, especially in the technology and life sciences fields, and it is clear that candidates are in the driver’s seat. Often entertaining multiple job offers, workers are choosing the employer whose values align with their own and one that lays out a clear path to career advancement for them, making a strong employer brand critical to winning the best talent.

Investment Hiring Edges Out Competition

Many companies are increasingly looking beyond the skills and background workers bring to the table. Instead, they are hiring people with the right traits and motivations who can be trained on the job for professions from software coding to customer service. These employers are becoming less adamant about hiring only college graduates and are evaluating people on their ability to perform in the future.

Smart Data Enhances Talent Sourcing and Development

Metrics like time-to-hire, cost-per-hire, and source-of-hire, while still important, are now simply table stakes. Many companies are hiring full-time analysts to mine for more in-depth talent metrics. This activity includes analysis of competitor talent pools to find candidates with the right skills for the hiring organization, and even data on whether full-time or part-time employees bring the highest ROI.

In addition, companies are using data to capture a whole-person analysis of candidates to determine if they have the competencies, experiences, traits, and drivers to succeed. Post-hiring, this type of data can help guide individualized development programs.

Streamlined HR Tech Enables Centralized Global Recruitment

Increasing globalization has been the catalyst for many organizations’ efforts to consolidate their HR function, acknowledging it as a shared service in line with IT and finance. The ultimate aim is to align talent with wider business strategies and improve operational efficiency.

HR technology will become more streamlined as clients turn from multiple vendors to bundling their human capital management, applicant tracking and video interviewing systems on one platform. The areas of talent acquisition and talent development, which have traditionally worked in silos, will come closer together for improved succession planning.

Candidates Get a Concierge Experience

Talent acquisition leaders are more conscientious about the candidate experience, and 2016 will bring a rise in the adoption of new services and investments designed to make a lasting impression on future employees.

Services will become more personalized as the likes of “candidate concierge” services come into play. For example, candidates can be sent a link to download a mobile app offering GPS guidance to the exact location of an interview, a complete rundown who they will speak with, and when on the corporate campus, geo-location beacons that send notifications as candidates pass campus landmarks.

This trend will go beyond technology. Recruiters will be expected to deliver “the white glove treatment” for candidates. Giving special tours of other departments within the company, developing presentations on the company culture, and providing lunch between interviews will be de rigueur.

Companies Recognize Internal Talent as a True Asset

Instead of focusing outside of their organizations for talent, many companies are integrating formal internal mobility programs with dedicated portals for employees to learn about opportunities and share their interests and abilities.

Sourcing internally has its benefits, from a shorter time to productivity – existing employees already have an understanding of the business – to lower staffing costs. As well, it provides greater levels of employee satisfaction and retention, thereby reducing competitive intelligence leakage and positively impacting an organization’s employment value proposition.

Graduate Recruiting Returns

College recruiting is more prevalent than it’s been since the great recession. Companies see grads as a strategic asset — they bring fresh thinking, are drivers of innovation and change, and can immerse themselves and “see’ the organization’s culture, making them “home-grown talent.” If they don’t have all of the needed skills and experiences, they can be trained on the job.

In addition, graduate hires can create a sustainable managerial/executive pipeline of high-potential talent. Be warned, however that millennials often demand to be advised of their proposed trajectory for several career moves within the organization, or they may not accept the job or leave after a short period.

Embracing Diversity Proves Key to Growth

While equal opportunities in the workplace have always been important, providing them has changed tack from a box-ticking exercise to a true necessity.

This year we saw organizations understand the real value of minority groups, including women and veterans, and moving forward into 2015 we can expect to see them receive even further attention. In fact, it is estimated that nearly 1 million active members of the military will be making the transition to civilian service within the next few years, bringing tremendous skills to the marketplace.

This isn’t just a volume exercise for industries that are plagued by a lack of skilled talent, but also a strategic one. New data is constantly supporting why diversity positively impacts business performance, and in 2016 we see it make more of an impact.

Eric Goldstein is market leader of financial services and real estate, Search North America, for Korn Ferry Futurestep.