Trend One: The time is now to implement a career growth strategy.
I went on LinkedIn the other day looking for a few jobs to see how easy it was to find something new. The positions viewed ranged from UX developers to account executives and a controller. The company listings included names of people I knew either by a first or second degree connection who could connect me to the hiring manager. Rather than applying, the path of least resistance is always to network to arrange an exploratory conversation. LinkedIn (the $30/month premium account) makes this easy to do. Here’s a book and an audiotape for specific tactics on how to convert a phone call into a job but the career strategy involves building a deep network of contacts at companies in your area. Start now. Next year might be too late.
Trend Two: The Uberization of the hiring process will accelerate.
We’re starting to get more hiring managers attending our recruiting training courses. As one told me a few weeks ago, “With LinkedIn Recruiter Lite, it’s easier for me to do it myself.” With access to the same people and a basic CRM system, hiring managers can narrow their focus and fill jobs more quickly with better people than a recruiter who’s just box-checking skills. While there will be a role for recruiters in the future (see Trend Six) it will be different than it is today.
Trend Three: Voluntary turnover of the best people will increase.
While the increase in open jobs has slowed down (see latest U.S. Department of Labor JOLTS report), the demand for talent continues to outstrip the supply for critical positions. Things will get worse in 2016 as recruiters and hiring managers get more aggressive seeking out more passive candidates to fill these positions. The big losers will be those companies and hiring managers who believe hiring the best talent can be delegated or outsourced and who haven’t forecasted the increase in turnover.
Trend Four: The contingent workforce will become more significant.
I visited with a LA-based staffing firm last month that has more than 200 recruiters in the U.S. placing people in creative design roles that last from a few days to a few months. They were planning on hiring a lot more recruiters in 2016. According to the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) the contingent workforce represents 15-35% of the total U.S. workforce and it’s expanding. The higher figure includes professionals and contract employees on temporary projects. While the benefits of a variable workforce allows companies to have more control over their labor expenses, it does come with a big risk: Having a big enough pool of internal people to promote into future leadership positions. Regardless, this trend provides job seekers more opportunities to demonstrate their ability without having the full list of prerequisites.
Trend Five: The role of the recruiter will change faster than they can adapt.
At LinkedIn’s annual Talent Connect in October (2015) Jeff Weiner (CEO) introduced a number of new tools that allow recruiters and hiring managers to find top candidates more easily. Some recruiters in attendance wondered if their jobs were at stake. The answer: Yes and no. I contend that if a recruiter isn’t deeply networked in his/her field and closely embedded in the hiring department it will be easier for hiring managers to find candidates on their own (see Trend Two). The other side of this high-touch specialist-partner role is the high-volume, high-tech transactional recruiter handling more jobs filling them with the best person who applies. The trend is clear – the role of the recruiter is moving to the extremes with the middle becoming a self-service model that aggressive job seekers and proactive hiring managers are filling.
Trend Six: Job postings are becoming increasingly irrelevant.
There's no science behind job postings and nothing seems ready to replace them. In their place the mashup of these other five trends offers increased opportunities for savvy job seekers, proactive hiring managers and the specialist recruiter. So if you’re a hiring manager or job seeker, bypass the middleman and the job posting. There are more jobs in the hidden market and more people who might be induced to discuss one of these openings without first applying. If you’re a recruiter, either become a specialist or create a market for the contingent worker. To me the least effective way to find a job or hire someone is via an online job posting.
None of these trends are new, but with a strengthening labor market they’re all becoming more important as companies develop their hiring strategies for 2016. If you’re a hiring manager or a job seeker, don’t wait to take advantage of them.