What’s keeping recruiters up at night?

ThinkstockPhotos-160611067Recruiting in many ways remains less affected by technology than other professions. Overall, the process has remained more or less the same – the best recruiting is still accomplished through networking and building and nurturing relationships. However, it would be naïve for recruiters to think their world isn’t affected by the same rapid changes faced by society today.

Digitization, the gig economy and the needs of a now-dominant millennial workforce provide a wide range of opportunities and challenges for recruiters. In addition, over the course of the next year, we’ll understand more about how a new presidential administration will influence the overall economy and job opportunities in this country. As always, it’s an exhilarating time to work in the talent acquisition industry, and we can be certain there’s a lot to keep us busy in the year ahead.

Here’s what we see as the biggest workplace changes affecting recruiters in 2017.

Recruiting millennials with the right skills

With a significant portion of the workforce closing in on retirement, there is a need for an integrated strategy to recruit individuals with the technological fluency required by today’s job demands. Software developers, data scientists and engineers are primarily the most highly sought after candidates due to current needs in the workplace. However, rapid adoption of digitization across all businesses means all candidates must have the knowledge and experience to meet the modern business needs of marketers, financial analysts, healthcare workers and beyond.

Technology as evolved to influence how we interact with each other. Companies have been slowly shifting towards offering more opportunities for flex hours and telecommuting as well as hiring on a more contingent, project-to-project basis  – and millennials have been a key force in this transformation. A notable side effect has been that companies have become more flexible, which has positive outcomes for employees and stakeholders alike.

It’s also worth noting that, overall, the very nature of the workplace is changing, driven by millennials. And with this new, dominant generation comes new rules and tactics for recruiters to engage in. Social media is no longer a bonus tool, it’s necessary to understanding the full scope of the candidate. How, when and where to reach out to candidates also has become blurred as new channels of communication become more prevalent among jobseekers. LinkedIn has emerged as one of the most embraced new tools by recruiters, but the challenge of differentiating yourself to candidates remains palpable with qualified candidates oftentimes overwhelmed by prospecting notes.

We continue to be inundated with technology that seeks to better connect us to our world, and as a recruiter, it’s increasingly important to personalize your approach to candidates. The top-quality candidates are receiving offers at an almost constant rate, and the only way to break through the noise is with a thoughtful effort that demonstrates both a keen understanding of their experience and career desires as well as your expertise in the industry.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Workforce Solutions Buyer Survey: Skills that are difficult to recruit

Figuring out what the gig economy really means

The gig economy is no longer just something to describe Uber, Task Rabbit or any of the rapidly available on-demand employment situations out there. This concept of hiring for short-term needs instantaneously is something recruiters need to prepare for. The last thing you want to see is your job taken over by an app.

It’s certainly a changing environment for how candidates perceive work opportunity. Candidates who previously felt nervous about leaving a full-time opportunity for a contract role have begun to see opportunities for increased salaries as validation to take that risk. In addition to the financial incentive to jump into the contracting world, the fear of finding new work as a contractor has been limited by the abundance of demand for skilled workers.

Recruiters need to be flexible and fast-acting in identifying where a company needs to fill their talent holes, and today, speed is everything. Companies either seek to minimize time-to-hire when filling positions or look for immediate, short-term help that can seemingly be ordered on demand. It’s important that recruiters not only stay on top of the technology to identify top talent, but also take on a larger consulting role to both hiring managers and candidates.

Recruiting has never been a stagnant occupation. Candidates wants and needs are always changing and it takes creativity and flexibility to constantly evolve your tactics to effectively engage the right candidates. In addition, we’re now experiencing a drastic change in traditional workplace culture and hiring norms. Job hopping, gigs, flex hours and telecommuting are just a sampling of trends reshaping the status quo.

The 21st century has brought on a lot of disruption for almost every industry and profession. Although effective recruiting remains based in strong relationships and market trend knowledge, we can never be complacent in always adapting to the demands of this new reality. And it’s this malleability that also becomes one of our biggest strengths, when in today’s job market, we are the means to guide candidates and clients through the new jobs economy.

MORE: 5 Workplace Trends For 2017 – Talent Acquisition Execs, Are You Ready?

Mike Weast

Mike Weast
Mike Weast is regional vice president of IT at Addison Group.

Mike Weast
Mike Weast is regional vice president of IT at Addison Group.

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