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The Big Picture: Trends in Talent Acquisition
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The Big Picture: Trends in Talent Acquisition

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  • If you’re involved in global talent acquisition, you already know that the war for talent never really ended. The truth is that top talent will always be in the minority regardless of market conditions, and that sought-after skilled minority populations have power. The latest data from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) shows that, even after the worst recession in living memory, two-thirds (68%) of employers still experienced recruitment difficulties in 2010.Not sure this is true? Look around at the market for recruiters. The race to hire recruiters is on -- a few bazillion recruiters took a bullet between '08 and '10, when companies stopped hiring. Now that things are starting to pick up, the good recruiters are already getting jobs. Recruiting hiring leads the market, and it starts getting hard to find decent recruiters for a reasonable compensation. Local markets are depressed around available talent. So, where are the workers coming from?
  • Business leaders are becoming fearless about making staff cuts in favor of investing in labor that brings new capabilities to the table. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports: Jan 2011 saw 1,534 “mass layoff actions” affecting nearly 150,000 employeesMeanwhile, post-recession, workers are lukewarm about reentering the FT job market (slowing hiring and depressing the local employment market), and are more interested in self-employment and contract opportunities. The number of people who called themselves self-employed rose by 165,000 to 9.7 million in January, the report said. That's the highest total since last May.
  • Employers are investing less and less in training and development, and the vast majority of the labor force is apathetic towards keeping skills and knowledge current. Combined, these will lead to staggering levels of labor obsolescence. Jobs will abound, but talent suitable for them will be in short supply. As a result, more and more organizations will be forced to pursue workforce decentralization via remote workers, outsourcing, and offshoring.
  • Shifting market conditions, upstart competition, and the rapid pace of innovation mean that companies need be able to scale their labor use to meet demand--something not possible with traditional employees. Temporary workers, contractors and freelancers provide the flexibility companies are looking for. We are seeing this on oDesk directly, as jobs posted for contract workers has doubled year-over-year, each of the past four years.Technology has made accessing and managing a remote workforce doable for any business. With work is no longer tied to location, businesses can select the best person for the job - no matter where in the world they are.
  • At the start of this century, direct sourcing efforts contributed less than 5% of the candidates who were ultimately hired, but as a source, direct sourcing has grown continually each year. Last year, direct sourcing efforts produced 1 in 5 hires on average. Additionally, New recruiting tools are emerging (social media) -- It used to be that LinkedIn was for professional recruiting, and Facebook was purely social. You are seeing more and more companies using Facebook as a standard recruiting tool, and building recruiting portals on FB and other social networking sites.Transparency through Social Media results in targeted acquisition -- for both companies and workers
  • The transparency of social media means that, more than ever, employers need to be aware of and manage the public perception of the company. Employees, both past and present, are influencing how organizations are perceived by being more vocal about their experiences in a wider variety of online channels.As more and more online communities expose their content to search engines, potential candidates will be exposed to all aspects of the company, even the skeletons you’d rather were kept in the closet.
  • A number of tools in the typical recruiter’s tool kit are obsolete... and have been for years. Recruiters who are committed to a traditional mindset haven’t been paying much attention to new technologies (both within and outside the recruiting industry), and are using tools that are growing more inefficient by the day. New tools come out every day, and those who can take advantage of them will see the benefits of staying innovative.
  • Specialize. If you haven't already, pinpoint the target markets that speak to your expertise and background, and position yourself to be competitive among the top recruiters in that space. Hiring for recruiters? Seek out those exhibiting strong online networking skills, and whose problem-solving arsenal includes a broad range of new technologies and just-in-time strategies.The world is your talent pool. If your local market is yielding lackluster candidates (or worse, none at all!) tap online resources to locate qualified workers outside your area.Don't discount contractors/freelancers. They are a cost-effective and flexible alternative to full-time hiring. Consider them a tool in your hiring arsenal and use them to your best advantage.Improve the candidate experience: Candidates are now more in the driver’s seat, and talent acquisition needs to become more candidate-centric. That means re-evaluating and improving the candidate experience, so that more in-demand candidates will engage with the application and screening process and stick with it until a decision is made.Redesign onboarding: Candidate-centric hiring means employee-centric onboarding is necessary to ease and speed the transition from favored candidate to productive employee.Learn how to promote positive employer branding messages: Employer branding has been an important element of most talent acquisition strategies for many years now, firms needs to develop a process for identifying and managing negative messages, while promoting and rewarding positive ones.
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