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Sunday 26 February 2017

Keeping up with 2016’s recruiting trends

Mon, 25 Jan 2016 | Dr John Sullivan
Dr John Sullivan
©Akin Falope


What could be more important in a fast-moving world than keeping up with developing trends? Unfortunately, many recruiters are so busy that they fail to follow or act on these important emerging trends.

Trend #12
Anonymous CV screening and blind interviewing
Why awareness is critical As an increasingly more scientific approach to diversity recruiting emerges, more recruiting leaders have recognised the significant unconscious biases many hiring managers and interviewers have.

Best practices

  • Irrelevant information on CVs can lead to bias. Background information that has not been proven to be valid predictors of new hire success can be removed or obscured from CVs presented to hiring managers. Firms like Deloitte and Google are experimenting with this practice. 
  • Visual biases during the interview can be reduced with more telephone interviews. Another approach is to literally hide the candidates behind a screen.
  • Voice biases can be reduced by offering written or online questionnaire interviews in which candidates type their answers to the questions on a computer screen.

Trend #11
Finding talent will become easier but selling to talent, more difficult

Why awareness is critical
Thanks to the internet, it is now possible to find almost anyone who is qualified to do a job. Now the most difficult phase of recruiting will become the ‘selling’ aspects. To succeed, recruiters must develop stronger selling skills in terms of convincing prospects to apply, to come to multiple interviews and to accept your offers.

Best practices
  • Assess the sales skills of your recruiters.
  • Survey a sample of recruiting targets to specifically identify how and where they look for a job, and what factors must be present before they will apply for and accept a job. 
  • Survey all new hires during onboarding and ask them specifically what arguments or sales approaches were effective and which had no impact.

Trend #10
Video will become prominent in all recruiting messaging
Why awareness is critical The high impact of videos will see their usage continue to increase. Videos are often best to reveal the excitement and the passion found at your firm — especially if shot by employees on their mobile phones, as they are likely to be seen as more authentic and believable.

Best practices 
  • Deloitte’s ‘film festival’ offered its employees a chance to shoot short videos from their mobiles, revealing the fun inside the company. More than 2,000 employees participated.
  • With the widespread availability of smart phones, recruiters and hiring managers can now make personalised recruiting videos to send to high-value candidates.
  • Video job descriptions and even video job offers can have a profound impact on selling candidates. 
  • ‘How-to’ videos posted on YouTube on technical topics have proven to be a great attraction tool. 
  • Placing actual recruitment ads on TV has been recently popularised in the US by GE, Walmart and Koch. The Coors beer company offered a compelling TV ad that linked fun work and producing a great product. The ad included these lines: “When you love your job, you never work a day in your life’’ and “When beer is your calling, you never clock out”.

Trend #9
Improving the selling capability of your job descriptions
Why awareness is critical Many candidates who were initially interested will turn away after reading dull and poorly written job descriptions. Misleading job descriptions can also lead to new hire turnover when the job described is completely different than the job discovered on the first day.

Best practices
  • Test your firm’s job descriptions against those at competitive firms. Simply conduct a blind side-by-side test (where the job descriptions have no company name on them), then ask a sample of people in the field to rank the most exciting job descriptions for similar jobs.
  • Survey potential applicants to develop a list of the words and phrases that would excite them about this job.  
  • Video job descriptions involving the team reveal much more excitement than any written job description can. 
  • Change the ratio of the words used so that the percentage tilts towards the persuasive aspects of the job description.
  • To find diverse candidates, consider an approach tried by Google. Allow a team of your own diverse employees to rewrite the job description, to make it friendlier to your target diversity group. 

Trend #8
Focusing on recruiting innovators
Why awareness is critical The most innovative firms like Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon produce a significantly higher workforce productivity ratio (ie revenue per employee) than average businesses. This is because they focus on hiring innovators, who produce at least 10 times more than the average worker in the same job.

Best practices 
  • Referrals are the best way to identify and recruit additional innovators. 
  • Online resources now make it amazingly easy to find the ideas and the work of innovators. 
  • Put together a process for identifying innovators within the large volumes of CVs or LinkedIn profiles. 
  • Don’t lose innovators during the early stages of interviewing because of their tendency to appear arrogant or abrupt. Train recruiters and managers to not instantly reject because of individuals. 
  • Innovators also expect different things before they will accept a new job such as job customisation and freedom to take risks and to try new things.

Trend #7
A forward-looking approach to recruiting
Why is awareness critical Unfortunately, 100% of all current recruiting metrics are historical and look backward. Shifting to a future-focused approach allows organisations time to prepare and to mitigate potential damages.

Best practices
  • Workforce planning helps you prepare for the future by knowing what types and amounts of talent your firm will need to meet business needs.
  • Forecasting possible turnover and then alerting your managers before a key employee becomes serious about quitting can improve retention. 
  • Using predictive metrics allows you to prepare for next year. Firms like Google even predict now which employees are likely to quit because they “feel under-used”.

Trend #6
Calculating the huge costs resulting from a bad candidate experience
Why awareness is critical Recently, HR solutions provider CareerBuilder identified some unexpected consequences of a poor candidate experience, including lost sales, where 9% of candidates would tell others not to purchase products from the company.

A reduced volume of applications may result, and at least 10% of the disgruntled will post negative social media comments about your hiring process, which discourages more from applying.

Best practices
  • Survey a sample of past applicants and new hires to identify what they didn’t like or what frustrated them about your hiring process.  
  • Consider using your own ‘mystery shoppers’ to go through your hiring process to identify issues.
  • Check to see if a ‘soon-to-be interviewed applicant’ is currently a customer.
  • Periodically track negative social media comments about your interviews and hiring process on Glassdoor.com and other similar sites, to identify the problems that others see.

Trend #5
All recruiting applications and communications to be deliverable on mobile
Why you must track this trend The smart phone has the highest response rate of any communications channel. It should become the primary way for applying, communicating, providing information to candidates and maintaining candidate relationships.

Best practices
  • Offering the capability to complete a job application from any mobile platform on your corporate careers site will prevent your application drop-off rate from skyrocketing. 
  • Make it possible for candidates to accept your offers directly on their mobile phone.
  • Use the most responsive channel for communications, which currently is often texting
  • Mobile makes it possible to hold live video interviews from anywhere. This can reduce 
  • scheduling delays and the time to hire significantly.
  • All internal recruiting applications and web pages should be mobile phone accessible for all managers and recruiters.
  • Employees must be able to do all of their referral tasks on the mobile phone. 
  • Eligible candidates should be able to self-schedule their own interviews.

Trend #4
Increasing new hire quality and corporate revenue by increasing speed of hire

Why you must track this trend Unfortunately, most top applicants will drop out of the hiring process within 10 days, as the best are likely to receive other offers and won’t wait around. Recognise that if a vacant position is a revenue-generating role, corporate revenue will be unnecessarily lost if a slow hiring decision keeps the position vacant for too many days.

Best practices
  • Measure the correlation between hiring speed and new hire quality, to show that slow hiring reduces the quality of your eventual hire. Most people mistakenly assume that the longer you take to make a decision, the better the quality of the hire will be.
  • Prioritise the recruiting effort for jobs and candidates that require speed to land the best candidates.
  • Identify unnecessary delays and show those causing the delays the negative impact they have on the quality of hire. 
  • Widely distribute a ranked list of the managers with the slowest hiring speed, to increase internal competition or even to embarrass them.
  • For key revenue positions, work with the chief operating officer to identify the revenue lost each day that the position is vacant.

Trend #3
Using quality of hire data to identify what works and to help quantify the impact on business

Why you must track this trend
Measure on-the-job performance of new hires, and put them in high performing and below average performing groups. Then identify the traits the individuals in the top-performing group have in common. Knowing what attracted the top and the worst performing new hires will help you refine branding and sourcing processes.

Best practices
  • Identify which sources, selection criteria, recruiters and hiring managers are best for accurately identifying new hires that will exceed average performance. 
  • Measure the percentage of improvement in output from your new hires that work in already quantified jobs like sales and customer service. 
  • In non-quantified jobs, multiply the improved performance percentage of new hires by the firm’s average revenue per employee. 
  • Calculate the percentage of your hires that are weak hires, and then estimate the cost of each one. 
  • Work closely with the chief financial officer’s office to add credibility to your data. 

Trend #2
Referrals will become 50% of all hiring… so you better get them right

Why you must track this trend
With the best firms getting nearly 50% of their hires from employee referrals, it’s critical to invest time and resources into maximising the quality of hire from your referral programme. Unfortunately, corporate referral programmes are not self-managing, so must be continually benchmarked, updated and improved.

Best practices
  • Educate employees on how to make good connections and referrals with an educational referral toolkit. Provide sample social media profiles, advice on how to build relationships and how employees should effectively assess potential referrals.
  • Be highly responsive to each submitted referral to maintain high employee participation levels.
  • Give feedback to your employees on their weak referrals, so that individual employees can improve.
  • The best single way to improve referral quality is to require your employees to know the individual’s work and skills. 
  • Celebrate and publicly recognise employees that make superstar referrals.

And finally…

Trend #1
Shifting to data-based decision-making in recruiting
Why you must track this trend Lately, we have become quite good at collecting metrics in recruiting. Unfortunately, after collecting them, we seldom use them to make decisions or to force change. Data-based decision-making has been adopted by every business function — except HR. Compared to the normal intuitive decision, data-based decisions can be at least 25% better. Google is leading the way in shifting to a data-based model by declaring that “We want to bring the same level of rigour to people decisions that we do to engineering decisions”.

Data can reveal:
  • Words and phrases in your branding and recruiting information that successfully attract quality applicants. 
  • Types of interviews and interview questions that, when answered correctly, best identify future top performers. 
  • Whether your candidates’ references are accurate predictors of future on-the-job performance. 
  • Your new hire failure rate (which can average 46%). 
  • Which recruiters and hiring managers routinely produce the highest quality hires, and which do not.
  • Which single factor has the highest impact on hiring success.

Final thoughts
Failing to prepare for any of these trends dooms the recruiting leader to a life of ‘catch up’ and unpleasant surprises. What worked in the past no longer produces even average results in the ever-changing world of business and recruiting.

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