HR Trends You Can No Longer Ignore

Change is constant in HR, and 2015 is no exception. The next few years are going to bring radical new ideas, new demographics, new legislation, and new workforce paradigms. The economy has finally returned to pre-recession levels, Boomers are retiring in droves, hiring is surging, and the war for talent rages on. I offer you the following trends that are on our radar, and welcome your comment.

6 HR Trends you can no longer ignore

Network Recruiting

Gone are the days of recruiting programs geared to “active” or “passive” candidates, where we relied upon job boards and head hunters, respectively. In today’s economy and hyper-connected society, everyone is fair target for recruitment. As the number of unfilled jobs continues to rise, employers are being forced to turn over every stone to find suitable talent. Fortunately, the fears of the 2008 recession are diminishing and people are now willing to move for the right opportunity. Recruiters will take advantage of this by leveraging their unprecedented access to qualified candidates through their company’s collective social media network. Someone, somewhere in your company, is networked to the perfect candidate. It’s just a matter of building a culture of team recruitment and leveraging technology to fuel it.

Mobile Everything

Mobile is moving from trend to expectation. It used to be a compelling feature to be a mobile-friendly application. Now it’s mission critical. Today’s workforce, and especially the job seeker, will engage primarily through a mobile device, whether it be to find a restaurant or to approve an expense report. If your HR systems aren’t mobile-friendly, from recruitment to onboarding, you’re invisible to a significant and growing part of the talent pool and put yourself at a competitive disadvantage.

Contingent Workforce

Both efficient and flexible, temporary labor is here to stay. In the past, temps have often been marginalized as a stop-gap solution to permanent employment. However, today’s most innovative businesses are now seeking to find the optimal balance between temp, contract, and permanent labor. There are several reasons for this. For one, health care benefits that were once a driver for permanent employment have subsided as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Furthermore, employers see contingent workers as a great way to build flexibility into their planning, allowing them to avoid lay-offs in down cycles while equipping them to ramp back just as easily. We’re also seeing highly skilled workers choosing contract work as a stepping stone to a permanent job – case in point, a recent American Staffing Association survey revealed that half of temp workers chose temp work as a way to a permanent job. By lowering the barrier to placement while giving employers and candidates an opportunity to test out the “fit,” a contingent workforce strategy is a great way to fill key roles more quickly, while improving the quality of hire.

Creative Recruiting

In today’s tightening job market, today’s employers are turning to an intricate combination of methods to reach and engage talent. Current employees are more critical than ever to an employer’s brand, as they use social media and channels like Glassdoor to openly discuss their employers. For example, Zappos did away with job postings altogether, asking potential candidates to join an insider social network. Google put up a billboard in San Francisco with a math problem that, if solved correctly, brought highly-skilled mathematicians to a unique recruiting site. Recruiters flock to events like SXSW (the music/film/interactive festival) to find creative, skilled college grads. In the tightening job market, creative recruiting is going to be a key differentiator to land top talent.

Data Security

Customer data security took center stage last year, with high profile security breaches at big brands like Target and Home Depot. It was only a matter of time before employee data would become headlines. When Sony Pictures was hacked in December 2014, the data included personal information about Sony employees and their families, e-mails between employees, and a plethora of other business sensitive information. Not only did this create significant identity fraud risk for the affected employees and brand damage to Sony, but it also drew class action lawsuits claiming negligence in how Sony Pictures protected personal information. PII (Personal Identifiable Information) including Social Security Numbers, Dates of Birth, Driver’s License info, and other identifying information must be protected at any cost. HR professionals will turn to technology providers to control and encrypt sensitive business and employee information, and leverage tight access and security controls to lock PII down from internal and external threats.

Cultural Fit vs. Direct Experience

Cultural fit isn’t just on the wish-list for HR. It is taking priority. Cultural fit leads to stronger employee engagement, collaboration, productivity, and ultimately retention. This translates directly to employee satisfaction, which fuels the customer brand, which creates a competitive advantage when hiring the next culture fit! And so the snowball grows. Furthermore, a willingness to trade direct experience for cultural fit and career potential creates a distinct advantage in the war for talent. You can teach skill – but you can’t teach culture. Just be sure to thoroughly assess your company’s culture and values before you attempt to recruit based on it.
2015 will be a huge year of change for HR. As always, change brings opportunity to those who adapt, and peril to those who don’t. We wish you luck!

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Todd Owens

Todd Owens is CEO at TalentWise and has been with the company since 2006. Previously he held senior Product Management and Business Development roles at Wind River Systems and Siebel Systems. A former United States Navy submarine officer, Todd has been recognized as a “Superstar for outsourcing innovation in support of HR organizations” by HRO Today magazine for four times. Todd holds a BS degree from the United States Naval Academy and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Connect with Todd on Twitter.

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