Receive daily articles & headlines each day in your inbox with your free ERE Daily Subscription.

Not logged in. [log in or register]

What’s 2011 Going to Bring?

by Jan 3, 2011, 2:12 pm ET

John Smith began 2010 with the hope that hiring would ramp up slowly over the year and that he would be able to re-establish his crackerjack sourcing team that was eliminated in 2009. He believed that sourcing passive candidates off the Internet would provide enough candidates, with very little need for job postings or agency involvement.

Instead, he found that hiring in some niche areas greatly exceeded his expectations, but that overall, hiring was slow. The slew of candidates just applying for anything grew all year, swamping his team’s ability to evaluate and respond to each candidate. But at the same time, the candidates he desperately needed were not among them. Internet searching turned up a few candidates, as did employee referrals, but there were many unfilled requisitions as 2010 came to a close.

As he crafted his plans for 2011, he pondered the use of social media, which they had only dabbled in and not very successfully in 2010, and well as whether he really needed his sourcing team — at least as it had been designed with a heavy emphasis on Internet sourcing of passive candidates.

If this story rings true to you, here are some ideas on what 2011 may bring. And, some strategies that be effective as we continue to evolve sophisticated sourcing methods and better online tools.

Hiring Situation

There will be no hiring boom or any return to the pre-2009 years. 2011 will be another year where demand for highly experienced and skilled technical experts will continue to grow, as will the need for people with global experience. Demand will drive more global recruiting efforts, and more work will move to wherever the skills are. This means that knowing how to recruit in Central Europe, India, China, and Brazil will outstrip most organizations’ capabilities. It will drive the need to set up remote sourcing teams or find people locally who can source in those countries and regions.

Mid-level hiring will remain slow, and there will be few additions to support or administrative staff. Much of this hiring will be outsourced to RPOs and agencies that specialize in specific areas. The demand for workers with minimal skills will shrink even further as technology replaces them. Many organizations have already replaced receptionists with automated sign-in systems and automatic call systems. Accounting and bookkeeping systems are using OCR to automatically input receipts and other data into their systems.

The bottom line is clear: recruiting internally will be focused on hard-to-fill, business-critical positions, and if the internal function cannot meet the needs, external agencies and RPOs will be called in.

RPO

RPO will continue to grow as a service with more sophisticated approaches and more technology. Some firms will focus on specific regions or on functional verticals. These RPOs will invest the time and conduct research that will help them build large communities of candidates with narrow, deep expertise. They will do this cheaper and better than a corporate recruiter can because of dedicated resources and investment in technology. Corporate recruiting functions need to build better ways to assess RPO firms, establish firm performance criteria, and negotiate contracts based on how well your needs are met, rather than on cost.

Talent Management

I have long advocated that every organization should increase its focus on developing a holistic and integrated approach to talent. That will begin to happen in earnest this year. Every major survey, including those from Pricewaterhouse Coopers and the Boston Consulting Group, indicate that CEOs are now relentlessly focused on getting better people in their organizations are are willing to put the resources in place to make it happen.

Critical positions need to be clearly identified, and there should be a plan as to how those positions will be filled. The plans should rely on a mixture of internal promotions/transfer as well as external placement. Development should be a key component and lead to a percentage of positions being filled by newly trained internal candidates. Entry-level hiring can feed this pool, as long as development and assessment are in place. Rigorous performance assessment in real time as well as feedback to recruiting on success traits are also important parts of a successful talent management plan.

Employment Brand

Building a believable and vigorous brand will consume more time and resources than it did in 2010. A recruiting website will be much less critical, although still important, to success. It will be more important to use a variety of marketing tools, including targeted marketing, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as LinkedIn, to interest more people in learning about your organization and opportunities.

Global brand building will be essential for firms looking for global talent. Qualified people in many countries identify closely with the brand of the firm they work for. If your firm has no brand, is not well known, and does have an attractive product/service offering,recruiting will be very difficult, given the competition. That is why the focus should be on identifying your uniqueness and on developing a marketing campaign to emphasize it and use it to find key talent.

Internal Sourcing Teams

Internal sourcing teams will morph from a focus on Internet search, which will remain a small part of the process, to a major focus on social media. The purpose of the sourcing team will be to ensure a supply of interested people who can be turned into candidates by a combination of skilled recruiter involvement and sophisticated marketing tools. These teams will be small, technically highly skilled, and capable of being community managers, marketers, and expert in identifying and assessing key candidates virtually.

Social Media

In every way, the backbone of the recruiting function will be its ability to use social media — the tools that connect and engage millions of potential candidates. Their success will be in how effective they are in convincing people to take part in the sub-communities that they create for their firms. This will require a strategy that has been carefully thought out and is revisited constantly and updated as its effectiveness is evaluated.

Whether they use Facebook, Hyves, LinkedIn, or another community is immaterial. What matters is that the community they choose attracts the kind of people they need. New smaller specialist communities may arise over the next year, and staying abreast of these, or even creating them, may make the difference between success and failure.

In light of this, John may want to rethink his priorities and spend time to really strategize about what the needs of this organization will be and where he needs to put his resources.

In many ways 2011 will look a lot like 2010 but with more focus on implementing the initiatives that were started in 2010 and in being realistic about the use of RPO, outsourcing, and the need to focus on critical positions.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention What’s 2011 Going to Bring? - ERE.net -- Topsy.com

  • http://sourcingstrategy.net Jeremy Roberts

    Great article. I think that the RPO firms will focus more on volume, projects etc that corporate recruiting teams can’t fulfill. I think executive search firms and boutique search firms are still more equipped to dig deep for tough skills than most RPO firms.

    (These opinions do not represent my employer) :)

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/russmoon Russ Moon

    “This means that knowing how to recruit in Central Europe, India, China, and Brazil will outstrip most organizations’ capabilities. It will drive the need to set up remote sourcing teams or find people locally who can source in those countries and regions.” – An emphatic YES AND the people with the experience in training them.

    “It will be more important to use a variety of marketing tools, including targeted marketing, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as LinkedIn, to interest more people in learning about your organization and opportunities.”
    - Bullseye -

    “The purpose of the sourcing team will be to ensure a supply of interested people who can be turned into candidates by a combination of skilled recruiter involvement and sophisticated marketing tools.”

    - Yes, sourcing isn’t dead..it is morphing rapidly.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/russmoon Russ Moon

    “It will drive the need to set up remote sourcing teams or find people locally who can source in those countries and regions.”

    Emphatic YES… AND the people who are experienced in training them.

  • Keith Halperin

    ISTM that much of what was described here refers to sourcing as opposed to recruiting. IMHO. “good enough” $11/hr virtual sourcing will get better and better (particularly for building pipelines of candidates,)and what can’t be done effectively will be best handled by the $40/name elite sourcing professionals. In either case internal people should probably not do it.

    Recruiting will continue to be hobbled by over-engineered and user-unfriendly ATS and dysfunctional, inefficient hiring processes dictated by the prejudices and biases of senior executives who think they know how to recruit but don’t, except in a few cases where organizations have the courage and ability to commit to a recruiter- and candidate-oriented, pragmatic approach to recruiting.

    Cheers,
    Keith

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/gingergraham Ginger Graham

    ‘The demand for workers with minimal skills will shrink even further as technology replaces them.’
    ‘The bottom line is clear: recruiting internally will be focused on hard-to-fill, business-critical positions’

    ‘…indicate that CEOs are now relentlessly focused on getting better people in their organizations are are willing to put the resources in place to make it happen’
    ‘Entry-level hiring can feed this pool’

    Here is where we struggle, I agree that I’m also seeing a renewed buzz around developing a robust bench for our soon exiting baby boomer parade, however, I’m not seeing anyone free up resources in order to bring them into the front door. We are working hard to relaunch our internship programs and partnering with OD/OE to drive management training programs and enable talent profiles for applicants and current teammates. But I find the ‘bottom line’ to be that we simply do not want to hire anyone who can’t hit the ground running with our lean model that is now in place.

    On another note, we have explored RPO and find it is MUCH too expensive for the limited hiring (prof level) we are doing, and we are still providing ROI cases for steering clear of executive and specialty agency use.

    Our word for 2011 is VIRAL. Your focus on employment branding rings very true for our strategy this year.

    I’m also not so sure we won’t see an uptick come Q3, at least in our industry. I do not see 2011 mirroring 2010, but I hope you are right, my budget does not reflect a change :)

  • http://www.techtrak.com Maureen Sharib

    Instead of sourcing morphing to “let me hide behind a ‘puter screen some more” social media participation how about mentioning there’s a far faster, far more effective tool in the sourcing arsenal? What would that be?
    THE PHONE of course.
    Horrors! (A shudder runs through the crowd…)

  • Kevin Wheeler

    Ginger,

    Yes, you echo many others who find it hard to get the increased resources they need to hire at the entry level. I think this will remain a challenge, but it is important to keep on presenting the data and get your leadership to understand how critical a new stream of talent will be to their profitability.

    I have no idea what RPO solutions you have looked at or for which level/type of positions, but generally the use of RPOs is growing very fast. You may find freed up resources for other things if you can match up with the right RPO.

    As for an up tick in hiring – let’s hope it happens. However, I have a feeling that any new jobs will require skills and education that most of the unemployed workforce do not have.

  • Keith Halperin

    @Ginger: a good rule of thumb going forward in 20011 is that any staffing-related task that isn’t worth paying $50 or more/hr to perform could and probably should be no-sourced (eliminated), through-sourced (automated), or outsourced (sent away) for no more than about $11/hr retail. There just isn’t all that much left in recruiting that justifies paying between $11-50/hr to do. If the $11/hr sourcers can’t find the person the company needs, they should pay the elite pros like Maureen $40/name, and if the internal recruiters can’t get the people you need (with the help of the sourcers), then companies should be prepared to pay a 30% fee to get them.

    Cheers,
    Keith

    Cheers,
    Keith

  • Pingback: The Future of Recruiting: Does It Have A Future? - Make HR Happen » Make HR Happen

  • Pingback: 5 Predictions for Recruitment 2012 - ERE.net