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Connexys survey: Important Trends for HR and recruitment

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What does 2016 have in store for us and what expectations do HR and Recruitment have for the near future? Connexys conducted a survey among HR directors and HR decision makers about their expectations and priorities in the field of labour market communication and recruitment. In this blog, we share the key trends as well as our vision.

Management is all about anticipation
In the labour market there are a few major developments happening. In some industries there is a real ‘war for talent’, while on the other hand employers are struggling with the question of how to handle the deluge of applicants per vacancy. Job profiles are changing, which means that on one side there is recruitment and on the other there is redundancy. The vision of labour is changing, work is becoming more important than the job, and permanent jobs and flex jobs are moving closer and closer towards each other. All these developments affect the field of HR and recruitment. They also offer great opportunities.

In an extensive qualitative survey we asked Dutch HR directors and decision makers with an average of more than 5,000 employees about their plans and expectations for the future. Below we present you with the most striking results.

Trend 1. Recruitment is becoming more and more like resource management

The survey shows that 63% of respondents expect to move increasingly closer towards each other because of the more flexible labour situation of hiring and external recruitment. We see a great opportunity here for HR and recruitment. Currently, the hiring of temporary employees is often decentralized, often through hiring managers (44%) and in 39% of the cases, HR is not at involved at all in the hiring of temporary workers. Also, 39% does not look at the availability and adequacy of internal staff to fill vacancies (39%).

An opportunity for HR
We anticipate a great future for resource management. One single office to attract the right candidate for the job. Regardless of the question of whether this candidate is found inside or outside the company. Whether he gets to work on a fixed contract, a flexible contract or as a self-employed individual. The right person in the right place. Who is better equipped for this than HR and recruitment?

A central office for all recruitment makes hiring more transparent and more manageable. Because candidates are recruited from all resources, there will be better market processes. As a result, in many cases substantial cost savings can be realized. And last but not least: not the origin or the type of contract, but the suitability of the candidate will be key.

Trend 2. Employer branding becomes more important

75% of the respondents indicate that the labour market communication will be part of the strategic HR policy in the future. 63% says they will be investing substantially in employer branding. A hopeful development. In a time where the battle for talent will escalate to unprecedented proportions, it is indeed important for employers to show their colours and to clearly distinguish themselves from competitors in the labour market. Nevertheless, only 37% indicate assessing their image among applicants. A missed opportunity, because research on your employer brand among potential candidates, applicants and employees offers a wealth of information from which you can benefit within HR and recruitment.

Grafiek EN 1

Culture matching
Such an image survey also provides you with good insight into how the candidate experiences the organizational culture. Many employers see culture as one of the main pull factors when recruiting candidates. After all, a matching organization culture largely determines whether a newly appointed candidate feels at home and will actually be able to flourish in an organization. Three quarters of employers say they measure whether or not a candidate will fit in with the organizational culture. In practice, however, we don’t see much of this, and it’s something that could be deployed more often and much more efficiently. Do you, in the selection process, and based on objective criteria, check whether a candidate matches the organization? And do you then investigate how this match compares to the “quality of hire”? Is it true that better matching candidates also perform better and will be valuable employees for a longer time? Perhaps a good KPI for 2016.

Trend 3. Recruitment marketing advances

A development we can’t ignore is that recruitment increasingly draws inspiration from marketing. 69% of participants in the survey endorse the statement that the role of the recruiter is shifting to the role of the online marketer. Organizations are aware of the importance of distinguishing different recruitment target groups, each with its own approach. Recruitment funnels are set up, email marketing put in use, and marketing automation and lead generation will be increasingly making their entrance  into recruitment. The recruitment site plays an important role and content marketing is a ‘hot topic’ in the world of recruitment. This development is still in its infancy and is expected to expand enormously in the coming year.

Grafiek EN 2

Retain and motivate
Effective marketing depends entirely on building and maintaining relationships. We still need to work on this, too.  Half of the respondents say they are actively using talent pools to find and to retain talent. Also, a small 44% say they actively retain self-employed individuals. The well-known rule in marketing: ‘getting a new customer is silver, retaining an existing customer is gold’, is just as true in recruitment. Creating different talent pools and nurturing valuable self-employed individuals is of great value to the recruitment process. For every talent pool a customized pathway may be equipped, with which you can specifically approach, retain and motivate the specific target group (students, high potentials, scarce IT professionals).

Using recruitment data
Recruitment data plays an important role in this trend. However, it remains difficult to see the wood for the trees. What data do you actually need? Which reports and analytics are important, and how can you use them to achieve your goals? What is your ROI? Important questions that will help you to clarify what the contribution is  that recruitment makes towards the goals of the organization. How much do you save by recruiting yourself, rather than outsourcing to third parties? What are your profits of acceleration in the recruitment process? How much is a ‘best hire’ worth to the organization? And how expensive is a ‘bad hire’,  anyway?

Trend 4. The Candidate Experience becomes leading

In order to be a key player in a market where high potentials have a whole array of jobs to pick from, as an employer you need to have your things very well organized. A  great job, a good salary and excellent benefits are just not enough. Everything must be right to be able to persuade the perfect candidate to work for you.

It can be better
The respondents in our survey are well aware of this. 74% of them indicate that the scarcity of talent will increase in the future. The same percentage indicates that they will be making changes in the recruitment and selection process. An important motivation here is improving the candidate experience. And rightly so! This Candidate Experience does not only determine whether a candidate will eventually apply to your job, but the experience of candidates also influences your employer brand and even your corporate brand. The Candidate Experience can be nurtured throughout the entire Candidate Journey. From the very first contact to the first working day. There are endless ways to improve yourself at various stages. We will mention a few of them.

Orientation Process
How does the candidate experience the orientation process? Is the employer easy to find? Is the employer approachable, offline as well as online on a desktop, tablet and smartphone? Does the candidate feel they are appreciated? Can they find all the information they are looking for, do they get a good impression of the job, the organization and the employees? Is the information (content) presented in a pleasant way? Are online and offline manifestations consistent? How easy is it for them to apply?

Application process
How does the application process go? Is mobile application possible? Where can the applicant ask questions and request information? Are contacts timely, accurate and personal? Does the applicant feel valued? Do they get the right information at all times? How does the rejection process go? Will they be informed and what type of reaction will the rejection induce?

Preboarding and Onboarding process
What about the experience of the candidate after sending the appointment letter? Did you know that two thirds of people with a new job start looking for a different work  environment within three months? What goes wrong here? We are convinced that the problem is not only in the recruitment and selection, but also in the process of preboarding and onboarding. This is a period of radio silence and many candidates may decide to quit after all. Still, the time between hiring and the first working day, offers a range of opportunities for welcoming new employees, to motivate them and to make them feel at home. How do you welcome a candidate to the organization? Can they start preparing for work already? Are there meetings, events in which they can participate; blogs, knowledge documents they can read; departments, processes, people they can get acquainted with?  And how does it go from the first working day? Be creative and surprise new employees with a warm bath.

How are things with your organization?

The survey gives us important insights into the current and future position of HR and recruitment in the market. Therefore, we are planning to repeat this survey regularly in the future. Would you like to know more about the benchmark of your organization with this survey? Please contact us.