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Five Hiring Trends that Will Affect Your Career

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By 2016 it will be a lot less painful to get a job than it is today. Even better, it will be a much better job. Here’s why I feel comfortable making this claim.

I’ve just returned from a back-to-back series of LinkedIn conferences, meeting with some of the top talent leaders in the world. While the programs were officially called Talent Connect San Francisco and London 2015, for me, the Future of Hiring would have been a better title.

Of course, not everyone will agree with my predictions. This is partially due to my being one of the few practitioners at both events, having been around since the dawn of the first world war for talent and the fact that I’m frequently asked to evaluate the newest crop of silver bullets for hiring great people. While some are retreads, others are cutting-edge and worthy. With this backdrop, here’s how I see the future of hiring unfolding.

Hiring circa 2016 and Beyond

  1. Accelerated growth in networking and the return of high-touch recruiting.Something remarkable is happening now that everyone has access to every name on LinkedIn. Companies are being forced to use more sophisticated marketing and recruiting techniques to reach these people. This means less reliance on job postings, having their employees proactively expand their personal referral networks, and forcing hiring managers to eliminate artificial barriers to entry. Best of all, it has required recruiters to get on the phone and actually talk with people about their career needs. For job-seekers, networking is not about meeting as many people as possible. It’s about meeting a few well-connected people who can vouch for your performance and are willing to introduce you to other well-connected people.
  2. Recognition that hiring managers need to be engaged and responsible for hiring top talent. This is a rapidly emerging trend. Companies – at least those that truly believe hiring top talent is important – are now measuring and rewarding hiring managers on their ability to attract, hire and develop high-potential candidates. In those cases where hiring managers are unable to hire the best, companies are overriding the manager’s hiring decisions. This also suggests that in order to get promoted, managers will need to have a track record of hiring for performance and potential rather than skills and experience.
  3. The disintermediation of the transactional recruiter is coming sooner than most realize. Removing the middleman to improve efficiency and reduce cost is a common business model. Consider Uber and Apple Pay for obvious examples. This same trend is starting to happen in recruiting. In the near future, candidates will be proactively contacted without recruiter intervention to create initial interest. This will likely start as a variation of a Tinder-like app, with candidates having jobs pushed to them based on their abilities and career interests. The matching will be more sophisticated based on performance factors and levels of achievement, not skills and experience. Once two-way interest is shown, a hiring manager or recruiter will then get personally involved.
  4. Recruitment advertising comes of age. For many companies, recruitment advertising is still in the stone ages (just read any posted job description). However, with the wide-spread acceptance of social media, companies are rapidly adopting a pro-consumer marketing mindset when it comes to finding talent. While there’s still a lag of a few years between what the most advanced companies are doing to reach their customers and when their recruiting departments adopt similar techniques, the time delay is shrinking fast. L’Oreal is clearly ahead of the game when it comes to using the same branding and marketing concepts for attracting customers to attract new employees. Read a few of the job descriptions at Zappos to see how they’ve taken a marketing approach to recruitment advertising. The big switch: instead of using job postings to weed people out, the most forward-thinking companies are using them to attract the best people into a conversation about their career needs.
  5. The systemization of the hiring process using feedback metrics for process control. That’s a mouthful, but to effectively manage any complex process, you need real time information. For recruiting, some of these metrics include response rates to emails and voice mails, tracking the quality and callback rates on referrals, and instant supply vs. demand analysis, among others. Like any factory or process, the metrics are used to spot potential problems before they cause havoc. This is not big data, but managing to metrics is important data. HR seems to be finally catching up.

We’re entering a new war for talent. New tools and tactics are quickly emerging to help companies better match people with opportunities. Job-seekers need to get ready. You can get started by emphasizing your accomplishments on your LinkedIn profile, using the backdoor to get noticed, proactively building your network, implementing a 20/20/60 job hunting program and using something like 1-Page to demonstrate your ability. The future of hiring will be different now that everyone has access to everyone else on LinkedIn. Don’t wait.