5 Talent Acquisition Trends to Know for 2016

Attracting and securing the talent that’ll move your organization forward is serious business and hardly sounds like anything you’d associate with the word “trendy.”

But hold on a minute. “Trendy” is just another way of saying “up to date,” and if you want to find the best talent in the most efficient manner, “up to date” is where you need to be! Staying stuck in the past relying on obsolete philosophies and old-fashioned recruiting methods that don’t reflect current ways of thinking about and interacting with the world of work just won’t do.

In other words, you have to pay attention to the trends. Here are five talent acquisition trends to know for in 2016:

1. The Streamlined ATS 

It’s no secret that many workers hate applicant tracking systems, and it’s no secret why. Applicant tracking systems can be clumsy and counterintuitive, they’re vulnerable to technological glitches, and they’re unnecessarily time consuming. A 2014 CareerBuilder survey found that 60 percent of job seekers quit an application in the middle because of its complexity and/or length.

While some employers are convinced that a complex system weeds out “unsuitables,” others understand the best candidates have options and won’t spend time needlessly soothing a clunky, overwrought system. To increase their chances of attracting the most desirable workers, these employers are beginning to invest in more streamlined, candidate-friendly systems.

Get Ahead of the Trend: Assign a current employee (or two) to “apply” for a job via your ATS and provide you feedback. How does your system enhance (or not) the candidate experience? Make any changes as needed.

2. DIY Social Media Screening

Despite all the really good reasons not to, talent acquisitions professionals, as well as hiring managers and HR professionals, are relying more and more on Google or other search engines during the hiring process. In one study, 45 percent of employers admitted to this practice, and 51 percent reported finding content that caused them to pass on a candidate.

However, employers should know these searches are not without legal and ethical risk. A better bet? An automated reference checkup that’ll provide you the information you need quickly, safely, and efficiently.

Improve the quality of hire within your organization by taking our FREE quality of hire assessment! A customized report will be sent back to you with recommended steps on improving your TA and HR efforts.

Get Ahead of the Trend: Start investigating professional reference checking tools today, and be that “a-cut-above” employer who recognizes that a few Facebook views is no substitute for a thorough, reliable, and legally defensible screening process.

3. A Focus on the Candidate-Driven Market

A recent article in U.S. News and World Report claims there are more job openings today “than at any point since the Bureau of Labor Statistics first started tracking vacancy data back in December 2000.”

Another article published that same week by the Wall Street Journal described the problems recruiters are having with new college graduates either refusing or even reneging on job offers, and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reported in May 2015 that the national quit rate is the highest it’s been in 7 years.

What this all adds up to, experts say, is the return of a candidate-driven market and the need for employers to recognize that talent has more options than ever. Why should they come work for you? You’d better start telling them why.

Get Ahead of the Trend: The best workers are attracted to companies with efficient hiring practices, good compensation, opportunities for development, and decent management. How does your company stack up against this standard? Does your hiring process need simplifying? (Hint: If candidates are routinely subject to three or more rounds of interviews, it might.) Is your compensation competitive? Does your company culture facilitate and encourage learning? In 2016, position yourself to answer all these questions with a resounding “yes!”

4. Increased Use of Mobile Job Apps

A 2014 survey by Glassdoor found that 45 percent of job seekers use their mobile devices to search for a job at least once a day, and 89 percent of job seekers said they were likely to use their device in the next 12 months.

Get Ahead of the Trend: While this trend is more about employee than employer behavior, we’re including it here because the savvy employer knows there’s value in reacting quickly and appropriately to the market. In 2016, start by incorporating easy-to-use but feature-rich apps into your acquisition arsenal.

5. Hiring on Demand

It used to be that a full-time, regular job with benefits was the employment standard against which all other job types were measured, and anything “less” was regarded as “less than” by employers and workers alike.

Well, that’s changing.

The Great Recession of 2008 saw an appreciable increase in the number of contingency workers, and the number doesn’t seem to be on the decline just yet, even as the economy improves. Contingent workers provide employers flexibility and access to essential skills for reduced costs, and intelligent employers will continue to strategize about the best ways to attract and retain these workers.

Get Ahead of the Trend: In most workplaces, compensation is structured to encourage full-time regular commitment and discourage everything else. Is your workplace like most? If so, you’re behind the curve! Make 2016 the year you move ahead. What total rewards would attract a part-time, seasonal, or temporary worker to your opportunity and cause him or her to remain engaged until the job is done? Find out and design your compensation accordingly.

Trends come, and trends go, but that doesn’t mean it’s wise to ignore them. In fact, keeping your eye on the talent acquisitions trends listed above is a good first step toward a more productive and talent-filled 2016!