‘Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.’
With this quote as a caveat, let’s look at what global people trends lie ahead in 2016—namely, the rise of social and mobile recruiting worldwide and the clarion call to build global talent pools for highly skilled labor. Understanding these developments is critical to cultivating one’s competency in global and cultural effectiveness.
Mobile recruiting is poised to become a primary global recruiting strategy. For years, we’ve been hearing about the importance of building recruiting tools that have full mobile capability, but this has not yet become mainstream. According to data from Jobsite, Beyond.com and others, roughly three-quarters of job seekers are now using smartphones and other devices to research companies, review career resources and apply to jobs. Moreover, PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that the tech-savvy Millennial generation will make up half the workforce by 2020, driving demand even higher.
Even setting aside the Millennial demographic explosion, the groundswell for mobile recruiting tools is here. For example, the use of such devices to research and apply for jobs is becoming popular among midcareer professionals in such emerging markets as India, China and Vietnam. Thus, 2016 may be the year when mobile job-apply capability evolves from nice-to-have to must-have around the world. Are you ready?
Continued globalization and a widening skills gap will require global talent acquisition strategies. U.S. companies have been using this approach for hiring senior technologists for some time, and now India and China are marshaling their own troops in the war for talent—by aggressively recruiting Indian and Chinese returnees as well as foreign nationals.
To compete, more companies are hiring skilled workers wherever the talent resides, even if it means dealing with complex immigration and taxation laws. I predict this practice will become even more critical in 2016, as tech innovations lead to more new job types and roles and as expertise may not be readily available in the country where a company is headquartered.
Social professional networks will become a significant source of hire. As candidates around the world become immensely more findable—and more comfortable being found—recruiters will begin deploying social-centric search strategies.
Meanwhile, job seekers are quickly learning that social monitoring can go two ways. Many are using social tools to learn more about the reputation of a company—or even a manager—by reaching out to their networks or perusing rating sites such as Glassdoor. The days when people blindly applied to open positions (the so-called spray and pray method) may be coming to an end.
Social recruiting is quickly taking hold in North America, Asia, India, the United Kingdom and Germany. More companies will create social recruiting teams within both their HR and marketing functions, and these teams will be focused on having timely, authentic and targeted interactions with potential candidates.
While many companies still shy away from creating a cohesive social recruiting strategy, mainly out of fear of the unknown, this is a trend with legs. If your company is not willing to engage with what job seekers of the future want, prepare to be left behind.
Danielle Monaghan is head of talent acquisition-consumer at Amazon in Seattle and a member of the Society for Human Resource Management’s Global Special Expertise Panel. Originally from South Africa, she worked in China for many years in HR positions with Microsoft and Cisco Systems.