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Recruitment trends

Just as the changing recruitment landscape requires recruitment professionals to adapt and adjust their work styles, the changing labour market requires employers to keep up. Job seekers too will have to align their skills development with the changing recruitment trends.

A summary of some of the predicted changes over the next few years is as follows:

The number of available jobs will increase.

  • Contrary to popular belief, the economy continues to grow: 51% of firms in an international survey reported that they would continue recruiting in 2014. The number of vacancies since 1998 is increasing and the largest number of vacancies is in the healthcare, engineering, financial services and energy sectors. The IT sector is showing the highest growth in the number of vacancies on offer. Public sector statistics show that more than 8 in 10 organisations have used recruitment services in the past year.

A ‘hollowing out’ of work will be seen.

  • Outsourcing and the increasing introduction of technology will see a labour market with a gap in the middle. Consequently there will be an increase in vacancies for highly specialised work as well as for more low-skilled work. It is foreseen that the number of vacancies for middle management positions will decline.

The way in which people are employed will change.

  • In future, being employed in the public sector may not necessarily imply that an employee will be working in the public sector, and vice versa. An employee may hold the position of public servant yet be employed by a contractor or agency in the private sector. For job seekers this necessitates thinking out of the box if they want to pursue their desired career.
  • Flexible contracts and zero-hour contracts are expected to become common. Although a large number of employers and employees are used to the traditional world of work, new generations entering the workplace will find that it is possible to earn a good living from a collection or series of small jobs as opposed to the traditional one main job.
  • Thanks to technology, location will no longer restrict employees to specific types of work, and talent will become better distributed.
  • A zero-hour contract is a type of contract of employment containing provisions which create an ‘on call’ arrangement between employer and employee. The employer asserts that they have no obligation to provide work for the employee. The employee agrees to be available for work as and when required, so that no particular number of hours or times of work are specified. The employee is expected to be on call and receives compensation only for hours worked. (WikiPedia)

The nature of job hunting will change.

  • This is already a reality. Print is dying. Search engines are job seekers’ first stop when they are looking for jobs, therefore they will increasingly use Google or a job search aggregator.

Mobile technology will become synonymous with recruitment.

  • Statistics show that 51% of people in the UK are using their phones as their primary internet connection. A further 70% of job seekers are doing their job searching via mobile devices. South African studies also reflect this trend: more than half of digital time is spent on a tablet or smartphone.

Social media is here to stay.

  • Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are the main social media platforms, but only the tip of the iceberg in terms of potential mediums to leverage. Social media is being used to market vacancies, source candidates and build employer brands. It has also become a commonly-used tool to do background checks on potential job candidates (even more reason to keep one’s Facebook profile professional). Social media brings yet another angle to recruitment and the labour market: it also becomes easy for people to voice their opinions on sites, making brand reputation management a non-negotiable and service delivery a priority.
  • In the light of these main trends, it becomes clear that technology has caused the playing field to change rapidly, and will continue to do so. The fact remains that, regardless of whether curricula vitae are sent via mail or e-mail or by using a PC or a mobile device, at the heart of it all, recruitment is still about people.

Finding the right person for the right job cannot be achieved by technology alone. This is unlikely to change in the near future, and people will remain the core of the business.

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