Most organisations are opting for online recruitment as their primary recruitment method, replacing the traditional forms. Picture: Pixabay

While top talent will always be an objective of recruitment, technology, big data and new generations entering the workplace means that the industry is dynamic and constantly evolving.

Jake Willis, CEO of youth employment agency, Lulaway, highlights some of the trends expected to characterise the recruitment industry over the next 12 months.

Social recruitment

Despite initial qualms from those in the recruitment industry, social recruiting (using social media for recruitment) has become a primary focus for recruitment departments.

The reasons for this trend are obvious. The average person spends two hours on social media every day. This means recruiters can target specific candidates cost-effectively while increasing efficiency.

Facebook is one of the most popular social media recruiting tool. It allows advertisers (in this instance, employers or recruiters) to target audiences using highly detailed criteria. This facilitates maximum reach to the right candidates, in a cost-effective way.

Engaging with passive candidates

Another emerging tendency in the social media space is the focus on ‘passive candidates’. Passive candidates are individuals who are currently employed and aren’t actively job-hunting, however, they would be open to discussing a new role if it came along. Employers are turning to social media to give these passive candidates insight into their brands. By engaging potential applicants using interesting and educational content, they are made aware of the company, its values and the workplace environment.

This allows employers and recruiters to build an audience or talent pool of interested candidates that they can tap into when opportunities arise. In turn, the prospective candidates who are already informed about the organisation need only decide whether or not they wish to apply for the vacant post.

Online recruitment

Most organisations are opting for online recruitment as their primary recruitment method, replacing the traditional forms.

Many online platforms available to recruiters are free and have a wider reach than the recruiter’s own pool of talent. Accessing a large pool of appropriate candidates cost-effectively and with minimal time investment is highly attractive to busy HR departments. Online job posts offer an effective way to get vacancies noticed quickly and is often more effective than newspaper advertising.

Widening the net, however, brings its own challenges. The ease of applying for a job can result in hundreds of qualifying and non-qualifying CVs being submitted per job. In such cases, online platforms, which provide screening and sorting mechanisms are an invaluable resource to employers.

Building talent pools

In addition, online platforms provide an efficient way to create a talent pool for future requirements. Many company websites invite job seekers or interested parties to register their resumes with them, regardless of whether they currently have vacancies. In this way, they create a pool of candidates who have already expressed an interest in joining the company. This can drastically reduce the often-tedious recruitment cycle when vacancies do arise.

Employer branding

Companies understand that they can no longer assume that a decent job offer is enough to attract the best talent. Subsequently, employers have begun to brand themselves as desirable places to work. By sharing their values and highlighting the pros of working in that company, they hope to motivate talented candidates to join their organisation.

They also hope to differentiate themselves from their competitors through attractive perks such as incentives or performance bonuses, retirement plans, and healthcare contributions. According to Glassdoor, 57 percent of people say that company benefits and perks are among the top considerations for people accepting jobs, making perks essential in highly competitive and specialised industries.

Reaching out to Millennials and Generation Z’s

With the growing number of Millennials and Generation Z’s entering the workplace, companies are finding out what motivates them and adapting to accommodate them. Work-life balance, finding meaning in their work and happiness in their workplace environment, as well as being treated as individuals are all high up on Millennials and Generation Z’s value chain.

Perks which are particularly attractive to the Millennials and Generation Z’s include full tuition reimbursement, onsite gyms, free on-site cafeterias, housing allowances, paid parental leave, paid sabbaticals, paid leave to volunteer, and onsite free childcare.

Diverse workforces

Research shows that diverse teams are more productive, more creative and achieve higher overall performance. A company that values diversity hiring recognises that a diverse workforce enriches the workplace and will positively affect both the image of the company and its bottom line.

The organisation’s culture plays a critical role in its branding. Diversity is no longer a ‘nice to have’ or a tick-box item for a company’s BEE scorecard. It enjoys increasingly high value as many employees are attracted to companies where diversity is welcomed and sought after.

People Analytics

People analytics (also known as talent analytics or HR analytics), is becoming more widely used in the recruitment space. People analytics is the application of statistics, technology and machine learning to large sets of talent data, which results in more efficient recruitment processes, more accurate hiring decisions and hopefully higher productivity and employee retention rates.

The proliferation of online activities means that data is constantly being created. The key is not to merely collect the data, but to interpret it and understand the importance (or lack thereof) of each data point.

Harnessing big data to drive optimal HR processes is still in its early phases. However, it is expected to increase significantly in the years to come.

Signing the contract is not the end

The recruiter’s job is not over when the contract is signed. There is little point spending time and money on recruiting the best talent, only to have them leave because they did not feel welcome or understand what was expected of them.

Top trends in the onboarding process include assigning a mentor/buddy for a few weeks, guided tours of the company and a welcome event to introduce new people to colleagues.

For entry-level employees, where the pay is low and conditions demanding, an induction programme is non-negotiable if employee retention is desired.

Research conducted by Lulaway shows that a day-long induction can increase three-month retention rates by 20 percent. The entry-level recruitment company’s induction programme includes an explanation of workplace protocols, job expectations and clarifications about leave and salary arrangements. New employees feel more confident as a result. With their anxieties addressed, they can quickly become valuable members of the team.