What’s the future of recruiting in 2016? I don’t have a crystal ball (officially), but I do host a show called DriveThruHR, where I talk to people on a daily basis about their recruitment challenges — and I’ve learned a few things along the way. Based on what I hear day in and day out from recruiters and job seekers alike, here are seven ways I believe recruiters will be blindsided in 2016.
1. Candidate Ego is Out of Control.
Today’s job market is eerily similar to 1999. Recruiters have to understand the candidate ego. It is massive, and it’s becoming a mainstream phenomenon to ask for everything. Expectations in areas where there is scarcity are crazy. Conversations with candidates harken back to the day when we paid $80,000 for someone who knows HTML. Recruiters need to understand that the game has changed. Candidates have all the power, and the egos will run amok.
2. Transparency Means Something.
Candidates in 2016 want to know about the CEO. They want to know about the hiring manager. They’ve got to know everything. Recruiters are used to searching for candidates on the Web. Now these candidates are doing it to us, and it’s a bit uncomfortable. They want to know what the job, the company, the culture, and the values are about. Recruiters must be prepared to have robust and honest conversations about every aspect of the job. If you can’t handle this, you’ll lose talent.
3. Actionable Feedback.
There’s no shortage of talk about the candidate experience. Anyone who applies for a job is a potential customer of yours and a potential advocate in the marketplace. However, in 2016, candidates just don’t want status updates. They want actionable feedback. Turns out it’s hard to give actionable feedback if you talk to 100 people each day. Time to start improving your screening process and implementing assessments to do some of this work for you.
Talk to fewer people, and have better conversations. If a candidate doesn’t get a job, offer four ways he or she can improve and potentially land this job the next time you have this job open. That kind of interaction is so much more rewarding than an email that says, “You were considered, but you’re not worthy.” Those days are over as a recruiter.
4. Brutal Feedback.
If actionable feedback is required, brutal feedback is mandatory. Candidates will demand it. Recruiters can no longer be situationally honest and create white lies to avoid lawsuits. If a candidate doesn’t fit, tell them why it’s not going to work out. Also, if the position scope changes, which happens all the time, be honest about that, too. Just be honest with your candidates. Do right and fear no man.
Candidates of all ages are coming to the table with a demand to know more about the future. They’re looking at the entry point, but they want to know what’s next. Recruiters must talk about the current opportunity, but also what lies ahead if a candidate does well and continues to grow. Careerpathing doesn’t have to lead to a discussion about job titles, either. It can be about travel, projects, or new teams. Recruiters will drop the ball if they can’t help candidates see themselves embedded in an organization in 2016 and beyond.
Many recruiters paid lip service to learning, development and training — all of the experiential things we overlooked during the recession. But if you’re not growing an employee’s skills, why would she stay? Employees are no longer just happy to have a job. They want a better job. They want a better life. If recruiters can’t have the discussion around substantive training and development with a specific plan, they’ll lose every time in 2016.
7. Texting Beats Email.
Recruiters have a one-directional mentality toward candidate communications. We’re going to communicate to you whenever we want to communicate to you, and you’re going to like it. In 2016, candidates get to drive the frequency and medium of communication. They expect text messages and regular status updates. If you can’t do that, or worse, won’t do it, you’ve already shown yourself as someone who’s slow to the game. Recruiters should ask, “Where do you want me to meet you? You’re what’s important here, and I’ll defer to your communication style.”
The big question is, now that you know what to pay attention to, what are you going to do about it?
Agree/disagree with my list? Think I missed something? Let me know in the comments, and let’s have a conversation.
This month, our team is sharing ideas on how to make the most of your remaining days in 2015 and set yourself up for success in 2016. Sign up for our newsletter to get the best recruiting insights delivered right to your inbox.