Companies Adjust to Candidate-Driven Job Market

With unemployment down and business confidence up, companies are spending more to improve their productivity and keep employees from departing. Let’s examine some new data from Randstad Sourceright.

February 6, 2018 – Businesses are bolstering efforts to improve the workplace experience, fueled in part by record-low unemployment and a spike in business confidence, according to a recently released report by Randstad Sourceright.

Based on a global survey of more than 800 C-suite and human capital leaders, the “2018 Talent Trends Report” found that 51 percent of employers planned to increase their investments in on-site benefits and innovative technologies this year to improve productivity and retain top talent. This comes as 70 percent of companies reported an optimistic business outlook for 2018, while concerns for talent scarcity continued to remain top of mind.

“Beating the competition for talent in 2018 begins in the workplace,” said Rebecca Henderson, CEO of Randstad Sourceright. “Record-low unemployment levels and a growing skills gap are driving employers to focus on improving their overall workplace experience so they can retain top employees and attract potential talent.”

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Looking Ahead

Over the next 12 months, three quarters of the respondents said they also planned to enhance their company comprehensive hiring processes by investing in innovative HR technologies and data analytics platforms, said Randstad. More than 76 percent, in fact, said they expected talent analytics platforms to play a critical role in sourcing, attracting, engaging and retaining talent this year. Still, employers stressed that technology must be coupled with expert insights to deploy a hiring strategy that is personalized and engaging for each potential candidate.

Related: For Executive Search Firms, Analytics Can be a Game Changer

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“This year will witness an acceleration in the adoption of talent analytics as organizations become more data-driven,” said Roop Kaistha, regional director, APAC, Talent Innovation Center at Randstad Sourceright. “The results of their investments will have a positive impact on the business for years to come.”

Surprisingly, a limited number of companies are investing in on-site training programs to prepare their current workforce for in-demand jobs of the future, according to Randstad Sourceright. Only 11 percent of the human capital leaders surveyed said they planned to provide training or reskilling to existing employees within the next 12 months. With talent acquisition challenges becoming increasingly complex, the report emphasized that reskilling current workers can be part of a comprehensive strategy for companies to acquire critical resources while boosting employee retention.

Additionally, one out of four companies planned to shift more permanent positions to temporary or freelance talent to address the rising talent shortage, with 76 percent reporting that the right person for any role may be an employee, contractor or contingent worker and could come from anywhere in the world.

Related: Companies Reshaping Work Strategies to Adapt In Gig Economy

“At the end of the day, companies faced with a tight labor market must pursue a multi-pronged hiring strategy that incentivizes top performing employees, while attracting hard-to-find talent,” said Ms. Henderson. “By implementing an integrated talent approach, companies can improve their workforce agility, retain top employees and increase their employer value proposition to better manage talent and drive overall business growth.”

Top Four 2018 Key Talent Trends

1. HR Technology: Sixty-eight percent of C-suite and human capital leaders said they believe technology has made recruiting simpler and more effective, while 70 percent said it has helped to make smarter hiring decisions. Top technology investments included talent analytics (59 percent), training and development (54 percent), candidate assessment (49 percent), and workforce collaboration (47 percent). “As technology proliferates, the world of work will also benefit,” said Michel Stokvis, managing director of the Talent Innovation Center at Randstad Sourceright. “You can expect a better user experience and useful information to help you get work done.”

Assessment Tools to Play Bigger Role In Hiring
Managers today estimate that 1-in-5 employees should not have been hired, according to a new study by CEB, a best practice insight and tech company. This may be because applicants didn’t meet basic requirements (65% won’t), the cultural fit with the organization wasn’t there or the hiring manager lacked the evidence-based tools to make a good decision.

2. Business Optimism / HR Leading Growth: Seventy percent of employers anticipated that their business will grow during the year ahead, up from 64 percent in 2017. Eighty-four percent of talent leaders said that the work they do prepares their organization for the future, the highest mark since Randstad Sourceright began conducting this study in 2015. Another 77 percent reported that HR leaders deserve a voice in the organization regarding strategic new decisions, also a new high. “Good news for talent leaders: The C-suite is coming to you more,” said Cindy Keaveney, chief people officer of Randstad Sourceright. “The bad news? They’re counting on you more and will hold you accountable. To succeed, break out of the siloed thinking and start creating business value through talent strategy.”

3. Candidate Experience: Ninety-two percent of employers said that a positive job candidate experience is critical to attracting and engaging talent. Three-quarters (75 percent) said they planned to improve their candidate experience in the next year. The report said that as companies grapple for today’s competition for talent, companies can potentially lose out on the people they need because of poorly designed recruitment and engagement efforts. Now more than ever, companies must examine their strategies.

“The best way to keep candidates and employees excited about your organization is to deliver a positive experience,” said Jennifer Klimas, director of employer brand for the Talent Innovation Center at Randstad Sourceright. “Everything from how candidates are treated during the apply and interview process to offering flexible schedules for employees impacts how your organization is perceived. Treat talent well and your organization will thrive.”

4. Automation Adoption: Eighty-one percent of respondents said they felt positive about automation, machine learning and robotics in the workplace over the next three to five years. Nearly as many (70 percent) said technology was already helping them make better hiring decisions. When it came to technology deployed in HR, there was a widespread consensus (65 percent) that employers’ technology strategies have either transformed or had a positive impact on business. “The power of art official intelligence can’t be overstated,” said Jason Roberts, global head of technology and analytics at the Talent Innovation Center at Randstad Sourceright. “The has clearly become one of the resources organizations should consider when developing a highly agile workforce.”

Related: How Automation Will Alter the Jobs Landscape

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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