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Korn Ferry Futurestep predicts top talent trends in 2016


Byrne Mulrooney, CEO of Futurestep, said, “Today companies are taking an even more strategic approach to talent acquisition, becoming increasingly inventive to attract and retain valuable candidates.



“While 2015 indicated the start of this thoughtful attitude to hiring, next year we expect this approach to pay off as organisations start to see the fruits of their labour, with the right talent being matched to the right position and making a truly lasting impact.”



The trends that Futurestep believe will shape the global recruitment and talent management industry in 2016 are:



  1. Candidates are in the driver’s seat
    According to McKinsey's 2015 Global Growth Model study, from 2005-2015 there were three times as many workers as retirees. By 2025, the ratio of workers to retirees will be 1:1, making the candidate pool much smaller. Couple that with a need for specialised employees, especially in the technology and life sciences fields, and it is clear candidates are in the driver’s seat. Often entertaining multiple job offers, workers are choosing the employer whose values align with their own and one that lays out a clear path to career advancement for them – making a strong employer brand critical to winning the best talent.


  1. Investment hiring to edge out competition
    Companies are increasingly looking beyond just the skills and background workers bring to the table. Instead, they are hiring people with the right traits and motivations who can be trained on-the-job for professions from software coding to customer service. More often than in the past, these employers are becoming less adamant about hiring only college graduates and are evaluating people on their ability to perform in the future.
  2. Smart data to source and develop talent
    Metrics, like time-to-hire, cost-per-hire and source-of-hire (while remaining key operational metrics and relevant), are now simply table stakes, and many companies are today hiring full-time analysts to mine for more in-depth talent metrics. This has included analysis of competitor talent pools to find candidates with the right skills who have potential to join their organisation, and even data on whether full-time or part-time employees bring the highest ROI. In addition, companies are using data to capture a whole-person analysis of candidates to determine if they have the competencies, experiences, traits and drivers to succeed. When hired, this type of data can help guide individualised development programs.
  3. Streamlined HR technologies enabling centralised global recruitment
    Increasing globalisation has been the catalyst for many organisations consolidating their HR function, acknowledging it as a shared service in line with IT and finance – the ultimate aim being to align talent with wider business strategies and improve operational efficiency. HR technology will become more streamlined as clients turn from multiple HR technology vendors to bundling their human capital management, applicant tracking systems and video interviewing, all on one platform. Even the areas of talent acquisition and talent development, which have traditionally worked in silos, will come closer together for improved succession planning.
  4. Candidate concierge experience
    Talent acquisition leaders are more conscientious of the candidate experience; 2016 will see a rise in adoption of new services and investments designed to make a lasting impression on future employees. Services will become more personalised as the likes of candidate concierge services come into play. Here, candidates are sent a link to download an app for their mobile device that would offer GPS guidance to the exact location of an interview, a complete rundown of with whom they will speak, and when on the corporate campus, geo-location beacons will send notifications as candidates pass campus landmarks. This trend will go beyond technology. Recruiters will be expected to deliver “the white glove treatment” for candidates; giving special tours of other departments within the company, developing presentations on the company culture and providing lunch between interviews will be de rigueur.
  5. Talent from within will be realised as a true asset
    Instead of focusing outside of their organisations for talent, many companies are integrating formal internal mobility programs with dedicated portals for employees to learn about opportunities and share their interests and abilities. Sourcing internally has its benefits, from a shorter time to productivity – existing employees already have an understanding of the business – to lower staffing costs, which as a result means better financial performance. It also provides greater levels of employee satisfaction and retention. This reduces competitive intelligence leakage and positively impacts an organisation's employment value proposition as a result.
  6. Graduate recruiting for today and into the future
    College recruiting is more prevalent than it’s been since the great recession. Companies see grads as a strategic asset – they bring new, fresh thinking, are drivers of innovation and change. They can immerse themselves and ‘seed’ the culture of the organisation, making them “home-grown talent.” If they don’t have all of the needed skills and experiences, they can be trained on the job. In addition, graduate hires can create a sustainable managerial/executive pipeline of high-potential talent. Be warned, however, that millennials often demand to be advised of their proposed trajectory for several career moves within the organisation, or they may not accept the job or leave after a short period.
  7. Embracing diversity proving key to growth
    While equal opportunities in the workplace have always been important, this has now changed tack from a box-ticking exercise to a true necessity. This year we saw organisations understand the real value of minority groups, including women and veterans, and moving forward into 2015 we can expect to see them receive even further attention. In fact, it is estimated that nearly one million active members of the military will be making the transition to civilian service within the next few years, bringing tremendous skills to the marketplace. This isn’t just a volume exercise for industries that are plagued by a lack of skilled talent, such as STEM, but also a strategic one. New data is constantly supporting why diversity positively impacts business performance and in 2016 we will begin to see to start its impact.

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