The Recruitment Evolution by Louise Allen

Before we talk about the recruitment industry and 2013 trend predictions it’s important for us to reflect on 2012 and the challenges it presented. Our global economy has seen a continuing shift in the balance of activity move away from advanced economies and toward emerging markets, creating an increasingly complex economic landscape.  The October 2012 edition of the World Economic Outlook suggests ‘bouts of elevated uncertainty have been one of the defining features of the sluggish recovery from the global financial crisis’.  

We witnessed companies implementing even more sophisticated cost saving strategies. As a result many technology organisations saw their customers deferring/cancelling their projects which had no immediate revenue return or cost saving.  This subsequently affects industry revenue growth, which is intrinsically linked with recruitment.  

Unemployment remains elevated in many developed economies, with the situation in Europe being the most challenging. A double-dip recession in several European economies has impacted certain markets. It isn’t all bad news however. According to the UN’s recent ‘World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013’ report East Asia and Latin America have already retreated to, or dropped below, unemployment levels seen prior to the global financial crisis. The global Recruitment industry is also currently worth around $400 billion. 

Our global economy may take time to improve, but the competition for top talent continues with vigor. Recruitment is still an essential function within any organisation. Recruiters are having to recognise the current existential challenges and adapt to their changing market place. The ability to embrace innovation, rather than ignore it, will be a defining characteristic for any successful recruiter.  

Key trend predictions: 

- 2012 was the year of social media which had a significant impact on talent management and how the recruitment market operates. This will continue into 2013 and beyond, with traditional job boards becoming archaic. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will continue to become the primary vehicle for candidate engagement. LinkedIn’s revenues have recently demonstrated an 81% year-over-year growth with 2012 fiscal projections now reaching $944M. In comparison Monster reported declining revenues and share prices for the same period. It’s early days but Facebook have also announced their Social Jobs Application. With an audience of over one billion it was only a matter of time. 

- The ‘War for Talent’ will continue.  The importance of attracting, hiring and retaining skilled and experienced human capital is fundamental for an organisation’s success. Even in our current market our talent pool of skilled professionals remains slender. Talent Management is instrumental in enhancing business value.  

- Competition around Employer branding will become even stronger. According to a study by Employer Brand International, there has been a 209% increase globally in companies using social media to communicate their employer brand since 2009. As a work force we expect better career development opportunities, increased flexibility and overall workplace satisfaction. The days of candidates paying to advertise their CV’s is in sharp decline, with employers now driving specific methodologies to attract talent to their door. According to LinkedIn, 94% of companies plan to increase or at least maintain their investment and budget around their employer brand in 2013. 

- Growth of in-house functions/RPO Solutions and rise of the niche recruiter will continue to dominate the market. The current global economic climate means companies are implementing more complex cost savings, and recruitment is a key focus. According to the Wall Street Journal at least 25% of Fortune 500 companies now have some type of internal recruitment function. Search firms, already feeling the struggle with the sluggish economy, are losing nearly $500 million a year in revenue to internal recruiters. That figure is set to double by 2017.   

In summary I predict 2013 will be a year of ongoing change within the recruitment market due to digitization of services and current economic challenges which are transforming the way recruitment models operate. These are exciting and testing times. 
Wishing you a great year. 

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