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How to recruit in 2014?: Global Recruiting Trends


The global economy is expected to see only a modest recovery, with growth of 3.6% in 2014, less than was the case before the ‘credit crunch’ of 2008. Almost 202 million people were unemployed globally around the world in 2013, an increase of nearly 5 million on the year before. The crisis related global jobs gap continues to widen, reaching 62 million jobs, with 32 million additional jobseekers, 23 million people who are so discouraged they no longer look for jobs and 7 million that prefer not to participate in the jobs market. When it comes to recruitment, we wouldn’t advise using too many statistics, though. It’s easy to get confused by too much data when hiring. Our advice here is keeping it simple and stick to a few core measures.

So what do the seemingly mixed messages we are receiving about the high unemployment rates versus the skills shortage mean for recruiters and job seekers?

Here are our top tips for recruiting in 2014. Let’s peel away the layers and take a look. We reckon there are 5 key things to getting this thing cracked.

1.    Use of social media

In future, more and more candidates will be hired and promoted based on their reputation. reports that 94% of employers are using social media for recruiting and that number is likely to rise to 100% next year. Employers have realised that they cannot cope with the fact that there are more CVs around than there are jobs and they need to find effective ways to screen them out. Some use HR programs that filter out, say, those that didn’t graduate. Some use tests, for example, critical thinking skills tests. Even smaller companies now start the process by looking at your social profiles before giving you an interview to see if you will fit into the corporate culture and if anything negative comes up for your name. So make sure you’ve got your social profiles sorted and cleaned up if necessary. Remember, once something is out there on the Internet, it stays there, so be careful what you post.

2.    Reputation counts for both companies and job seekers

Did you know that 42 million jobs a year need to be created on a global scale simply to cope with the number of new job market entrants that come onto the market each year? Yet decent job creation has slowed following the ‘credit crunch’ of 2008, companies have been slower to hire and are more risk averse partly because banks are still unwilling to lend as they seek to consolidate financial assets. Corporations have been taking advantage of low interest rates to invest in ‘financial capital’ (share and asset buy backs for example) rather than physical capital or job creation. It is apparent that the gap is widening – there are too many people chasing too few jobs and it’s not going to get better any time soon, so companies can afford to hold out until they find the perfect hire so how are you going to stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons?

3.    Harnessing IT for recruitment

Technological advancements include increasing use of mobile for recruiting and the use of video. As you would expect, skills gaps, coupled with the need to source the right people and having to cast your net wider to find them, means that it’s not possible to conduct face to face interviews so, candidates, too, need to up their game. Get on Skype, produce a video CV and tidy up your social media profiles. Create a website to showcase your talents. Think of ways in which you’ll be noticed and can get a shot at an interview. Producing a standard CV does not cut it any more.

On the candidate side, the Internet has created more opportunities for jobs in a global marketplace. The Bureau of Labor Statistics show that people have on average 11 jobs between the ages of 18 and 34. A recent study by CareerBuilder shows that about 75% of job seekers will accept a lower salary for a good Brand. This means companies that are hiring need to pay close attention to their Brand management policies and have a clear communication strategy when sending messages out to potential candidates and external recruiters, as well as ensuring they have good clear internal communication strategies. You are being assessed and measured up just as much by the candidate. Ask yourself, what makes your company different? Articulating clear messages is vitally important for retention as well as recruitment: employees are increasingly restless and surveys show they are constantly on the lookout for new job opportunities, even when they’ve only just joined you.

4.    Good for men in overalls/bad for men in suits

The growth of the middle class includes the developing middle class living on US$4-13 per day (compared to 839 million working people globally living on $2 per day) and the expansion of the more secure middle class, living on above US$13 per day. Generally, companies have stripped out middle management preferring to skill up from the bottom up; or expecting senior management to multi-task and carry out hybrid roles. So there’s still a place for Head-Hunting and Executive Search at the top, and recruiting for skilled tradespeople at the ‘bottom’. In other words, things are polarising. A lack of specialist tradesmen (for example, it’s very difficult to get your car serviced in Australia as there’s a country-wide shortage of mechanics), means that there is a great demand for skilled tradespeople in specific industries.

Industries facing chronic skills shortages also include engineering, healthcare and IT or, rather, there may be the right candidates but they are not in the right place (for you). The government’s Help-to-Buy scheme which has fuelled new house builds, and some large scale industrial construction projects, notably Hinckley Point nuclear power station (the first to be built in the UK for 20 years) and the recent announcement that the UK has the strongest growth in Europe, has stimulated overseas recruitment (mainly contract workers). The shortages are cross border, though, not just the UK.

5.    Internal Hiring

Don’t overlook the blindingly obvious. It makes good sense to look after your people and promote from within. It strengthens Brand loyalty, encourages other good people to join, lowers recruiting costs and facilitates retention. There is some evidence that shows internal recruitment departments are increasingly focusing on this strategy and looking to home grown recruits to fill an increasing number of internal job vacancies. 

Work with your strategic partners

Finally, remember, with the right recruitment services partner, this is a powerful, winning, strategy. Your external recruiter can often locate the right resource for you, it’s just that it may take time to recruit across borders, so set realistic deadlines and communicate clearly with your strategic partners.

Make decisions quickly or you will lose the good candidates (24 hour response times, ideally). If it’s that important to you why should it take longer?


Author: Chris Slay


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