The top 5 talent acquisition trends for 2015

Innovations in technology will drive a number of significant talent acquisition trends over the coming year, according to Futurestep.

As the economy strengthened in 2014, companies began allocating greater resources to manage their workforces, said Byrne Mulrooney, CEO of Futurestep.

“While rebuilding and expanding is on the corporate agenda, organisations are increasingly focused on quality of hires over quantity and using innovative solutions in HR technology to source smarter,” he said.

“This will continue to gain momentum in 2015 as companies hone their talent management processes to acquire specific types of candidates while consolidating recruitment processes to become more streamlined.” 

1. Mobile makes it easy. The use of talent acquisition technology solutions has advanced rapidly in the recruitment space with mobile being a stand-out, as industry research has found almost 50 percent of job seekers globally now search and apply for jobs using a mobile device.

Despite its popularity, Futurestep noted that many organisations are still without a mobile-ready career site and as a result are missing out on reaching a spectrum of well-connected candidates with fast-paced lives.

By putting mobile strategies first, whether sharing optimised content or facilitating video interviews on-the-go, businesses can not only extend their talent pool but also enhance their employer brand by creating a functional and enjoyable candidate experience.

“In the advent of mobile technologies candidates want companies to ‘meet them where they live’ which is on their smartphones,” said Neil Griffiths, global practice leader, talent communications & employer brand for Futurestep.

“Organisations must concentrate on honing their digital initiatives to engage passive, hard to reach candidates, whilst offering an excellent representation of employer brand and giving candidates a stand-out experience.”

2. Talent data capture enables C-suite decision making. As businesses increasingly use analytics to make informed decisions across the talent lifecycle, the tools they use to gather information continue to evolve.

Processes from applicant tracking to career development analysis are becoming better incorporated into candidate management systems, ensuring activities are more seamlessly integrated.

This intelligence gives HR a complete view of its recruitment function, enabling the department to align talent strategy with business strategy and, ultimately, prove its strategic value to the C-suite.

“Organisations are truly learning from the technology and data that’s available to them today,” said William Sebra, president of Futurestep for North America.

“With so much information on offer from outsourced activity such as apps, assessments and exit surveys, the HR department should be using the entire employee lifecycle to gather insight.

“Although overwhelming, businesses need to be braver and bolder to become smarter.”

3. Niche becomes the norm. The third talent acquisition trend involves more specific targeting of talented candidates. As organisations grasp the power of data, Futurestep said the challenge in 2015 will be to prove ROI on all activities using analytics.

At the recruitment level, a plethora of channels are now available to brands to reach prospective candidates.

Organisations need to be clear on the touch points that fit best with the type of candidate they are looking to attract and there is a real sense of implementing specific, quality processes over a multitude of different measures, particularly when it comes to finding niche talent.

As a result, interest and demand in creating functional talent communities is now top of mind as businesses strive to target hard to reach groups.

“Niche talent requires niche strategies,” said Chong Ng, president of Futurestep‚ Asia Pacific.

“Whether it is businesses seeking high demand talent such as STEM candidates, or organisations located in high potential growth locations looking to specifically attract local talent back in the country, employers need to be more sophisticated in their attraction and retention methodologies in order to find and keep candidates.”

4. Streamlining for success. Many large global organisations with a multitude of sites are turning to centralised models to manage their business and talent strategies.

To increase efficiency and accelerate growth, global businesses are investing in shared services infrastructures, allowing the streamlining of hiring process and cost reduction to ensure a consistent experience for candidates.

Looking ahead, businesses must be sure not to adopt a one-size fits all model, being conscious of the maturity and priorities of different markets, as well as specific cultural nuances to attract desired skills sets.

“While it may seem like a process that should already been in place, 2015 will see many global organisations operating with a global verses multi-country strategy,” said Jeanne MacDonald, president, global talent acquisition solutions for Futurestep.

“Leaders will be implementing shared services structures allowing them to select and leverage one RPO provider when they move to talent outsourcing, in a more effective way.”

5. Tailored tech takes off. There is much innovation and technology available to support talent management, but with many offerings in the early stages of development there will be a shake out as certain vendors start to capture market share in all areas, whether that is mobile, psychometrics or video interviewing.

Moreover, Futurestep predicted certain processes and tools being integrated into a wider market and not just used by early adopters.

“Organisations, particularly global ones with multiple business lines, want consolidated real-time information on-the-go to help them make informed decisions,” said Jonathan Brown, Vice President, Global Solutions for Futurestep.

“As a result many businesses are looking to leverage a talent consulting provider to help them better understand the technology options available to them.

“A third party which can identify, implement and streamline best-fit technology will help to drive both a company’s talent acquisition strategy and its business agenda.”