CWS 3.0: January 18, 2012

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Recruiting: Go Hi-Tech or Go Home

As 2012 rolls forward, end users of contingent labor need to pay attention to how their suppliers are recruiting. Here’s why. As signs of economic and employment recovery continue to appear, staffing firms are turning their attention to talent acquisition and recruitment.

The most recent Staffing Industry Analysts survey of staffing firms has shown that on average 76 percent of survey respondents are expecting to increase recruiter hiring over the next 12 months; those plans cover all industry segments, not just the likely suspects (such as IT and healthcare). In fact, staffing firms indicated recruitment of talent is a bigger challenge than selling their services .

But what is more important and new are the shifts and developments underlying the current cycle’s talent and recruitment environment. These include candidate/applicant demographics and behavior, including those that are connected to the talent population’s use of technology.

In a recent article, Dow Jones News Analyst Joseph Walker observed: “Companies are spending more this year on recruiting but are focusing their dollars on more high-tech methods than in the past,” he wrote. “While job boards and outside recruiting agencies were still among the most popular methods of recruiting, some companies are shifting their spending into more high-tech strategies.”

Some of these include shifting attention from job boards to general and niche professional networking platforms and from transactional applicant tracking systems to much more powerful candidate relationship management systems that leverage social media and other technology to engage candidates and talents in more pervasive, contemporary ways.

Make sure that your staffing firm is on the cutting edge of recruitment. In this “return to recruitment cycle,” it appears that the availability and adoption of new technologies will present new uncertainties and challenges to staffing firms as they grapple with how to locate and complete for talent. Decisions such as how much to spend on recruiters vs. recruitment processes and technologies may need to be evaluated in a whole new frame of reference. You don’t want to lose out on the best contingent candidates.

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