Rounding out 2014, it was highly predicted that job competition would be the biggest trend in recruiting. Specifically, intense competition would make salary increases a prominent tool to lure candidates. Professional social network recruiting, passive talent recruiting, employer branding, and college recruiting all made the top lists of trends.

Reflecting on 2015’s Trend Predictions

As a government contractor closing out the 2015 recruiting year,  it’s time to take a few minutes to reflect back on the year’s recruiting trend predictions (from EreMedia.com and Forbes.com). The biggest trend predicted for 2015 was accurate. Job competition was a challenge for employers, due to the many delayed acquisitions and new cost pressures on contracts. Candidates are now weighing their job options with multiple offers from competing companies and varying industries. With intense company competition for new talent, the biggest impacts for increasing salaries were within the major metropolitan areas. Trends that declined in 2015 include: college recruiting, company career websites, and career fairs. Companies focused more on employer branding and digital recruitment practices, specifically social media, to expand the impact of the traditional active recruiter.

2016 Trends

Trends to be on the lookout for in 2016 include mobile platforms, social media, referral programs, and internet job boards. FierceWireless reported that online video streaming now accounts for 50% of all mobile traffic. Employers and candidates are taking advantage of the increasing number of digital tools available to render the company branding and candidate application process mobile-friendly. With social media sites and user profiles becoming the dominant information source for candidates, 2016 will deemphasize resumes and move towards accepting online professional profiles as a representation of candidate skills.

Referral programs continue to be significant for recruiting in 2016. Employers, such as Smartronix, will continue to recognize the value in all candidates, even those who do not move to employment status with us. We will  leverage all candidates as another recruitment tool by offering external referral incentives.

The final predominate trend for 2016 is the currently morphing vision of the internet job board. The typical resume viewing board is becoming obsolete. The best internet job boards are transitioning into social networking sites that incorporate more than just basic resume content. Dynamic career sites, such as ClearanceJobs, that allow you to instantly connect with candidates through an online messaging application and have the ability to view the candidate beyond their employment history –  with a deeper view into their goals and influencers – are strongly becoming the preference for recruiters. I predict that these types of online job portals will be the most utilized for both candidates and employers in 2016.

Job seekers: steer clear from the traditional career fairs that are limited to the old model of printing resumes and standing in lines as employers are drawing back from the excessive costs and top candidates do not have time to dedicate a day to search for random employment. Seek out those innovate fairs that go beyond resumes, and host dynamic virtual events with networking capability. Charge your mobile device and load it with the top social media sites that you wouldn’t normally use for employment and maximize networking by thinking outside the box.

Employers: ditch the over-tricked out company career sites and dump those funds into employer branding on social sites and marketing. Spend time on internet job boards that offer MORE. Networking is KEY! And last but not least, everyone is a referral. Follow the Smartronix external referral model, as there is value in every person you speak to and candidates can make money while helping their colleagues. If your referral process can be leveraged by all applicants and current employees, everyone wins.

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Maria Whitney is a Senior Recruiter at Smartronix. She's been in the HR industry for 13 years; focused on recruiting for over 11 years. Her experience ranges from private sector Engineering, Banking and Cleared Intelligence, to Cleared IT. Visit her on the Cleared Network.

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