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Director of HR, Brand-Leading Food & Beverage Manufacturer

LifeWork Search's Hiring Trends 2015

2015 will be a great year in hiring, whether you are a candidate or a hiring manager, IF you pay attention to the trends.  The market is shifting and it is important to move with it.  Below is a list of the top hiring trends we are tracking for 2015. 

  1. Generational and power shifts.
  2. Skills gap continue to widen.
  3. Candidate driven market
  4. Focus on retention. 

Let’s dive deeper into each trend and share insight from a recruiter’s perspective on how to stay ahead of the curve, ensuring you reach your hiring goals in 2015.  

1.  Generational and power shifts.

The U.S. Census Bureau confirms that 3.4 million people will turn 65 in 2015.    Along with those just turning 65, there are many who, although turned 65 a few years back, remained in the workforce due to the recession and their retirement accounts being negatively impacted.  Now that the economy has improved, it is likely they will also retire in 2015.  In turn, millennials will become the largest percentage of the workforce for the very first time!

Many surveys show that a large percentage of millennials are already in manager level roles.  As more baby boomers retire and millennials enter leadership roles, employers will need to find ways to transfer valuable skills to younger staffers. In addition, HR departments will need to develop strategies to train and motivate millennials. 

How do you motivate millennials?  Some of the top motivators include: 

  • Career-pathing: show them there is upward mobility in your organization. 
  • Mentoring:millennials thrive on “looking up” to someone.  Let your top players be a part of guiding the younger generation.  
  • Flex scheduling: this is huge.  Offering a healthy work-life balance can be more important to millennials than compensation.    
  • Rewards: millennials like to be recognized for their work.  Money is of course a nice motivator, however rewarding them with things like time off, fun office/group activities, and even a simple pat on the back, can encourage them to work harder. 

2.  Skills gap continue to widen.

According to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, 5 million U.S. jobs will be unfilled in 2020 due to the skills gap.  This is especially true in Supply Chain.  If you ask supply chain executives what their biggest challenges are in hiring talent, the lack of analytical skills mixed with emotional intelligence is often noted.  

With supply chain’s growing popularity as a career choice, many universities have created supply chain degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  However, many believe college supply chain curriculums do not align with current supply chain needs.  For example, many students come out of supply chain programs with little to no knowledge of popular supply chain softwares, and more importantly have only basic knowledge of tools such as Microsoft Excel.  To alleviate this problem, many companies have started working with colleges to make sure students get the necessary skills to fill the gap.  It is also important to have proper training programs in place to be able to mold your talent and give them the skills that they, by no fault of their own, may lack.  

3.  Candidate driven market.

Combining the generational shift and the skills gap already referenced, there are more roles open then there are people to fill them.  In turn, the candidate possesses all the power.  Candidates have multiple roles to select from causing it to become a very competitive environment for companies looking to hire. 

Here are some of the things our recruiters are seeing:

  • More than ever, highly-skilled, top-performing candidates are in demand. It is still sometimes difficult to communicate this fact to hiring managers and other company stakeholders.
  • The competition for technical leadership talent is brutal right now. There is tremendous pressure to attract new talent and hold on to those already employed.
  • Candidates have more options than they have had in years. Yet clients still seem surprised when their low-ball offers are turned down.
  • Some clients are still not adjusting to this market change and, as a result, are dragging the process along and losing good candidates.
  • Candidates are often turned off when companies do not keep the process moving, making the closing process all the more difficult if it gets to the offer stage.

4.  Focus on retention. 

Now that we have made the case for a candidate driven marketplace, companies may be at greater risk of losing their top performers in 2015.  So, how do you retain your current talent while attracting new talent?  Succession planning, competitive wages, and employer branding are key.  

Here are our recruiters’ thoughts on the issue:

  • There is no doubt that succession planning is going to be a major concern for companies starting next year as more boomers start to retire.
  • Companies that provide the mentoring and training that Millennials crave are not only working toward retention of their brightest talent, they are grooming the future leaders of the organization.
  • Although career growth is what's most important to candidates, it doesn't mean that companies can make wage increases a last thought. Salaries are going to have to come up to attract top performers.  However, no amount of money will make them stay in a role that appears to have no future.
  • Salary and benefit packages need to be aggressive, not simply market-competitive.
  • Employer branding is more important than ever to entice star talent. If a company appears to be disjointed in its branding, saying one thing but doing another, candidates will not stay long.
  • Clients need to provide stronger offers without elongated interviewing processes. They should also avoid involving too many internal interviewers, especially if the interviewers are not in a management role of real authority.  A long interviewing process ultimately hurts the company’s brand. 

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