What the 2015 Jobs Outlook Means for Recruiters

January 2, 2015

Recent jobs data makes it official: experts agree that the power has shifted into the hands of the candidate.

The November jobs report painted the first really rosy picture we’ve seen in a long time. CNNMoney's analysis touted job gains of 321,000, “crowning 2014 as the strongest year for job growth since 1999.” Unemployment remained at 5.8%, up from 7% at the same time last year.

This power shift signals some significant changes for recruiters, although minus the hassle of the Y2K scare we faced the last time things looked this good. Following are a few tips for navigating the new environment into 2015.

1. Strong passive candidate recruiting tactics become even more important as talented people will be encouraged to make a move.

With more jobs added and the outlook improving, more people will be comfortable with the idea of changing roles – in fact, 75% of candidates are open to switching jobs.

Yet LinkedIn’s 2015 Global Recruiting Trends report showed that only 61% of companies have a strategy for passive candidate recruiting. That just doesn’t add up.

Two steps you can take to boost passive candidate recruiting start on your own turf: with hiring managers and colleagues.

Interviews with LinkedIn Talent Solutions customers with the best InMail response rates revealed that acting as a real adviser to hiring managers is an important first move. Meet to develop a deep understanding of the skills and personality requirements for a role, then create an employee value proposition for each position.

Then, tap a ready internal resource – your colleagues. Make it everyone’s job to identify and recruit great candidates. Connect with colleagues to solicit referrals and cull top talent from their networks.

And remember, think long-term with your relationships. While some candidates may be too junior, not ready to move, or not quite right for the current role, today's up-and-coming analyst could be tomorrow's top-performing hire.

2. Increased hiring means more noise, so do your homework and make your communications count.

Job gains surpassed economists’ expectations by nearly 1.5x, according to a CNNMoney survey. "Companies are making up for hiring that was deferred earlier in the cycle," Patrick O'Keefe, director of economic research at accounting firm CohnReznick, told the outlet.

More hiring means more noise, more companies approaching candidates. Stand out by doing your research. Get smarter on the industry. Send fewer, more targeted InMails. When you do reach out, focus on the prospect and what they have to gain from a conversation with you. Explain why you think they’d be a great fit for the role and what you think they could contribute.

Then, be patient. Rather than hounding prospects, stay top-of-mind by sharing articles, commenting in Groups or posting your own content. Status updates help you stay visible and showcase your knowledge.

3. The lag in compensation growth will change, so stay on top of the market.

While job growth is up, experts say wage growth isn’t keeping pace – although they expect that to change as companies struggle to find the highly skilled workers they need.

The Wall Street Journal reports that “companies are hiring, and in some fields the number of open jobs exceeds the number of qualified or available workers.”

The article continues, “the pressure will drive stronger wage growth in the near future, a phenomenon that may have already begun, based on data from the Labor Department showing that hourly wages rose 0.4% in November.”

Employers around the world agree that compensation is already one of their biggest obstacles to attracting top talent, according to the Global Recruiting Trends report. In 2015, it will be important for recruiters to understand the wage situation in the market and make sure the company remains competitive.

4. The young workforce offers rich hunting ground.

When top talent is getting tough to find and tougher to land, it makes sense to start growing your own.

Oddly, millennials appear to be an overlooked group in the grand scheme of hiring: only 33% of global companies say hiring young professionals (0-3 years out of school), is central to their talent acquisition strategy.

Now may be a good time to pick up promising young people with good foundational skills. 

CNN reports that, “while hiring is picking up, many of the jobs aren't high-paying ones. Millennials, in particular, have lost ground, according to a new report from the Young Invincibles, an advocacy group for that generation.”

Young folks who are underemployed and underpaid could be a great source for building your company’s bench strength. For more tips on recruiting millennials, check out this post.

Tweet to us @HireOnLinkedIn and share your thoughts on the hiring outlook for 2015.

* image by David Yu

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