Hiring Needs Are Changing Faster Than Ever — Here Are 2 Ways Your Team Can Keep Pace and Stay Agile

January 30, 2020

As new jobs emerge, new generations enter the workforce, and new technology transforms every industry, hiring needs are evolving — and fast. In fact, The Future of Recruiting Report found that keeping up with their company’s rapidly changing hiring needs will be the top concern for recruiting organizations over the next five years.

  • Screenshot from The Future of Recruiting Report  Title: Top priorities for recruiting over the next 5 years Percent who say these will be one of their team’s top priorities over the next 5 years:  Keeping up with rapidly changing hiring needs: 65% Keeping up with recruiting technology: 52% Showing business impact: 43% Leveraging data effectively: 43% Influencing business leaders: 41%

That means your recruiting team is going to need to be agile. And it’s not enough to be responsive when things change: To avoid falling behind, the time to start preparing is now

With that in mind, here are two proactive steps you can take to help your team keep pace — and get ahead. 

1. Hire and train recruiters to focus across functions

While there are certainly benefits to specialization, like being better equipped to speak to candidates about the technical aspects of their work, highly specialized recruiters may struggle to be flexible when your company needs it the most. That’s why it’s important to start cross-training all of your recruiters today, ensuring they’re able to step in to support the hiring efforts of other teams and functions when needed. 

Start by identifying the broad recruiting skills that every recruiter will need if they’re going to pitch in across your organization. The Future of Recruiting Report outlines a number of skills that are going to become even more important for recruiters over the next five years, including communication, relationship-building, problem-solving, and data analysis. Of course, your company may have unique needs and skills you prioritize, but this is a good place to start. 

When you have your list, develop content that every recruiter at the company should learn. Here’s an example of the kind of courses you might decide to offer:

Depending on your resources, you may be able to teach the skills on your curriculum internally, either by partnering with your company’s Learning and Development team to create a recruiter training program, or by working with some of your most experienced and knowledgeable recruiters to create resources for the whole team. You can also tap external resources, like the online courses available through LinkedIn Learning, to supplement your internal training programs and fill any gaps. For example, the course Performance-Based Hiring can give your entire team a strong foundation for sourcing, screening, and interviewing, while Josh Bersin’s course, Introduction to People Analytics, can help anyone interested in getting their feet wet with people analytics.  

Over time, you can also encourage recruiters across the organization to socialize and share knowledge in a casual, organic way. But creating formalized learning materials will make it easier to train new recruiters in these skills, so don’t neglect this step. 

Before you roll anything out, make sure all your recruiters know why you’re doing this and what’s expected of them. You can also emphasize that these offerings are a great way to learn new skills, grow their careers, and even become known as “pinch-hitters” who can do a bit of everything to help your team.

2. Set recurring meetings with executives and cascade learnings 

No matter how flexible your recruiters are, they’ll struggle to keep up with changing hiring needs unless key information is flowing from the top down. Having a strong grasp of what’s going on at the organization is essential — otherwise, your team will always be a step behind. 

You can ensure your recruiters are informed and on track by communicating regularly with your company’s leaders and passing knowledge down to the rest of your team. If you don’t already have a strong relationship with the C-suite, you may first need to request time with your leaders to discuss the challenge and establish what your team needs in order to rise to it. 

Positioning yourself as a strategic advisor is critical. In fact, The Future of Recruiting Report found that 82% of talent professionals believe advising business leaders will grow more important over the next five years.

  • Statistic from The Future of Recruiting Report:  82% say advising business leaders will grow more important over the next 5 years

Instead of waiting solely for business needs to drive your team’s work, take an advisory role and come to the table with information that your leaders might not otherwise have access to — like insights gained from talking to other departments and finding data about the core talent pools they’re targeting.

John Vlastelica, managing director at Recruiting Toolbox, recommends imitating your leaders’ speech patterns by using “if/then” statements — such as “if that function needs to hire 10 engineers in a month, then the recruiting team will need more resources.” He also suggests painting a picture of what will happen if you don’t take action. That way, when leaders ask for your advice, it will feel like their idea, not yours. 

Once you’ve established yourself as an advisor, be sure to touch base with your leaders often, then find an effective way to communicate key information to your team. Be sure to clearly outline what’s changed, what the new priorities are — and what this means for the organization. 

Don’t play catch-up — get a head start

Things are moving fast — but your team can be faster. By staying agile and prioritizing communication, you can ensure that your organization remains competitive, no matter how quickly its hiring needs evolve. 

For more insights into what the future holds for your team and how you can prepare, download The Future of Recruiting Report today.

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*Photo by Jonathan Chng on Unsplash