Hiring Trends for 2015

Economic forecasts are promising, and for many organizations, that means hiring managers and HR directors should plan for a busy 2015. Technology, the gig economy and an increased emphasis on qualifying candidates might influence how you find your brightest new talent, so think about how you’re going to handle an expanded workforce now so you’ll be prepared.

Internships on the Rise

Internships are nothing new, but they have become an increasingly important element of the hiring landscape, allowing HR directors to try candidates before they invest heavily in them. During the recent years of relatively high unemployment, the press of candidates allowed companies to be choosy about their hiring and led otherwise qualified candidates to take internships for less money. Unemployment is on the decline, but internships seem to be here to stay, at least for the near future. For younger candidates, internships are a matter of course, so if you’re in the market for recent graduates your organization can mold, consider beefing up your internship program.

Contractors and Freelancers Make an Impact

For many companies, hiring independent contractors instead of full-time personnel makes sense. By hiring a freelancer, you avoid expenses for healthcare coverage, retirement packages and other benefits traditional hires incur. Finding talent on your own, however, presents its own set of challenges, especially for hiring directors who must go on the hunt to find freelance help when needed. Your best bet is to work with independent contractors over the long haul. By keeping the same stable of freelancers for months or years, you maintain consistent quality and build a professional relationship based on mutual trust. For freelancers, long-term work can even be another avenue to traditional employment, letting the company bring on knowledgeable, skilled personnel who are known quantities without going through the usual lengthy talent search.

Job-Shopping Becomes More Common

With more job opportunities come more choices, so expect employees to consider their options. For HR directors, it’s a chance to restructure, letting your weaker team members find a better fit elsewhere while you focus on retaining your top talent. A more competitive market means you need to be ready to match offers, expand benefits packages and consider unconventional ways to secure your best employees’ loyalty. Work on creating a company culture that feels welcoming and supportive, and you’re likely to retain talent even without overhauling benefits or spending too much on salary increases.

ATS Reveals Shortcomings

Not too long ago, some HR directors hailed resume-ranking software and applicant tracking systems (ATS) as the next big thing in the industry. Time has lent perspective to those early views of ATS as a revolutionary way to hire and pointed out its weaknesses. Lack of familiarity with the software and applicants who have learned to use it to their advantage by seeding their resumes with keywords make it less efficient in practice than it is in theory. Automation also lets talented candidates slip away undetected, particularly those in creative fields who may have resumes that don’t follow traditional formats.

That doesn’t mean ATS software can’t be useful; when you have hundreds of applicants for a single position, finding some way of narrowing the field is crucial. Don’t rely on it to do all the heavy lifting, though, and spot-check resumes that rank low to be sure the system is properly calibrated to push the most promising resumes to the top.

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