3 Key Shifts in the Candidate-Driven Workforce

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Dec 13, 2016 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights, hiring trends

We are seeing three major shifts in today's job market and recruitment practices, all impacting the role of the applicant in the recruitment process. Employees are seeing more job opportunities than they have in years, which means you need to take another look at your recruitment and employee management strategies. Let's break it down:

1. Recruitment Brings New Challenges

Recruitment in 2016 and 2017 is a double-edged sword for organizations that need to make new hires. On one hand, evidence shows an active job market that is finally reaching pre-recession unemployment rates in many areas with a net job gain of nearly 200,000 for the first quarter of 2016.

These figures point toward growth in employee empowerment and candidate-led job markets where competition for talent is increasing. The best applicants are now able to survey a variety of choices for benefits, workplace environment, and future opportunities in the company. They are also able to talk more easily to past or current employees via social media – as well as share job opportunities with their friends.

This means that brands can no longer put off plans to upgrade their strategies and adopt digital communication standards for outreach. The companies that seriously invest in online portals and focus on employee well-being; especially when it comes to features that young professionals love, like subsidized education opportunities and ongoing training, will find it much easier to recruit top applicants and retain them in the coming years. Brands that ignore these needs will find themselves falling behind as employees begin to expect more from employers.

2. Turnover Increases

If you do not know the turnover rate for your industry, you may want to look it up. It will probably be comforting, because here's the truth: every industry has turnover. Some sectors – seasonal, sales, etc. – see more turnover than others and it's something that every business often deals with.  It’s becoming a more common phenomenon. Turnover rates tend to increase when demand for new employees increases: On a basic level, your employees are simply more likely to leave if they can find another job elsewhere.

There are two important responses to turnover at your company. First, look at the positive side. If your turnover numbers are growing, it probably means your competitor turnover rates are higher as well. It's a symptom of a more active industry, and that means more opportunities for you to seize. From headhunting, to meeting those nagging talent goals for a position, and it may be time to take a look at recruitment again.

Second, you need to respond to higher turnover proactively without letting it negatively impact your business. Make sure that you keep the talent that you have sourced by offering today's employees exactly what they are looking for. It means keep a close track of competitor compensation rates so you can match or exceed them. It also means developing more flexible work schedules, BYOD policies, distance work arrangements, and other adaptable practices that today's workers are looking for. And yes, it absolutely means coaching current employees, making sure they are challenged enough (but not too much), and providing a future in the company for them. Always remember, the more that employees feel they belong, the fewer problems you'll have with high turnover.

3. Boomerang Employees Become More Common

Boomerang employees are those who leave the company and then return to work again. There are many reasons for boomeranging workers, but we know one thing: They are becoming more common. This is closely tied to wage rates which are not increasing as quickly as job growth and causing employees to jump around looking for more compensation in different position. It's also caused by our new flexible concept of a workplace, which means more workers are taking breaks for family or education and then trying to return.

So, what is the best policy for boomerang employees? Embrace them. It may seem like counterintuitive thinking at first, but boomerang employees are a very different thing from high turnover. They come with several advantages, including:

Experience with your company and guidelines, which means easier training.
A willingness to come back and work after exploring the job market, which leads to greater loyalty and a more positive workplace environment – they know this is the best option available.
More talent and experience, especially if they took a break to further their education or try out a different job.
Incentive to create healthy exit interview practices so that valuable employees are open to the idea of returning.

In other words, boomerang employees are good for your organization, especially if you have the right perspective. It's also a silver lining on any turnover problems you may be experiencing – but you should take advantage of it by leaving the door open for talent that you value.

If you are having issues with turnover rates and need a specialized recruiter, contact ICS today to help!