This being the first in a series of blogs from the professionals at Oggi, I would like to thank you for being part of our network and taking the time to keep your finger on the pulse of the marketplace. We are extremely excited about 2014. We foresee continued rapid growth for Oggi Professional Services mostly due to the hardworking and talented people here at Oggi and more importantly the tremendous people like yourself that we have the honor of serving every day.
When I founded Oggi Professional Services in 2010 it was amidst the trailing exhaust of the Great Recession. At that particular time we were hard pressed to find an Analyst that could accurately answer the question: “Where will we be in 2014?” The uncertainty in the marketplace was paralyzing for most – regardless of the industry covered. But now here we are in 2014 with optimism surrounding. Coming into the first quarter of this year it is difficult to find even the largest economic skeptic that would not acknowledge the tremendous strides made in 2013 and that key economic indicators foreshadow an employment increase in 2014.
When we set out to forecast hiring we look at many key indicators, statistics and frankly qualitative movements in the marketplace; (i.e.), wants, needs, and desires of people like you and organizations like yours.
Here are a few general market trends that can be expected in 2014.
- Being Social can pay…. but know how to break the ice
Social media will continue to be a huge asset in the recruiting toolbox for agencies and corporations alike. Like any other “tool” the craftsperson has to understand when and how to utilize the availability of social media. Navigating social norms and accepted forms of communication can vary from site to site. For example; people often quote Facebook as a great recruiting tool and it can be. However, if the person doesn’t know you, it can also be CREEPY. A social nuance that was brought to our attention by the real life experience of more than one of our colleagues. Most folks see Linked In, for example, as an accepted space to be contacted by “headhunters” or an organizations internal recruiting team. In contrast most of the Social Media public see sites such as Facebook as a connection with family, true friends…or at a minimum the guy/girl they hung out with a bit in high school, lost touch with and now enjoy the occasional pastime of Facebook stalking. That being said, social media sites do make finding specific backgrounds and information much easier than even just a few years ago. In a survey done by staffing technology company, Bullhorn, over 98% of recruiters currently turn to social media for candidates. The message here – Be Social – Avoid Creepy.
- Focus on matters that matter
Quality candidates want to feel good about what they are doing and who they are doing it for. Whether you want to chalk it up to Generation Y/Millennials joining the workforce or the “Great Recession” opening people’s eyes to a perceived deeper belief system in their daily lives. Recruiters and interviewers alike should be prepared to talk about corporate giving, partnerships, community involvement and your companies’ mission – more than ever before. The new breed of professionals want to feel good about the company they work for, what it stands for and what their perceived role will be in it – even more than seeing a positive bottom line and healthy balance sheet. Keep the extra-curricular in the forefront. It matters!
- Flexible staffing….…it’s back
Staffing augmentation, contractors, temps, flexible staffing, professional staffing – regardless of the name – it will be on the rise. According to CareerBuilder’s temporary worker survey 40% of employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers in 2014, a number that we can expect to be closer to 50% based on difficulties finding permanent or direct hire talent.
The combination of hard to find direct hire employees, an influx of overdue corporate projects and uncertainty in benefits (healthcare) costs will lead us back to focus on temporary solutions.
“The general sentiment shared by employers whom CareerBuilder talks to every day is that there will be a better job market in 2014,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “What we saw in our survey was reluctance from some employers to commit to adding jobs until the outcomes of debt negotiations and other issues affecting economic expansion are clearer. As these stories play out and employers find their footing in the New Year, there is greater potential for the average monthly job creation in 2014 to exceed that of 2013.”
- We all need to get comfortable paying for best in class
Nobody likes to hear this from a staffing or recruiting agency but it’s the truth. Regardless of how you find your next team member, 2014 will once again be the year of the candidate.
In late 2013 we quickly saw the marketplace turn to hand-to-hand combat for skilled talent. What we are seeing is in part due to the residual effects of hiring practices in 2008, 2009 and 2010 (lack of hiring and training). This phenomenon has now resulted in a severe lack of experienced talent at the mid-levels. Expectedly, this is creating a higher shortage of qualified professionals. It’s simple supply and demand. Unfortunately for organizations this means we will see an uptick in salary requirements for candidates possessing specific professional skillsets and 2-6 years of experience. We have seen salaries for such candidates jump as much as 30% in the past year. These somewhat niche, professional candidates that were fortunate to get an interview in 2009 and 2010 are now getting multiple offers in days-not weeks. Think you will hire a new grad for cheap? – Think again! A recent AICPA survey found that the “starting salary for bachelor’s-degreed grads in the accounting field is estimated to be about $53,300, up from last year’s $49,700.” A starting point that astounds most accounting hiring managers.
2014 appears to be a year that will bring us officially out of the hiring smog of the past 5 years. What we have to acknowledge and not ignore is that we have a lack of skilled talent in the professional sectors of labor in the United States. Companies will need to pay more attention to the story they tell and how they tell it.
The obvious and most common struggle in talent is not just finding top talent, but a stark focus on retaining that talent.
I have said it over and over to the clients we serve; “I absolutely love being a resource and partner in helping find a talent solution that works for your organization. BUT, the easiest and most cost effective way for you to make sure you are working with the best talent in the marketplace is to retain the superstars you have.”
Happy New Year! See you in 2014!