What will be the most important drivers of change in the global sourcing arena over the next decade, and why?
Evolution is natural. Change is inevitable. As a professional, if you are not keeping up on trends in your industry, if you don’t know what is changing around you, you will run the risk of becoming obsolete. Sourcing is certainly no different than anything else in life.
Just think: Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1990. Before then, job-seekers used the Sunday paper to learn about career opportunities. Sourcing has come a long way the past 25 years.
Looking ahead to the next decade, more changes will be coming and there a few areas sourcers will want to look out for, not only to stay ahead of the game, but to stay relevant. What will be driving the changes on a global scale in the next decade? Here are five areas that sourcers will need to keep an eye on - and why.
1. Government Policies
When labour laws change, sourcing efforts are affected. Taking a look at Brexit, as the UK severs itself from the EU rules and regulations will change, affecting people and labour. According to EU law, it is illegal to make an employee work more than 48 hours per week. What will happen when that is no longer the case? With a weak UK pound and uncertainty about all the effects Brexit will have, will workers in the UK work longer hours? Will sourcers be able to attract top talent in the UK when there is a possibility of working over 48 hours per week? Would the possibility of long, unwanted hours deter British candidates from available opportunities? Job descriptions in the UK may need to specifically address how many hours are expected per week.
In the United States, at the end of 2016, employees identified as “exempt” will change. The salary threshold to be considered “exempt” raised from $23,660 to $47,476 this year. Being “exempt” means that an employee is not eligible for overtime pay (time and a half). Exempt employees can come and go without tracking time and take comfort that their pay will always be the same. Companies are not so demanding about knowing how many hours salaried employees work, so salaried workers have more freedom to come and go as needed.
For Americans, being considered exempt holds a “higher” status because their work week is not dictated by a time clock, tracking start times, end times, meal times and break times. Employers are not concerned about watching every minute that a worker goes over 40 hours because it will be costly.
For American who will now fall under the $47,476 threshold and have been used to an exempt status, tracking time may be a culture shock. After December 1, 2016 (the deadline for companies to comply) workers who will be changed to non-exempt may find their new status frustrating. It may even feel like a step back career-wise. The new “non-exempt” employees may want to begin a job search just to regain their exempt status.
For American companies, if a worker falls slightly under the threshold, it may be in their best interest to raise salaries in order to avoid the possibility of paying overtime and the headaches of having to track time. For sourcers considering American candidates for positions that are affected by this new ruling, adding the word “exempt” to a job description will carry more weight with job-seekers than it has before. $47,476 will be a powerful number for sourcers hiring in the US.
In the next decade, what other countries will be faced with major changes to labour laws? Only time will tell.
2. Shrinking Talent Pools
There are plenty of job-seekers out there. Millions are unemployed or underemployed. Even more so, employee engagement is at an all-time low for many, many reasons. Happy and engaged workers are key element to a successful company.
Most jobs require that a candidate has a unique skillset and unique type of personality to perform a job well and to be a “culture” fit. What is happening is that sourcers are now finding themselves, more and more, looking for a needle in a haystack.
What is contributing to the problem of locating “niche talent pools” is that, globally, there is a skills gap. Quality education is expensive. Our current education systems are not equipping the global workforce with technical and practical skills that are needed to perform many jobs.
Today’s skills gap will only increase with inflation and the rising cost of living. Niche talent pools are going to all but dry up, making a sourcer's job even more complicated than it is today and leading to the need for more creative solutions in order to attract the right candidate.
3. Technology & the Digital Footprint
Since job-seekers rely so heavily, if not completely, on technology and the internet to learn about a new opportunity, sourcers need to pay close attention to evolving technologies and their own digital footprint. By definition:
“Active digital footprints are created when personal data is released deliberately by a user for the purpose of sharing information about oneself by means of websites or social media.”
Today, and in the next decade, job-seekers are now digital creatures. They thrive on finding information by search engines, reading reviews, checking things on their mobile devices, and paying attention to what is on social media and in their own networks.
Nowadays, sourcers need to really grasp the digital behaviour of both passive and active job seekers, and fast.
Moving forward, sourcers need to focus on their digital presence. If someone searches Google for a certain type of position, what source ranks at the top? How did it get there? In other words: "Where are these people looking and what are they going to do in order to find me?" Likewise, what kind of an impression is the hiring company giving? What is the company’s digital footprint? Is there good information on search engine listings? Or bad?
Today, you are transparent. There is no way around it. Companies like Glassdoor are giving current and previous employees a megaphone to say what they think of an employer. The information is out there, whether you like it or not, and it will need to be addressed.
YouTube pops up at the top of search engine results on Google. It has an incredible reach, which is why employers are already identifying video as a way to tell their story. According to YouTube, every single day, people are watching hundreds of millions of hours and they are generating billions of views. Overall views on mobile reach 18-49 year-olds more than any cable network in the United States. The United States accounts for 20% of YouTube’s views; 80% is of views are from other countries. YouTube has launched versions that are local in over 88 countries and can be navigated in 76 different languages.
That said, hmmm… Video sounds like the perfect solution for global sourcing, doesn’t it? And, perhaps, a way for your company brand to catch fire across the world?
Further, going forward, sourcers need to focus on positive brand recognition. To draw future candidates into career opportunities, they need to be crystal-clear about what is expected in the position. Hiding information will only lead to higher employee turnover. Companies today are always looking to reduce spending, and a high turnover rate is costly.
And again, bad reviews have the ability to go viral. Sourcers will need to be proactive and send out good content about your company. Sourcers need to focus on accenting a company’s EVP (Employee Value Proposition) and improving candidate experience. Companies need to create a positive “buzz” about their culture and hiring practices. With today’s social media-driven world, a bad experience will backfire - and fast! Faster than ever before.
4. Global Financial Conditions
Beyond expensive turnovers, companies are looking for innovative solutions to save money in every facet, and that includes reducing cost per hire. Sourcers will need to be clever and efficient to find inexpensive means of advertising job openings. That is why in the next decade, employee referrals and social media will be king in recruitment strategies.
Searching for niche talent pools that, again, are shrinking, means broadening your geographical search - quite possibly, across the globe. But still, companies want to reduce spending, right? Even if relocation is feasible for a candidate, it is expensive. Not only that, when you do onboard a new employee, the individual will require a work space as well.
Hiring employees remotely, to work from home, in positions where that is a possibility, will become more common in the next decade than ever before.
It not only saves revenue for companies, it saves employees money as well and it is looked at positively as a “perk.” The price of oil is volatile, at best. Remote options save employees money on travel, whether with gas for a car or a bus or train ticket. It also saves employees time by not travelling, offering a better work-life balance.
When you are looking to recruit remote workers and you can broaden your reach, looking for candidates anywhere, that shrinking talent pool suddenly doesn’t look so small after that giant thunderstorm just hit. That pool will become a lake.
5. Millennials & Gen Z: A Dominant Force
Baby Boomers are closing in on retirement and will be leaving the workforce, if they haven’t already. In the next decade, Millennials will dominate the workforce. In the US, Millennials are the biggest generation in history. In the next 10 years, Generation Z will be entering the workforce. In marketing, the first thing to do before planning your marketing strategy is to understand your target audience.
Yes, there are many negative opinions about Millennials as workers, but with an overwhelming population, they are a force to be reckoned with. Sourcers will need to understand their positives and their negatives in order to be able to attract a very large talent pool.
Sourcers are going to need to identify content and messaging that draws in these generations. What do they want to hear? They want to know that hiring companies are technologically savvy. They want to know that their opinions will be heard. They want to learn, grow and innovate. They want to add value. They are going to want to see, in your messaging, that you understand them.
In the next decade, what may be the biggest change is sourcers are going to work hand in hand with marketing departments. Marketing departments are going to need to become cross-trained in recruitment.
Moving forward, if a sourcer doesn’t have a marketing degree, they are going to need to become a technology-driven digital marketing expert just to keep up with the competition.