Digitization, distributed labor and what you know

Top 3 staffing trends for 2015


It’s the time of the year for trend-spotting, and a number of staffing and recruiting trends for 2015 have hit blogs and social media already.
Once again I am adding our voice, focusing on what we and our industry peers believe will be the top three staffing trends for 2015 and beyond. I’ll be sharing some links at the end, including a link to what we had to say about 2014!

1. Digitization Ruling Both Sides of the Staffing Equation

Thanks to the internet in general and social sharing in particular, the world is becoming smaller and more transparent. Recruiters and hiring companies are finding out more about candidates online, and candidates are able to do the same. Digitization is doing to the CV/résumé what the eBook is doing to the paperback.

For candidates, 2015 may be the year the traditional résumé goes away. Maybe not, but the writing is on the digital wall. These documents are being circumvented already by online application processes and talent management systems. The ‘static’ profile will be replaced by a virtual, dynamic profile that is maintained online.

Currently the top place for keeping such a professional profile is LinkedIn, although other options are available, including a vanity URL for complete control and sharing not only what you have done, but what you could do, showcasing knowledge and capabilities via blogging or other means. This is particularly effective for recent college grads with little or no work experience. And it’s becoming more important when hiring organizations, including LAC Group, increasingly dive into the pool of ‘passive’ candidates.

Organizations understand that they too are being vetted on social media. Current and former employees are able to give a peak into what it’s like working for them. Keeping track of what employees are saying online is becoming as important as monitoring what customers are saying.

Current recruiting and applicant tracking systems rely on keywords and algorithms to match specific skills and experience – and I don’t see this going away soon, since it’s the most expedient way for organizations to find people with the capabilities they’re seeking. Yet new technology is evolving to turn this purely technical process into a more human experience. According to Jerome Ternynck, founder and CEO of SmartRecruiters in an interview on SFGate, “Applicant tracking systems are phasing out as a result of a need for a more candidate-friendly experience.”

This is especially important for millennials in the workplace, who are accustomed to socializing and sharing everything online.

2. Distributed, Flexible Staffing

The next trend we see is the ongoing move to a distributed labor model, one that is more flexible and responsive to changing business needs. When companies and law firms need help, they are looking at every option, not just hiring full-time employees. A staffing ecosystem continues to develop and strengthen the virtual “Net Workforce”. Meanwhile, some of the employer mandates tied to the Affordable Care Act will start going into effect in 2015 for large employers. This link to the IRS website gives more information.

The internet has been about disintermediation, a process that now affects every work arena. The non-traditional workforce is here to stay with freelancers, contractors and independent consultants available for any skill or task. Websites like elance and oDesk have become standard tools for tapping into this contingent workforce. These online talent markets will continue to evolve; meanwhile, companies like LAC Group will be ‘hiring’ while corporations, law firms, universities and government agencies may be more focused on ‘staffing’ — getting the people they need, with or without adding employees to their own payrolls.

The internet is the keystone of the model that allows people to work from anywhere. Our Library-as-a-Service platform allows users to access the information they need anywhere, while it also enables the skilled professionals who manage, maintain and deliver the service to be anywhere. You can live someplace with a limited number of employment options, as long as you have good internet access.

3. From Who You Know to What You Know

The adage “It’s not what you know but who you know!” is starting to turn around. Thanks to search and digitization, the ‘what you know’ is becoming easier to find. And social media is turning the old concept of networking on its side.

Of course, building and maintaining those first-level networks of people you actually know and have met remains critical, yet those introductions and relationships are also moving online.

What you know matters. Another trend for 2015 is competition for talent—the right people with the skills and capabilities that are in high demand and relatively low supply. We see this ourselves, particularly in rapidly evolving professions like librarianship and in growth areas like media management and research. If you are having finding work, I would advise you to take a cold, hard look at your skills. It may be time to learn something new, and that doesn’t necessarily mean going back to school. Volunteer to participate on a team working in a different area. Volunteer to do a project for a non-profit organization that matters to you. Explore classes online, including sites like Coursera. Investigate opportunities for professional development through association membership in your field. Seek certification.

The good news looking into 2015 is that unemployment is relatively low and staffing needs are looking strong. Understanding these trends will help people on both side of the staffing equation make the right connections.

Are You Facing a Seasonal Staffing Crunch?

End of year is a hectic time – wrapping up not only gifts, but deals, cases, projects, budgets, etc.

It’s also a time when getting work done can be a challenge, with offices on holiday schedules and people using up vacation time. If your organization has some gaps to fill for research and other knowledge/information projects, call us at 800.987.6794 or contact us to see if we can help you meet them.

Relevant 2015 Staffing Links

For more on staffing trends and data, I have compiled the following links:

From LinkedIn: Trends that will define recruiting in the US in 2015.

From CIO magaine: IT workforce predictions for 2015.

From JobVite: 2014 Social Recruiting Survey.

From the Staffing Industry website: The Contingent Workforce.

For jobs related to librarianship and other information services, we invite both employers and candidates to visit our LibGig site

For what we had to say about the Top 3 hiring/staffing trends for 2014, see the link below under Related Posts.

Rob Corrao
Rob Corrao is CEO at LAC Group and is responsible for business operations and integration of all company service lines, mergers and acquisitions.