By Richard Doherty, Group Vice President Solutions, Jobpartners

Getting social with recruitment

Although social recruitment received a lot of hype over the last 12 months, unfortunately most companies are still scratching their heads when it comes to what they should be doing and how to do it. As a result, adoption has been slow off the mark and certainly not as quick as was predicted by many analysts. However, we can expect to see a more marked rise in the adoption of social recruitment, using the likes of Facebook and Twitter during 2011, as companies continue to feel the pinch of challenging economic circumstances and seek more cost-effective ways of attracting and retaining top talent.

Dance at the top

The tough economic times felt by all businesses over the past year has meant that top management, in particular, has seen a reshuffle. This “dance at the top” of the organisation can have serious implications for the company at all levels, from employee morale to impact on stock price and the value of the business. As a result, over the next year it will be crucial for businesses to ensure that they have succession planning in place and are conducting regular performance management reviews so that they are fully prepared in the event of management moves.

Graduates to earn high marks for their personal brand
It’s hardly surprising to learn that times are tough for new entrants to the job market and unfortunately it seems like it’s going to get harder before it gets better. This can be demoralising for young people who have spent time and money getting a good degree from a good University but when they do get a job they have to settle for lower pay than entry-level graduates in the past. In addition, traditional areas for recruitment, like the public sector, are becoming even more competitive and the benefits are not as good as they once were. As a result, graduates are making the private sector their main employment focus in the hopes that this is an area that will pick up faster.

However, in order to get a leg up the ladder, graduates can’t expect employers to come to them. Instead, they need to start on what should become a life-long, or at least a career-long, process of building their personal brand. This means being creative about the way they market themselves to prospective employers, using different tools such as social recruitment by creating and using a LinkedIn profile to contact relevant recruiters. It will also be essential to think outside the box to ensure they have a solid background of work experience under their belt, as well as emphasising skills gained from other sources like leadership skills from hobbies or Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

Talent management: integration, integration, integration
Historically, recruitment and performance software and solutions have always been purchased and kept separate from each other. Furthermore, offices in different countries often have different solutions as well, which means businesses can be left struggling to manage them all. Moving forward next year, we’ll see organisations aim to achieve economies of scale and make the process easier to manage by integrating their recruitment and performance systems worldwide. Hence, we will see rising demand for integrated globally scalable solutions with a single database that can be integrated into core business processes.

However, the demand may outstrip supply. The big surprise in 2010 was the consolidation in the talent management software space due to mergers and acquisitions, which has resulted in fewer platform and system alternatives for organisations. A number of talent management providers will therefore spend 2011 trying to integrate different technologies, while those with talent management solutions that are already integrated will be focused on expanding their client base and extending the functional coverage of their solutions.

Talent management gets more personal

Personalising talent management will be the big buzz in HR news next year. Large organisations, in particular, are seeking a more individualised approach so that they can personalise their processes, rather than relying on cookie cutter “one size fits all” solutions. Going into 2011, it is clear that the Software as a Service model has now matured, however many solutions are still very inflexible and seek to impose pre-defined Talent Management processes that often don’t suit the way large organisations operate. Companies seeking the most benefits from implementing talent management solutions this year will be well served by looking for highly-configurable and flexible solutions that are able to “flex” and adapt to meet their specific needs without the need for costly customisation. .

Successful vendors will wise up to the fact that talent management isn’t like payroll. Instead, in the right hands it can be a strategic weapon for companies aiming to attract and retain the crème de la crème of employees.