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LinkedIn’s 2017 Global Recruiting Trends report is filled with useful benchmarks for recruiters and talent teams. The research comes from almost 4,000 talent acquisition leaders whose businesses span the globe. One of the most interesting takeaways, however, isn’t in the report. It’s between the lines:

Talent teams in 2017 will have to hire more employees than last year, without an increase in manpower or budget.

talent teams resources
Photo: Moshe Reuvenim

 

While the report alludes to the average talent team’s lack of firepower in 2017 — one top 5 trends is that “recruiters will be even busier” in 2017— what LinkedIn fails at extrapolating in the report is that busy actually means under-resourced and overwhelmed.

Let’s dive into the stats.

 

People are the #1 priority.

It’s no surprise that 83% of Talent and HR leaders report that Talent is the #1 priority at their company for 2017. This statistic rings true annually, and it’s a great signal that, at least on paper, companies realize that people are their biggest asset.

With 75% of talent leaders also indicating that their team is key to the company’s workforce planning, it’s a no-brainer that they’re getting the support they need to establish an employer culture, hire great candidates, and engage employees throughout their employment lifecycle, right? Not so fast.

 

Bandwidth will be a big issue.

One of the biggest challenges that talent leaders reported they will face is a small recruiting team. In fact, 27% of them said it will be one of their top challenges in 2017. The bad news here is that across the board, talent teams aren’t growing: 66% of respondents said that their team will either stay the same (61%) or decrease (5%). Now consider that 1 in 3 respondents reporting that if they could hire another team member, a recruiter would be on the top of their wishlist. It sounds like talent teams will need to prepare for a rift between performance goals and reality.

 

Most teams will see an increase in hiring volume.

Now, that we’ve spotted a disconnect between hiring goals and the talent team needed to support them, let’s add a layer: Hiring volume is going to increase next year. Most teams report their hiring volume will increase (56%).

It’s not time to panic yet. Recruiting and talent teams have always outsourced and augmented their manual recruiting efforts by leveraging staffing firms and job boards to increase candidate volume. In fact, job boards and staffing firms make up over half of a hiring team’s entire budget. So, they can just outsource more to keep up candidate flow, right? Not without cutting a few other line items.

 

Budgets are stagnant and teams still have areas where they’d like to invest more.

Talent teams budget
Photo: Thomas Hawk

More bad news for talent teams who need to compete in today’s candidate market: 50% of teams reported that their budget will not increase in 2017. A flat budget is a tough pill to swallow in this scenario: Without additional headcount and an increase in hiring volume, teams will likely look to job boards and staffing agencies to supplement their candidate pipeline. Which will cost them even more of their already precious budget.

Unfortunately, the more they invest in staffing firms and job boards, the less budget they’ll have for the investments they want: like employment branding (53%), new technology (39%) and better sourcing tools (38%). Talent leaders agree that investments like employment brand make a huge impact on hiring great talent (80% agree it’s key to winning top talent), but unless something changes in 2017, it feels like these initiatives get cast aside to solve more immediate hiring goals.

 

How can teams do more with less?

With a somewhat grim outlook on 2017, what can talent leaders do to extend their budgets and meet the high-demands of candidates and hiring goals? At face-value, it doesn’t look like much, but just under the surface the data reveals the opportunity:

 

The most successful talent teams in 2017 will engage their employees and community.

The secret to your talent team’s success lies in your army of supporters: Your employees, marketing team, customers, and community. Mobilize them to expand your reach beyond just your talent team.

 

Engage marketing to develop your employer brand.

Only 36% of talent teams collaborate with marketing to develop their employer brand.

Your marketing team knows how to position your company and create calls-to-action better than anyone; collaborate with them to accelerate your employer brand. Even more upside: They’ll probably want to help shape your messaging and there’s little to no added cost to your team. Run internal campaigns to engage employees and help them share your message more broadly.

 

Engage your team and community to build your team.

Build a team of brand ambassadors and instantly expand your best hiring practice: Referrals.

Only 9% of the average talent team’s budget goes to referral programs, but they make up 40% of your employees and only represent 7% of applicants. Even a minor shift in your budget to expand referrals — from 10% to 15% for example — will have a tremendous impact on your ability to hire the best team in 2017.

Be proactive to get more candidates from your most effective, efficient and least expensive channel. Talent leaders agree that referrals are the best source of high quality hires.

To grow this channel: Find ways to provide proactive referral recommendations to your employees, and consider expanding your referral program to your community, who contribute about 40% of your referral hires. Community referral programs enable friends and customers to help you build your best team faster.


 

You’re going to need to do more with less in 2017. Rally your team and community around building the best version of your company possible.

Want to read the whole LinkedIn report? Get access to the Global Recruiting Trends 2017 LinkedIn report, here.

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