Corporate Eye

Fast Forward


As promised in the recent post Back to Basics, we’ll take a sharp turn from the old-fashioned topic of messaging to see what’s been getting buzz in the world of recruiting.

Last August, HR expert Dr. John Sullivan wrote a very interesting post on 13 Trends in Corporate Recruiting for 2009. It drew quite a few responses from folks offering additional insights (and explaining how their own product/service would solve problem X), then got reposted with more comments on other blogs. So there’s a nice bit of discussion around the list, and most everyone seems to agree with the ideas articulated.

Sullivan offers thoughtful commentary, plus suggested ‘Firms to watch’ in each category, so the post is well worth a read. To provide a preview, I’ll list the topics he discusses under the heading ‘Latest Trends in Corporate Recruiting,’ and then add a short comment …

  1. Upgrading employment branding
  2. Reinvigorating referral programs
  3. Renewing the focus on quality of hire
  4. Reinforcing the business case for recruiting
  5. Utilizing social networks
  6. Utilizing video
  7. Upgrading succession planning
  8. Using employee blogs for recruiting
  9. Using mobile-phone recruiting
  10. Revitalizing corporate jobs page
  11. Using a CRM model for hiring
  12. Hiring innovators
  13. Recruiting globally

Sullivan also lists 18 trends that will probably not become mainstream in 2009, but do offer some ideas for innovators. They include use of pop-culture tools like Second Life, video games, contests, as well as techno-strategies such as remote interviewing and simulations for candidate assessment. In addition, he mentions internal realignments such as increasing focus on internal redeployment and bringing back key ex-employees.

Finally, there’s a section on what’s not hot. Can you guess? Outsourcing recruiting processes and relying on large job boards—not hot. Also mentioned, internal concerns such as retention and speed of hire.

Of the 13 major trends, number 10 is the most relevant from a Corporate Eye perspective, and here’s what Sullivan has to say about it:

Revitalizing corporate jobs page. Recruiting managers are beginning to understand that pitifully dull and dated websites drive away innovators. Focus areas include providing personalized information to the visitor, Flash video integration, blogs, podcasts, and virtual Q&As. Firms to watch: Microsoft, Google, and Deloitte.

And here’s my comment, which is really a question. There’s a significant difference between the 2009 of ‘now’ and the 2009 of ‘then.’ In fact, it’s hard to believe the world looked so different only last August. Given the precarious condition of the economy today, employers seeking experienced talent may find their prospect pool shrinking, as employees who have jobs become reluctant to give them up and look elsewhere. And with unemployment rising steadily, employers who offer an entry-level path may find themselves overwhelmed. (Just look at the recent rush of applicants for jobs with the Miami Fire Department.)

So . . . which of the touted trends are going to be effective (or even relevant) for your company in the real 2009? And which (if any) trendy website embellishments might be worth an investment? Most important—do you have the information needed to make these decisions?

Food for forward thought.

And thanks to Môsieur J. for the image.

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Cynthia Giles has followed a serpentine career path from academia to publishing to marketing and design to information technology and corporate communications. There’s plenty of detail about this journey at, but briefly--the common theme has been ideas, and how to present them effectively. Along the way, she became an accidental expert on data warehousing and business intelligence, and for the past ten years she has combined corporate contracting with an independent consulting practice that focuses on marketing strategy for smaller businesses and non-profits. Having spent quite a bit of time looking for work, and anywhere from two weeks to two years inside a wide variety of American companies—she has given much thought to what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to creating a great employment fit.