2008 Employment Trends Print E-mail

Although several recent surveys have stated that although the economy is in a recession, at least half the companies surveyed are still planning on hiring at the same rate as last year. Over 25% of companies are planning on hiring even more people in 2008. Surveys aside, there are some interesting trends occurring in the recruitment field that need to be addressed.


  • Employers are being more thoughtful in their hiring practices and obtaining more buy-in regarding search specifications and the candidate, which results in the search taking longer. Traditionally, searches used to take three months to complete but since the Enron fiasco in 2002 along with corporate crises elsewhere, employers are asking potential candidates to be interviewed by more people. For candidates, this can mean four or five meetings before an offer is discussed. This can create a frustrating situation especially in trying to retain the candidate’s interest. It is imperative then that the recruiter and the hiring manager communicate often and update the candidate frequently with regard to their status in the search process.
  • Recruiting staffs are increasing their use of outside resources. For example, a major financial institution is using a firm in India that “trolls” the Internet looking for keywords on resumes. The drawback to this approach is that the keyword may be part of their mailing address, hobbies, etc. and does not guarantee that the resume contains the relevant experience the recruiter is seeking in a candidate. Another approach is to use a contract recruiter to develop “pipeline” candidates for positions that need to be filled in quantity and/or have high turnover. By paying a single per-hour fee, companies can significantly reduce their recruiting budgets.
  • The “green” factor and corporate social responsibility are key considerations that younger job seekers look for in companies that they are pursuing. Businesses need to understand that these are important values for the millennium so employers need to incorporate these concepts into their business strategies. Issues like wastefulness including office energy consumption “used to be swept under the carpet” but are now much more transparent and companies pay the price in terms of bad publicity which can negatively affect job seekers from contacting those companies.
  • Companies are faced with having a more multigenerational workforce than ever before. This creates challenges in terms of managing and developing staffs. Younger generations are more accustomed to “instant gratification” in terms of texting, IMing, etc. and can easily get frustrated when promotions or interesting projects do not come quickly. They also can “hide” behind these forms of communication and may not be well versed in communicating face to face using proper voice inflections and body language. Older generations may not be accustomed to being managed by a younger person and may have unrealistic expectations. To combat these issues, companies are using coaches (either internally or externally) for individual and/or group sessions that can address effective ways to make all employees more “self-aware”. According to a random survey conducted in 2005 by the Society of Human Resource Management, 55% of 248 US-based Human Resources Managers use formal coaching as an employee development method and that number continues to grow. By recognizing one’s own values, strengths and areas that may need improvement, it has been proven time and again that employees have better morale and performance improves.
  • Other trends that companies will be facing in the next few years include the “less is more” concept or minimalism that more people are embracing especially in light of today’s economic climate. A recent USA Today article described how consumers were going back to basics i.e., brewing their own coffee, walking more, etc. If companies appear too extravagant with lavish meetings and other perks, job seekers will frown upon such wastefulness.
Executive management teams with the guidance of human resources will need to constantly scrutinize and reevaluate their business practices to attract quality talent, improve performance and increase productivity. Companies will need to leverage their in-house resources and look outside the firm to a professional who specializes in recruiting and coaching services. These efforts will improve their bottom line and the company’s overall well-being.

Call us today at 203.332.7888 to find out how Carter Consultants can give you a competitive edge and keep your company ahead of the trends.