The rise of career contractors and contingent workers
Traditionally, contractors and freelancers have always been the domain of creative industries. However, increasingly, professional services are also embracing the business benefits that contractors can deliver.
By the end of 2017, 45% of the global workforce will be made up of contingent workers. This marks a seismic shift in the way we work and it’s a global trend that is slowly but surely emerging here in New Zealand.
No longer seen as a 'stop gap' between roles, we'll start to see an increase in people choosing to make a career out of contract work. For HR professionals and recruiters in particular, the concept of a job for life is gone, and in its place workers are opting to shape their career around variety and flexibility.
A lift in contractors also presents several benefits for employers; businesses can ensure they have the right level of resource for key projects or periods, without the need to increase their permanent headcount. The trick is ensuring that contractors are viewed and treated as part of the permanent team, so we’d encourage any savvy businesses that are making use of the contingent workforce to heed this advice.
The talent shortage shows no signs of abating, but Kiwi employers are still reluctant to hire from overseas
2016 will see the continued shortage of talent in key areas such as technology, engineering, construction and digital. There’s an undeniable shortage in talent for those sectors, but as a rule, employers have been slow to employ overseas workers to fill the gap.
Too many businesses have a preference for only recruiting Kiwis. This mentality isn’t sustainable because without looking further ashore, we simply won’t find the talent to meet our business needs.
When an employer says they want a Kiwi to do a job, they underestimate just how culturally diverse New Zealand, and Auckland in particular is. Walk up Queen St and you will quickly see what an international city and country we live in. Net migration shows that the influx of returning Kiwis and new residents also brings with it good skills and international experience, so it’s high time Kiwi employers start to embrace the opportunities a global workforce present.
Iconic Kiwi employers embrace the benefits of anonymised CVs
Despite a general reluctance from many Kiwi businesses to embrace diversity and overseas workers, some iconic employers are bucking that trend.
In a bid to enhance the diversity of their teams and mitigate discrimination bias, we've seen at least two large, iconic Kiwi employers adopt a hiring policy of having anonymized CVs in 2015.
It's a bold move, but blanking out information such as name, age, place of education, and any other identifying factors that could lead to hiring prejudice will lead to more diverse teams that are reflective of the melting pot business is conducted within.
While we are still a long way off from complete diversity throughout all businesses, there is certainly more diversity in top leadership teams, which contributes to the increase we’re seeing in diversity initiatives.
In the next 12 months, we’ll see at least one more household name corporate also roll out anonymised CVs. I’d expect that more businesses will follow suit in the months and years to come.
Some may say this is political correctness gone mad, but we’ll soon see the companies that adopt these tactics see the benefits of their approach.
Specialist knowledge and depth of connections trumps breadth
The recruitment sector is increasingly about recruiters being specialists in their fields, and the depth of their connections as opposed to breadth only.
Due to the fact that candidates are increasingly ‘findable’ through channels such as LinkedIn, industry knowledge and depth of connections are critical attributes for recruiters. Just because the majority of professionals are on LinkedIn doesn’t mean you can meet them all and assess their suitability for a role.
When you are finding and extracting someone from a business for a new role, in depth industry knowledge becomes even more important. To identify and then engage a potential candidate and bring them to the table when they’re already happy in their current role can be a challenge without specialist knowledge.
Recruitment industry continues to evolve
The recruitment sector is evolving in its tools. The recent arrival of new entrant, Career One, brings a third job board player into the traditionally two-horse race between Seek and Trade Me
jobs. Already popular in Australia, Career One takes a more employer-brand centric approach to job boards, as opposed to the job-centric model we’ve seen for so long.
The employer brand is a key trend across the HR and recruitment market, so in 2016 we’ll see a shift in the employer brand being put at the front as opposed to talking about specific jobs.
These are exciting and disruptive times, so we’d encourage employers large and small to embrace the changes afield and think more strategically about how you will staff your business in 2016 and beyond.
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Sean Walters, co-founder and director of alternative recruitment solution firm, virtualRPO, says that four key trends will drive developments for HR and recruitment professionals in 2016.