Talent Acquisition Leaders – Forecast for 2016 – Brace Yourself for a Nasty Rough Ride

In this series, professionals predict the ideas and trends that will shape 2016.


Read the posts here, then write your own (use #BigIdeas2016 in your piece).

When we look at the data in the talent acquisition space, there are 2 Big Trends and this could make the going really very tough in 2016 for people in the #talent acquisition jobs – recruiters,  staffing companies & hiring managers. 

First let’s look at these 2 big trends …

Trend #1. More jobs openings (but with reduction in hiring costs)

First the good news – Globally companies want to hire 78% more in 2016 compared to 2015. This is awesome news because it means the economy is going good. Business is good. #growth

(Original Data Source: LinkedIn – Global staffing trends 2016)

But the corresponding increase in hiring budget is only 53% . Which means that you will have less money per opening to close the hiring. 

This looks a lot different in the case of India. 

(Original Data Source: LinkedIn – India staffing trends 2016)

 Companies want to hire 84% more in 2016, and the corresponding increase in hiring budget is only 67%. Though the numbers look better than the global numbers, if you compare it with 2015 – it is bad. Why ? because there is a much bigger gap between openings and hiring budget compared to last year.

Bottom-line – Companies want to hire more, but they are clearly trying to cut down on hiring costs. 

Trend #2. No reduction in talent gap (hence continued increase in unfilled jobs)

The number of unfilled jobs have been steadily raising over the last 7 years !

(Original Data Source: Manpower Group – 2015 Talent shortage survey)

Globally 38% of the jobs remained unfilled in 2015. 

The same data for India stands at a staggering 58% !! Which means for more-than-half of the jobs openings, we could not find anyone to hire.

(Original Data Source: Manpower Group – 2015 Talent shortage survey)

 (Side note: Interestingly the country at the bottom of the list is UK with 14%. And US is below average at 32%. The top of the list is Japan with 83%)

So do we expect this to change in 2016 ? To answer this question – Lets drill a little deeper into the reasons.

Looking here at the Top 5 reasons for not filling the jobs. 

(Original Data Source: Manpower Group – 2015 Talent shortage survey)

It is all related to shortage of talent. #talentcrunch

One thing is very clear here – All of these are heavily dependent on either of the 2 parties – the candidate or the employer. Either the employees have to step-up and skill themselves OR the employers have to step-up and look for reducing the bar/ training.

As the talent acquisition person – you have very less say, and hence nothing you can do to change things. unfortunately. 

Also what are the chances any of these would (magically) go away in #2016 ?zero% chances given the inherent nature and the long gestation periods. In-fact the situation might become worse in the coming years… 

 To sum it all up – the situation in 2016 in going to be something like this…

On the demand side there is increase in demand, and in the supply side there is reduction in supply, and there is a cut in money for the bridge that is supposed to connect the two sides !!

It is like kayaking down that 80-feet waterfall, but “without” safety gears !! (now you see why we have that lovely picture at the top ? It says it all )

Lets Talk Solution

So what can you do to fail-safe the journey in 2016 (and beyond) ? 

Disclaimer : I am good at 3 things – Technology, Marketing & People. Therefore I always look at problems from these 3 angles, which leads to crazy solutions. sometimes 😉

What is the big idea ?

Here we go …

Keep in mind that the talent acquisition process is a funnel. And a typical one looks like the one below –


(Source: Jobvite – Metrics of the recruitment funnel )

Side note: the % numbers are from a global perspective. I don’t have the corresponding numbers for India – but the funnel will be much more tapered. i.e more applicants for the same number of hires. Therefore the below discussion is much more relevant. 

There are a lot of things that can be done at each stage of the funnel in order to get better results – I will not get to the details in this post here, but what i want to talk about is this one common thread that stands out across the funnel.

What ifyou can have more time and more engagement with people ? Will it change things ? Will it have a positive impact on the number of hires  ?

Of-course it will !!

Why? Because each of those top 5 reasons (for not filling the job) we saw earlier could have a better outcome if you could afford to spend more time/effort with the 2 parties. Correct ? think about it.

Yes … But this comes with a huge cost, in terms of more resources, time, efforts and money. Going back to the Trend #1. there is pressure on costs – anything that involves adding more costs is not an option.

What is the alternate solution ?

One thing that is very obvious in the current process is that most of the time and effort is spent in the top end of the funnel – sourcing and shortlisting for the interview.  Correct ?

Now how about this ? What if you can do this

A. Automate the upper parts of the funnel – i.e the sourcing and shortlisting  stages before the interview stage. Being a low-touch and high volume stage – it is a good candidate for applying technology solutions. This will allow you to do the below…

B. Shift the human focus and efforts towards the lower part of the funnel. i.e Interview and beyond – until joining. And this is where high-touch in the form of human-human engagement is super effective. 

(Original  Data Source : Jobvite )

By doing this – Now you are saving time/efforts in the stages where the volume is high, and need-for-engagement is low, and instead able to use that saved time/efforts in the stages where the volume is low and need-for-engagement is high.

You can spend more time to know more about the job, more time promoting the job, more time exploring and finding common grounds for fitment between the 2 parties, more time engaging the candidate and keeping them warm, more time during the interview process, more time engaging after the offer, more time just before the join date, and so forth… Each of it would result in better conversions and better quality hires. 


In 2016 – If you want to be able to seize the growth opportunity and fill all those job openings from Trend #1, in-spite of the talent shortage challenges in Trend #2, and do it without increase in costs – You will need to AUTOMATE the EARLY stages of the talent acquisition funnel, so that you can afford to HUMANIZE the LATER stages (#BigIdeas2016)

Use a recruitment software that can do the smart lifting during sourcing and filtering (shortlisting) so that you are talking and engaging with the right candidates later during the critical stages of hiring.

Now over to you – Looking forward to hearing from you about your experiences…featured


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