{Study} Recruiting HR and Human Resources: Focus on People?

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In human resources, a trend reversal seems to be taking shape: in addition to tools and apps, people are increasingly discussing it - as the 16 shows. Recruting trends study by CHRIS and Monster with keywords such as employee referrals, transparency or candidate experience. How is the state of affairs in German Company? An overview with best practice examples. Best of HR – Berufebilder.de®

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Here writes for you:

Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


HR - human in the center?

For a long time, one thing bothered me in the human resources industry: the topic was much too technically debated. It involved tools, clickthrough rates, resume databases, and talent management platforms. That may be important in times when Google enters the job market with all its data power and may be messing around here.

But: What really matters, the human and the employee, quickly falls down the back of the whole discussion. How much is actually already in the somewhat contemptible term human resource - the human being as a resource. HR should then be better connected with human relations.

Companies are looking for more employees than ever before

After all, the tide turns: companies are more willing to respond to the needs of their employees - for example, in terms of salary and working conditions. In this scenario, the HR industry has a new role with significant social relevance: as a companion and pilot in the changing world of work. Good that this role is being discussed gradually.

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The study by CHRIS and Monster shows: Despite all discussions about automation, companies are currently looking for more new employees than ever before in the last 15 years. On average, top 1.000 companies go from 120 vacancies to the end of 2018, and 300's top 215 companies even have XNUMX vacancies.

Trend or hype?

Whether this trend will continue when the economy slows down may be doubted. Also, I still do not like to believe in a nationwide shortage of skilled workers in Germany - the topic became yes Best of HR – Berufebilder.de® discussed again and again and taken up by the ARD, But, as the present study also makes clear: many companies are desperately looking for specialists in certain areas, especially in IT. And are glad if they even find a specialist.

Since 16 years, the study Recruiting trends of the Center of Human Resources Information Systems (CHRIS) of the Universities of Bamberg and Erlangen-Nuremberg is published in cooperation with the career portal Monster and thus provides a pretty good indicator of what longer-lived trends or short-term hypes are.

Who or what was actually examined there exactly?

For the current issue of the study series Recruiting Trends 2018, the top 1.000 companies (response rate 11,7%) and the 300 largest companies from the IT industry (response rate 13,0 percent) from Germany were surveyed and the results with the results of the usage behavior and the assessments of compared to 2.800 candidates.

The sample distribution among the study participants is representative of the turnover, number of employees, and industry affiliation to the population in question, according to Bisnode's current database registry. Details on conducting the study as well as a description of the study participants are available online at http://www.uni-bamberg.de/isdl/recruitingtrends2018 verfügbar.

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Applicants are more innovative than companies think

The survey also makes it clear that companies that want to set up their recruiting successfully for the future must listen to the candidates and adapt to their own pace. After all, they are much more innovative in some areas than companies believe. And blaspheme, I've experienced that even among young ITlern, behind closed doors not a little about the thumb shining staff.

But applicants from other industries are also technically-minded. For example, when it comes to using new technology such as job-recommender or recruiting apps. Companies that focus more on candidates can stand out more strongly against competitors.

Employee referral programs on the rise

In this context, I find it exciting that attitudes through employee referrals are on the rise in many companies. In recent years, this recruiting channel has been viewed with considerable skepticism, both by companies and employees. But for companies in particular, recommendations are fast and efficient and often bring more suitable and loyal employees into the company.

The study in 2018 shows that 8 companies interviewed by 10 actively encourage their employees to recruite friends and former colleagues. And 4 from 10 companies even have their own recommendation programs that offer bonuses or other gratuities upon successful hiring by recommendation.

Companies have to reduce their fears

For new hires, employee referrals are now the third most important recruiting channel. However, such incentive systems can also be rather critical because they invalidate the positive idea of ​​the recommendation.

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In addition, it should not be forgotten that many employees are rather skeptical about this recruiting approach: 60 percent are afraid of being held accountable for bad recommendations, 24 percent do not want to have their private friends and acquaintances around them and 23 percent are afraid to feel the frustration when not hiring the applicant. Here it is mainly up to companies to reduce fears and to set the right incentives.

Social recruiting and active sourcing overestimated?

In keeping with the current trend, despite the Data Protection Regulation: Active Sourcing. For the fact that the topic is so gehypt, the yield seems to me still quite meager: Only every tenth place is occupied over it. The remaining new hires are made via classic recruiting channels such as the own website and Internet job exchanges.

Jobseekers use the same channels to a large extent, albeit with a different weighting. Their most used channel since the beginning of the investigations are Internet job exchanges. The company pages, long in second place, have been overtaken in recent years by the careers networks and are now ranked third with the search engines.

The majority of applicants would like to be addressed

However, the study also promises: Active Sourcing is becoming increasingly important because: 59,1 percent of candidates want to be addressed instead of self-promotion, which is an increase of 20 percentage points since 2012. In the IT companies, which are traditionally further here, already one in five positions is occupied by active sourcing.

An essential element in recruiting and active sourcing has become social media. Three-quarters of top 1.000 companies rate the deal positively, and only half did so seven years ago, when the trend was still new. And the companies are more professional in the implementation. Half of the top 1.000 companies are aligning social media with other recruitment activities. Nearly a quarter has also established success controls, an increase of 8,1 percentage points over 2013.

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Best Practice: Strategy makes twice as successful

Companies with an explicit social media strategy are almost twice as successful in active sourcing. The top performers are characterized by better training of their employees, better definition of the target groups and more individualized cover letters.

In addition, they have defined the follow-up of already mentioned candidates as well as the contact for an initial discussion. Exactly this systematic approach is so successful.

Digitization of recruitment: standards of the future

The digitization of recruitment is accepted. Three quarters of the top 1.000 companies and eight out of ten IT companies consider them to be good, and the candidates also see their advantages. Partial automation makes recruiting easier, faster and more non-discriminatory.

In the implementation, however, the companies remain a bit hesitant, although the candidates are open to it. For example, 45,4 percent already use job-recommender systems that suggest suitable companies and vacancies based on their profile.

With ChatBots to more humanity?

It only uses one in ten companies, but one fifth plans to use it - four times as many as in 2015. The trend is also towards ChatBots, which automatically answer the candidates' questions about careers, vacancies or companies.

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Six out of ten companies believe in their increasing commitment and half of the candidates would like to use them in their job search, especially Generation Y. However, only 2,8 percent of the top 1.000 companies and about one in ten IT companies offer ChatBots.

Best Practice: More service for applicants

Successful companies are committed to providing more service to candidates and relieving their recruiter and gaining an advantage over other companies by offering job and talent referrers.

And they are working in time with the possibilities that other digitalization tools like ChatBots offer them. Even though talking to ChatBots seems, at first glance, not so service-oriented, half of the candidates surveyed explicitly want ChatBots because they want quicker answers to the company and career options. Sticking point here is that the bots correspond well with data fed.

Employer branding and personnel marketing - companies see significant need for improvement

As already written above: Competition on the job market is thus further aggravated and makes employer branding a central topic in recruitment. A topic where many companies still see room for improvement. The average rating companies give for their services in this area is 4 +. The self-assessment often coincides with the assessment of candidates in employer rankings.

When it comes to the attractiveness characteristics of companies, however, the assessments differ. In two of the three top attractiveness features mentioned by the candidates, the remuneration (salary, benefits in kind, etc.) and the working conditions (working atmosphere, recognition etc.), the candidates see room for improvement. For 70,5 percent, the employer should improve their salaries and 64,4 percent consider the working environment to be in need of improvement. Both are important for companies, but believe that they have already met them.

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Employer: Courage asked for authenticity

However, an important aspect in times of employer rankings and employer review platforms is the credibility: 64% of companies - in the IT 77% - agree with the statement that it is important not just to report positive things about themselves to appear more authentic. But only 18% - in the IT: 38% - also implement this. At the same time, 75% of the candidates tend to believe a company rather then apply for it. And how good the promises were often shows in the application process, keyword candidate experience.

This shows how big the discrepancy still is and is also very critical in terms of application success. Because if employer branding promises are not kept, the following happens with candidates: 18% talk bad about company, 26% give bad reviews on the Internet, 57% reject job offer (especially FundE, Marketing) and 68% do not apply (especially architecture , Journalism). But employees also respond to false promises: 83% look for other jobs - 80% lose work motivation - 63% work less / worse - 42% quit - 37% talk bad about employers

Best Practice: Success from 20.000 Euro

Whoever puts strategy and budget behind their efforts is more successful. Companies that invest a budget of over 20.000 euros for employer branding measures rate themselves as “good” or “very good”.

The absolute top performers among companies also think about establishing measures to measure success - but that doesn't even make every third company from the group of “good guys”.

Mobile Recruiting: Only 55 percent with mobile job ads

The candidates are getting ready for mobile recruiting. 55,3 percent have all for one Casting necessary data on the terminal, which corresponds to an increase of 15 percentage points from the previous year. And more than 90 percent of companies think that mobile recruiting is becoming increasingly important. However, the challenges are huge, high technical effort, additional costs and different standards complicate the use of mobile recruiting.

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This means that 1.000 percent of the top 55,2 companies now provide their information and 57,6 percent make their job ads mobile optimized. In the year 2018, when Google's Mobile First call was back several years ago, that does not seem like much to me.

Best Practice: Apps and Push Messages

And once again, namely 46,3 percent, also offer the possibility of mobile application and thus cover the basic services. Still unused by most companies, the potential of apps is still appealing, though more than half of the candidates find it great when companies and Internet job boards provide apps for mobile devices. However, a corporate job posting application offers only 4,5 percent of the top 1.000 companies.

The successful companies provide candidates with apps for finding job advertisements or tracking application status, as well as additional mobile-optimized services such as push-message job marketing or checking their application status via their own website.

Conclusion: to put the person in the center

Overall, the study shows that even in the year 2018 not all companies use their digital potential, which would actually be technically possible, let alone fully exploit it. Particularly in the areas of Active Sourcing, Mobile Recruiting, Digitization, Employee Recommendations and, surprisingly, also in Employer Branding, there is still considerable potential for many companies.

Overall, the study makes it clear that, above all, companies are successful in responding to their applicants and putting people and employees at the center of their efforts. Because they have recognized: Only the companies with the best minds will be successful in the market in the future. And that includes communicating corporate values ​​and promises credibly and transparently.

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  1. Darius

    People in the center of human resources? That I do not laugh! Here it is all about getting rid of superfluous cost factors = people.

  2. Ingrid

    This weekend I finally had time to read the article on the study. My suspicion: The "person at the center" is nothing more than hollow marketing stuff.

    • Simone Janson

      Thank you for your critical comment, yes, it is to be feared that a lot of marketing is. Nevertheless, one should not lose the optimism.

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