A Look Ahead: Hiring in 2012

Although the recent recession officially ended back in 2009, signs of positive turn around have only really become apparent during the past year. The unemployment rate has slowly been creeping back down as news of companies hiring has been bombarding us from all angles.

From big name corporations like Google, Microsoft, Boeing and Dell, to small businesses across the nation, hiring efforts are clearly on the rise. These sure signs of recovery, along with many others, leave us set to end 2011 on a high note and ready to kick off 2012 with a bang.

The big question is, however, as this slow and steady recovery picks up pace, what new hiring and workplace trends will begin to show their faces?

Job Seekers Turn to Contracting

The downturn of recent years has left many employees wary of the job market. Scared away from the potential instability of the traditional career path, many people are starting to see the benefits of contracts, whether short or long term.

What these people have found is a new kind of flexibility and job satisfaction that they couldn’t achieve as a permanent employee.

Contract hiring is typically a more popular option during economic recovery in the first place; but now, more than ever, it is becoming an appealing and long-term choice on both sides of the table.

Baby Boomers are Ready to Retire

The first of the Baby Boomers were eligible to retire during 2011, but as the economy had yet to really pick up, the number of those actually retiring tapered off. During 2012, however, it is expected that this generation will be more ready to pack up their desks and say goodbye.

This trend not only results in the obvious need to hire new people, it will also force employers to re-evaluate just who they need to hire. The Baby Boomers were a unique generation, and newer generations couldn’t be more different, especially in their work styles. Now is the time to really look at the roles and culture in your workplace and how they will evolve with this change.

90’s Babies are Ready to Work

2012 marks the first year of college graduates who were born in the 1990’s. These will be people whose prime childhood years were immersed in budding new technology.

What does this mean for workplaces? At some point or another, employers will have to start hiring this generation to replace gaps left by retiring Baby Boomers. To really attract and retain these youngsters, you may need to be looking at both your policies and resources in regards to technology.

If your office is chugging along on decade-old computers while restrictive rules about social media are in full force, you might have a hard time adjusting to this onslaught of nineties babies.

Hiring Meets Social Media

The buzz about social media and its importance in business and hiring has become old news. However, the real-world impact of this buzz is only now becoming apparent. More companies are slowly taking action and putting a social media plan into place.

In today’s job market, social media is taking on a large role. It creates a unique impression for job seekers who research companies they’d like to work for.

A company’s online presence shows just how up-to-date they are with current trends. Beyond that, social media shows how interactive a company is with their employees, customers and job seekers. It gives a glance into the company’s value and interests, and ultimately, it creates a “personality” for your company. Employers that pay attention to all these things will understand how social media plays a role in the hiring process.

Branding Gets Bigger

Speaking of the portrayed “personality” of a company, employer branding is now more important than ever.

As the economy recovers and the job market frees up, job seekers are afforded the luxury of being picky about where they work. Their choices will be based on various factors, just one of these being the aforementioned social media aspect.

Other aspects include things like your website, especially if you have a dedicated career page, reviews your company may have received on web sites like glassdoor.com, any press coverage you have, your hiring process and how job-seeker-friendly it is, and the impression of your company given to a job seeker in the interview.

Are You Ready for 2012?

Clearly, the traditional hiring process is ready for a big upheaval. Contractors, younger generations, social media, and more are all factors that are basically forcing companies to re-evaluate the way they hire. Are you ready?

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