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2013 Human Capital Predictions – A Practitioner View

Originally posted: December 10, 2012 on TrishMcFarlane.com

As the end of 2012 approaches, I am mentally preparing for the deluge of prediction posts from sources large and small.  For the last couple years, I decided NOT to guess predict what would happen because I believed that surely the large firms with the hefty research budgets could steer me, as a practitioner, in the right direction.  I happened to find a folder yesterday where I have been printing and saving many of these predictions over the years and to my surprise, many did not happen.

As I wondered why, it hit me….these people are not living and breathing HR and recruiting every day.  And while surveys are nice, much of what I read from prior years is really more aligned to what companies wanted me to focus on because it’s what they wanted to SELL.

So, with that perspective, I decided to give my predictions for 2013 since I am not here to sell you anything.  I am doing it now, before all the others come out, because my first prediction is that mine will not match theirs.  What I can tell you is that my predictions for 2013 are based on not only my experience, but my many conversations through 2012 that I’ve had with other day-to-day practitioners I met at many of the large HR and recruiting focused conferences.

2013: The year of blocking and tackling

  • Focus on small to mid-sized solutions- As someone who is deeply involved in the HR technology space, I see and hear about solutions of all sizes.  My BIG prediction for 2013 is that the smaller vendors are going to gain some real traction.  Why?  Because they have the ability to provide highly innovative solutions for the issues that HR generalists and recruiters need for day-to-day productivity at a low cost and with fast implementation.  Sometimes we have issues that can be quickly and easily solved with a small solution.  It’s easier for us to gain financial approval and also easier to find time to implement these solutions.
  • Teaching “social” for business-  Many of us have been living for several years with social technology as part of our daily work life.  This is not the case with a majority of workers.  Over the last couple years specifically, we’ve seen a large percentage of employees embrace social for their personal use as the smartphone and tablet technology has become more affordable.  What we have not seen is that turn in the business world where employees and leaders really understand how social platforms can empower their business.  Some of the large players have, but as a whole, our leaders and employees still need training on how some of the most popular platforms can be used to increase revenue, to target clients, to give performance feedback or to gain efficiency in the daily work.  2013 will be a year when training will rise in importance in order to support social business decisions.
  • Focus on culture fit, not volume hiring-  As talent acquisition leaders adjust their business approach to incorporate more employer branding, they will find that doing this produces a candidates with better cultural fit with the company.  2013 will be less about quantity of candidates and ALL about using tools and techniques to find the RIGHT candidate.  It’s not going to matter as much if you’re using job boards, social, referrals or any other approach.  Where the rubber meets the road will be that employers who can use all those techniques and approaches to deliver candidates that STAY and are productive.
So, now we wait.  
I think I’ll spend my next few weeks with visions of sugar plumbs dancing in my head and hoping you all have a joyous holiday season.  In the meantime, if you have any of your predictions to share, or if you disagree with mine, feel free to share it in the comments.
Happy Holidays!

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