GREAT article by Heather R. Huhman for Entrepreneur Magazine to ponder as we go into the New Year. Equally relevant whether you’re running a company, you’re a freelancer, or an employee of a major company. It’s the perfect time of the year to reflect on where we’ve been and where we want to go. The big trends for me continue to be the Gig Workforce and the impending Generational Shifts.
- Prepare for the gig workforce.
According to a study of more than 5,000 American freelancers released in August by the Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk, 34% of the U.S. workforce — or 53 million people — is now working as freelancers.
This is a significant rise from the tally in 2004 of the contingent workforce by the federal General Accountability Office, which found about 42.6 million American workers were freelancers.
Employers might want to hire more freelancers and contract workers in the near future.
Freelance employees can fill talent shortages within an organization. When hiring freelancers, create a flexible work environment and don’t expect each person to agree to full-time contracts. Develop guidelines for hiring freelancers and how they’ll be managed.
- Plan for generational shifts.
Per the U.S. Census Bureau, 3.4 million people will turn 65 in 2015.
Knowing that 9 out of 10 individuals who are age 65 and older receive Social Security benefits, according to the Social Security Administration, it’s quite possible a lot of these individuals will choose to retire next year.
As more baby boomers retire and millennials enter leadership roles, employers will need to find ways to transfer valuable skills to younger staffers. In addition, HR departments will need to develop strategies to train and motivate millennials.
- Solidify a mobile recruitment strategy.
In Jobvite’s Social Recruiting Survey released in August, nearly 70% of 1,855 recruiters surveyed said they expected more competitive hiring over the next 12 months. And 73% of the recruiters surveyed said they plan to invest more in mobile recruiting to address this trend.
Create a mobile career site that lets job seekers apply for jobs directly from a mobile device. Hiring managers will probably want to use mobile recruitment so that they can post jobs on the go and create postings that can be easily shared on social media and readily responded to.
- Develop a compelling employer brand.
Employer branding can help with recruiting efforts. Fifty-six percent of 4,125 global talent leaders in 31 countries surveyed for LinkedIn’s 2015 Global Recruiting Trends said they believe cultivating their employer brand is a top priority.
Create a compelling employer brand by designing a company career website for job seekers outlining the organization’s values, culture, accomplishments and benefits. Employers can also enhance their company’s image on social-media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and engage with prospective employees online.
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- Focus on retention.
The Conference Board, a New York-based research group, discovered 52.3% of 1,673 Americans surveyed in June are unhappy at work.
Unhappy workers typically leave their jobs to explore new opportunities in an improved economy. So employers should find new ways to retain and recruit talent.
Last year, 73% of some 600 U.S. employees surveyed were satisfied with their co-worker relationships (6% less than in 2012), according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s “Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement” report. Just 70% of employees said they were satisfied with their relationships with their supervisor (a 5% drop from 2012).
In a survey of 1,039 millennials by Elance-oDesk released in October, nearly 80% of the respondents said they would like to quit their regular job to work for themselves.
Employers should identify why some individuals might want to work independently and use this data to improve their workplace.
To boost retention and recruitment, identify top performers who could potentially leave and find out how to keep these employees fulfilled. In addition, forecast potential turnover rates to be prepared.
- Offer competitive wages.
Research released by Michigan State University in October revealed that 37 percent of 5,700 employers surveyed said they plan to increase salaries of entry-level workers 3 percent to 5 percent next year.
Compensation ranked as most important job satisfaction factor for U.S. employees, according to the Society for Human Resource Management report last year.
Research how much competing employers pay their employees. Use this information to create a budget to pay employees fairly for their skills and dedication.