I recently got one of those year-end surveys asking about the significant developments in recruitment in 2012 and trends and predictions for next year.
My inclination was to ignore it; I’ve got enough to do keeping track of today, let alone trying to figure out what next year will bring. As for 2012, without the perspective of time, it’s hard to tell tell what will turn out to be significant in the long run. A few developments, though, will undoubtedly make the survey.
Social media for recruitment will be there, as will the drive to mobile. My list includes growing buzz over “big data,” even though it’s nowhere near clear how it will eventually make a difference in hiring and workforce management.
Vendor consolidation also makes my list. So too does the changing composition of the traditional workforce composition. By that I mean specifically the use of temps and contractors as a strategic component of the workforce, coupled with the growing cadre of professionals who, having turned to contract work (consulting, to put it politely) out of necessity are finding it suits them and provides a work/life balance companies mostly just talk about.
However, after thinking about my list, I realized that it’s the mergers and acquisitions that will have the biggest impact and will come to be seen as one of the more significant industry developments since the recession forced all of us to completely rethink and restructure what we do.
Much of what went on in 2012 was evolutionary, rather than revolutionary. And this is certainly true of the consolidation of the talent acquisition and HR management system vendors. It has been going on for some time now, though the setting was on simmer. But then SAP’s acquisition of SuccessFactors, technically a late 2011 event, turned up the heat. In short order Kenexa and Taleo got bought up. And later, Bullhorn picked up Sendouts and MaxHire. There were also smaller deals that kept the pot boiling throughout the year.
The significance here isn’t the transactions themselves; it’s what’s behind them and, even more so, what it means for the future.