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Recruitment Challenges Continue in 2017 as Top Candidates Focus on Work Culture and Flexibility

Posted Monday, January 23, 2017 3:55 pm
Companies face intense competition to find qualified candidates to fill vacancies, according to a new global study by the Futurestep division of Korn Ferry.  The global survey of more than 1,100 hiring professionals yielded results including that 54 percent of respondents noting that it is harder to find qualified talent compared to just one year ago. The same study found that identifying people with the right skills in a rapidly changing market is the top recruitment issue. Rapid business growth, millennial expectations and economic uncertainty were identified as key reasons the right talent is difficult to find.
"Candidates with niche and specialized skill sets will become increasingly sought after as 2017 unfolds, and knowing how to gain and hold their attention should be one of the biggest priorities for talent acquisition professionals," said Jeanne MacDonald, Futurestep global operating executive and president, Talent Acquisition Solutions.
The survey report explains that the top reason candidates choose one job over another is "company culture."  This differs from the top reason that candidates chose one job over another five years ago, which was the benefits package.  Whereas the effects of the Great Recession were still palpable at that time, today the focus is on culture and fit.  "Millennials ? want to feel good about where they're working and require a shared sense of purpose," said MacDonald. "Gen X, on other hand, are more interested in taking their skill set to a place where they can make an impact. Organizations with a culture of acknowledging that impact also have a greater chance of retaining top talent of that generation."
When asked what would be the top reason a candidate would choose one job over another five years from now, the highest percentage of respondents chose "flexible working."  According to MacDonald, a flexible environment ? from working remotely to flex hours ? is becoming common across many industries. In addition, businesses are seeing changes due to the rise of the contingent professional workforce, or "gig economy."
"Instead of looking for full-time employment, talented, high-demand people will take contingent assignments where they can showcase their unique skills and talents, then complete the project and move to the next gig."  Seventy-three percent of survey respondents reported that they use a contingent workforce on either a regular or as-needed basis.
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