Top 5 Hiring Trends for 2014

Which projected hiring trends in 2013 came true, and which should employers continue to use next year?Several buzzwords — social media, branding, diversity — plunged into the human resources and hiring fields in 2013 and pushed forward recruitment and retention of employees.

Many of the hiring trends predicted for 2013 will continue into 2014, says Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half, a staffing services company that specializes in placement in the accounting, finance, technology, legal, creative, and administrative fields.

McDonald shared five trends from 2013 that will grow in the new year. He writes and speaks frequently on hiring, workplace, and career management topics, and has advised thousands of job seekers and company leaders during his nearly 30 years in recruiting.

1. Social media will play an even bigger role in recruitment.

Social media definitely had a larger presence in 2013 than previous years, McDonald says. More candidates enhanced their profiles and created a more professional online presence.

“I don’t think it’s in the lead role yet, but the best recruiters know social media is one tool in the toolbox,” he says.

Hiring managers must search and recruit via a number of channels to be successful, which includes tapping personal networks and even former employees, he says.

2. Get ready for more aggressive recruitment of all employees.

There’s a “War on Talent,” especially in the fields that Robert Half recruits, McDonald says. The U.S. unemployment rate was 7 percent for November 2013 (according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data), but many fields fall in the 1 percent to 3 percent range. This includes finance, technology, legal, and some creative positions.

“The best candidates are hard to find,” McDonald says. “Companies have to be extremely aggressive in their techniques.”

This means firms need to move through the hiring process quickly but thoroughly. “Some companies may go so fast they may skip a reference check,” he says. “Don’t do that. Move quickly, but don’t skip the steps.”

3. Gear up for more aggressive retention of all employees.

Some companies forget the most important aspect that follows recruitment — and that’s retention.

“It’s really important when you’re in the War on Talent to make sure the people on your staff right now are engaged,” McDonald says. “Make them understand you care.”

Generation Y employees, for example, crave communication and feedback. Companies may need to focus on career mapping with each employee and increasing their retention strategies.

4. More and more employers will boost their branding or further develop brands.

Progressive companies are doing this “100 percent,” McDonald says, which ties into the social network trend. With so many channels and opportunities for branding, hiring managers can create a short video clip to highlight company culture, expansion, and advancement opportunities.

“It’s also important to ensure every employee understands your brand,” he says. “The most savvy companies know to focus on external and internal messaging and branding.”

5. Recruitment will become more proactive instead of reactive.

Today’s mindset requires an “always recruiting” worldview, McDonald says. It can be difficult to predict when and why someone will leave your company, but you can always be prepared. That means 52 weeks a year.

“Always keep your network warm,” he says. “You never know when you’ll need a new person.”

Find out how The Employment Network can help in your recruitment efforts.


  1. What I’m reading is that only young, tech savvy applicants have a chance and those of us over 40 who may not be AS tech savvy but DO know our way around social media, are out of luck.

    • Really? That’s surprising because a lot of what we are hearing is that social media savvy will play a big role moving forward, both in terms of networking to find a job and/or new opportunities *and* in maintaining and cultivating such connections. Let’s hope that rings true! Good luck to you. And happy holidays. Thanks for commenting!

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