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My Top 5 Predictions for 2009

February 15

I once co-authored an article on the subject of Campus Recruiting 2017. By virtue of the title I became the de facto TMP "futurist". I was forced to look far into the future to predict what might happen as companies embraced new models and new technologies needed to connect with students on college campuses. It remains to be seen whether or not anything I predicted can or will come to pass but it was interesting to force myself to think well into the future.

In forecasting what 2009 might hold for employment marketing and recruitment, I must warn you not to put too much stock into my prognostications, since I failed to predict that I would have to write this article.

In 2009 I predict the following:

#1 - Social Media is going to become increasingly more important both in recruitment and in our everyday lives.

We have seen explosive growth in the number of people joining Social Media networks and we will continue to do so in 2009. Today, people use Facebook to communicate with their friend networks about where to meet, where to eat, and whatever else they deem important and socially relevant (think brands). The most critical development for 2009 regarding Social Media and recruitment will be the shift from companies simply "trying" Social Media by having a Facebook page, to companies truly embracing it and developing cohesive and coherent strategies for the use of Social Media and what to do with downstream candidates.

#2 - We will see a consolidation in the Social Media space.

The recent proliferation of Social Media sites and tools has been somewhat overwhelming to many in the recruitment space. The truth is that very few of these players have solid business models and many may not be here in 3-6 months. The major players, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. - are here to stay but some of the smaller players will either be acquired (unlikely) or will fold. I am not brave enough to predict which ones will disappear.

#3 - Despite the shifting economy and continued layoffs, companies will still be hiring A-level talent.

I have learned that even in a down economy, talent is transportable. In 2009, companies will drastically reduce their spending and their recruiting efforts; however, they will continue to look for A-players to bring into the organization. Smart companies will continue to develop, and invest in, their employer brands in order to articulate them and deliver them in the social spaces, etc. Social Media will serve not only as an attraction tool, but more importantly, as a retention tool for A-level talent. Don't miss the opportunity.

#4 - There will be a frantic scramble by every media vendor to capture budget.

With the economy in a severe downturn, many media vendors are under significant pressure. HR professionals will be besieged by more and more vendors seeking access to the corporate wallet. I suggest that you ask them to prove their value before trying their services which leads me to #5...

#5 - In a down economy, ROI is much more important.

2009 is truly the year of ROI. Measure, measure, measure becomes the mantra for companies seeking to justify media spending, determine the efficacy of media selections, and drive high quality talent into the pipeline. Make sure that whatever partners you use, they all can deliver impartial, trusted ROI data.

Questions? Comments? Email me at steve.ehrlich@tmp.com.

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