Before unpacking the realities of the job market for 2014, one of the many questions we should be asking ourselves is whether the 2013 economy has recovered from the recession?
Job advertising and car purchases are often used as measures on how well or not an economy is performing. While we cannot comment on auto sales, we can comment on the job market:
At CareerJunction we have seen a year-on-year increase of 17% in the number of new jobs advertised. This growing trend was particularly evident during the last running quarter. We then look at online labour market indicator, the CareerJunction Index (CJI)
, which shows a minimal change in recruitment conditions for the most part of the previous seven months due to a similar growing trend in both supply (job seeker activity) and demand (jobs being advertised). This demonstrates that, despite the growth in labour demand the need for skills in SA is more or less on par with the need for these jobs. This is most certainly an all-round positive trend for job advertisers, as we see growth in the business sector whilst job seekers remain plentiful on the job market.
Overall 2013 has certainly seen an improvement in labour demand, serving as a clear indicator that the economy is improving, although very slowly, and hence demonstrates that the GDP growth figures of just over 2% is accurate if one looks at the CJI as a comparator.
So what will 2014 bring to the job market as a whole?
Well we predict that there will be much uncertainty as we approach election time but post-election we should see continued growth coming through in job advertising as well as people on the move. This combined with easy access for job seekers to job opportunities via mobile devices (phones and tablets) will certainly make recruitment a more challenging process for advertisers in the market. The challenge for the advertisers will be how to manage the ever increasing volume of applications and turn them into candidates. The volumes will increase and employers and agencies alike will need to improve their processes to manage these volumes. Business data or intelligence will become an important tool into the future as these analytics will provide guidance on how to run an effective business.
Take a leaf out of the Google business model!
Recruitment agencies will also be asked to differentiate themselves more in 2014. Those that are generalist agencies will need to re-look at themselves and perhaps develop into areas of specialisation whereas the specialised agencies will be asked to provide more and more value if rates remain the same from employers. Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) demand will increase as more employers want more service and value from agencies. On the other hand those employers whose HR areas have been tasked on doing recruitment in-house will find it difficult to deliver to lines of business unless they adopt a notion that there are specialists that can and want to help to obtain the most out of their systems and processes. More employers will look to technology to reduce their hiring costs and agencies will need to develop strategies to match this trend.
To conclude, 2014 will undoubtedly be an interesting year in the field of recruitment, and a busy one at that! Times are changing, and those who decide to ride the wave can expect great things in the near future.