Integrated offerings will lead the way for the job market
In 2013, several surveys began pointing at the increasing use of mobiles in job search and the trends that followed. Job seekers weren’t just going online to check for vacancies but also to research companies, establish connections with potential employers and find information on industry and salary trends. They were reading company reviews by other employees and also subscribing for real-time job alerts. The Internet and its social and digital extensions have changed the very fabric of our interactions and this is true for both the personal and professional worlds. As the world of technology continues to evolve so will our behavior and these I believe are the crucial movements that we must keep in sight.
At the moment it’s the mobile which has proven its dominance as the screen of choice in our lives. According to a recent report by IAMAI, over 50 per cent of active Internet users in India access the net through mobile, while a study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) suggests the number will reach 70-80 per cent of the Indian Internet population by 2018. No doubt mobile will play a critical role in how we access the Internet, whether it is to connect with friends, facilitate a purchase or search for jobs.
Online job demand itself is increasing. As is indicated by the Monster Employment Index, India saw a 19 per cent year-on-year growth in 2014. This has been led by robust growth across sectors, including home appliances (up by 45 per cent); BFSI (up by 36 per cent); IT (32 per cent) and BPO/ITES (26 per cent) as well as growing demand for professionals in senior management and marketing & communications. In Singapore as well, growing demand in IT, telecom/ISP and BPO/ITES followed by BFSI has contributed to steady growth in online recruitment activity. Across the Middle East, the job market is growing with demand for purchase, logistics and supply chain professionals, led by UAE at 13 per cent and Saudi Arabia at 12 per cent YOY growth. The outlook for the next 12 months is at an all-time high. As I see it, some key developments would be at the helm of this growth.
While job seekers go social to follow companies, get real-time updates on company news and job postings, it is the sheer versatility of the medium that is shaping future trends. For one, it offers multimedia potential, including video, images, audio and presentations for candidates to present their experience and skills, which means that the age-old resume itself is changing. Those harnessing the potential of mobile also realize the importance of creating mobile-friendly communication including CVs and cover letters. Employers themselves are taking to innovative recruitment methods using video sharing platforms and sites like Twitter to test creative skills and capabilities of candidates.
As the first screen in our lives, the mobile offers easy accessibility, interaction and quicker response time. However, this also means shorter attention span that needs to be captured quickly and often intuitively. We need to build offerings which can strike up regular interaction rather than intermittent usage.
A BCG report profiling Internet users in India points out that 15-22 year olds, who constitute a major chunk of these users, frequent online job portals to crack their first jobs. Here is an entire generation on the cusp of entering the job market and for them online job portals are the first and often key avenues to look for opportunities. Again, this digital-savvy, spoilt-for-choice demographic needs highly relevant and engaging content that cuts right through the riff-raff.
So content is not just king anymore; it is queen with a versatility of moves within its play. From crowdsourcing to data crunching, content is leading the way in creating unique and valuable offerings for users. We took Monster’s expansive database and created Monster Professional Networking where job seekers can connect with their own contacts as well as tap into our database. Then we integrated this with a mobile app so users can get real-time updates on the companies they follow, from latest news to the most recent job postings. We have built valuable content over the years with our industry expertise; now it is about taking this content and making it relevant to our users.
Employer branding, which has always been a powerful recruitment tool, gains further eminence in this scenario. With job seekers looking to connect directly to potential employers and develop these relationships, recruiters also need to stand out and a clear and consistent messaging is the key to this. Consequently, Monster’s Professional Networking further allows recruiters to build profiles where they can share important company news, updates and job postings. It is a comprehensive tool to build engagement with talented candidates and build an online reputation for the company.
But cutting through the riff-raff also requires incisive data to provide higher level of insights, which are crucial for anyone researching for a new job role. From industry trends to latest salary figures, the content we are providing must empower job seekers. Keeping this in mind, we launched the Monster Salary Index, which provides industry-wide benchmarks against which users can compare their own salary. Another trend that picked up steam in 2014 is that of passive job searching where recruiters are actively looking for talented and experienced candidates, even when there might not be an inclination on the other side to switch jobs; while seekers are passively on the lookout at all times. This, more than ever, calls attention to the need for integrated platforms where seekers and recruiters can maintain a consistent line of communication.
While 2014 has seen several individual trends rise, I believe that 2015 is set to be the year of integration. We are increasingly moving towards an online world where our various interactions and activities are being brought together onto one platform. And job search is not far behind. A highly customized experience that caters to a complete set of needs, from researching new opportunities to building quicker and better connections to staying constantly updated with the industry and consistently finding new sources of career inspiration, one integrated platform will be the clarion call of 2015.