Even though we are still only in the first week of January, 2019 already feels quite familiar. Of course, a new year calls for a fresh start, which includes a look out for new opportunities to tap into. For that reason, companies look for trends, both local and global, as well as for their specific industry. There is no lack of information on that matter, as many useful reports and articles are easily accessible online. A Google search for ‘recruitment trends 2019’, for example, has over 90 million (!) hits. This is even abundantly topped by ‘hr tech trends 2019’ (118 million hits). But before finding a way in this new age of (business) opportunities, I always like to take a moment of reflection. Looking back on the previous year, both personally and professionally, helps me to avoid doing business as usual. Taking my time to evaluate my mistakes and accomplishments allows me to better tap into the external trends and opportunities. This fortunately does not have to be a boring exercise and it can be done on multiple levels, such as a personal, professional or even national level.
To give you an interesting example of how to evaluate a year, The Netherlands organized a ‘number of the year’ election. Everyone interested was allowed to give his or her number that symbolizes 2018 for The Netherlands, after which the most frequent ones were taking into consideration by an official jury. The result: 38.2. The reason for this is that this is the highest temperature ever measured (in Celsius) in The Netherlands, which happened last summer. It symbolizes the endless sub-tropical summer of 2018, of which most Dutch citizens have great memories. At the same time, however, it is a confronting reality that climate change is actually already happening.
You can try this method yourself. Ask yourself which number symbolizes your professional year, or maybe the year of your (HR) department. It can be a major milestone, or it might symbolize a recurring problem you want to avoid next year. Think out of the box, or stay comfortably in it, there are no rules, as long as it makes sense. Did you, for instance, implement a HR Tech tool and therefore significantly reduced the average time-to-hire? Then statistics about that accomplishment (such as a reduction by ‘13’ days) could be your number of the year. Or did you improve your candidate experience and therefore increase the candidate satisfaction rate? Then that number could be a good reflection.
Not a numbers person? No problem (neither am I), words work as well. It works exactly the same way. Wonder which particular word or term symbolizes your professional year of 2018. Was it a project like GDPR, or was it the year where you started using artificial intelligence (AI) in your recruitment process? There are again no wrong answers, as long as it leads to a meaningful reflection. A candidate shortage might, for instance, have been a central theme in you daily working environment. However, ask yourself whether there was any specific way how you coped with it. Did you pay extra attention to communicating your employer brand, which turned this threat into an opportunity? Then the term ‘employer branding’ could be the one for you, as it defines last year and simultaneously indicates a point of focus for this year.