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Top 10 in 2006 (V5)

(December 21, 2006)   This year, Hank Stringer got a new job. Following in Kevin Wheeler's footsteps, Hank joined the Global Talent Ambassadors Club. Nowadays, when he's not helping Russian entrepreneurs to realize the value of their working compatriots, he is shepherding the evolution of Itzbig.

Hank has become a key part of the senior leadership of the industry by taking a shot at all of the major roles. He's been a recruiter (inside and outside), a CEO of a startup (Hire.com, now part of Authoria) and has talked to every imaginable sort of customer, vendor, consultant and networker. Here are Hank's Top 10 events and trends for 2006:

  • Talent Market Consolidation
    started in 05, needed to happen and continued in 06 with activity like the Kenexa acquisition of Brassring. Ours is a fragmented and busy space. We are still looking for the big breakout leader in our $65b + market.
  • The Big Question - Where's the market leader?
    The reaction to the explosion in size of the WWW has caused desperate attempts to find jobs and candidates as evidenced by the proliferation of niche job boards, job aggregators, RPOs, but mostly, frustrated users.  Where is the Google, eTrade, Match.com, etc. of the online recruiting space?  The Big event of the year is the non-event. Some think we should have figured out by now how to drive great results and experience for recruiters and candidates and still make money. Instead we develop models to collect viewers to support advertising models. Maybe next year…
  • Global Talent Concerns
    Global ERE Expo 2006 opens in Amsterdam and OnRec Expo 2006 brings their UK Conference to NYC. Our friend Kevin Wheeler has agreed to expand his road show in Australasia. And the Hank and Rusty show just returned from a day long session on Talent Management in Moscow  and have been asked to present in Estonia and India in '07. We've known the competition for great talent is global and now know the best strategies are sought the world over. Watch for execution in 07.
  • Students pursuing technical degrees on the decline in the U.S
    A scary revelation. CEOs are waking to the fact that without the right talent work does not get done. The good news comes from the Historically Black Colleges and Universities that show a 9% increase in tech grads in '06. Until all US Universities, business and government face the problem of declining tech grads we will continue to expand outsourcing. India and Russia combined, for example graduate close to 450k technical students a year.
  • HR Leader tapped for CEO role:
    Rusty Rueff, former Sr. VP HR Electronic Arts was heavily recruited to join SNOCAP as CEO. A sign that Boards seek operation skills and may be beginning to value Talent Management skills. Will we see more in 07? (Full disclosure: Rusty is a close friend…and we published a book together in '06)
  • Changing Talent Leadership:
    More Executives from Operations Management, particularly marketing are assuming Talent Leaderships roles. Check out Dan Smith at Borders, an ex marketing executive helping to execute some very interesting long term talent strategies. Overall the trend in 06 solidified the need for well rounded Talent Management Leadership with the capability to excel while wearing many hats. It is no longer a world of HR generalist.
  • Dell sends their recruiters home:
    Our friends at Dell have had a tough couple of years, however some of their recruitment leadership like Jim Cochrun are shaking things up. Earlier this year he sent his recruiters home where they could work on sourcing and recruiting candidates and not sit in cubicles answering HR administrivia questions. This Best Buy culture meets corporate recruitment. We love disruptive models focused on the right results. Watch Dell as talent acquisition is the strategic factor to any organizations success. And expect more corporate recruitment teams to follow suit.
  • Year of the boutique RPO:
    Novotus, Accolo, The Empower Network, and Talent Fusion and are just a few of the RPOs around the country that made huge market gains. Their mix of technology and unbundled service delivery should be carefully noted as they may well become the talent delivery models of the future.
  • End of the year budget review:
    If it looks like, smells like….it is. Talent is scarce and has become more expensive. The tipping point in occurred sometime in 06, probably earlier in the year for the coasts and this fall for the Midwest and south, but it has hit. Be prepared to realign those budgets for 07 if you have not already. Talent acquisition and management requires increased investment.
  • Lastly, the big suck up.  
    Sumser celebrates 11 years writing on the Talent space. We don't always agree, but you got to give props to a guy who has found something interesting about our market everyday for the past 11 years. We appreciate your wit, intelligence, sarcasm and alacrity - Good job John!

 The series so far:

2006 in Review

John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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