By: Kristin Savage
Everyone has heard this phrase: “It’s a competitive employment marketplace out there.” In recent years, this has applied to candidates seeking employment. Now it applies to employers who are seeking the best talent for their needs.
The tables have certainly turned. Job seekers are far more discerning, and many are actually willing to strike out on their own as entrepreneurs or gig workers, if they cannot get a position that satisfies their wants and needs.
The entire landscape has changed. And if employers really want to attract and employ the best, they need to change with it.
So, just what are the trends for recruitment this year and beyond? Read on.
The current pandemic has probably moved digital recruitment faster than it would have moved otherwise. But now that recruiters and employers are using it far more, they are becoming comfortable, and it is here to stay.
Digital scanning of resumes has been around for quite some time. Basically, resumes are scanned for very specific keywords and phrases that will provide an initial screening.
But AI has pushed recruitment beyond just this simple screening. There are now algorithms that will dig much deeper into applications, resumes, and candidate backgrounds, to streamline the process of thinning out a candidate base. The goal of these types of AI-powered functions is to more accurately match candidates with employer needs, even to the point of scheduling and conducting initial interviews and “testing.”
Expect these digital trends to increase as technology continues to evolve.
A Focus on Diversity
Today’s workforce entering the job market is a very different “animal.” Millennials and Gen Z’ers want a work place that reflects the diversity that they value and have come to expect.
At the same time, employers have come to realize that a culturally diverse environment is necessary, if they are to find the talent they need to find and keep.
Employers need to assess their work forces. Are there appropriate ratios of gender, races and ethnicities? It’s not a question of affirmative action anymore. It’s a question of providing an environment in which diversity reflects the real world and which employees have come to expect.
In short, the more inclusive companies can be, the more chance they have to attract top talent.
The Gig Economy is Driving Employment Decisions
This younger work force does not hold the values of previous generations. They are not interested in joining a company, sticking with the old definitions of work ethic (reporting on time, staying late, etc.), working for raises and promotions, and ultimately retiring with a gold watch and a pension. They want far more flexibility and independence. The result of all of this is the every-increasing gig economy – a growing number of talented professionals who are willing to forego job security for freedom.
At the same time, employers have realized the benefits of using gig workers as opposed to permanent employees. The costs alone make this an attractive option – no benefit packages, for example.
Increasingly, companies are looking for gig workers to outsource open positions. Upwork, for example, now states that, as a result of its surveys, 30% of Fortune 500 companies were already utilizing gig workers as of 2018.
Reaching Out Beyond Traditional Recruitment Sources
For so long, recruiters and employers have posted their position openings on major job boards, on their websites, and with professional recruitment firms. And for the most part, they have been able to get a good supply of candidates for review and consideration.
But a lot of younger talent is not searching these job boards or recruitment websites. They are on social media, including LinkedIn. They are networking with their friends and peers from college; they are attending events and pitching themselves to potential employers or gig clients.
This trend shows no signs of slowing. While position openings may continue to be published on those larger, more traditional venues, employers will broaden their search venues to include social media groups, and other web-based sources (e.g., websites and blogs of influencers in the niche). Here they can find passive candidates and turn them into active ones. And, more and more, they will go to their current employees and gig workers for referrals. In fact, 82% of employers recently surveyed state that referrals provide the best ROI in the recruitment and hiring process.
David Gleason, HR Director for Studicus, has this to say: “All of our team members are gig freelancers. While we do advertise on our site for researchers and writers, we also depend on our current freelancers to recommend colleagues to us. And those referrals have proved to be some of our best hires.”
Offering Increasing Flexibility
Employers looking for full-time staff, as opposed to gig outsourcing, will need to make a paradigm shift from the traditional employment environment to a far more flexible one, including the following:
- Non-traditional work hours and work spaces. Allowing employees to determine their own work hours and places is extremely attractive. And, so long as they remain productive and meet task responsibilities, why not?
- Flexibility of benefits. Health insurance is certainly an attractive perk to most employees, but not all. Some may have the opportunity to be covered on a spouse’s policy, for example. Company-based retirement plans, including 401K’s, may be attractive to some, but not all. Employers are learning that, when they provide a specific amount of money for benefits and allow employees to choose how that money will be spent, the feel more in control of what they want.
Flexibility that honors employees wants and needs results in high job satisfaction. And, given the cost of recruitment, hiring, and onboarding, keeping current talent is the far better option.
New Methods of Skill (Hard and Soft) Testing
Soft skills are becoming increasingly more important, as employees will be called upon to work collaboratively on teams, either digitally or in person. But hard skills are still important.
More and more, employers are turning to testing venues that enter the realm of situational assessments. And often, they use gamification for such tests. Not only these more engaging for the test-taker, they show an employer that an applicant can apply their skills and talents in new situations.
As an employer, you goal is to recruit and employ the very best talent out there. And landing that talent is far more complex than just offering a great salary and benefit package. The work force has evolved, and you must as well.
These six trends are current for 2020 and even beyond. But that is not to say that newer trends will not evolve. Keep your “ear to the ground” and incorporate newer trends that will work for you.
Author Bio: Kristin Savage is a prolific researcher and writer on a number of topics, for such companies as Trust My Paper, Grab My Essay, Studicus, BidForWriting, and Wow Grade, along with a number of publications. Her niche writing areas include freelancing and the gig economy, demographics and values of millennials and Gen Z’ers, hot employment trends, and motivation/productivity. In her “other life,” Kristin enjoys a musical lifestyle, as the keyboardist and vocalist, with an Indie band.