Today's job market has become highly competitive — but not just for the millions of applicants searching for a job. With the influx of startups and professionals demanding improved working conditions from companies, job hunting is changing rapidly. It is no longer enough to put up an open call and hope for the best. In order to find the best talent, you need to start getting creative and keep up with innovation.
From customized keywords to data culture, here’s some trends we’re expecting to see more of in 2020.
Streamlining Workflows with Artificial Intelligence
A while ago, Amazon came out with a statement that their hiring algorithm held a bias against women. The HR tech community has learned from this mistake, and realizing that while using AI and machine learning to make your job easier might make your work faster as a recruiter, it's vital to have a human making the actual decisions.
Manually sifting through hundreds of applications does take time - and worse, leaves the constant potential for human error let ideal candidates slip through the cracks. While we're seeing justified resistance to fully automated hiring, we're also seeing services that just make things a bit faster for recruiters. AllyO is a California-based company developing AI-powered job recruitment services that has created applicant tracking systems that can navigate through thousands of applications in a day. On top of this, it can even help conduct follow-up interviews, schedule final offer-extension calls, and deliver actionable insights to hiring managers.
Focusing on Diversity Hiring
Hiring for diversity means actively thinking about who comprises your company, and aiming to hire from a diverse set of candidates - something HR teams are doing more and more. While this isn't exactly a "trend," per se, we're seeing more and more companies making an active effort to promote diversity in their hiring strategies more than ever before:
"The expectations employees have of their employer are evolving and our latest survey shows just how important diversity has become to prospective hires," shared Randstad Global Business CEO in an article on Tech Republic. "Employers looking to attract top talent must focus on communicating how much they value people and diverse perspectives, not just the financial value they provide."
Take a look at your current list of applicants. Which aspect in terms of diversity is lacking? Is there an unequal ratio of men and women? People of color? Keep these things in mind when you start searching for potential hires, and check your own biases at the door. HR Technologist states that diversity and inclusion initiatives have been proven to provide benefits such as improved employee happiness, productivity, and even team retention. The benefits shouldn't really have to be proven, though - focusing on diversity is a small thing HR teams can do in order to demonstrate their commitment to equality and make their companies more inclusive.
Openness to Gig Workers
The gig economy is what it sounds like: a free market of jobs where everything is project-based (or a "gig") and temporary positions are common. In the past, people resorted to "gigs" only when they were unable to land regular, stable jobs. That is far from the case today however. Plenty of high-paid freelancers, specialists, and global talent thrive in the gig, and for businesses, hiring a gig worker saves a lot of money and resources.
Bigger businesses are now starting to see the aforementioned benefits, and are continuously looking for gig workers to fill empty positions. In fact, Upwork claims that more than 30% of Fortune 500 companies turn to the platform to outsource roles. If you wish to hire gig workers, make sure your job description doesn't merely contain the traditional perks, such as generous vacation leaves. Most gig workers are looking for three things in particular: meaningful work, adequate pay, and good company culture.
Strategic Broad Searching
If you’re still using the same job boards that you have been for the past decade, or are simply waiting for people to stumble upon your recruitment email, it may be time to branch out. Typically, it's best practice to recruit where your potential applicants hangout. This can be in the form of Facebook groups, LinkedIn pages, or even Instagram. The deeper you search, the more likely you’ll attract the perfect candidate. In order to do this well, it’s important to understand your perfect candidate first. Different demographics behave in different ways, so it's vital to know what you’re looking for before you go looking.
Demanding Data-driven HR
Recruitment used to be primarily dependent on “instinct" — that is, whether the applicant seems fit for a particular position or not. There's no way to tell if someone will do a good job from the get-go, but the rise of data analytics can help you make more informed decisions. This skill has become so in-demand across industries that Maryville University predicts the US business data analytics market will be worth $95 billion by 2020. While it mostly lends its service to banking, manufacturing, and government work, data analytics is also transforming HR by taking the guesswork out of recruitment, according to an article on Information Week. By assessing factors like skills, qualifications, and personality, data helps you find the best job candidates possible.
Sourcing with Employee Referral Programs
With the younger generation taking over the workforce, it's important to acknowledge Millennials' reputation for "job-hopping." While most of them have understandable reasons behind this behavior (such as lack of engagement or wanting jobs that are "fulfilling"), one solution is to turn to good old referral programs. After all, it can be costly for your company to keep on-boarding new employees and finding replacements, and the Jobvite Index reveals that candidates accepted through referral hiring consistently stay at jobs longer.
Gamified Trial Tests
Gamification is an ongoing trend where you take gaming elements and incorporate them into non-gaming aspects such as collaboration and recruitment. This method is usually used to show how the candidate will react under a specific situation and several pressures. For example, professional services network PwC makes applicants play two rounds of Multipoly (a play on the popular board game Monopoly) to test whether they are ready to work at the company or not. They get placed in positions, assigned to "teams," and are presented with business problems similar to those they would encounter on the job.
Flexible Work Schedules
Another important trait of the new workforce that recruiters need to take note of is their need for flexible work schedules. Because of their natural inclination towards technology, Millennials prefer remote employment, freelance set-ups, and working from home to balance their lifestyles. It includes getting rid of the traditional 9-5 office hours, which is actually proven to be less productive for today's employees. As such, the option to let your accepted applicants choose their most optimal work hours is extremely attractive to potential hires, and will likely show impressive results.
Of course, each company has a different opinion on when, how, and why they should recruit someone. But at the end of the day, it’s always good to keep an eye on the current recruitment landscape. Keeping yourselves informed will save you time and costs in the long run.
Exclusively written for teamable.com by Jasmine Heptinstall.