2018 ended on a high note for US job seekers. Over 300,000 jobs were added, and after ten years of minor improvements, wages rose 3.2%. Furthermore, the US is currently enjoying historically low unemployment rates. In fact, “2018 was a year that shifted more power to workers,” says Josh Wright, chief economist at iCIMS.
These employment figures are great news for individuals and the economy. For HR professionals it means a competitive labor market, and unless your recruitment strategies are on the ball, it could spell trouble.
I’ve worked in the learning and talent industry for over 20 years, and the recruitment challenges and changes facing HR are some of the toughest I have ever seen. Both technology and how it has completely disrupted the talent acquisition space coupled with the current job market mean anyone with recruitment responsibilities must understand and prepare for what’s happening in 2019.
Here are my top five picks for the changes we can expect to see in the hiring process over the next twelve months.
#1 New recruitment tactics
Recruiters will need to think outside the box and use non-traditional hiring practices to combat the scarcity in available talent pools. I’m talking about the introduction, or in some cases the rise, of referral incentives, revised “minimal standards” (i.e., applicants will no longer need to have a college degree to apply), increased use of LinkedIn as a source for talent, “One-Click Applications,” video interviewing and perhaps even the beginning of the end of the paper resume. I’m also now seeing jobs get posted on corporate Twitter accounts that have direct links to the application for the position. Recruiters realize the easier they can make it to apply for a job, the higher the chance they have to lure talent away from other organizations.
#2 HR will adopt a new approach to align with new hires
HR must begin to recognize that it will have to change the way it operates. Part of this means looking internally and addressing its own changing needs through offering more flexibility around the traditional 9-5 workday, using remote workers, replacing or updating old HR systems to gain efficiencies and reduce administrative burdens. It also applies externally and includes the more “human” type interaction as new workers bring new challenges. One CHRO specifically told me that they are in the position of helping new employees open bank accounts and provide more interpersonal skills training (i.e., how to facilitate a meeting). In some organizations, the idea of “adulting” as a development opportunity is rising fast.
#3 A much greater use of artificial intelligence (AI)
AI might just become HR’s best friend. Not only will it provide greater clarity and enable HR to identify flight risks and stagnant performers it can also generate a more real-time analysis of the existing workforce and thereby assist HR in anticipating any potential labor or skill shortages. This isn’t a one-sided proposition either. Candidates can also leverage AI capability with a growing number of services that use AI to write and adapt resumes for better visibility with recruiters and search bots. Additionally, we will see the usage of AI as a way to identify talent. For example, AI can help recruiters make job advertisements more targeted by putting the ads in front of the right people at the right time based on their browser history.
#4 Companies will look internally to fill talent gaps
Upskilling and increased employee engagement are going to be huge in 2019 as organizations look to build metaphorical walls around their talent to avoid looking externally. Apart from the fact that it is costlier to hire externally, upskilling provides a great way to invest in talent and show the company’s interest in developing its employees, which aids in talent acquisition.
#5 Video interviewing will become the new norm
Interviewing candidates via video is on the rise. Time is now a more precious commodity than ever before, and organizations are reluctant to impose time-consuming multiple rounds of interviews on employees. It is also an attempt to increase the level of the certainty of fit before bringing candidates on-site.
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