In 2018, the focus for HR and Talent Acquisition was on how to approach millennials, how to prepare for generation Z, how important it is to attract female talent, and how powerful employer branding can be (An Open letter to HR by Gen-Z candidate).
No doubt, it was a year of challenges and new ideas, but at the same time, 2018 was the year HR was established as a Business Partner for most of the companies.
Employers turned their focus toward their employees and the impact of their well being on companies’ overall performance.
Now, it is time to prepare for what is next!
What should we expect in 2019, and where should we focus the most?
5 talent acquisition trends to follow are
AI technology is expanding fast
A few years ago, artificial intelligence (AI) was some sort of “next generation” technology.
We used to be afraid of AI, and we used to think that artificial intelligence will take over our jobs.
Well, do not be so naïve!
There will always be a need for humans!
AI only makes our life easier.
In the case of talent acquisition, it can help recruiters in different ways, and it can provide a more engaging candidate experience.
Making use of AI can reduce recruiter’s bias (unconscious bias) when selecting candidates as it has been programmed to focus on the skills that a candidate possesses instead of demographic characteristics such as age, ethnicity, or gender.
Only qualified candidates will be processed to the next step of the hiring process, and therefore, the quality of the pipeline will get improved as well. (Read – Surviving AI 101)
In addition to that, AI
- Provides time for talent acquisition specialists to focus more on other important tasks of their day-to-day work
- Delivers data which can help them to forecast future needs and become more of a strategic partner for their companies
Improvements in technology made it possible to apply blockchains technologies for wider use than cryptocurrencies.
For example, information exchange between employers and employees can be made better.
And, if you put a chatbot on your career page, it can interact with potential candidates about open positions.
It can then communicate to the AI software and inform if there are signs that these candidates are “strong” candidates or not.
It makes the entire recruiting process so much more efficient!
Remote working is gaining ground
According to the Global Workforce Analytics, 80 to 90% of the total workforce would prefer the option of working remotely.
We are talking about the total workforce, not only about millennials.
People prefer to work from their home, a coffee shop (not in the way we mean it in Amsterdam 😉 ), a beach, or anywhere else where Wifi is available. (Read – Remote yet close: New rules of hiring & retaining)
As remote work is becoming more and more popular, the technology advancements make this opportunity even easier.
Socialtalent supports that with the help of Augmented Reality (AR) technology, new video conferencing technology.
This will allow people to talk to each other from different locations around the world, providing them with the opportunity to share the same experiences.
Well, it sounds great and crazes, and to be honest we are not there yet.
It is estimated that the AR and VR (Virtual Reality) market will increase from approx. 15$ billion in 2017 to 120$ billion in 2020.
This estimation itself is enough to make employers review and change the total package they offer to candidates during the hiring process.
Today, people focus more than ever on work-life balance and prefer options which allow them to free themselves from the office distractions.
A FlexJobs report shows that 60% of millennials think that they would be more productive at home versus in an office.
Furthermore, 82% of respondents stated that they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options.
Be smart and adjust your strategy according to the demands of your potential employees!
A great first step is to follow the example of PwC which has launched PwC@Home, where employees can work three or more days from work.
*Hire and assess your remote candidates by using platforms such as HackerEarth.
Candidate experience (CX)
Candidate experience is closely related to employer branding, and employer branding was an important trend in 2017.
Knowing that the work environment, the company culture, and the flexible work options attract talent, more and more companies invested in creating a positive image of their workplace.
But, do we stop there?
No! Of course, not!
If you aim to onboard and retain talented people, you do not want to just create a positive image as an employer, you also need to support this image throughout the candidate’s journey.
To strengthen your employer brand, you can start by formulating a successful Employee Value Proposition (EVP).
An employee value proposition (EVP) is the unique set of benefits which an employee receives in return for the skills, capabilities, and experience they bring to a company.
To enhance the Employee Value Proposition, you can also make the talent acquisition team and the marketing team BFFs in your company.
Marketing can help your talent acquisition specialists attract more candidates to fill open positions.
By simply promoting a workplace that everyone would like to be a part of or by promoting the different benefits that employees in the company enjoy.
Based on an Employer Branding Survey, 75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying for the job, while 69% of job seekers would not take a job at a company with a bad reputation even if they were unemployed.
That said, an awful candidate experience can destroy your employer branding.
No matter how people talk about you as an employer, if you do not offer an enjoyable candidate experience during the application and the hiring process, you have lost them.
LinkedIn supports that nearly four out of five candidates (78%) say the overall candidate experience they receive is an indicator of how a company values its people.
In the same line, Recruiting Brief supports that according to 80 to 90% of talent, a positive or negative candidate experience can change their minds about a role or a company.
To focus more and to improve the candidate experience, see what candidates are looking for when applying for a job position:
- Candidates demand frequent communication/updates
- Clear timelines and steps in the hiring process
- Detailed job descriptions
- Notice when a position is filled and the possibility to contact the recruiter
Learning and Development
Heraclitus once said: “The only thing that is constant is change.”
True more than ever before. Today, no market is static anymore.
Circumstances change rapidly, customers’ and candidates’ needs change continuously and new unknown challenges occur almost every day at work.
One day your company can be a leader in its industry and the other day a scandal about your CEO or stakeholders can decimate your company.
One day you may possess the latest technologies, and the other day a new player (threat) with its innovative product/service could make your technology look ridiculously old.
To face and overcome such situations, it is necessary to prepare.
Being an employer, you should always make sure that you provide the necessary training and guidance to your employees;
and being an employee, you should always make sure that you are able and willing to learn new skills that will allow you to remain competitive in your business.
How to prepare for future disruptions or opportunities
- Implement clear communication strategies
- Provide relevant training on current topics
- Promote an empowering leadership style
- Look for business/industry-related information
- Keep yourself updated on the latest trends
- Be willing and eager to learn new skills
Online training and courses are in the spotlight and employees enjoy them more than traditional forms such as delivering a presentation in front of a group of people.
As an HR professional, you should make sure that your company offers online classes which can help your employees improve their existing skills and gain new necessary skills.
This will prep them for any unpredictable situations that may occur. (Read – 5 Reasons you should use a talent assessment tool)
Reshaping talent development
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, establishing HR as a Business Partner was an accomplishment of 2017 for most of the companies.
Now, it is time to reshape and establish the role that Human Resources Management team has in talent development.
Attracting and onboarding talent in your company is an accomplishment in itself, but it is only the first step in building a team of talented people who will lead your business forward.
Accenture suggests that organizations that are agile will be able to outperform their competitors, but to do so, “HR must fundamentally reshape itself to enable a new type of organization—one designed around highly nimble and responsive talent.”
HR professionals should be able to mobilize their different resources around business issues and act as leaders who motivate their employees to gain skills which will allow them to adapt to change and perform with success.
From a different angle, Forbes supports that while developing a talent strategy, HR professionals should focus more on data and technology. Specifically, it mentions that businesses should:
- Build better teams with the Internet of Things data
- Identify specific skill gaps with advanced analytics
- Use data to determine who should do the job: humans or robots
- Predict job changes with new forms of Artificial Intelligence
- Measure learning effectiveness with applied big data
Takeaways on top talent acquisition trend 2019
2018 was a successful year for HR and Talent Acquisition Specialists with a lot of challenges and a lot of accomplishments.
More and more companies realized the importance of hiring female talent, the importance of adjusting recruitment strategies while approaching gen-Z, is important for building an employer brand.
In general, HR was able to become an established business partner which has a strong voice when it comes to decisions that affect employees.