With continued record-breaking unemployment rates, increasing incomes, and more unfilled jobs than ever, the overall state of the employment market remains strong moving into 2020. Also, it is expected that the US-China trade war will subside, and consumer spending will continue, promoting overall economic and job growth. As sited by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in the Biotech space is projected to grow between 6-7 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for other occupations.
The demand of talent will continue to cause headaches for hiring companies across the United States. Here, we have compiled a list of recruiting and hiring trends we expect to see play out in the new year. Many are a continuation of tendencies we’ve seen over the past few years reacting to the candidate-driven market.
- Companies must embrace and improve mobile technology for job seekers. More and more job seekers will adopt this trend when looking for and applying to jobs. As a matter of fact, nearly 60% of job seekers look for jobs on their phones, and that is only going to rise in the coming year. A Glassdoor study found that mobile job seekers encounter many frustrations and challenges when entering into the application process on their phones. Employers need to make a mobile-friendly application process a top priority.
- Companies continue to improve “overall candidate experience” to convince them to become employees. As the War for Talent continues, companies are placing greater importance on reviewing and updating the entire interview process in order to keep their target candidates satisfied. Overhauling lengthy, disjointed application processes and moving quickly to make an offer are two areas that matter to job seekers—and companies are taking notice.
- Positive company culture will have even more significant impact on a company’s ability to recruit and retain top talent. With the new decade comes a “Culture First” emphasis, as demonstrated by the Business Roundtable, a prominent group of nearly 200 CEOs from the world’s biggest brands. They stated that, “shareholders were no longer the central purpose of today’s companies. The new mission states that employees are the focus of the modern corporation.” Understanding the correlation between positive company culture and satisfied employees is a trend moving to the forefront in retention strategies.
- Improving company brand image. Along with company culture, there will continue to be an emphasis on creating and improving company brand image. As candidates have choices, they are extremely likely to research any company they are considering working for. That means that often before even applying to a job opening, candidates spend time reading online reviews from Glassdoor or Google, as well as social media channels. Companies have to make a concerted effort to portray a good (albeit honest) brand image if they wish to attract top talent.
- Employers will begin to “recession proof” their hiring process by taking steps to separate the “good” from the “bad” job applicants when the tide turns, and they are suddenly inundated with candidates. This is a far cry from the current, nearly empty pool they are facing today. One way is for employers to shift to using more external recruiting sources to filter through and deliver the best matched candidates for the open roles.
- Companies will accelerate wage growth in 2020 to become more competitive and attract top talent. Employers are now looking at whether they need to adjust their compensation policies to attract and retain the talent they have developed. Candidates are often fielding multiple offers and will likely choose the greatest comprehensive offer.
- Contract staffing/gig economy will continue to infiltrate across most industries. Given the underlying changes in the structure of the workforce—and increasing difficulty finding qualified candidates—hiring managers will embrace the concept of alternative employees.
- Embracing Baby Boomers as the fastest growing workforce population. While the overall American labor force is projected to grow by 5.5 percent over the next decade, the 65+ workforce will grow by a whopping 61 percent! Given this, companies must begin viewing them with fresh eyes, as viable, valuable talent who may be the best new hires. Baby Boomers are not retiring at the anticipated rate and therefore must be given serious consideration in the recruiting process.
- AI and automated technologies continue to impact the recruiting process by using algorithms that synthesize data from a variety of sources to proactively identify candidates who have the interest and ability to fill a particular role. This is the next evolution from keyword rich resumes. The technology will accumulate the entire candidate digital footprint and process it accordingly.
- Hiring based on potential over pedigree. Organizations realize the importance of hiring qualified talent, yet also see the remarkable value in upskilling potential hires and current employees. With far more job openings than job candidates, companies are having to take serious look at their “hard requirements” and make adjustments when possible. Investing in a less experienced candidate or someone without an advanced degree may be the best option when the potential and motivation is apparent.
Overall, the employment landscape looks good for 2020. Employers will continue to struggle to source and attract top talent, which is where partnering with a trusted external recruiter remains a viable solution. In addition, greater emphasis on looking within the organization to improve overall company image and culture and improving the hiring process are of the utmost importance. Embracing technology to attract candidates where they spend time (online) and becoming more flexible on skill requirements and experience will improve the odds of hiring the best candidates in 2020.