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Organizational recruitment is always evolving. But with a new decade creeping around the corner, change is definitely coming. Proactive organizations are getting ready for these shifts by understanding the latest trends and planning accordingly.

While we here at Morales Group certainly can’t predict the future, we can offer an upcoming take on trends and how you can be best prepared for 2020.

Higher Prioritization of Recruitment Experience

New candidates to the workforce are constant consumers and fully expect a consumer experience. The organizations that recognize this are becoming the quickest to turn them into long-term employees. This is especially important to keep in mind with the Gen Z’ers entering the workforce. Some ways to prioritize recruitment experience includes:

1. Creating an Enticing Journey

A great experience starts with making candidates feel valued with the help of technology and personal touchpoints. Technology can simplify (and speed up) the process for finding and applying for jobs with mobile-optimized career sites, autofilled applications, and automated messages to applicants. It’s important to note that tech should enhance – not replace – the role of the recruiter and hiring manager. Recruiters play a key role by providing feedback and information to candidates along the way.

Never forget that a job search is tiring for candidates. It involves finding jobs, applying, and preparing for multiple rounds of interviews, which can be time-consuming. Reward their efforts by providing meaningful feedback to unsuccessful candidates. Make your organization stand out from the “ghosters” by helping jobseekers leave the recruitment process in a better place than they started. As researchers at Deloitte observe, “Not every candidate will join your organization. But every candidate will have an opinion about whether your organization is worth joining.”

2. Aligning Experiences with Strategy

The candidate experience you build should be consistent with your employer brand and strategy. This creates a focused approach to hiring that’s fully integrated with your goals. Does your organization have a strong internal culture? Make sure candidates get a sense of the people and values that make your company the best place to work. This might mean allowing potential candidates to shadow or speak with individuals they would be interacting with. If your company prides itself on collaborative atmosphere, allow candidates to experience first-hand what that could be like for them.

3. Segmenting Candidates

Organizations hire for many roles – full-time, contractor, part-time, freelance, etc. Take time to understand key talent segments – their needs and motivators – and define ways to improve the experience most important to them. It helps to customize messages for different talent segments and deliver these messages on the channels they use most. Create a detailed persona profile for each segment and map out their journey to learn what sticks. Creating segments also ensures you keep a warm talent pool at all times in case you have need for a last-minute hire. Save those resumes and segment!

Greater Emphasis on Soft Skills

We are in the midst of an international skills shortage that’s predicted to grow to 29 million skills in deficit by 2030. The bulk of missing skills will be soft skills – personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. To address this skills shortage, recruiters are shifting focus to hire for the ability to adapt to changing roles and organizational structures.

Between now and 2030, demand for social and emotional skills will grow across all industries by 26 percent in the United States. While some of these skills, like empathy, are innate, others, like interpersonal communication – can be taught. Candidates that exhibit these essential skills are the ones being hired into the overall organization – rather than a specific team – with the understanding that soft skills are more important than past experience. Due to automation, certain jobs are being phased out, but agile workers will be able to grow and move cross-functionally into emerging responsibilities.

There’s no denying that AI and automation will re-shape traditional roles. However, there are a number of soft skills that will give people a competitive edge over AI and machine learning like communication, relationship building, and empathy. As Duncan Wardle, former VP of innovation and creativity at Disney observes, “The foremost employable skill sets we should be looking for are the ones we are born with: creativity, imagination, intuition, and curiosity.”

Compelling Focus on Company Culture and Brand

In a world of increased transparency and accountability, a strong company culture is no longer nice — it’s imperative. Culture has a significant impact on the ability to recruit and retain top talent. A recent Glassdoor survey confirmed that workers regularly value company culture over cash. This means your organization should not only be encouraging enhanced culture, you should be sharing it!

In our competitive talent market, a compelling employer brand that shares and invites discussion is crucial to attracting great candidates. According to LinkedIn research, companies with great employer brands receive 50 percent more qualified applicants and see a 50 percent reduction in cost-per-hire. With 75 percent of jobseekers considering an employer’s brand before even applying, an attractive brand may be the difference between finding the perfect person or losing them to a competitor.

So what goes into a successful employer brand? Your career site, social media presence, employee endorsements and online reviews all contribute to employer brand. The challenge is not just projecting a great employer brand, but maintaining authenticity. The biggest obstacle when searching for a job is not knowing what it’s like to work there. One way organizations are addressing this is with “Day in the Life” videos following employees around the workplace. These videos are designed to give jobseekers behind-the-scenes looks into the company from an employee perspective. Employees can also be valuable brand ambassadors behind the camera. Smart organizations are seeing the power of organic employee endorsements in place of corporate marketing campaigns. Candidates trust a company’s employees three times more than the company itself to provide credible information.

Significant Increase in Mobile Job Searches

According to Pew Research, an estimated 81 percent of Americans own a smartphone. What’s more, the World Advertising Research Center (WARC) estimates that in just five years, 72.6 percent of internet users will exclusively access the web through a smartphone. While this statistic might not be shocking or come as any surprise, many employers have not evolved their application process to cater to the massive and regular mobile search usage.

A Glassdoor study found that mobile job seekers experience regular barriers in the application process. Most companies have not yet created a responsive, mobile experience, leading to qualified candidates leaving. In fact, mobile users completed only 22 percent of applications they started versus 47 percent on desktop. If you don’t want to lose out on top talent, you’ll want to make a mobile-friendly application process a top priority.

Enhanced Usage of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

As mentioned before, AI should be used to enhance the role of the recruiter – not replace them entirely. AI does not bring outright bias to the candidate screening and selection process, but it’s not without wholly unbiased decisions: the algorithms are still subject to the programming choices of the people building them. However, if carefully designed, AI can reduce this bias significantly. The biggest AI can bring to the table is to free HR teams from tedious, manual processes and enhance candidate experiences. The technology is still being enhanced, but will currently handle:

  • Automated online candidate search.
  • Chatbot conversations that can engage candidates at crucial points.
  • Skills measurement.
  • Gamified testing.

. . .

While these are all simply predictions of what to expect in the new decade, we’ve seen proof that they will come to fruition. If you’re a recruiter, be sure your company has considered new alternatives for hiring. If you’re a job seeker, take advantage of the new ways companies are hiring and actively engage with those who are blazing the trail for 2020.

Questions on how you can be prepared for this next year? Feel free to contact us.

Culture 12.11.19 Morales Group