How the Recruitment Industry Will Change in 2020
From the adoption of social recruiting to the introduction of mobile-recruiting apps, the recruitment industry has experienced numerous changes over the past decade, all aimed at improving the process for candidates and employers alike. Technology continues to empower hiring managers and recruiters to make smarter staffing decisions, and is giving job seekers more access to opportunities worldwide. As we usher in the new year — and a new decade — our industry will continue to evolve.
At Talent Inc., our main goal is to provide job seekers with the tools necessary to showcase their experience and potential so they can land the right job faster. In order to do so, it’s important for us to stay ahead of recruitment trends that could affect how job seekers go about finding and securing jobs. Based on what I’ve learned over the past several months, I have five predictions for 2020.
1. Candidates will experience a more engaged and informative process
Indisputably, recruitment technology has come a long way, and I believe that 2020 will be a year where major advances begin to transform the industry. Recruitment marketing technology and AI will allow employers and recruiters to offload more administrative tasks associated with recruitment, such as scheduling interviews, answering questions, and even conducting initial applicant screenings. This could potentially improve productivity by more than 50%, allowing recruiters more time to focus on what they do best: speaking to prospective candidates. That’s a significant transformation in job responsibilities.
More importantly, technological advances will enhance the candidate’s experience, creating greater satisfaction throughout the process. They’ll be better informed regarding their application’s status and more engaged in the overall process. Some companies, such as Marriott, have already successfully implemented recruiting chatbots.
2. Companies will combat the skills gap by adjusting their hiring strategies
As employers around the globe continue to face a widening skills gap, they will prioritise candidates who demonstrate the willingness and ability to grow and adapt to new challenges in the workplace. Emphasis will be placed on hiring employees who can devise creative solutions to meet their goals or have what’s known as “high potential” As the global skills shortage is predicted to cost £6.5 trillion in unrealised economic output, these skills will continue to grow in demand.
According to one report from Deloitte, roughly two-thirds of the jobs created between now and 2030 are expected to be strongly reliant on interpersonal skills, often referred to as “soft skills,” such as communication and empathy. Our recent data supports this prediction: When asked, “Which of the following is most important in a candidate?,” 63% of U.K. employers cited “potential” as the number-one factor, beating out experience, personality, and education.
3. Recruiters will increasingly use assessment tools to validate candidates' capabilities
While a well-written CV will continue to get candidates through the initial screening, pre-employment assessment tests will confirm they actually possess the skills stated on their job application. But these assessment tests don’t just evaluate hard skills and intellect, they can also evaluate a person’s soft skills, which helps employers determine whether a candidate will be a motivated employee and a cultural fit. Nearly one-third of employers (28%) surveyed by our CV-writing business, TopResume, in 2019 stated that their organisations are already using competency, job-knowledge, and technical-skills tests to evaluate candidates’ capabilities, while another 15% are taking advantage of personality tests and neuroscience games to determine which candidates have the right combination of soft skills and hard skills to succeed in a given role.
Advances in AI now provide employers with even more assistance, such as the ability to score free-form answers on tests and help candidates find jobs that best fit their profile. When AI scores sentences or essays on assessment tests, it increases recruitment efficiency and informs recruiters which candidates may be successful in a specific role. Shoe companies such as Merrill use AI to pair the candidates with the best job opportunities once they’ve answered questions about everything from their education and experience to language and location.
4. Recession fears will result in preventative actions
While not everyone agrees on whether 2020 will lead us into a recession, some employers are fearing the worst and have already begun to react. For example, it was recently reported that Morgan Stanely plans to cut approximately two% of its workforce worldwide, due to uncertainty in the global economy. if large, international corporations take these precautionary steps, it could be what actually pushes us into a recession.
Regardless of the unknown, employees, candidates, and companies should “recession-proof” themselves. For employees, recession-proofing your career means investing in skill development, proving yourself as a valuable employee, and beginning the job search, just in case. For those who are currently seeking work, make sure you update your CV and your LinkedIn profile to focus on and quantify your success. As the candidate pool grows, make sure you stand out every time. Companies tend to “recession-proof” their hiring strategies by identifying which recruiting channels — and technology solutions — will deliver the most highly-qualified candidates.
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5. Flexible work schedules will become the norm (not the exception) for professionals and employers alike
In 2020, flexible work environments for both employees and employers will begin to normalise. In fact, International Workplace Group’s 2019 annual survey found that 50% of employees globally are already working outside of their main office headquarters at least 2.5 days a week, and 80% of those surveyed said that if they were presented with two similar job offers, they’d decline the one that didn’t offer flexible working. Plus, research by U.K.-based Capability Jane found that not only do 80% of women and 50% of men want flexibility in their next role, but most employees over the age of 50 prefer to ease into retirement with reduced hours and a flexible work schedule.
For employees, flexible work schedules allow professionals of all ages to create what is known as a “portfolio” or “slashie” career that allows them to work in various organisations using numerous skills. It also provides them with more autonomy and a better work-life balance. For employers, flexible work schedules allow them to fill more project-based, temporary, and freelance opportunities while reducing costs. It also gives employers the opportunity to hire skilled professionals to act as specialists on a project basis, rather than employ multiple full-time professionals who may (or may not) meet expectations. Plus, flexible work schedules often eliminate the geographical restrictions that prohibit both employees and employers in finding the perfect match.
About Jeff Berger
Jeff Berger is the CEO and founder of Talent Inc., the global leader in technology-enabled career services. Through its suite of brands – TopCV, TopResume and TopInterview – the company helps professionals tell the best versions of their career stories, enabling them to stand out from the crowd and land the right job, faster. He founded the company in 2014 and is based in its New York City headquarters.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.