Workforce Trends - RPO
As 2017 draws to a close, we’re all thinking about goals for 2018 and where we want our companies to be at this time next December. But before you hammer out an action plan, you need to analyze last year’s trends and stake out new opportunities in the new year:
- Where did last year’s workforce trends take us?
- Did you make the changes you planned to?
- What new developments surprised you?
- What are the hottest trends for 2018 and what do they mean for you?
Here’s what you need to know to empower your workforce, plan your talent strategy, and how RPO can help.
Top Recruiting Trends of 2017
This year’s biggest buzzwords revolved around technology and culture. No matter what your goals are, there’s a technology that claims to help you get it done better, faster, and cheaper. Here are three of the most talked-about:
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is still in its infancy, but we’re already seeing some exciting applications in the talent management and acquisition space. Sentiment analysis, chatbots, and machine learning have begun to transform routine tasks like screening, onboarding, performance management, and employee engagement.
Gig Economy Websites
From the Uberization of trucking to B2B freelancing sites like Upwork, the gig economy is changing the way we get work done. With 60 million independent workers hanging out their shingles, we’re also seeing a seismic shift in the compilation of the workforce. Job fluidity has skyrocketed as professionals connect on sites like LinkedIn and more businesses partner with freelancers to get work done.
HR Technology Innovation
Technology isn’t the only solution to winning the war for talent, but it’s certainly an effective tool in the right hands. New talent acquisition technology is popping up everywhere you look, from ambitious startups to major players like LinkedIn and Google. Along with that new technology, CEOs expect to see the evolution of the workforce as new skills emerge to meet the demands of technology.
What Should Your Talent Strategy Look Like in 2018?
The trends we’re seeing aren’t just about technology, however. More than three-quarters of CEOs believe a lack of key skills poses the biggest threat to their businesses as we head into 2018. That’s a perfect recipe for escalation in talent competition, especially as skills needs change along with technology.
Based on the trends we see currently, here are five keys to building an effective talent strategy for 2018:1. Implement Total Talent Solutions
We’re past the days of focusing your efforts on recruitment activities only (although they are still essential). To attract and retain the best talent, companies need total talent solutions that emphasize not only talent acquisition, but also talent management and engagement strategies. Talent solutions should include:
- Customized recruitment based on specific needs
- Employer branding
- On-demand workforce integrations
- Cultural engagement strategies
- Talent analytics
We’ve already seen the impact of cloud computing and Big Data; now AI is taking center stage. Forbes predicts that within a few short years, every new technology will include AI components. That shift was evident at the HR Technology Conference in Las Vegas this year, and we expect to see even more AI applications over the next twelve months. But AI isn’t the only technology that should be on your radar. Recruiting professionals will also benefit from:
- Mobile Recruiting—Candidates already lean heavily on mobile devices to search for jobs, and by 2020 mobile could be the primary way people look for work. That means companies need a healthy mobile-first strategy to reach the best candidates.
- Workforce Analytics—Workforce analytics extend beyond ATS data to capture additional information about candidates and employees. That data can then be used to make more strategic talent decisions.
- Talent Acquisition AI—AI can assist with sorting resumes, screening candidates, facilitating onboarding, and conducting employee reviews. The greatest benefit for companies is that it does all those things more efficiently so you can find and hire the best candidates faster.
- Candidate Process Automation—Automating the candidate process keeps candidates engaged and gets new hires ready to hit the ground running on day one. It also frees your recruiting staff to focus on building relationships and choosing the best candidate among the final few rather than handling the busy work of the initial recruiting stages.
3. Build An Agile Workforce
Virtual work has grown to include 43% of the workforce. In 2018, teams could include remote workers, telecommuters, and upskilling to create a truly agile workforce than can adapt to the new demands of technology. For most companies, that means moving away from old school hiring mindsets to adopt a more flexible approach to employee skills and learning development.
4. Hire for Culture, Train for Skills
Speaking of skills, many experts predict that many of the skills we need today will be obsolete in just a few short years as machines and AI take over daily job functions. Hard skills are essential in some sectors (technology, science, math), but in others companies should hire for cultural fit and soft skills. Retraining current workers will also take priority as job needs change and machines become more intelligent.
5. Balance Human/Technology Needs
The evolution of technology at work does not in any way negate the need for excellent talent. In fact, more than half of CEOs plan to increase the size of their workforce this year. Coveted skills will be in high demand with passive candidates remaining highly sought after, and many of those new hires will be responsible for developing and maintaining new technology. At the same time, however, companies will also need to focus on more human interaction through performance management, mentoring, and collaboration.
Despite the impressive technology advancements we have seen and will continue to see in the coming year, people remain the number one priority for successful companies. They are the key to your success, and your foundation for the future.