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Recruiting and HR 2019 Forecast: Introduction
13.06.2019 18:28

At the end of the first full week of January, a colleague made a call for trends the recruiting and HR industries should expect. By the next day, I'd not only responded with a bullet list of six trends, I'd also supplemented it so that the full list was 14 trends to expect.

This was not the first time for me to do a forecast of recruiting trends to expect. Historically, my forecasts tend to be high in volume, consist of more than 2,000 words (primarily because of the explanations and discussions of each item in the forecast), and by the end of December prove to be at least 85% accurate.

One of the reasons why my forecasts have such an enormous amount of accuracy (and tend to be so verbose) is because I'm a observer. Another reason is because I'm a data nerd. Additionally, my role as an Organization Development Consultant necessitates being aware of office and business enhancements that are hitting the market. Then it's necessary to try to sort out which products are most efficient, as well as cost effective (according to end user input). These criteria leave one pretty much stretched beyond human limits. The actualization of them, actually condensing all of the information into a single, useful writing that can be consumed, takes some dedicated concentration and time. That luxury is scant these days because of a number of factors, politics having a huge influence on matters.

Time passed and the traditional Gregorian calendar new year matured. Yet my 14-item list was still <i>in [virtual] utero</i>. Yet the embarrassment at not having published the list with it's usual discussion proved to be not as tardy as one would expect. Approximately every two weeks or so, some new prognosticator would publish their own words on their industry's upcoming trends. Their publications were carefully examined on several levels.

Industry (mostly legal) webinars provided additional information to supplement the already created 14-item outlook. Those were opportunities to confirm the projections as well as learn additional reasons why they were accurate and how they are beginning to be developed.

Staying up to date on technology is a challenge. Enhancements are rolling out at an ever-increasing rate. New brands hit the market faster than a couple dancing a jitterbug. That, in itself, is surprising given that our economy is struggling and the rate of inflation has left many in the dust of recovering from the Internet Bubble Bust. The Gig Economy is here and will thrive. Cottage industries are emerging like a rain saturated forest and entrepreneurship will take us into a whole new way of doing business as the 21st Century matures.

All of that means reported unemployment levels are changing. The data is questionable. Many have been unemployed for so long that extended unemployment benefits are now allowed for up to six months. Unfortunately, there are those who have been unemployed for much longer than those six months and have been languishing for what is more accurately measured in terms of years. Those who leaped into the independent contractor sector are probably the ones who account for the new surge in lowered unemployment rates. However, those who were timid about jettisoning into independent mode and languished for the more traditional opportunities were not aware that their skills were becoming stale and not as useful as they could be. Yet this latter class was getting pulled into agency work and surfacing by mid-2018.

Also breaking through the employment barrier were the marginally qualified workers who were barely making passing scores on qualification examinations. Those marginal qualifiers were making the cut in spite of the fact that they were no using good communication skills. Their listening and comprehension abilities were scant which means the services they delivered did not match what was expected. The result was inefficiencies for which the end users paid the penalty, not to mention that the business then suffered from loss of brand value and return business.

Lowered ethical standards have also contributed to our new, 21st Century landscape. Those changes can be attributed to the old business principle of "lead by example." Unfortunately, the examples being set go against good business practices. Fortunately, there are many who do not support the Harding-style of governance which means more wholesome standards (not following the lemming herd) are being re-established.

All of this information provides a hint at what that 14-item list projects. In bulletpoint form, this is how it read:

* All 50 states will adopt a minimum wage of $15 per hour. This will result in adjusting overall pay rates. Meanwhile, the federal minimum wage will become $12 per hour.

* Because of a new surge in hiring, attention to better screening protocols will be developed.

* Attention to quality hires will be restored. Therefore, enhanced on-boarding protocols will be developed.

* "Teachable Moments" will become more important than annual crucifixions, oh, I mean reviews. In other words, an emphasis will be on mentoring and coaching.

* Steps toward improved communication skills will begin to evolve.

* The value of the 45+ hiring will become more obvious and practiced.

* Emphasis on AI and tech-based tools will increase.

* The value of people, and respect for them, will become a high priority factor in keeping a healthy and thriving workplace.

* Recognizing the value of diversity (for the multitude of reasons) will gain greater momentum.

* Harassment and abuse will ebb as the #MeToo movement (for both genders) progresses.

* Considerations regarding non-binary identities will gain more attention relative to accommodations.

* It will be a very slow evolution: The principle focus will move from who the candidate/employee is in regard to race, gender, age, ethnicity, to reaching the individual who offers talents that will bring a better scope of unifying talents to the enterprise.

* Some folk will recognize that employee talents are also brand enhancement assets - and will reward them.

Quite a list of things to see on the horizon. A more detailed analysis regarding each of these points will be made in additional writings. For now, this is what was projected by January 9. Is it still a timely forecast of what will happen in 2019? Well, that depends on which calendar you're using.