JEFF MILLS | January 27, 2020
In retrospect, 2020 has been a big year for predictions. We’ve been told this would be the year that telepathy and teleportation would be possible. Robots would become our therapists. We would even be on Mars!
While some of these predictions are closer to coming true than others, if we turn our attention to the world of recruiting, we’ll find several much more practical and immediately attainable goals as we enter the new decade. They may be less thrilling than teleportation, but these compelling innovations are nonetheless poised to make a major impact on how we hire:
1. AI-Based Candidate Matching
Recession planning is in full swing. With many anticipating a potential economic downturn in the near future, talent acquisition team are preparing for a radically different candidate market.
While we’ve long been battling talent shortages, a recession could bring talent surpluses instead. But this will not immediately solve all the challenges around recruiting and retaining the best talent. Instead, recruiting teams will look to AI-based candidate matching solutions.
There won’t be more recruiters in a downturn, but you can anticipate applications for open positions to increase to as much as 20 times their current level. Effective AI solutions will be key to making the talent pool more manageable by helping recruiters short-list candidates while identifying those with the right skills, like adaptability and agility.
2. Taking a Candidate-First Approach
If an element of the recruiting process, an experience, or a piece of information being collected is not to the benefit of the candidate, it will be eliminated. Of course, legal requirements do not apply.
However, recruiting teams should work with their legal departments to understand what is truly required and what can be done away with to deliver a better candidate experience. For example, studies show as many as 60 percent of candidates will abandon a job application if they feel it is too long or complex. To avoid drop-offs and incomplete applications, recruiters will have to cut the extraneous data collection and let candidates get right to the point.
3. Incorporating More Feedback Into the Recruiting Experience
Recruiting teams will begin to implement comprehensive feedback and experience management solutions. Feedback should be collected during three moments, at minimum: post-application, post-interview, and post-hire. And feedback should be requested from all candidates, even those who did not get an interview request or offer. By analyzing this feedback, recruiting teams will be able to identify more opportunities to dramatically improve their recruiting processes.
4. Eliminating the Gender Pay Gap
Plenty of tools are now available to identify and solve gender inequity in corporate pay structures. In 2020, the best companies will eliminate the gender pay gap entirely — or they will at least have a concrete plan to eliminate it within the near future. For example, organizations can implement salary offer checks and balances or compensation-ratio intelligence in the internal transfer and promotion process.
Diversity can not only improve a corporate brand but also lead to better retention, stronger business performance, increased employee engagement, and enhanced customer satisfaction. Fair pay structures are crucial for the meaningful success of any workforce diversity initiative.
5. Recognizing the Material Benefits of Diversity Programs
As many organizations have implemented significant diversity initiatives over the last five years, companies are now beginning to experience firsthand how a more diverse workforce can accelerate innovation, increase productivity and revenue, and strengthen corporate brands and cultures. While closing pay gaps is one key step toward more diversity, that’s not all it takes.
In 2020, companies will double down and implement more strategies to encourage and support workforce diversity. Expect to see more anonymous recruiting initiatives, such as blind screening and assessments. AI can be a big help in this process, but even it can have its biases. Going forward, talent acquisition teams should prioritize learning about vendors’ efforts to prevent AI bias before choosing any AI solution.
Additionally, as part of their diversity hiring initiatives, recruiters will take more steps to better accommodate interviewing and hiring people with disabilities. Organizations are starting to recognize that this large pool of highly skilled talent has often been overlooked, and those companies that tap into it stand to gain an edge over their competitors.
6. Real-Time Flexibility in Hire Type
In the year ahead, companies will start to shift away from predetermined contractor, contingent, and direct-hire roles. Instead, they will find the most appropriately skilled person for the role and hire them.
Organizations are recognizing that some of the best candidates on the market aren’t looking for traditional full-time roles. They may have families to care for, or they may simply desire more variety in their work and schedule. Regardless of the reason, candidates are seeking nontraditional work arrangements, and companies will need to become more flexible in order to compete for the best talent. As a result, a recruiter’s focus will shift to the most appropriately skilled person, not just the right hire-type fit.
In summary, 2020 will be an exciting year in the recruiting space. Organizations are beginning to see the economic value of diversity programs and the impact of emerging technologies like AI and experience data.
Continue innovating and developing the best possible recruitment experiences for your candidates. Regardless of the state of the economy, the most valuable investment for your company’s ability to stay competitive, nimble, and innovative remains the same: your people.
Jeff Mills is director, solution marketing, at SAP SuccessFactors.