Between record-low unemployment, an ever-increasing investment in AI, the much-anticipated announcement of the Amazon HQ 2 location, rising federal interest rates and a slowing stock market, 2018 was a flurry of activity for the U.S. labor market — some good, some bad. And with 2019 just around the corner, even more changes are on the way.
In his newly released report, Job Market Trends: Five Hiring Disruptions to Watch in 2019, Glassdoor Chief Economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain explains some of the most important emerging trends that recruiters & HR practitioners need to know in order to stay ahead of the competition — things that will not only impact hiring in the coming year, but in the decades to come. Read on for a preview, and make sure to download the full report here and register to receive video recordings of Chamberlain’s Hiring Predictions livestream.
1. Data-Driven Matching
We’re all familiar with the old way of hiring — employers would simply post a position wherever they could, like newspaper classified ads, and hope that the right people would apply. Today, job sites have significantly improved this process by allowing for greater scalability and improved candidate targeting. Still, there is much to be done before technology can automatically hand-pick the perfect candidate for each open job. However, with developments like machine-learning assisted matching, that lofty ambition may one day become a reality.
Machine-learning assisted matching, a process adopted by more and more of today’s innovative job and recruiting sites, works by gathering data on jobs, companies and candidates themselves in order to present job seekers with a smaller, more carefully curated list of relevant jobs. The result is win-win — job seekers don’t have to spend as much time sifting through irrelevant job posts, and recruiters are presented with a smaller pool of higher-quality applicants, saving their organizations valuable time and money.
This technology is not without risk, though — incomplete or biased data sets can skew results, while companies gathering data on candidates will have to be more vigilant than ever about protecting this sensitive information. However, if these considerations are accounted for, machine-learning assisted matching may have the potential to upend the current hiring system and deliver a vast improvement to the hiring process for both job seekers and employers.
[Related: 6 Signs You’ve Found the Right Candidate]
2. New Definitions of Tech Hiring
It’s no surprise that when most tech companies start out, they focus on hiring job seekers with technical skills, whom they need to build the infrastructure behind their software and products. Today, however, many of these former startups have become large and even enterprise companies, and require employees from all departments in order to support their operations. From sales and marketing to human resources and finance, virtually every department found at traditional companies can also be found at mature tech companies. In fact, a 2018 Glassdoor study showed that nearly half (43 percent) of all open jobs at tech employers on Glassdoor were for non-technical roles. And as even more companies mature in the years to come, the number of non-tech roles at tech companies will only increase.
Conversely, the number of technical roles at traditional companies is likely to multiply as well. In the age of information, non-tech employers can’t afford to miss out on leveraging software, data and other technological tools in order to advance their businesses. Employers in industries like banking, retail, healthcare and more are positioning themselves as tech companies in order to attract the tech talent they need — for instance, Domino’s Pizza has long described themselves as a tech company that happens to sell pizza.
The end result of these two phenomena? Chamberlain believes there will be a “workforce convergence” on the horizon, in which the lines between tech and non-tech companies are blurred, therefore “putting pressure on traditional industries to adopt the workplace perks, pay and cultural themes that tech employees have long enjoyed,” Chamberlain says.
3. Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging
When conversations around workplace equality first entered the zeitgeist, the focus was on diversity alone — recruit enough talent from distinct backgrounds, and eventually, you’ll have a better organization as a whole. However, it quickly became apparent that this alone would not be enough. When underrepresented minorities are hired into an environment that doesn’t fully welcome them, they’re set up for a disappointing experience, and unlikely to stay long.
Inclusion was the next big movement, with an emphasis on ensuring that employees from diverse backgrounds are plugged into the organization in terms of networking opportunities, promotions, leadership, etc. But still, employees can feel they have access to what their company has to offer without feeling that they’re truly meant to be there.
Enter: a focus on belonging. “Belonging means feeling safe in the workplace to show your differences without being marginalized for it,” Chamberlain explains. “By building a culture of belonging, underrepresented employees can feel more at home in the workplace — emotionally and culturally — so that they’re more likely to stay, be engaged and creative at work.”