With the ongoing talent crunch, it’s a candidate’s world out there. The Canadian unemployment rate is at 5.6%—the lowest since 1976—so candidates can seemingly have their pick of new employment opportunities. While that’s good news for jobseekers, it makes it more difficult for employers to attract and secure talent. To stay competitive and attract quality candidates, organizations need new approaches to their hiring efforts. Here are Bedford Consulting Group’s top recruitment trends for 2019:
1: Employer Branding Efforts Move Into High Gear
According to a recent survey by LinkedIn, 44% of companies are planning to increase their investment in maintaining a strong employer brand in 2019. Why? Quite simply, great employees want to work for companies with great reputations. In fact, 96% of employees would consider leaving their present jobs to join a company with an excellent reputation, according to a U.S. survey by Corporate Responsibility Magazineand Cielo Healthcare. In addition, 86% of women and 65% of men would not join a company with a bad reputation.
While having a strong employer brand is always helpful in attracting top talent, it will be particularly important this year. With increased uncertainty in the political and economic realm, employees will be more risk-averse and selective in moving from one job to another. That means organizations with a less-than-stellar employer brand will be at a huge disadvantage when it comes to talent acquisition.
2: The Candidate Experience Takes Priority
With the tables turned in the job market, companies need to put as much care into the candidate experience as they do the customer experience. A bad candidate experience will not only affect your ability to hire talent, but can also negatively impact your company’s reputation and bottom line. According to research by non-profit group Talent Board, 45% of candidates who had a poor experience said they would sever their business relationship with the employer. Conversely, 74% of candidates who had a great candidate experience said they would increase their relationship with the employer, and 82% said they are extremely likely to refer others based on their experience.
While new technology tools are changing some aspects of the candidate experience (see point #3), keep in mind that the experience includes every touchpoint in the hiring process, from the application process to the interview to the follow-up. In The Talent Board survey, 46% of candidates who gave their experience the lowest possible score and withdrew from the recruiting process said it was because their time was disrespected during interviews, underscoring the importance of respectful human interactions.
3: Mixing Technology & The Human Touch
There’s a lot of buzz about the application of artificial intelligence in many sectors, including human resources and 87% executives agree that digital technologies will fundamentally change HR. AI-powered tools and predictive data analytics will certainly make parts of the recruiting process more efficient, for example, AI can reduce time spent sorting through applications. But there are limitations. Last fall, Amazon made headlines for scrapping an AI recruiting tool in part because of gender bias. According to Reuters, the e-commerce giant realized the system, which was used in trials, had taught itself that male candidates were preferable to women.
With the rapid deployment of technology, the byproduct has been to eliminate the human element from the front end of the talent acquisition equation. At Bedford, we believe the best companies will find the right balance of co-piloting AI and data with human interaction, relationships and judgment. There are benefits to leveraging technology, but don’t lose sight of the fact that recruiting is ultimately about human connections and long-term relationships.