5 Trends That Will Continue to Shape Recruiting in 2019

By Dave Manchester on April 15, 2019 in Hiring, recruiting


As Q1 comes to a close, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the current recruiting landscape. Over the course of last year, we were introduced to a variety of trends, ranging from tech to politics, all of which were slated to have a major impact on the industry. Many of these projected shifts in the marketplace fell flat, soon to be forgotten, while others persisted into 2019. We sifted through these predictions and pinpointed the top 5 recruiting trends that we believe will continue to shape the industry this year.

1.      Struggling to Find Talent

The skills gap has presented a unique challenge for hiring managers for well over a year now and, unfortunately, it doesn’t look to be closing any time soon. The discrepancy between the skills required by companies to remain competitive and the skills that workers have is growing as technology continues to rapidly develop. 83% of HR professionals report they’ve had difficulty recruiting suitable candidates with 52% saying the shortage has worsened over the past two years. Companies are employing a variety of different strategies in attempts to solve the talent gap, heavily focusing on training and retention initiatives. Despite these efforts, uncovering qualified talent will be an ongoing battle for the foreseeable future.

2.      Utilizing Data-Driven Insights

For the past few years, data collection has been a hot topic in the recruiting industry, promising valuable insights into critical hiring metrics. In 2019, the emphasis is shifting towards the importance of deciphering that information and effectively utilizing it to optimize hiring processes. While meeting specific numbers and ratios has been the primary goal of employers in the past, many have learned the hard way that their true focus should be on making tangible, substantive improvements and addressing underlying problems in their hiring process.

For example, if time-to-hire is gradually increasing, employers should use this information to break down the steps of their hiring process, determining how many days on average employees spend in each phase. From there, they can easily identify the root causes of the issues and re-strategize for optimal success.

3.      Emphasizing Corporate Culture

In today’s competitive hiring environment, employers have to pull out all of the stops to land strong candidates, and corporate culture will continue to play a critical role in those efforts. Companies have become increasingly creative with their workplace benefits over time, some of the more notable being free dry cleaning, pet-friendly offices, and mortgage down payments. These perks are attractive and exciting on the surface, but too often it seems that they’re confused with actual culture in the workplace.

Employees and applicants care more about the messages an employer sends, the relationship with their partners, and the company’s core values than meaningless incentives. Ping pong tables in the break room are flashy and cool but don’t replace the need for companies to operate under defined beliefs. In 2019, it’s more important to offer perks that align with a corporate culture and support those values than it is to extend a bevy of random benefits.

4.      Working with Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence used to be a daunting topic in the recruiting world, with many fearing that the tech had the potential to ultimately take over the industry. Instead, AI has revolutionized recruitment, completing tasks like analyzing resumes, conducting background checks, and assessing candidates’ compatibility. Now, recruiters can shift their attention to high-value work, such as performing interviews and screening talent.

Looking towards the future, AI will continue to make recruiters’ work more efficient, but there’s still quite a bit of room for development. For example, the technology is incapable of emotionally intelligent tasks, like eliminating bias or determining a candidate’s cultural fit. 2019 is likely to be a year of trial and error as recruiters begin to embrace artificial intelligence and figure out how to best capitalize on its abilities.

5.      Combating Wage Parity

Currently, efforts to level the playing field for women and minorities are strengthening across the board. This dialogue has progressed into the new year, continuing to spark important discussions and change. So far in 2019, various state and local governments have passed new ordinances in attempts to close the pay gaps, such as limiting salary history questions and increasing the penalties for equal pay violations. This theme is likely to remain top of mind this year, as well as for many to come – it’s estimated that achieving global pay equity will take 108 years.

The recruiting industry is constantly evolving, and in a job market that’s largely candidate driven, recruiters require in-depth industry knowledge to succeed. Understanding the projected trends for 2019, as well as their potential effects on the hiring landscape, is critical for developing a clear picture of the current market. By keeping up-to-date with the latest recruiting trends, recruiters can augment their hiring techniques and processes to gain an edge on the competition.


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