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January 13, 2022

5 Great Ideas for the Future of Work and Hiring in 2022

Checkr Editorial

When you think of the future of work, what comes to mind? Perhaps it’s the Great Resignation and tight labor shortage, or increasing reliance on technology, or maybe the critical importance that culture and DEI play in the workplace.

2021 was a transformational period that challenged and tested what it means to work, hire, and grow your business. We tackled these topics at our annual event, Checkr Forward, where experts shared their experiences navigating the future of work and hiring, a core pillar that lies at the heart of workplace revolution. 

In this blog, we’ll share five of the top ideas we learned from experts at Accel, Lever, HiredScore, ClearCompany, Staffing Industry Analysts, Gojob, Eightfold, 98 Ventures, EQ Community, and Veryable to prepare you for hiring in the future of work. 

1. Culture takes center stage 

According to Jobvite’s 2021 Job Seeker Nation Report, 29% of respondents reported that company values and culture was a major influence in accepting a job offer or not. Company values and culture came third in the top three influences on job candidates only behind compensation and company location (which we can assume relates to the ability for the candidate to work remotely).

An indelible part of company culture is the organization’s success at providing diversity, belonging and inclusion. In fact, 42% of respondents to the same survey reported that they would turn down a job offer if the company lacked diversity in its workforce or had no clear goals for improving diversity in hiring. 

“Having a great looking office is not going to help as much anymore in this new world. It really is about that sense of belonging and feeling valued.”

Barry Asin, President, Staffing Industry Analysts

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Barry Asin, President of Staffing Industry Analysts, commented, “What we found was that those organizations that are going above and beyond to actually start to drive diversity and drive inclusion not just among their core employees, but among the full range of workers for the organization—those are the ones who are seeing significantly better returns in ability to attract talent, they’re reporting a high return-on-investment in their candidate attraction efforts, and they’re showing better business results.”  He continued, “Having a great looking office is not going to help as much anymore in this new world. It really is about that sense of belonging and feeling valued.” 

In the future of work, culture, including DEI, takes center stage. David Ghosh, VP Global Alliances & Channel Sales, Eightfold, observed, “We are experiencing a bit of disruption in the market. Unemployment is high but still there’s an intense war for talent out there. There’s a Great Resignation going on in the market, people are leaving in droves. And I think what has happened during COVID is people really started re-thinking their job and really looking for a fulfilling career, rather than finding the next job. And that is really causing a lot of new technologies to really come into play to provide a much more productive recruiter experience so they can deliver the results the organization is looking for.”

Building an excellent company culture requires sourcing dedicated and diverse talent. We can’t underscore the importance of DEI in 2022 enough. For an in-depth look at future trends in DEI, check out our 2022 predictions

To hear more workplace predictions with Barry Asin, President, Staffing Industry Analysts, download “The Workplace of 2021 and Beyond” below. 

Companies are increasingly leaning on technology to expedite their DEI efforts. This includes a growing reliance on data to find the right talent to fill hiring gaps. Let’s discuss some of the ways technology and data are affecting the future of work. 

2. Companies rethink data to improve hiring 

Any successful HR team uses data to streamline processes, make decisions, and speed up the hiring process. In this next iteration of work, though, companies are taking a step back to consider how well their data serves them and iterating on processes for an even better experience. 

“One of the biggest learnings I’ve had over the years is that you really have to be very thoughtful about how you’re structuring your data so that it actually is usable in the future. So we think long and hard about what we want to be capturing and collecting so that we’re set up for success when  a year from now we want to go back and look how we did,” said Caitlyn Metteer, Senior Manager, Recruiting, Lever. What kind of metrics is Lever’s HR team collecting? “Time to fill, time to hire, conversion rates, and we look at diversity goals.” 

Metteer continued, “We really have to make sure we’re set up for success so we actually can go back and look at that piece of data that we’ve been collecting and ensure it’s the right data collected in the right way, with fidelity, because a lot of times if you’re having trouble with your data—it’s usually a sign you’re not collecting it very well.” HR and recruiting teams need to take an iterative approach to their data to ensure it allows them to look back, track success, and benchmark future success. 

“For me, data always boils down to what decisions can you make with that information—there’s no point in having data for data’s sake.”

Marcus Sawyer, Founder & CEO, EQ Community

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But there are fears that a purely data-driven approach can dehumanize the hiring process. Marcus Sawyer, Founder & CEO, EQ Community, responded to this issue when he said,  “Data should empower the recruiters to build more strategic, accurate, and impactful relationships. So I always see data as a way to make better decisions than you could without that type of information.” Is your data helping you make educated and empowered decisions? Sawyer continued, “For me, data always boils down to what decisions can you make with that information—there’s no point in having data for data’s sake.”

Don’t collect data just to have it. Do an analysis of your hiring and recruiting data and ensure it’s serving a specific, actionable purpose. That includes auditing your data for hygiene and fidelity: are the metrics you’re collecting a genuine source of truth? It may be time to uplevel your analytics to drive data-driven decisions. 

Dive into the future of recruiting and data in “Modernizing the Recruiter Experience”. Watch the webinar by clicking below. 

The growing reliance on recruiting and HR data has many wondering if recruiters are going extinct. Our experts have found that, in fact, the opposite is true.

Integrating technology and data into your hiring decisions frees up more time for recruiters and hiring managers to do the most high-value work, building relationships. Let’s dig into the future of work from a recruiter perspective. 

3. Tech won’t take recruiters’ jobs, but give them more time for what matters 

There were 3.6 million more open jobs than people seeking work in October 2021. It has become increasingly difficult for hiring teams to source, evaluate, and hire the right candidates for jobs. “You have on one side millions if not hundreds of millions of jobs that are not fulfilled, and on the other side you still have millions of people looking for jobs. So there’s just asymmetry between the two at scale,” said Ben Vallat, COO, Gojob. 

In turn, many teams are increasingly relying on various platforms and technologies to find qualified candidates. But many fear that the reliance on technology will take away what’s at the heart of hiring, person-to-person relationships.

While an advocate for integrating hiring technology, Vallat commented on why he believes HR tech and recruiting can live in harmony, “At the end of the day you have a real human at the heart of everything. Tech is only a means to an end and the end is to free up your time to become a coach.”

Vallat continued to make this case when he said, “Let’s automate all the admin and time consuming tasks that a recruiter hates to do. A recruiter wants to recruit and interview people, qualify people, evaluate hard and soft skills during an interview process—they don’t want to be gathering documents, they want to use this output to actually do their job.” 

“At the end of the day you have a real human at the heart of everything. Tech is only a means to an end and the end is to free up your time to become a coach.”

Ben Vallat, COO, Gojob

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Joseph Curet, Corporate Strategist, 98 Ventures, echoed this sentiment when he said, “The key is to find the right intersection point between the people and the technology because technology can’t solve it all. And recruiters want to recruit—they want to have conversations with people and so enabling them to have more conversations is how you get buy-in.” 

Hear more from Ben Vallat and Joseph Curet in the lively webinar, “Future of Flexible Work: Are Recruiters Going Extinct?” below. 

To compete in the competitive hiring landscape, companies must onboard smart technology. Yet, these technologies are meant to assist the recruiter and hiring manager, not replace them. And the most future-proof companies are also transforming the interview. 

4. The interview process is evolving

While technology and data can help you recruit or source the right candidates, one part of the process has remained fairly stagnant—the interview. However, HR pioneers are rethinking the interview in the future of work by mapping job requirements to skills—not experience or pedigree. 

Tyler Weeks, Head of Strategy & Partnerships, HiredScore, commented on evolving interview standards, “You have a company that’s describing a job, and then a person who is describing themselves. And I think the better we can get as employers in spelling out very clear criteria about what it means to be good at that job, the better chance we give the candidate’s to represent themselves.” 

Giving candidates a better chance to represent themselves also means providing meaningful feedback during or after the interview process. Weeks continued, “They may not know how to represent themselves not because they aren’t excellent at what they do—but just because they’ve never talked to you before. So, being able to give some meaningful feedback around certifications they could get to get further in the process or how to present the experience they have, it gives candidates a more positive experience in the end if you give thoughtful input on what they’ve done, how they can present themselves and land the job in the future.”

“I actually think it’s an obligation for employers to give meaningful feedback to candidates.”

Tyler Weeks, Head of Strategy & Partnerships, HiredScore

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There’s no real consensus or standard for providing feedback during or after an interview. Weeks commented, “There’s definitely some debate out there on how much you want hiring managers [or recruiters] giving feedback to candidates. I actually think it’s an obligation for employers to give meaningful feedback to candidates. Especially where we’re focused on not just our business priorities but some social good.” 

If you’re hesitant about integrating feedback into your interview process, here’s what Angie Wideman-Powell, Vice President of People, ClearCompany,  had to say about her experience, “9.8 times out of ten, they are appreciative of that feedback.” Interviews play a central role in the candidate experience and set the scene for an employee’s experience at your company.

Learn “How to Build a Great Candidate Experience for the Future of Work” in the webinar below. 

It’s clear that technology plays a major role in hiring in the future of work. But hiring teams are often faced with a series of point solutions that don’t communicate with each other.

HR leaders are looking to develop single source of truth platforms to keep all of their hiring data in one place. But how can they do that? The future lies in API technology. 

5. APIs step in to combine hiring systems 

The growth of the API economy is nothing particularly new. What’s different this year is that HR teams will continually look to APIs to bring disparate systems together for faster and more efficient hiring decisions. Ghosh gave voice to this issue, “Recruiters now have to spend even more time really understanding what are those employees or candidates or applicants looking for as a career, really listen to their needs and that takes a lot of time. But yet what they’re dealing with in the backend is 15, 20, 30 point solutions at any given point of time, all fragmented, all unintegrated. And that takes away a lot of their time in a given day, not leaving them time to focus on the relationship.” 

Increasingly, hiring teams are outsourcing elements of the hiring process from interviewing to background checks. “We’re seeing so much innovation happening more quickly and the only way to really compete successfully is to use the best of breed that other people have help build, ” said Richard Wong, Partner, Accel.

But it can be difficult to determine what exactly to outsource. Wong remarked, “A good board or executive team has a healthy debate about what is core versus context. What is absolutely critical for your company to own and what is important but can be done better by somebody else.” 

“What they’re dealing with in the backend is 15, 20, 30 point solutions at any given point of time, all fragmented, all unintegrated. And that takes away a lot of their time in any given day, not leaving them time to focus on the relationship.”

David Ghosh, VP Global Alliances & Channel Sales, Eightfold

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When considering growth opportunities, Noah Labhart, CTO and Co-founder, Veryable recommended, “Instead of jumping in and building a solution and starting coding first, you start architecting first.” Wong reiterated, “That often allows you to build something much faster, much more robust, and much more cost efficient than if you were to build it from the ground up.” 

Gain insight from venture capitalists and startup founders on why an API-first strategy is important in, “API First Second to None,” by clicking below. 

So what should companies do when they’re considering potential API partnerships? Look at the current state of their architecture and ask them where they’re going in the future. Consider if their pace will keep up with your innovation. The key is to keep an eye out for long-term partnership potential, someone who can grow as fast if not faster than you are. Of course, do your research and even reference check with other brands that are currently using their solution.

The outcome? Labhart said, “When you pick up the right partner, when you integrate with the right partner, when you have that long-term partnership…it is a wonderful experience. Not only can you focus on your core competency, you can grow together.” 

The future of work in 2022 and beyond  

It’s no surprise that the future of work will continue to evolve throughout 2022. The organizations most suited for success are the ones who test, iterate, and innovate on everything from the way they recruit and hire to the way they develop company culture and even the way they architect business growth. As Watson Leffel put it in a recent Forbes article, “As work, workforces, and workplaces continue to change, corporate executives and investors alike must ask themselves—how can we make the future of work work for everyone?”

To accelerate DEI and fair chance hiring at your organization, check out The Future of DEI and Fair Chance Hiring in 2022.

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“The key is to find the right intersection point between the people and the technology because technology can’t solve it all.”

Joseph Curet, Corporate Strategist, 98 Ventures