With what feels like a new transformative business technology emerging every day, it can be a struggle to keep up with all the latest trends. This is especially true for HR departments, whose increasing impact on an organization’s overall performance is reflected by the extraordinary expansion of the HR management market.
With so much activity around HR, it can be hard to pinpoint what’s really important. Fortunately, recent research by Ardent Partners on the future of hiring has highlighted five key current and future trends.
1. Talent on demand becomes the norm
Sharing economy companies have had a major influence on the wider business world, including how organizations find and use talent. When your business has a specific need, you no longer just assign it to someone on your payroll. Instead, you find the perfect fit using a digital staffing solution service.
According to Ardent’s research, 64% of businesses used these service’s larger talent pools and AI-powered discovery tools to hire millions of freelance and contract staff in 2018. That threefold growth in adoption since 2015 is no surprise. Not only do digital staffing providers take care of a lot of hiring admin like contracts and payments, customers are saving time and making the best use of their resources to achieve their goals.
2. More mobile experiences
A major factor in the success of this new kind of talent service is mobile. Ardent’s report shows that 71% of on-demand marketplaces are enabled via mobile apps, while 90% of job seekers use their phones to search for jobs. The ability to access these services from anywhere allows businesses and candidates to be more agile and respond faster to new job postings and applications.
It’s all part of a continual drive towards workplace mobility. Today’s employees expect the same high-quality user experiences at work as they enjoy in their personal life. From initial job application to final background check, travel booking to expense claim, the apps they use to get things done must be user-friendly and mobile.
3. Increased diversity and inclusion
According to Ardent, “the diverse talent pool is the most effective talent pool.” Inclusion is more about business effectiveness than political correctness. Mobile is a key way to attract more diverse candidates when hiring. In the US, 35% of Hispanics and 24% of African Americans rely on smartphones for internet access, while the same is true for the 700,000 ex-offenders who re-enter the job market every year.
Inclusive hiring is often hampered by unconscious bias. Even the language you use in a job ad can unintentionally turn off otherwise qualified candidates from minority backgrounds. New AI-powered tools can help reduce this bias in your process by suggesting more inclusive language for jobs ads or creating tests that allow you to judge applicants on their skills rather than less relevant background details, like education.
4. The growing power of AI to help
AI hiring tools aren’t perfect, and numerous examples highlight the continued need for humans to play a central role in HR. Used correctly, AI will actually help ensure this happens by automating time-consuming and tedious tasks like candidate sourcing, background checks, and performance analysis.
That will free up HR teams to focus on more creative tasks like building better talent pools, improving the candidate experience, and developing useful data-based insights on their existing workforce. Ardent’s report shows that less than 5% of businesses currently “employ ‘heavy’ utilization of AI” in talent. Early AI adopters will have a significant competitive advantage.
5. Seamless candidate experiences
Today’s historically low unemployment rate means that every business is engaged in a war for talent. In this environment, Ardent says that hiring managers must “focus on the experience of its talent” and calls for enhancements like “one-click applications, social media interaction and mobile-led screening processes.” Some organizations are even using chatbots to set up interview times with candidates and answer questions.
With mobile such a central part of the applicant’s hiring journey, businesses need a seamless start-to-finish smartphone experience. Candidates should be able to do everything from viewing job ads and submitting applications to completing background checks and onboarding, right from their phones. People routinely share their application experiences on social media and sites like Glassdoor. Good reviews will help you win the talent war.
Overcoming the agile challenge
Though each of these five trends touches on different aspects of HR and hiring, they are linked by the top challenge faced by 81% of businesses: to be a truly agile enterprise. From the flexibility provided by mobile and AI technology to the different perspectives offered by a diverse workforce with continually developing skills, the overall trend for the future of HR and business as a whole is for what Ardent calls “the emergence of a truly agile workforce.”