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'Workforce of the Future': Top Trends and How to Deliver for Clients

Introduction

“That’s just how we do it here.” This could be true about most practices even a few years ago – as, while each region had its specific ways of doing things, its impact on particular economies and regions never spread beyond its geographical boundaries.

That is no longer the case. As the human race is pushing every frontier, technology is evolving rapidly. This means that the world is becoming more connected. Rather than individual cogs running in different directions to power a lone machine, trends are now geared to become global. If a trend is impactful, it spreads worldwide much faster than it used to just a few years ago.

The sphere of workforce management is no different. Hence, it becomes imperative for HR professionals, recruiters, and staffing agencies – the latter of which is used by 90% of all companies in some form – to understand the top global trends that can be expected to appear in the future of the workforce. Recruiters have their work cut out for them – 69% of corporations are facing serious struggles to find talent, according to Manpower Survey.  Hence, gathering critical insights on how to deliver over and above for clients is the need of the hour.

Important Trends in Recruiting

To remain competitive and stay on top of things, HR professionals, recruiters, and staffing agencies must know what to expect on a global scale. Companies must focus on key recruitment trends more than ever, as their impact is felt worldwide in today’s climate.

1. New talent acquisition, according to Bullhorn, will still be the highest priority for recruitment firms.

Although the last few years have seen notable layoffs, the demand for candidate acquisition – even for specialized labor – is still increasing.

The US Labor Department’s survey shows that there were 10.4 million job openings in August 2021. It falls upon the shoulders of capable recruiters and staffing agencies to fill these openings.

This begs the question: what causes this continued lack of supply of talent?

One factor could be rapid changes in the types of necessary specialists required. Jobs that never existed five years ago are now in extreme demand, which has created significant gaps that need filling quickly. Jobs previously done by those with some experience and a little knowledge now demand specialists trained to the highest degree to execute these functions.

2. In the past, having a relatively static client portfolio was preferable as their requirements were often stable and consistent. But with the changes around the world, recruiting firms and staffing agencies have to prioritize landing more clients.

The primary reason for varied client portfolios becoming a priority is the noticeable drop in revenue due to reduced hiring. Employment is still 8.5 million less than it was in February 2020.

3. Candidate engagement has been something that HR, as an industry, has been focusing on for a while. It has become more critical with remote work becoming a standard worldwide. Keeping employees fruitfully engaged is difficult enough. With remote work added to the mix, the task becomes almost impossible.

A Bullhorn report states that 30% more firms are focused on candidate experience.

This means ensuring everything goes right—from the hiring and onboarding experience to final settlements. One of the most significant causes of employees dropping out during the recruitment process is the lack of confidence the experience itself provides.

Recruiting firms and staffing agencies have learned the hard way that merely focusing on placing candidates is not sufficient—company reputation needs some focus as well.

Companies are trying to reduce costs by redeploying existing talent into other functions, some even asking employees to carry out multiple roles. This translates to asking more from candidates. Candidates, too, know that companies will be pushing them to work harder. The need for firms to first instill and establish trust and confidence in their clients and the candidates is becoming more apparent by the day.

4. While businesses have been focusing on creating more diverse and accepting work environments over the past years, the emerging trend shows this responsibility shifting hands from company HRs to recruiters. So, diversity can be pushed only if the recruiting process is aligned with the same agenda.

It now falls upon recruiters to find the right kind of diversity for their clients. This could mean that they have to look into even newer areas for hiring. Geographical barriers are no longer a major constraint, especially with more companies embracing remote work.

The lack of diversity and inclusivity in gender and ethnicity is quite prominently prevalent in many developed and developing nations. However, there has been an uptick in efforts to create more diversity in the workplace. Statistics show that up to 48% of Gen Z hires are ethnic minorities.

There is still a lot of room for improvement, and with more than 75% of workers preferring a diverse workplace, recruiters have to take this seriously.

Furthermore, with the fact that organizations actively practicing diversity enjoy higher cash flow, companies expect recruiters to deliver. Diverse companies enjoy well over 2 times the cash flow that less diverse companies bring in. Reports also suggest that a more diverse management team increases revenue by 19%.

While the diversity challenge is relatively new for recruiters, the approach companies have taken to create more diversity might be effective. Since the lack of diversity stems from the selection of candidates, ensuring that recruiters hire employees from various backgrounds and walks of life will improve workplace diversity.

As a recruiter or staffing agency, it is vital to understand that diversity doesn’t just mean hiring more ethnic minorities. It also means focusing on hiring talent from various industries and people from different walks of life. Recruiters must sincerely consider leveraging the years of experience that more mature professionals possess.

There is a rather simple logic in having a more diverse workplace. The more diverse your workplace is, the more likely you are to have more varied specialized knowledge and skill sets at your clients’ disposal.

5. Remote work is not going anywhere. There are numerous job posts across various job portals advertising work-from-home positions. Not only have candidates begun to expect work-from-home offers as a norm, but companies have also seen the benefits of the situation.

Recruiters need to hire the right kind of people for WFH jobs. The ideal candidate is highly motivated, disciplined, self-managed, and exhibits dependability.

Separating these sorts of candidates from the others is not a simple task, especially since the recruiting process has become remote. It means that recruiters have to find newer, more innovative ways of identifying the right kind of candidate.

6. All these shifts in trends also mean a significant change-up for recruiters. Having the basic qualifications and a couple of generic HR-related certifications may not be enough anymore.

Numerous new trends, methods, tools, and practices are fast becoming a norm in the HR world. Some commonly used tools are:

• Job aggregators

• Tests and assessment tools

• Applicant tracking systems

• Recruitment CRMs

• Video interviewing tools

• Background verification tools

While recruiting is a very traditional industry, some new methods have gained more favor recently, such as:

• Employee referral programs

• Internships

• Recruitment events

• Webinars

• Social media

HR executives of all levels have to put in the time and effort to become more dynamic. They also must learn new skills and hone other talents to remain competitive and bring the best to the table.

Increasing empathy is also an essential aspect of making a difference as an HR professional. It would be safe to say that even getting certified in some introductory human psychology could be a significant asset in the new future.

7. Giving candidates on-the-job training has been the norm. However, there is now an emerging trend of having candidates take skill tests to ensure that they are suitable for the position they are applying for.

A Harvard Business Review report from 2015 shows that 76% of companies use assessment tools to verify candidate skills for external hires.

8. A recent significant challenge for HR professionals has been the colossal task of filtering unqualified candidates out of their system.

Filtering resumes has always been necessary. However, the trend of increased applications, combined with increased unsuitable applications, has made this task cumbersome. That is to say, with more applications coming in, unsuitable resumes have also increased. Filtering them out has become a time-consuming affair.

Thankfully, HR professionals no longer have to comb through resumes by hand or painstakingly read every word in them.

The trend of using AI and resume filtering software based on set criteria has made life much easier for HR professionals.

9. With recruitment and onboarding being remote, staffing firms and recruiters spend the majority of their time responding to candidate queries. They have reduced the time consumed by incorporating the feedback received from previous candidates into the interview process itself, making it much more streamlined. For example, if recruiters find that many applicants are enquiring about the transport benefits, they include that information in pre-onboarding videos.

Sending out a short orientation video to candidates has also become common.

Staffing agencies and recruiters let candidates know about the recruitment and onboarding process through videos. These typically contain standard information like what documents should be submitted beforehand, what the interview process will be, and what kind of questions are likely to be asked.

It has also become commonplace to have FAQs or FAQ videos on websites that answer common doubts and detail a few queries about the company in question.

10. In general, the one area that has seen enormous shifts is the HRTech area. With more parts of the process or entire processes moving online, the tech required to run them has become a more integral part of the HR world.

Automation to filter candidates is fast becoming a standard. Increased investment in live video tech and infrastructure can also be seen worldwide. In general, we can see a more substantial reliance on technology like hiring tools, resume filtering tools, and HRMS.

Automation is inevitable. With the efficiency and accuracy of AI and machine learning algorithms today, there is no doubt that technology has become and will always be a vital part of the HR process.

Rapid proliferation and adoption of tech in human resource management also imply that while HR executives can expect automation to take over many of their cumbersome chores, they must learn how to make the most of the new tech.

Important Trends in Candidates’ behaviour & needs

1. Toggl.com reports that

55% of employers have seen a spike in applications per job.

There are two ways to look at this.

While it does indicate that the talent pool to choose from is becoming even larger, another statistic also shows almost 40% of recruiters say that filtering out unfit applications is a significant roadblock for them. With the spike in increased applications and unsuitable resumes, recruiters have to spend more time filtering out unsuitable applications, which predictions say will persist in the coming years.

Unskilled labor has always faced the problem of unemployment. With major shifts in requirements in terms of technical knowledge, a lot of previously skilled labor are no longer skilled enough to execute the functions companies expect them to carry out.

This means that candidates who are no longer employed are desperate to get any kind of work. This has led to candidates that are not aptly qualified applying for positions that they are not suited for.

2. While remote hiring and onboarding have provided numerous advantages, new expectations have been set with the use of new technology. Sending in an application and waiting for a response used to be the norm. That is no longer the case.

Candidates attending video interviews expect an email or a chat message soon about their progress.

Those entering a hiring or recruitment process seek more transparency and expect quicker feedback and status updates on their applications.

This trend has seen a significant shift from companies and recruiters alike. More HR professionals are becoming transparent and looping candidates in every step. This is more conducive to a positive candidate experience and should be more common in recruitment strategy.

Thus, more recruiters and companies are becoming more transparent in their hiring and onboarding procedures. As soon as a candidate applies, they are notified that the company or HR firm has received their application. They are notified when their application is viewed too. Once a decision is made, the HR firm also informs the candidate. If they were not selected, they are usually told why.

Transparency is the primary expectation throughout the hiring process—both from the candidates' end and the clients' end. Being more transparent is essential to delivering the best to the client. After all, if the candidate is happy with the experience, your client reaps the benefits.

3. Employer branding has been something that the big names have had to worry about, not a budget conversation that most small and medium companies even consider. This has changed a lot.

How candidates and potential candidates perceive an employer is becoming increasingly important.

It is no longer about what the company says it will do for the candidate. It is about what the company is seen doing.

There are real considerations as to whether the company positively impacts the planet. The questions are no longer, do they provide a great package? But rather, how do they help the world?

Employees want to be associated with brands focused on going greener and companies with sustainability concerns at their core, actively working to make the world a better place. This trend has become so prevalent that candidates are walking away from handsome offers and choosing to join more ethically sound organizations.

This means that recruiters must focus on portraying an excellent brand image and adhering to it in practice. It also means that recruiters have to push clients to work on their brand image.

Ideally, you want candidates to be recruited for specific companies because of their brand image. Keep in mind that the candidates are a lot more experience-focused than they were before.

Having a solid brand as an employer entails doing the following:

• Increase your employer branding budget. If you don't have one, it is imperative to put one in place immediately. This does mean incurring more costs, but that is the price for attracting and retaining great talent.

• Let your employees be your ambassadors. Let them shine in the spotlight and talk candidly about how it is to work for you. Invest in creating a solid social media page that allows your employees to express themselves and show off their daily routines.

• Communicate your plans to inform your employees about what you are doing, whether they are your business plans for the next year or proposed internal changes. Keep them in the loop of the new L&D projects you have, ask them what they think can be done to increase diversity, and let them know what kind of reskilling plans you have.

• Highlight your employee’s value proposition and let them know what they will get out of the journey. Here are some questions that HR professionals should be asking: What is unique about the organization, what kind of experiences will the organization provide them, and what kind of meaning will be added to their lives?

• Be honest. Having slogans pasted all over your walls is one thing, but actually cultivating the culture and then consistently nourishing it is vital to have a powerful employer brand. Employees and candidates see through temporary and superficial efforts. Make sure your communication is straightforward.

Employer branding involves many aspects; however, once the foundation is laid right through honest, empathetic, and transparent communication, curating the right image becomes easier.

4. Candidates are heavily prioritizing upskilling and diversifying their skill set. With HR firms requiring candidates to showcase their skills, candidates are putting more effort into honing existing skills and adding new skills to their arsenal.

With the rapid proliferation of online learning and fully professional courses, many new skills have become easy to acquire. Candidates can add some serious value to their careers and resumes with a bit of dedication.

To know how these impact HR professionals, the importance of transparency in the entire process must be re-emphasized. Let your potential candidates know the exact skillset you are looking for. If HR staffing businesses & recruiters are looking for a specific type of talent, ensuring that the right kind of candidates apply is crucial.

Being extremely precise about the job description, the specific roles, and the requisite skills is of utmost importance.

In this way, you narrow down on the kinds of people applying for the position from a general talent pool. If they don't have the skills yet, it also gives them a clear-cut description of what skills they must acquire to apply in the future.

This process weeds out people who are applying simply for the sake of it, and you end up with motivated candidates committed to doing better.

Important Trends in Technology

There have been numerous trends emerging simply because of circumstances and the technology available. However, new trends are pushing the boundaries of tech and forcing innovation.

Remote work was only possible to this extent because of rapid developments in technology. The reverse is also true: several developments in technology have happened due to remote work.

1. One example is remote onboarding and recruitment. Traditional background checks and verification processes took time and some required groundwork. This is no longer the case. Some great service providers deliver accurate and practical results for remote recruitment and onboarding.

More HR staffing firms and recruiters are relying on technology service providers to verify their candidates' credentials and do a thorough background check.

It leads to quicker hiring decisions, a shorter wait period for the candidate, and improved experience.

2. With technology becoming more intrinsic in everyday work, the risks brought about by technology have also increased. This meant that security systems, like more secure websites, encrypted communication channels, and blockchain had to be put in place to protect organizations, clients, and employees. It allowed for remote work to be possible for even data-sensitive jobs.

With improvements in cyber security, there is a clear shift in the increased use of technology in all aspects of the HR profession.

Something as simple as a skill or aptitude test was relatively easy to beat, especially if the candidate had the luxury to do the test at home. Today, AI and currently available tech can also track candidates' eye movements and body language to ensure no foul play.

This has pushed the trend of remote hiring and onboarding. It has also made it safer for companies to embrace work-from-home and find the benefits of letting their employees work from home.

3. Another major shift is the use of HRTech in more organizations. HRTech used to be a requirement only for large enterprises. However, with increased access to tech, smaller organizations can also reap the benefits of HRTech.

The number of organizations using some sort of software or HR system to reduce their workload has increased significantly in recent years. One fact driving this trend is 80% of HR employees finding that using technology improved candidates’ disposition towards the company.

Most organizations are investing in screening tools to manage candidate applications, and even more are integrating HRM tools into their entire HR process. The number of organizations looking to spend more on tools could be as high as 49%. 45% of companies are considering intelligent recruitment and process automation.

Out of the companies’ interviews, 75% say that there is likely to be a significant increase in spending on HRTech across the hiring lifecycle.

4. Increased availability of tech due to intense competition and innovation has seen HRTech accessible for all business sizes and sectors. Many providers go with a pay-as-you-use style, meaning that even small companies can easily bear costs for strategic recruitment services.

A great example of this is the Veremark Career Passport. It makes the entire hiring process and the onboarding process more rapid and efficient. The Veremark Career passport allows changes to be made using smartphones, making updates on the go easy.

The Veremark Career Passport helps companies reduce the costs of ongoing background verification as they don’t have to run complete checks every time – the Career Passport retains the already verified history, and shows the most recent details that must be checked.

Most importantly, the data is always safe and tamper-proof.

5. Reliance on automation has also seen a definite upward trend. Machine learning (ML) algorithms and AI help weed out bad resumes and unsuitable candidates and automate the entire payroll process.

This sharp focus on technology means that firms that genuinely want to deliver the best for their clients must ensure they assimilate as much of this technology as possible. HR firms that want to keep their client happy have to invest in the right tech.

Employer Trends

1. 22% of smaller businesses state that their focus is on creating a more positive brand image.

While the costs involved are not negligible, what is driving the trend is businesses realizing the greater benefits of a favorable brand image.

The increase in focus and investment in employer branding means that HR teams must also be part of this movement. They should also have a positive brand image while finding client-friendly ways of pushing the clients' brand image.

It also means that HR firms and recruiters have to gather the data required to make their less trend-conscious clients realize the value of investing in brand image.

2. Internal movement of resources has increased, which is a trend that has caused a severe financial impact on HR-related businesses. Companies are looking to reskill their workers and assign them to new, more challenging, and potentially more beneficial roles.

This is related to the costs involved in acquiring the required talent and the time it takes to find, recruit, and train the right talent. This could potentially result in a severe drop in hiring through recruiters and HR firms.

HR staffing firms and recruiters can combat this and still deliver the best for their clients by testing candidate skills thoroughly and ensuring that candidates know what skills the clients desire.

While it will take time for clients to realize that they still need to hire to stay competitive, being ready to accommodate their requirements when they arise is the best way to make sure you can deliver for your clients.

3. Another trend amongst employers in recent years is offering further education and up-skilling opportunities as part of the benefits package. Employers have realized that their current workforce needs access to more skills and knowledge to remain competitive.

This trend also ties in with the first point in this section: employees could potentially execute more functions due to upskilling, which could possibly reduce the cost of new hiring. Seeing that their employees’ value increases is a major force in enhancing this trend.

‘…recruiters can use education and upskilling as a selling point to recruit talent keen on becoming all they can be,..’

This means that recruiters can use education and upskilling as a selling point to recruit talent keen on becoming all they can be, which, again, is the kind of talent every employer wants to hire and retain.

4. Employers are also seeing the need to diversify the workplace and change the average age of employees on the floor.

This period in history is one where multiple generations find themselves working in the same space.

There has been increased focus on creating cross-generational teams. This allows employers to leverage knowledge from a much wider group of people and use a combination of talent and skills to get the best results.

This means that recruiters have a much wider pool of talent to dip into. While on one front, the concern of having to pay experienced professionals exists, there is also a willing population of experienced professionals willing to take pay cuts to ensure they have a stable source of income.

Conclusion

The question is, what do recruiters and HR firms do to make sure they are still able to deliver to their clients?

The answer is relatively straightforward. They must be willing to take risks and push boundaries to find the best possible talent most efficiently. This means hiring more diverse workforces and breaking geographic barriers for recruiting the best talent.

HR teams must find new strategies for creating competitive advantages by implementing modernistic ideas that will help create a funnel for the best talent.

They must focus on their client’s and their own images and focus on hiring more responsibly and for the long term. Most importantly, HR staffing firms and recruiters need to adopt technology and contribute towards improving that technology over time.

While age-old methods are still very much in use and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future, it is essential to realize that HR staffing firms and recruiters will have to dive into the deep end of the tech frontier.

There is no other way around it: if you aren't going to go along with the rapid proliferation, evolution, and adoption of technology and maximize the efficiency of your recruitment processes, you will be left behind.

Investing in technology, automated processes, AI, and HRM service providers allows HR professionals to create new strategies. HR professionals need the space and time to brainstorm and find new and more inspirational ways of staying competitive. Finding the right tech partner is bound to define HR staffing and recruiting companies.

Veremark gives users an experience that requires minimal effort.

Real-time automated follow-ups allow employers to understand and manage hiring risks. The tools are easily customizable, and the reliable background screening can be configured to match your specific requirements and budget.

Veremark offers a variety of checks and services, whichever industry, whatever the level of employee you are looking for.

Veremark conducts automated reference checks, identity checks, and financial and civil background checks, to mention a few. For those worried about keeping costs low, the pay-as-you-go feature allows them to avail the best background screening services as and when needed.

Moreover, it doesn't matter where in the world you are – Veremark’s dedicated customer support team covers more than 180 countries, and is there for you, always.

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