HR TechnologyTalent Acquisition

Winning the Best Talent

New research reveals five hiring trends that TA leaders need to consider in today’s competitive landscape.

By Eric Sydell

It’s been two years since the initial emergence of COVID-19 and the shutdowns that followed. The world of work has been forever changed and now is the time for organizations to turn some short-term changes into permanent ones. Modern Hire’s new report, 2022 Hiring Trends: Will There Be A Next Normal?, examines the hiring landscape. Here are five trends to keep an eye on.

Trend #1: Agility is king.

Against such a broad array of seismic forces, one thing is certain -nothing is certain. Considering this, it’s extremely important for hiring teams to build strategic agility into their hiring processes. Teams must be able to handle both candidate scarcity and abundance, and be able to switch between the two quickly if needed. In times of scarcity, key hiring concerns are recruiting candidates, keeping the hiring process short and engaging, and ensuring brand and appeal are strong. When the candidate floodgates reopen, teams will want to focus more on high quality screening and sorting of candidates. The good news is that modern hiring tools can be configured and reconfigured easily, provided they were already in place.

Trend #2: Hire for potential.

With the current environment of candidate scarcity, businesses should be mindful to hire for potential rather than just skill. It is common to look for that developer that has expertise in every coding language imaginable, but often a better approach is to hire a developer who has the basics down and can learn the rest. After all, technology constantly advances, and good developers should be able to find and learn new techniques easily. Other jobs are in the same boat, and by expanding to look at potential, organizations will find more candidates who don’t fit the mold but will bring unique capabilities and motivation to the role.

Trend #3: The candidate experience.

The candidate experience has been recognized as critical for years, thanks to the efforts of independent organizations like The Talent Board. And of course, in times of candidate scarcity, their experience is even more important. But the reality is that creating an engaging, informative, and non-frustrating candidate experience has always required effort and many organizations are still not giving it the attention it deserves.

Trend #4: AI technology.

As AI continues to be adopted, organizations are slowly getting better at deploying it in harnessed and fair ways. Due to the powerful nature of AI algorithms and ongoing potential for biased results, groups around the world are working to strengthen regulations. In particular, New York City recently passed a measure that will go into effect in 2023, requiring annual independent audits of AI and other algorithmic selection tools. This type of law provides vendors with a needed incentive to develop algorithmic tools in a careful, rigorous, and fair manner. However, the focus of AI regulations is almost always on data privacy and bias, and while these are critical factors, they are not sufficient. Algorithmic tools must also help teams hire better quality candidates, faster. If just a bias-free tool is required, one might as well flip a coin -this will accomplish the same thing as many hiring tools only promise low bias. Yet it will probably result in saved cost and time!

Trend #5: Unbiased hiring.

One of the big insights that has come out of the prevalence of big data and AI is that bias is everywhere. Every human has innate and unconscious biases that impact decision-making. One of the exciting potentials of AI is to identify previously undetected bias, and once they are identified, they can be removed from the decision-making process. Most employees want to work for organizations that value diversity, equity, and inclusion, and having a diverse workplace is often an important factor in accepting a job.

While it’s unclear what the future holds (yet another surprise variant of COVID-19?), one can guarantee these hiring trends will be major factors for 2022 and likely years to come. As organizations try to get ahead, they should be mindful of the tendency to apply band-aids rather than fundamentally rethinking processes. The Great Resignation will not reverse course anytime soon, and hiring processes need to be engaging, informative, frustration-free, fast, and fair to compete successfully for talent. Don’t lower the bar and hire any candidate who is willing to work. Instead, create a world-leading hiring process and employment brand that can win the best talent regardless of the employment market.

Eric Sydell is EVP of innovation for Modern Hire.

Tags: HR Technology, March 2022, Talent Acquisition

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