The Scoop: Recruitment Trends & Industry Insights | August 2019

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Here is your August guide to the latest in recruitment trends, technology and industry insights! Each month, we highlight the biggest news affecting the industry and explain what to expect as new trends continue to emerge.

BEYOND INMAILS: LOOKING FOR ALTERNATIVE INS

Job growth rate remains strong, and the unemployment rate is still low; however, this month has brought real concerns about the global economy and an impending downturn. Meanwhile, competition for talent has not waned, and candidates, especially those with in-demand skills, are being overwhelmed with recruiter communications on platforms like LinkedIn. This begs the question: Have we hit the point of too much noise on those types of platforms?

LinkedIn, to its credit, has adjusted its matching algorithm to unearth additional candidate skills and focus on fit for both candidate and employer. That move may very well improve matching but does not solve the oversaturation issue. Some employers are looking beyond LinkedIn in an effort to understand and unearth alternative signals that might provide a competitive edge — shifts in a competitor’s business, such as acquisitions, layoffs or financial difficulties, that can lead to employees looking for new opportunities.

https://searchhrsoftware.techtarget.com/news/252467939/Alternative-LinkedIn-Recruiter-tool-boosts-response-rates

COULD DATA SCIENTISTS BE AUTOMATED OUT OF A JOB?

The combination of the tight talent market and technological advancements has more companies exploring the advantage of contingent hiring for critical projects. As companies continue to innovate with limited talent and the technology itself advances, the result may be a reduced dependency on currently in-demand talent such as advanced data scientists.

The relationship between data scientists and companies using AI is evolving rapidly. New tools that can automate part of the workflow and some of the more complex up-front tasks create a shift from a focus on highly skilled analytics professionals to less-technical employees with access to automated tools.

https://searchenterpriseai.techtarget.com/feature/The-future-of-data-science-and-AI-points-to-automatic-tools

THE POWER OF UNCONVENTIONAL THINKERS

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AI & EDUCATION: THE FUTURE OF EMPLOYER-INFLUENCED EARLY ED

A few Chinese-based ed-tech companies may change the face of educational instruction around the world. Currently focused on AI tutoring, the companies are concentrated on “granularity at scale” — breaking down a subject into many more components than a textbook and then allowing the algorithm to detect where students need help to be more successful. 

Experts in the education sector are concerned that this development of AI in education would further exacerbate the trend toward standardized learning and testing to the detriment of creative thinking, leaving the next generation ill-prepared to adapt to a rapidly changing world of work.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/614057/china-squirrel-has-started-a-grand-experiment-in-ai-education-it-could-reshape-how-the/

That may very well prove true in some cases. However, when we consider the soaring cost of college and its accompanying debt burden, employers’ sentiment that many students are not graduating with the requisite skills, and that highly sought after degrees like MBAs are experiencing double-digit decline in applications, employers’ ability to get ahead of and influence early education trends becomes ever more important to ensure the skill development of the next generation of innovative workers.

IS YOUR CULTURE OF MORALITY SUPERSEDING YOUR EMPLOYER BRAND?

In what feels like harkening back to the ’60s and ’70s, there has been a significant increase of scrutiny and protests against companies whose business practices appear to be misaligned with the company culture they purport a desire to foster

At tech companies, the rise of walkouts in protest of mishandled harassment cases or potential defense contracts has led to a change in Google’s employee guidelines that seems to push against the budding trend of activism on company time. 

https://www.theverge.com/2019/8/23/20829687/google-employee-guidelines-political-activism-whistleblower

But this isn’t just an issue of retention and employee satisfaction; this trend has now hit pre-employment spaces, with students from elite colleges — presumably feeder schools for large tech companies — either outright protesting or just deciding to take their talent elsewhere.

https://slate.com/technology/2019/08/stanford-tech-students-backlash-google-facebook-palantir.html

Over the past few years, whether explicitly or not, large companies have moved toward replicating and extending the college experience — designing not offices but campuses, with quads and dining halls. And in so doing they may have unwittingly signed on to the very cultural experiment they’re now pushing back on. By design, college campuses are meant to foster lively debate about the issues of today.

Beyond employer brand or social media strategies, a company’s culture of morality may become a pressure test of authenticity.

ROUNDING OUT THE SCOOP: PSYCH, SOCIAL, LABOR AND TECH

  • Body Doubles for Interviews? Cubic Motion released a new technology that can turn human motion-capture actions into a CGI character. Most applications of the new technology focus on gaming, but it’s easy to see the application to the HR tech space, allowing recruiters or candidates to use lifelike avatars to conduct interviews anywhere in the world. https://futurism.com/the-byte/cgi-character-real-time
Jahkedda Akbar Mitchell

About Jahkedda Akbar Mitchell

Jahkedda has many years of experience providing strategic guidance, data, and insights on job-seeker trends in support of TMP Worldwide and its clients. She has also worked in-house on the candidate attraction team for a large fortune 500 company. Jahkedda has a passion for psychology and storytelling; understanding why we do what we do and how to change behaviors...only using her powers for good. Jahkedda is a member of TMP Labs: a design thinking focused innovation lab.

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