The Scoop: Recruitment Trends & Industry Insights | September 2020

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Here is your September guide to the latest in trends impacting the world of work. Every month, we provide perspective on the biggest news affecting the industry and explain what to expect as new trends continue to emerge.

EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN: FACEBOOK CAMPUS?

The global pandemic has resulted in about 42 percent of the U.S. labor force now working from home full-time, K-12 at-home education, and some college students figuring out campus life virtually. Much like what’s in vogue in other Gen Z spaces, Facebook has come out with a throwback, a product called Facebook Campus.

Similar to the original, Facebook Campus is connected to users’ university email addresses and students can find each other through a campus directory. Like many other tools borne out of this COVID era, the focus is on connection, with features that allow students to engage over shared interests or information about events, but with the added functionality of real-time chats like some of the other live-streaming tools. 

While there is no mention of how this might impact employers campus engagement strategies, this new tool presents an opportunity for companies to reimagine relationship building with students via the social platform. The wealth of data about students’ interests is also an opportunity for ad targeting. What remains to be seen is if this new product will entice Gen Z, who has a larger footprint on other social media platforms, back to Facebook.
https://www.theverge.com/2020/9/10/21429159/facebook-campus-app-college-students

UPCYCLING: FROM HOTEL ROOM TO FUTURE WORKSPACE

As the effects of the pandemic wear on, the service industries have been hard hit — the restaurant industry has already lost over $120 billion, and individual hotels and major operators have projected occupancies below 20%. The new complexities have seen innovative use of these spaces to create new revenue streams and meet a need in the marketplace.

Some hotels, now with far fewer guests, are repurposing whole floors of suites into individual workspaces, with coffee, printers and other workplace amenities. Some restaurants are also following suit, reimaging their spaces for daily or monthly rentals. 

As companies make the difficult decision about the percentage of their workforce that will continue to be remote, there may be greater demand for more flexible workspace options. Out of necessity, micro is having a moment: we may see a move from large multi-use spaces to a scaled-down version of the same idea.
https://intelligence.wundermanthompson.com/2020/08/the-new-workplace/

REVERSE LENS: COMPANIES’ COMMITMENT TO EQUITY AND INCLUSION

The current situation has been called the double pandemic, with the first focusing on the global health crisis and second on systemic racism. In the months that passed since the beginning of the first protest, many companies have put out statements of support for the Black community. Work by two sociologists highlights the challenge of positioning race, not racism, as the cause of discrimination.

These statements (including those from TikTok and Facebook) also explicitly address Black people far more frequently than white people by using phrases such as “We stand with the Black community.” In 63 statements, Black people and communities were referenced 241 times while white people were referenced only four times.

As current and future employees look for companies to be more transparent with their support and intentions around Diversity, Equity and Inclusion practices, recalibrated language focused on actions against racism may go further in communicating that companies stand with these communities. 
https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/09/05/1008187/racial-injustice-statements-tech-companies-racism-racecraft-opinion/

The effect of this perspective isn’t only applicable to how companies talk about their support; it’s also prevalent in the solution developed in the DEI tech space, with platforms that often focus on blinding race as a solution.

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

  • The benefit of remote work may be an even greater globalized workforce, but (please permit my leap) the barrier to working across regions is often language. New research shows that stimulating a particular area of the brain could improve language comprehension by 13 percent to 15 percent: https://futurism.com/zappling-brain-language-learning
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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