The Scoop: Recruitment Trends & Industry Insights | November 2020

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Here is your November 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.

WILL THE PANDEMIC’S INDISCRIMINATE IMPACT ON WOMEN LEAD TO MORE WIDESPREAD ADOPTION OF NEW BENEFITS FOR WORKING PARENTS?

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an indiscriminate impact on the workforce — affecting the day-to-day work and lifestyle of hourly manual labor workers more so than “knowledge workers”, who for the most part have been able to work from home. 

For a subset of workers, the current situation has meant navigating the dual role of worker and educator for children still learning from home. The resulting effect: in September, 865,000 women — more than 300,000 of whom are Latina — dropped out of the American workforce compared with 216,000 men in the same age group.

There are a lot of different factors working against women, especially women of color. Women are overrepresented in jobs that have been hit hardest by COVID-19 — servers, housekeepers, retail workers, [etc]. And childcare has gotten harder. A lot of schools and childcare centers are still closed. So many women are faced with a set of choices that are all bad.

Read more: https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/10/02/919517914/enough-already-multiple-demands-causing-women-to-abandon-workforce [NPR]

Companies recognize the importance of prioritizing support for working parents; however, only 39% believe that their current offering effectively meets the need. Reevaluating what support looks like for working parents during this time includes additional childcare resources, leave, pay and benefits, and flextime, but also means factoring in the mental health strain these workers face.

Nearly four-fifths of employers report rising stress (79%) and over half report higher mental health-related claims (55%) to a moderate to very great extent because of increased caregiving responsibilities.

Read more: https://www.willistowerswatson.com/en-US/Insights/2020/11/employers-across-industries-boost-efforts-to-meet-workers-childcare-needs [Willis Towers Watson]

As companies double-down on efforts to increase gender diversity, and, as a result of the realities of working from home, are reevaluating benefits policies to retain and attract new talent, support for childcare may prove vitally important to meeting key hiring goals. 

WILL THE (STILL PENDING) OUTCOME OF THE U.S. ELECTION RESHAPE INDUSTRIES AND ACCELERATE THE NEED FOR NEW SKILLS?

Individuals and industries alike awaited the coming of the U.S. election to provide some direction for the future ahead; knowing that unlike previous elections, a conclusive decision on election night was unlikely.

As always, election outcomes have a downstream effect on industries; unique to the current situation is the uneven impact of the pandemic, which has left certain sectors hard hit. Sectors such as healthcare, already struggling from the financial impact of COVID-19 which has reduced elective surgeries and, in some cases, reduced headcount, may see greater changes due to the continued battle over the affordable care act.

The changing of the guard will also shift focus on industries such as automotive and energy, with a greater emphasis on environmental regulations and renewable energy. 

New policy directives will change not only energy companies’ business models, but also their workforces. Traditional oil and gas will need more talent in highly skilled areas like artificial intelligence and data than in drilling, for instance. As a result, more could be done on the part of companies and the new administration to reskill and provide learning and development opportunities for the energy worker of the future.

Read more: https://www.kornferry.com/insights/articles/five-industries-on-biden-radar [Korn Ferry]

While the future administration will result in a need for industry leaders to reshape their business and therefore their workforce, COVID-19 also plays a key factor in the need for new skills and a reskilled workforce to support the changes brought on by tech advancement and automation.  

LinkedIn, Coursera and the World Economic Forum, partnered on the new Future of Jobs Report 2020. While the findings have been consistent over the past two or so years —  growing demand for data analysts and scientists, AI and machine learning specialists, robotics engineers, software and application developers, and digital transformation specialists — the new study highlights the ease of transition into some of these areas based on how established the pipeline for those roles are. 

Companies looking to buildout their talent pools may need to consider an adjacent skill strategy — building their talent pools with a mind towards future skill needs based on ease of transition and training duration — to meet the current and future demand. 

The report also highlights the difference in skills of focus for employed versus unemployed talent, with the former more interested in learning personal development and self-management skills. 

While new tech will reshape the tasks that will need to support future business needs, workers will more often be working with new tools versus being displaced and, if remote work becomes a norm, skills that focus more on the individual’s ability to manage workloads and collaboration will become more valuable. 

Read more: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/10/x-charts-showing-the-jobs-of-a-post-pandemic-future-and-the-skills-you-need-to-get-them/ [World Economic Forum]

Based on this collaborative effort, LinkedIn has recently launched a career explore tool that focuses on skills needed for career transitions. The tool offers options for future careers based on difficulty of transition and skills needed for the new role, and provides training modules via the platforms learning portal.

Read more: https://linkedin.github.io/career-explorer/ [LinkedIn]

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

  • With the recent and continued spikes of COVID-19 cases around the globe and in the U.S. — with some states going back to curfews and closures — and as retail companies continue to be scrutinized for how they are supporting their workers, big retail companies, such as The Home Depot and Target, have been investing in higher salaries for their employees. 

Read more: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/home-depot-is-spending-1-billion-to-give-thousands-of-its-workers-a-raise-125112440.html [Yahoo Finance]

  • The pandemic and social distancing have changed the nature of what used to be high-touch relationship building via in-person events. In the run up to election day, the Biden-Harris campaign engaged with audiences through Fortnite and Animal Crossing. This signals an on-going trend as companies consider how to adjust their event strategies to the new realities of online.

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/biden-harris-campaign-fortnite [Mashable]

  • Bridging the gap between IRL and digital isn’t just for the Kardashians. PORTL, a hologram company, brings the phrase “beam me up Scotty” to life. Its hologramportation device can bring anyone into a setting with a holographic rendering and engagement settings.

Read more:https://www.digitaltrends.com/features/portl-epic-hologram-machine/ [Digital Trends]

  • Spotify continues to make a play for more podcast acquisitions, with the purchase of the podcast hosting company Megaphone. While this move doesn’t increase the content available on the platform, it opens up the existing content to Spotify’s proprietary ad insertion technology. Signaling an increase in podcast marketing opportunity as the pandemic shifts content consumption behaviors.

Read more:https://www.theverge.com/2020/11/10/21557458/spotify-megaphone-podcast-streaming-ad-insertion [The Verge]

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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