The Scoop: Recruitment Trends & Industry Insights | June 2019

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Here is your June 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.


Although the Fed has recently expressed concern that the economy is slowing, the average citizen is reveling in the abundance of job opportunities and current unemployment rate at a 50-year low and employers continue to battle the complex challenge of find talent to keep pace with job growth.

The tight labor market has required employers to look beyond the traditional approaches and consider the unmet needs of their talent pools to determine potential perks that may expand key sources of talent supply. 

While many companies offer some form of financial assistance for college to their younger employees, Walmart is among the first to target high school students by offering prep courses for the SAT and ACT college entrance exams. High School students make up only a small percentage of the workers at the retailer, but Walmart is looking at the long-term potential of attracting this talent source early and the downstream impact of consistently providing needs-based perks, such as college credits, to keep employees with the company.


The tight labor market, particularly for highly sought-after talent, has also ushered the practice of considering candidates who do not hold professional degrees. This change in recruitment practice, coupled with the rising cost of college and the loan debt burden on recent graduates, has created the perfect condition for disruption of higher education and, as a result, early career hiring.

Over the past few years, the use of talent analytics has been on the rise, with the end goal of having a deeper understanding of the efficiency of talent attraction efforts and also a more granular understanding of the factors that contribute to the success of a candidate. Most notably:  

“… informed by data, many employers are beginning to take [steps] to explicitly de-emphasize degrees and pedigree in their hiring process. The fact that a majority of employers reported that they either already have a formal skills-based hiring effort underway (24 percent) or are exploring it (39 percent) was one of the more significant surprises in our survey of HR leaders.”


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A new top-secret project from Amazon aims to understand customers’ emotional state (and most likely their consumer needs) through voice analysis. This move by the company is in line with the increased focus on designing tech with greater emotional awareness of the user (see the March edition of The Scoop, Beyond Design Thinking, Design Feeling). 

In the HR tech space, there has been interest in AI-based tools that analyze body language, tone, and speech and facial expressions to discern the fitness of a candidate based on the “ideal candidate” for an organization. As large tech companies continue to explore vocal patterns to determine how a user is feeling, discerning between joy, anger, sadness, fear, boredom, stress, or other emotional states, we may see more applications to recruitment technology. 

Also, paired with location-based technology (Google Music “knows” when to surface my work playlist), it is not hard to imagine a scenario where this wearable tech would advise managers how to interact more effectively with their teams at work.


Current consternation around the collection and use of user preference data and algorithmic bias has increased interest in regulating the use and transparency of AI-based tools.

Back in April, congressional Democrats introduced the Algorithmic Accountability Act of 2019, which seeks to enhance federal oversight of artificial intelligence and data privacy. Whether or not the Act will pass, there has also been city- and state-level legislation introduced:

  • The Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) – passed by the Illinois General Assembly, October 2008, covers and regulates private employer use of biometric identifiers and biometric information of Illinois employees (similar laws passed in Washington and Texas).
  • Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act – passed by the Illinois General Assembly (May 2019) imposes restrictions on employers’ use of this kind of artificial intelligence in hiring


About Jahkedda Akbar Mitchell

Jahkedda has many years of experience providing strategic guidance, data, and insights on job-seeker trends in support of Radancy 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 Radancy Labs: a design thinking focused innovation lab.

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