The Scoop: Recruitment Trends & Industry Insights | April 2020

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Here is your April guide to the latest in recruitment trends, technology, and industry insights. With what is happening in the world today, our attention is currently fixed on adjusting to working and socializing at a distance. This edition will focus on the changes that may bring about future innovations in the world of work once we’re back to business and settled into our new normal.


While this edition will not focus on labor market realities (currently in flux), we would be remiss if we did not provide some resources for you to stay informed of the landscape as it changes:


Over the past five years, as the number of online learning platforms has increased, so has the understanding of the intangible value of “lifelong learners.” Technological advances have armed companies with new tools to unearth factors beyond schooling that may better determine candidate fit (check out the June 2019 edition of The Scoop, Skills-Based Strategy Upending Early Career Hiring). Online learning platforms like Coursera have become a proxy for understanding sought-after characteristics like persistence and motivation, which will undoubtedly be more valuable as we look towards the workforce needs of the future.

Once a fringe choice, as schools remain closed K-12 homeschooling has now become the norm. Companies like ClassDojo have seen a meteoric rise in use. Consequently, homeschooling companies have had to shift to accommodate the new requests and realities of a global nation of young people learning online and also building a consistent community akin to the structure of a traditional classroom.

“Adjusting to online learning and virtual communication is one thing, but the more nuanced issue is kids’ desire to stay connected to their community. Classrooms are their village.”

And it’s not just K-12 students: while higher education institutions are no stranger to online learning, college students have found a new shared campus quad on Zoom. GenZ is accustomed to engaging on platforms like Instagram or TikTok, but rather than continuing to build a community where they’re already congregated, students are recreating their college experience on platforms like Zoom.

At a time when post-secondary education costs continue to rise and colleges and universities brace for the potential of a smaller freshman class next fall, the increase in online learning may reshape the value proposition of that type of education and expand the list of companies who over the past two years have made the decision to forego the requirement of traditional college degrees. 


Gallup’s State of the American Workplace 2017 study found that 43% of employees work remotely with some frequency. For those who work from home, a greater percentage did so for personal reasons than those who worked from home as a requirement of their work. 

That poll taken today would of course look very different. As “unessential” businesses remain closed and the people impacted by current labor market shifts look for work opportunities in nonphysical spaces – if you’ll permit a bit of humor, the Matrix – searches for online, remote, and work-from-home jobs are on the rise.

And while there is talk of getting back into offices and business as usual, the coordination and expense of getting an entire workforce seamlessly functioning online may have shifted the possibilities of how companies imagine teams working together in the future.   

Whether you love or hate open office concepts, the aim of breaking down physical barriers to communication and fostering more collaboration has actually come about as a result of more distancing, not less. As companies look toward the future of hiring, where a relocation package would have been the best option to attract hard-to-fill talent, the most sought-after benefit may be working from home.


The amazing stories of companies providing support during this time will undoubtedly create a lasting impression about their brands in the minds of customers both old and new, and to a similar extent future employees. While magnified by the current climate, the move toward brands aligning with the current cause-focus zeitgeist has been on the rise over the past year (check out the August 2019 edition of The Scoop, Is Your Culture of Morality Superseding Your Employer Brand?).

The world and the news cycle are focused, in a way that is much more salient now than before, on the people behind businesses: government agencies that were slow on allowing their employees to work from home, companies still open and the protection afforded to their people on the front lines, and company leaders’ messages of support to employees during this time.

Our awareness of affected populations has shifted our personal paradigms toward being helpful and increased our affinity towards companies who, like us, are trying to provide support in some way. 

The result has been nontraditional brands moving production into spaces that in previous times would seem the most unlikely “product” extensions. From luxury clothing and goods company LVHM’s recent commitment to making hand sanitizer, to car companies making ventilators or jeans companies making face masks, the awareness of and association with brands are being shaped by how companies behave at this moment and will undoubtedly have an impact on how they hire.

It’s said that “necessity is the mother of invention”: the next great innovation may come as a result of a company’s decision to shift gears into a nonadjacent product line.

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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