The Scoop: Recruitment Trends & Industry Insights | January 2021

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Here is your January guide to the latest 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 EMPLOYER VALUE PROPOSITION EVOLVE TO SUPPORT RECRUITING A REMOTE WORKFORCE?

Even as the COVID-19 vaccines are distributed more broadly across the globe, employers are still grappling with the extent to which their workforce will remain remote. And if all-remote or hybrid-remote is the new reality, how best to structure the workplace to accommodate the needs of their current and future employee base as remote policies, once a fringe benefit, become more of an expectation from the talent market. 

“As more companies go all-remote, or support remote work as an option, an influx of more flexible opportunities will find people across the globe, not just those that live in big cities. This democratization of remote work will trigger a massive shift in talent acquisition and recruiting, which newly remote organizations must master. Transitioning organizations may lag in providing an exceptional candidate experience if the underpinnings are rooted in collocated norms.”

Employers who rely on a “wait-and-see” approach, hedging their bets rather than definitively moving to a distributed workforce, may erode the effectiveness of their employer value proposition and, ultimately, their recruitment efforts. 

Read more: https://venturebeat.com/2021/01/01/after-embracing-remote-work-in-2020-companies-face-conflicts-making-it-permanent/ [Venture Beat]

Absent physical spaces, employers have been considering how best to position the value of company culture — which has over the years been encapsulated in sleek spaces with foosball tables — and how best to communicate the personality of their companies to potential candidates. 

Looking beyond the traditional zoom happy hour, a new platform in the gaming industry is blurring the lines between remote and physical. Users can remotely control real-world objects, in games like pinball, that exist in a location in real life in the manner of a streaming gaming service.

While this platform focuses on gaming, the application of remote-physical opens up new possibilities for employers to think about creating more playful, engaging experiences for their employees, with the potential of new content formats to showcase remote work culture on their career sites and other candidate engagement points.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2020/12/18/remote-physical-gaming-site-surrogate-tv-raises-a-2-5m-seed/ [Techcrunch]

HIRING EVENTS CONTINUE DESPITE THE PANDEMIC WITH NEW METHODS OF COORDINATION AND ENGAGEMENT FORMATS

The most recent employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed job growth well below pre-pandemic levels. All sectors weren’t impacted equally. In fact, professional and business services offset the losses in leisure and hospitality, three-quarters of which can be attributed to food services and drinking establishments. However, the pandemic has had an uneven impact on companies even within a sector. Case in point, fast food restaurants (also called fast casual) are gearing up for a hiring surge with large scale hiring events.

Chipotle — like many fast casual restaurants — is bucking the trend as it continues to hire thousands of workers. Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s also have had larger employee recruitment efforts to add workers to their stores or supply chain centers following a bump in same-stores sales growth with more customers ordering pizza during the pandemic.

Other sectors, such as health care and retail, that traditionally use hiring events as a large part of their recruitment strategy, will have to contend with the new realities of in-person outdoor hiring events. Last year, scheduling tools utilized to reduce a recruiter’s step on the hiring process may find new life in hiring event coordination.  

Read more: https://www.restaurantdive.com/news/chipotle-aims-to-fill-15k-new-positions-during-national-hiring-event/593132/ [Restaurant Dive]

The pandemic has expanded the use of video as people strive to stay connected with each other. The often-lamented missing component to many online video events is the ability to meet and mingle. 

You may be old enough to remember — and hopefully brave enough to admit knowing about — Chatroulette. The platform which randomly pairs strangers for video chats came on the scene in 2009 in the early days of chat rooms and quickly acquired a … reputation … we’ll leave it at that. Shedding its previous image, the platform has seen new usage in the conference space.

One sign of how thoroughly Chatroulette has cleaned up its act: an embryonic corporate conference business. Bits & Pretzels, a German conference about startups, hosted a three-day event on Chatroulette in September, including a Founders Roulette session that matched participants. “Without nudes though, but full of surprising conversations,” the conference heralded. Another change: Women are now 34 percent of users, up from 11 percent two years ago.

Many online event platforms have emerged over the past year; however, trying to hold true to old elements replicated online has often resulted in a flat experience. In a search to reclaim that lost spontaneity, risqué may be the new disruption.  

Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/chatroulette-rise-again-help-ai/ [wired]

EMPLOYEES’ LIVED EXPERIENCES WITHIN YOUR COMPANY COULD IMPACT YOUR DEI RECRUITING EFFORTS

At the close of last year, Google was under fire for its ad practices and the antitrust lawsuit, but also a more direct hit. The company fired one of the few women of color on its leadership team, Dr. Timnit Gebru. In a series of tweets, she announced the tech giant had fired her [via email] after she expressed frustration internally about being asked to retract a research paper that highlighted potential pitfalls with large language models, and Google’s lackluster diversity initiatives.

“Timnit’s work exploring ethical AI & the black in AI community inspired me to work with artificial intelligence. I am saddened by the situation and her treatment for standing up for what is right. The tech industry isn’t accommodating for black women; all these diversity and inclusion schemes are useless if those who work for you are discarded once they speak on what is right. I am disappointed” ~ Alex Fefegha, creative technologist and co-founder of Comuzi 

Read more: https://peopleofcolorintech.com/articles/isupporttimnit-the-fallout-from-googles-dismissal-of-dr-timnit-gebru/ [People of Color in Tech]

As companies continue to wrestle with the best approach for their “diversity recruitment strategies,” this situation at Google highlights an important factor. The experiences of women; Black, Brown and Indigenous people; people with disabilities and other historically excluded individuals in your company will impact your Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) brand in the talent market and your ability to attract a diverse pool of talent. 

Recruitment marketing strategies aimed at positioning employees as ambassadors and advocates of the company culture, asking them to share their work experience on social media platforms — think employee takeovers, a day in the life of, etc. — and the visible call for social justice and greater accountability from businesses on those very same platforms, has coalesced to provide a platform for employee-driven transparency.  

A quick review of the hashtag #ISupportTimnit on Twitter highlights the impact of the employee voice against unfair treatment in the workplace. Job seekers — irrespective of race or ethnicity — who believe in the importance of DEI may rethink their candidacy to companies they perceive as being misaligned with their values.

And yes, this is Google, so the reach of the grievance has much greater visibility, but the takeaway is there are now conversations being had on social media that will start stacking on each other in a moment when people want to make visible where they stand on DEI in the workplace. Google’s DEI hiring practices are now under a brighter microscope. (https://twitter.com/RealAbril/status/1341135824730013696 )

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

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 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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