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The Scoop: Recruitment Trends & Industry Insights | November 2021

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Here is your November 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.


With global vacancies at an all-time high and unemployment continuing to decrease in many countries, the challenge for talent acquisition teams to fill vacancies is unprecedented. Many employers will need to review their total compensation package to compete, focusing on tailored benefits packages, not just pay.

Candidates are demanding more personalized benefits as many roles become hybrid or fully remote. Access to an on-site gym, subsidized canteen and transport loans are great, if you’re primarily office based. But what if you’re fully remote or intend to work mainly remote? Would you prefer a contribution to home office furniture, funding of a high-speed internet connection and access to well-being apps? And what about those who need to care for family members, be it children, the elderly or those who are ill?

“Employers have become forced to offer greater incentives, better pay and more flexibility to candidates.”

Source: AcadianVentures’ State of Work 2021

This might not need to be a wholescale reengineering of benefits packages, just a reshaping of existing ones, or giving more flexibility to employees to choose what’s best for them. This, coupled with increasing employee referral incentives, will help with current attracting and attrition challenges.

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Technology has continued to displace jobs at an unprecedented rate. The food retail sector in particular has experienced recent disruption, from robot chefs and restaurant waiting staff, to checkout-free food stores. With tech companies such as American Robotech providing a range of autonomous robots, the disruption will not only continue at pace, but may also help solve labor shortages too.

Cruise (an autonomous vehicle subsidiary of General Motors) recently launched its driverless ‘robotaxi’ service in San Francisco, initially only for employees and non-paying members of the public. A few years ago, this would be considered a significant step in workforce displacement, but in today’s labor market it might just help with the exponentially worsening driver shortage.

Read more: TechCrunch: https://techcrunch.com/2021/11/03/cruise-launches-driverless-robotaxi-service-for-employees-in-san-francisco/

Could bacteria be next in line to take jobs?

Bacteria, specifically E. coli, can be programmed like computers and working in tandem, can solve problems together. With this new development, instead of using computational algorithms, a network of cells could be used to enhance crop production for farming or find cures for diseases or for drug development.

“If this approach works at larger scales, it could unlock applications pertaining to everything from pharmaceuticals to agriculture to space travel.”

Siobhan Roberts, MIT Technology Review

If biotech can be used to solve problems, in the future could we see some software engineers of today replaced by synthetic biologists?

Read more: MIT Technology Review: https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/11/09/1039107/e-coli-maze-solving-biocomputer


Meta, the new parent company created for Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram and Oculus, announced grand ambitions at their Connect Conference in October to build a ‘metaverse’ called Horizon.

Horizon will be an immersive next-generation computing platform, dubbed as the ‘new internet,’ and will be accessed through virtual reality, augmented reality, smartphones and laptops.

Whilst Mark Zuckerberg’s realization of a complete metaverse may be some years off, and won’t come without challenge, its integration into our daily lives may be a lot closer than we think.

Horizon Workrooms will aim to improve the virtual meeting, learning and collaboration experience.

Launched in August 2021, Workrooms’ purpose is to help improve the hybrid / remote working experience by creating a feeling of presence and filling the social interaction void created by remote working, giving a 3D experience rather than the 2D one many of us have become accustomed to over the last 20+ months.

Users are required to create a new account that is separate from their personal Facebook account and if using the Oculus virtual reality headsets, it will enable more interaction and collaboration. However, we must consider that virtual reality does come with some accessibility challenges and will be one of many barriers it will need to overcome to achieve mainstream adoption. 

Image source: Meta (https://about.fb.com/news/2021/08/introducing-horizon-workrooms-remote-collaboration-reimagined/)

Watch the Horizon Workrooms promo video: https://www.oculus.com/experiences/quest/2514011888645651/?locale=en_GB

Potential impact on jobs and the future of work.

If Zuckerberg’s vision is realized, a whole new economy will be created which will inevitably mean whole new categories of jobs – both to create, maintain and build upon the metaverse, but also jobs being created within it. Decentraland, an existing metaverse, already hired real people to play avatars in its casinos.

Additionally, Meta expects to create 10,000 jobs in Europe to help build the metaverse and plans to invest a further $150 million “to train the next generation of creators to build immersive learning content.”

The South Korean city of Seoul recently announced it will be the first city in the metaverse, offering economic, cultural, tourism, educational and civic services, in three stages from 2022.

Potential impact on talent acquisition

The Horizon metaverse has the potential to disrupt many industries and sectors, including HR tech. From a talent acquisition perspective, it could provide disruption to existing experiences across the different phases of TA, from virtual office tours and careers fairs to ‘in-person’ interviews and assessments, to onboarding and beyond. And in marketing, new opportunities will be created within the metaverse. New advertising models, ad formats and targeting capabilities will be sure to feature.

But Meta aren’t the only ones in this space. Microsoft and Nvidia are also working on their own versions of a metaverse, as well as other gaming-focused metaverses already in existence. Key to success and mainstream adoption will be down to the interoperability between them all. Ready Player One?

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  • Based on a survey of 500 HR professionals across 60 countries, Gartner outlines the Top Priorities for HR Leaders in 2022 with great insights and actionable advice. The main areas HR leaders are prioritizing are: building critical skills and competencies (59%), organizational design and change management (48%), current and future leadership bench (45%), future of work (42%) and diversity, equity and inclusion (35%). Source: Gartner
Image source: Gartner

About Nathan Perrott

As VP, Strategy & Innovation at Radancy, Nathan is responsible for observing emerging trends in technology and the future of work to drive product and strategy innovation, bringing the value of Radancy Labs' work to our clients and colleagues, and also leads the European team of solutions engineers who drive value from the Radancy Talent Acquisition Cloud.

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