2019 Talent Trends: Don't Believe the Hype.
Even as the cesspool that is content marketing incessantly spews sewage, trend posts stand out as particularly noxious. And yet, as another year arrives, there's been the predictable annual deluge of asinine copy about what's coming in 2019.
Most of these posts predict seismic changes (primarily though fear mongering), but the truth is, 2019 is going to look a whole lot like 2018, and pretty much the past decade, if we're being honest.
In an industry where Taleo, SAP and Workday command a majority of market share, it's not like we're going to move from mediocre ERP systems to virtual reality overnight.
The glacial pace of change in recruiting is comforting, predictable, and even as we read tea leaves and pretend to talk tech, we know that it'll be a good year if we're still gainfully employed and hiring full steam ahead at this time next year.
New Kids on the Blockchain
Aside: this is the rare trend post to point out that flattening job growth, the prolonged government shutdown and global trade wars just might have as much of an impact on hiring as, you know, blockchain.
You'll hear a lot about that this year. It basically means that instead of centralizing information in a way that can be controlled, data is instead decentralized and permanently stored.
Decentralization and democratization of data control is obviously at complete odds with the entire state of the HR Technology industry, which is largely actively consolidating behind walled gardens (er, marketplaces). So, that's cute.
AI Overkill: Stop the Virtual Insanity.
You'll also hear a lot about AI. You heard a lot about AI last year, too. And the year before that. But ever since Ken Jennings lost to the HAL ripoff that IBM trotted out on Jeopardy, AI has consistently failed to live up to its hype.
While there are some good machine learning and NLP technologies in HR today, the truth is, if a company's main selling point is artificial intelligence, you're really dumb if that doesn't raise an immediate red flag.
Common sense still beats AI, and common sense makes it pretty clear that this trend is being driven more by marketing than by actual cognitive technology, if such a thing even exists.
Candidate Experience isn't A Trend.
The other thing there seems to be some consensus about is the fact that candidate experience is more important than ever before, and that companies who don't treat their candidates with white gloves will end up losing the talent they need to succeed.
A couple things here. Candidate experience has always been important; if you have someone in process who's qualified, interested and available, and if there's some modicum of hope that the hiring manager feels the same, making sure they have a somewhat good experience is a huge part of recruiting entails.
The thing is, candidates always have good experiences. And by legal definition, candidates are formally active in a hiring process; that is, to be a candidate, a job seeker must also still be under consideration for a role. Applicants, on the other hand, are not candidates.
And given the fact that an estimated 9 in 10 job applicants fail to meet minimum posted qualifications (unsurprising, since a similar number admitted to not actually reading JDs before applying, either), that means a whole lot of the people we're supposed to be rolling out the red carpet for are never candidates to begin with.
Truthfully, if you waste your time applying for a job you're not qualified for, that's cool; but why a recruiter should be expected to waste any longer on you than it takes to disqualify you in their ATS is a question for which there's no logical answer.
So, instead of worrying about candidate experience, worry instead about doubling down on creating amazingly personalized, hands on and engaging experiences for the candidates who are the likeliest to get hired. Getting a candidate through process and to an accepted offer are way more important than saying "thanks, but no thanks" to some random applicant who doesn't deserve to be thanked for blind applying to every role out there.
Just Make the Hire.
What trends should you worry about in 2019, then? There's only one thing that matters this year in recruiting: closing reqs and making both new hires and hiring managers happy in the process. Do that, and you don't have to worry about what's new and what's next.
You're already doing what works, and that's more important than any trend or technology or tool. Here's to many happy hires in 2019 (and beyond).
Note: this post reflects the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of anyone else, or even reality.