2019 in Review: 14 Entrepreneurs Reflect on the Biggest Recruiting Trends of the Year

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Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers!

Today’s Question: What major positive recruitment trends did you see in 2019, and why are these trends important?

The answers below are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs.

serenity1. A Stronger Focus on Diversity

I’ve seen so many more types of people being recruited and increasing diversity levels in many organizations. That brings me great joy because it’s been my focus for so long to see more people viewed as unique competitive advantages rather than having their prospects limited unfairly.

Serenity Gibbons, NAACP 

jared2. The Arrival of Generation Z

Gen. Z has already been in the workforce for a little while, even if in entry-level or internship positions, but now they’re really growing into the professional world. They’re adept with technology and the latest trends, which are just a couple of reasons why they’re invaluable as employees. If you want to hire Gen. Z, remember they’re all about mobile, eCommerce, and attention-grabbing content.

Jared Atchison, WPForms 

rana3. Hiring Talent From Outside Your Industry

I have noticed more companies recruiting people from outside their industries. Looking for people in different industries with transferable skill sets not only gives you more hirable options, but it also allows you to access fresh ideas from people who are new to the field.

Rana Gujral, Behavioral Signals 

stephanie4. Social Media Recruitment

More and more companies are using social media to recruit candidates. This is great because it’s free or low cost, you can get your job posts seen by more people (even candidates who aren’t actively looking for new jobs), and you have a better chance of reaching potential candidates because most people are on social media multiple times a day.

Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms 

andy5. Hiring Remote Workers

Working with a remote team has its challenges, but when remote work is implemented and managed properly, you can unlock talent anywhere in the world. Furthermore, you essentially have work being done around the clock for your company, with one team finishing just as another is getting on the clock to review and build upon their work.

Andy Karuza, FenSens 

mario6. Startups Care More About Employer Branding

I see a growing number of startups investing in employer branding. Investing in the founding team’s brand (and senior management) for the sake of attracting top talent is a wonderful move. Great peers are hard to find (sometimes close to impossible) unless they buy into your leadership.

Mario Peshev, DevriX 

Frederik7. An Emphasis on Human Interaction

Traditional recruitment was wrapped in formalities, layers of bureaucracy, and antiquated interviews. A positive trend I’m seeing is that recruiters are focusing more on the candidate than the system, creating more human-to-human interactions. This is reflected in less of a focus on resumes, less of a focus on eccentric interview questions, and more of a focus on the win-win value that can be made.

Frederik Bussler, AngelStarter 

thomas8. Hiring for Soft Skills

More companies now see the value in hiring employees who possess soft skills like listening, communicating, and problem-solving. This is because the technical aspect of work is constantly changing, but these traits will always be needed to succeed. Those who master these specific skills are likelier to work effectively and be willing to learn new things.

Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster 

chris9. Tapping Into Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t the end-all solution to your recruiting problems, but it certainly does help you narrow down the options. AI helps streamline the early stages of the recruiting process so it’s easier to pick and choose from a qualified pool of candidates. Chatbots and conversational surveys are just a couple of ways companies can use AI to their advantage when hiring new employees.

Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights 

Andrew10. Employee Referrals

Employee referrals appear to be on the rise, and that’s a good thing because they typically turn out to be much better hires. Your team is less likely to be disillusioned with a subpar new hire, productivity will probably go up, and turnover may trend downward.

Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance 

nicole11. Keyword Screening

More companies are onboarding cheaper HR software to help them reduce the organizational clutter of their work. One of the biggest advantages of this tech is the ability to screen resumes based on keyword searches. It may not be the best method for sorting candidates, but depending on the volume you’re dealing with, it should do the trick.

Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc. 

zach12. Video Interviews

More and more interviews are being held via video, which should continue over the next few years. Conducting interviews via video allows you to access more candidates and can even help a business diversify its staff. It used to be that you had to choose from the best candidates within driving distance of your location; now you can choose from anywhere in the world.

Zach Binder, Bell + Ivy 

karl13. More Focus on Company Culture

As remote work becomes more popular, entrepreneurs are putting more emphasis on building strong company cultures and integrating people into those cultures. This is critical, as it’s very easy for people to feel left out when they work remotely, which can lead to major issues like decreased productivity, higher employee churn rates, and a lack of teamwork.

Karl Kangur, Above House 

richard14. Quantifying Tech Skills in a Measurable Way

In the past, there was a lot of guesswork involved in hiring developers. Decisions were mostly based on looking at a developer’s previous work and their pedigree. There’s a problem with that: You can never know how much of their work was templated or how much of the credit should actually go to other members of the candidate’s team. Now, with technical assessment software like CodeSignal, Codility, and others, there’s less guessing.

Richard Fong, Bliss Drive 

By Recruiter Q&A