The journey from the disruptive onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to recession and bulk layoffs has changed the trajectory of the global hiring industry. The talent market has become competitive and candidates want more than good compensation.
Companies have to work harder on building their employer brand and developing a skilled workforce. Earlier, companies would have to deal with bulk resume submissions for a single job role. However, the focus has now shifted to candidates asking "Why should I work in your company?"
For international businesses, hiring comes with additional challenges such as cultural differences and legal compliance. Employer of record (EOR) services like Rapid give them an edge, enabling them to focus on core business functions and managing their human resource (HR) operations and compliance requirements in the backend.
But HR teams need a strategic approach to attract and retain top candidates in their firms. This blog post explores the top 9 talent acquisition trends that are reshaping the hiring efforts of global businesses.
Global Hiring Trend#1 Quiet Quitting
Quiet quitting is a situation when employees rely on bare minimum efforts with no willingness to put in extra work or time. The employees’ engagement level is low leading to decreased productivity.
Gallup estimates that low engagement among employees costs the global economy US$8.8 trillion, equivalent to 9% of the global GDP.
As a result, Impacts such as decreased productivity, increased turnover and lack of enthusiasm invade an organisation over time.
Dealing with Quiet Quitters
HR leaders are embracing an approach called "quiet hiring,” which enables businesses to acquire new skills and capabilities without adding more full-time employees to the payroll with small changes such as:
- Focusing on internal mobility to address priorities and maximise potential of current employees.
- Investing in upskilling current employees to meet evolving organisational needs.
- Relying on alumni networks and gig workers to meet specific project-based or temporary needs without a long-term commitment.
However, the same Gallup survey highlighted the following employee recommendations:
- 41% believe engagement or culture improvements would improve their workplaces.
- 28% suggest changes in pay or benefits.
- 16% advocate for improvements in well-being, emphasising employees' physical and mental health.
Global Hiring Trend#2 Internal Mobility
Internal mobility involves moving employees within an organisation into different roles, positions or departments without needing external hiring via transfer or promotion. It is a strategic talent management approach to increase employee engagement and retention. For employees, it facilitates career growth, skill development and a stronger sense of belonging. Meanwhile, businesses reduce turnover costs because employees who move into new jobs internally are 3.5x more likely to stay.
Leveraging Internal Mobility in the Global Hiring Scenario
Jennifer Shappley, VP of global talent acquisition at LinkedIn, suggests the following approach:
"Internal mobility will be a multi-year journey for many companies, but you can also build shorter-term wins along the way. Looking at your internal policies to make sure they align with your vision for talent mobility—that’s something organisations can do now."
Here's how businesses can get started:
- Promote internal mobility to communicate the benefits of advancing careers within the organisation. Explain the potential career paths to the employees, allowing vertical and lateral movement.
- Educate employees about the skills and experience required for internal mobility. Offer skill-based learning opportunities and training programs to enable transition to new roles.
- Promote collaboration between departments. Encourage managers to support their employees' movement between departments.
- Set up talent pool partnerships between departments to foster a collaborative mindset. Encourage social and community-based learning opportunities. This breaks down silos and promotes cross-department connections.
- Establish concrete, measurable goals for internal mobility. Track progress and celebrate successful transition to new roles within the organisation.
By embracing this approach, businesses will strengthen their workforce and position themselves as leaders in the ever-competitive global hiring landscape.
Global Hiring Trend#3 Upskilling
Upskilling goes beyond the traditional concept of job-specific training and focuses on fostering a culture of continuous learning and growth within an organisation. In fact, 81% of recruiters foresee upskilling and reskilling as pivotal for future recruiting. However, many employees seek training outside of work due to perceived shortcomings in company programs.
How Companies Can Upskill Employees
Start by identifying the in-demand skills . For instance, as per the Weforum report,
- The highest priority for skills training from 2023-2027 is analytical thinking, accounting for 10% of training initiatives.
- The second priority for workforce development is promoting creative thinking, accounting for 8% of upskilling initiatives.
So, target these areas and encourage a culture of continuous learning to build a dynamic workforce adaptable to a changing job market.
As per the same report, two-thirds of companies see ROI for skills training such as cross-role mobility, greater job satisfaction and increased productivity within a year.
Global Hiring Trend#4 Prioritising Employee Experience
Eighty-two percent of employees say it’s important that their organisations see them as a whole person, rather than simply as employees.
Earlier companies saw employees as human capital and focused only on productivity. But with growing competitive talent markets, the need to improve employee experience is rising.
Employee experience(EX) is an employee's perception of their journey within an organisation. Starting from their first interactions to overall company culture, every touchpoint impacts EX.
Improving Employee Experience to be Competitive in Global Talent Acquisition
To succeed in the global talent market, here are some actionable steps to improve employee experience:
- Survey new hires about their onboarding experience to make improvements. Assign a mentor to help them adapt to their roles.
- Encourage regular one-on-one meetings for managers to provide guidance and support. Promote a culture of recognition for employees' contributions.
- Enforce performance review systems that encourage continuous improvement. Define the performance expectations and provide regular feedback.
- Support employees in career development by setting and working on career goals. Provide opportunities for skill development and career advancement.
- Maintain a positive relationship with departing employees. Conduct exit interviews to gather feedback on their experiences and understand why employees leave.
Global Hiring Trend#5 Skill-Based Hiring
"Today, strong job growth cannot be met because of a widening gap between the skills people have and the specialist skills companies need."
Skill-based hiring discards the traditional approach of relying on degrees. It replaces this approach with an increased focus on specific skills required to complete a job. This benefits companies when looking for roles where traditional credentials do not reflect their capabilities. With one in five jobs on LinkedIn not requiring a four-year degree, organisations recognise the value of skill-based hiring.
How Businesses Can Employ Skill-Based Hiring
Here's how organisations can implement this strategy effectively:
- Create job descriptions focused on key skills and abilities necessary for the role. Get away with unnecessary qualifications like degrees or years of experience.
- Broaden talent search to different sources by focusing on skills rather than background.
- Structure the interview process to assess candidates based on the skills required for the job. Use skill tests before hiring to evaluate a candidate's skills for the job.
- Offer jobs based on a candidate's skills, rather than the years of experience or education. Enable employees to grow and develop within the company's compensation plan.
By prioritising skills-first hiring organisations can bridge the skills gap and build agile, innovative and diverse teams.
Global Hiring Trend#6 Diversity, Equity And Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives
Companies must realise that DEI is not just a moral imperative but also a strategic advantage. To embed DEI practices in the workplace, companies should:
- Invest in DEI training programs to foster a more inclusive culture. Only when employees know their biases can they overcome them.
- Reevaluate the recruitment and hiring processes. Create inclusive job descriptions, seeking candidates from underrepresented groups. Also, use blind resume reviews to reduce bias
- Revise policies and procedures to be more inclusive. This includes enforcing anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies, offering family-friendly benefits, and accommodating employees with disabilities.
- Emphasise the importance of leadership buy-in, as it sets the tone for the entire organisation and fosters a culture of accountability and ownership.
- Integrate DEI into their hiring processes by including gender pronouns, implementing unconscious bias training and establishing allyship programs.
- While 79% of companies emphasise women as part of their DEI programs, other underrepresented groups should be addressed, including youth under 25 (68%), those with disabilities (51%) and individuals from disadvantaged religious, ethnic or racial backgrounds (39%).
- Employ technology and data to drive DEI initiatives by adopting data analytics and AI tools for unbiased recruitment.
Global Hiring Trend#7 Automation
Organisations estimate that 34% of all business-related tasks will be automated, whereas humans will perform the remaining 66%. In fact, 85% of organisations recognise the importance of adopting technologies, such as predictive analysis, automation and generative artificial intelligence (GAI) to reshape their hiring practices. These advancements speed up recruitment and enable skill-based hiring by removing biases.
However, when implementing automation and AI, they must regularly monitor these algorithms to avoid reinforcing biases. Here are some ways to avoid biases:
- Conduct regular bias audits on your algorithms. Identify biases in the outcomes for disparities based on gender, race, or socioeconomic background.
- Document the data sources, models and decision-making processes to ensure a transparent algorithm.
- Collect feedback on algorithmic decisions and use this input to improve the system.
- Analyse the algorithmic decisions on various demographic groups. If biases are found, take corrective actions.
Global Hiring Trend#8 Focus on Employer Brand
The employer brand is the reputation that an organisation holds among current employees, potential candidates and the wider job market. Gone are the days when offering a competitive salary and benefits package could entice top talent. Today, candidates seek more.
“When you think about employer branding and how you articulate your culture to attract, engage and retain talent, you need to go beyond performative. Candidates can see through it. They’re tapping into their networks to understand who you really are — beyond what your career site says.”
How Businesses Can Build Employer Brand
To establish an employer brand, businesses can follow the steps below:
- Embrace storytelling by sharing employee experiences and the company's values.
- Encourage transparency by addressing both strengths and weaknesses to establish trust.
- Tap into employee advocacy by encouraging them to provide authentic testimonials on social platforms.
- Ensure consistent messaging across all channels, reinforcing their identity as a preferred employer.
The question isn't whether employer branding matters – it's how well you can employ its potential for your organisation's success. 60% of in-house recruiting professionals predict that their employer branding investments will continue to increase in 2023.
Global Hiring Trend#9 Hybrid Working
The hybrid working model offers employees the flexibility to divide their work time between the office and remote locations, enabling a work-life balance. This enables companies to tap into a vast global talent pool and accelerate the hiring process to enhance diversity.
However, employers who fail to adapt risk losing top talent to competitors who offer more flexible arrangements. Contrarily, a well-structured hybrid working model can boost morale, increase engagement and improve business outcomes. 93% of iCIMS survey respondents highlighted the importance of flexibility when accepting a job offer.
To embrace the hybrid working model, businesses have to reevaluate their policies, processes and technologies to support a distributed workforce. This involves developing flexible policies that balance in-office and remote work, investing in collaborative technology, fostering inclusivity regardless of location and shifting focus to results-based performance metrics.
Talent Acquisition Trends: Future Directions
With businesses expanding across borders, they need a strategic HR approach. This involves devising a global talent acquisition strategy, understanding the intricacies of local employment laws and implementing retention programs tailored to the preferences of a diverse workforce. Hence, HR professionals with a global mindset and cross-cultural skills are well-equipped to lead their organisations through the evolving global hiring trends.
Looking ahead to the next two years, several HR priorities are expected to dominate the global talent markets. These include the increased reliance on people analytics and data-driven HR practices, ensuring compensation equity and competitiveness to attract and retain top talent, nurturing internal mobility and employee retention and continuing efforts in diversity sourcing and hiring. Strengthening employer brands and enhancing the candidate experience will also remain high on the list of HR priorities.