Exclusive HR Predictions for The New Year

Valerie is currently the CEO and owner of Valerie Martinelli Consulting, LLC. in which she offers Life, Leadership, and Career coaching for women as well as various Management and Human Resource consulting services such as program development, management, and evaluation, human resource audits, and employee handbook and other policy developments.

The end of the year is always the perfect time to consider trends and predictions for the New Year. As the Human Resource Management sector is on track to reach $30 billion by 2025, we will continue to see new innovations and solutions take hold in 2019. But how will these innovations affect job seekers? Let’s look at some of the predictions and what some of the trends for job seekers in 2019 will be.

Prediction #1: Employee Engagement Will Take Hold by an Increase in Spending

Employee engagement, which is the level of an employee’s emotional connection, involvement, and commitment to their organization. It isn’t a secret that employees like to feel valued- and when they are- they are more dedicated, loyal, and enthusiastic employees in return. Employee engagement increases retention efforts, performance, and productivity.

However, most job seekers would tell you that this level of engagement should not be present only when you become an employee. The recruitment and hiring process should be engaging as well. The data shows that organizations suffer when employee engagement is low. However, if a company isn’t engaging a candidate right from the start then they won’t understand what their journey would be like as an employee, either.

My Prediction: Expect More Storytelling by HR To Engage Candidates & a New Generation

The focus will continue to shift from an administrative one to humanize the company brand to job seekers and candidates. This will be an effort to make the brand identity, create an experience, and ensure that candidates are engaged and happy. This will be done through more dynamic storytelling to create a connection between candidates and the brand. An authentic story is something that job seekers and candidates can relate to by providing an identity to the company’s brand.  By doing so, it generates appeal with top talent. Also, new generations want to know how they will fit in and grow with a company. Job descriptions will continue to utilize storytelling techniques, which paints a picture for a candidate like they are a character in a story. It is also important to new generations to have an assessment of how they can make an impact on a company. HR will continue to break away from the silo that it once was and evolve to capture the attention of top talent.

Job seekers and candidates can expect more use of technologies in the recruitment, hiring, and retention processes.


Prediction #2: Use of Blind Hiring Technologies to Increase

Blind hiring helps to maintain the focus on diversity to improve workplace culture and organizational performance. Organizations continue to expand their diversity hiring goals and these goals are set to be inclusive around gender, ethnicity, culture, age, and LGBTQ-identifying individuals. In order to be successful, it means that they will also have to get somewhat aggressive in their processes and use of technology as well.

Unconscious and implicit bias is still prevalent throughout the resume screening process. Those with “white-sounding” names are 75% more likely to receive interview requests than those with identical resumes with Asian names and 50% more likely than those with identical resumes with “black-sounding” names. Those with “male-sounding” names were 40% more likely to receive an interview request than identical resumes with those that sounded like female names. This data suggests that race and gender are locked into a predefined selection of names and illustrates how unconscious bias plays out in the hiring and recruitment process. This is also suggestive of the insidious ways it affects the recruiting, hiring, interviewing, pay equity, and career development of individuals- particularly women, those of color, and LGBTQ individuals.

My Prediction: The Use of Blind Hiring Technologies Will Increase in the Hiring Process

Employers continue to struggle as to how to set aside the biases are inherent within the hiring process and hire employees who will be an asset to their organization while contributing to a diverse workforce. Some companies have already embraced blind hiring technologies because the argument has been that one cannot discriminate based on criteria that one doesn’t know. Blind hiring isn’t perfect, either. It can yield a first round of candidates in which their information has been masked. However, once face-to-face interviews have been conducted, there’s no way to mask their information or their identity. Employers will still have to learn how to combat bias implicit within the hiring process. In addition, they will have to learn how to hire for cultural add and not necessarily for cultural fit. While these processes can benefit job seekers, they can expect additional use of technologies and screening tactics as employers continue to understand and learn how to meet their goals around the challenges.

Prediction #3: VR-Based Sexual Harassment Training will continue to increase well within 2019

Sexual harassment training isn’t working. Employers have spent big bucks on it and yet, it continues to occur. Title VII of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion. It only applies to employers with 15 or more employees, which is why having state and local legal protections, in addition to effective corporate policies, is so important. And even though we find ourselves amid the #MeToo movement, minimal progress has been made. Currently, 35% of women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. Although 98% of organizations state they have sexual harassment policies, only 32% of women believe that inappropriate behavior is properly addressed. In addition, 73% of employees believe that their managers do not challenge the use of inappropriate language or behavior in the workplace. The EEOC reported a 50% increase in lawsuits challenging sexual harassment in 2017, which is illustrative of the notion that the training has been mainly focused on compliance- and hasn’t worked the way it should.

Sexual harassment training, as it has been conducted in the past, does not work. VR software has been emerging as the obvious solution and as funding for these technologies increase, it also has become easier to access. VR training will allow employees to walk a mile in a victim’s shoes, something that has been sorely missing from sexual harassment training in the past.

My Prediction: Expect More VR Sexual Harassment Training in the Workplace

VR Sexual Harassment training should be important to job seekers because it is expected to increase by 15% in 2019 while decreasing the number of sexual harassment cases. If an employer is seeking to implement this, job seekers are expecting a safer and more productive workplace in return. Vantage Point VR has been at the forefront of introducing a cutting-edge, fully immersive sexual harassment program in VR. This type of training is expected to increase retention and emphasize accountability- not just compliance- where training has been failing in the past. This type of training and technology will allow employers to create and retain a productive, happy, safe workplace and workforce while knowing that they are taking active steps on an issue that has been disrupting workplaces for many, many years.

Job seekers and candidates can expect more use of technologies in the recruitment, hiring, and retention processes. This doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be less human interaction. These uses should provide candidates with ways to learn about brands and see themselves in a role and how they can grow with an organization. In addition, technological advances should bring positive and welcome changes in the workplace by taking active steps on unconscious bias in the hiring process and decreasing instances of sexual harassment.

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