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6 Vital HR and Hiring Trends for 2019

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Competition for top talent is at record levels. Are you ready to come out ahead? HR and hiring managers are looking to artificial intelligence (AI), creative benefits, and even reworking workplace culture to gain a competitive advantage. Below are some of the more fascinating hiring trends in these areas when it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent in 2019.

Tapping into Recruiting Chatbots

There’s no doubt you’ve interacted with chatbots when asking customer service questions on websites or through email and when using personal assistants like Alexa and Siri. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, the average person will have more conversations with chatbots than with their own spouse. Chatbots are also a huge trend for recruiting. AI company Ideal reports that nearly 60% of candidates are comfortable interacting with recruitment chatbots in the early stages of the application process. Find out more about the process here.

Texting Top Talent

If you’re not ready to incorporate chatbots or other automation into your recruiting, that shouldn’t hold you back from adopting different ways to speed up the recruiting process. If you’re still emailing candidates, for instance, you may be missing the boat by a few critical hours. In a joint study, Bullhorn and TextUs found that nine out of 10 job candidates expect to be able to communicate through SMS or a messaging app like WhatsApp, Slack or Skype. This is great news because an email response takes about 90 minutes while a text response usually happens within 90 seconds. And, “while emails response rates are very sensitive to the time and day you send them, text messages have the highest open rate across the board: Ninety-eight percent of texts gets opened.”

A More Transparent Interview Process

Trust is a huge factor when it comes to employee satisfaction, and employers are finding out that building it can start with open and honest communication during the interview process. A new Glassdoor survey reveals that a lack of information about a job’s compensation is among the biggest frustrations for job seekers. And, when asked what would constitute a positive job application experience, nearly three in five said that a company communicating with them clearly and regularly is what they want. More than half said they’d want a company to set out clear expectations so they can fully prepare for interviews and to give feedback (even when things don’t go well). Simply explaining how many interviews candidates might need to go through and who those interviews might be with could keep more than 40% of job candidates active and interested throughout the interview process.

Workplace Flexibility

Work flexibility is here to stay. Mercer’s latest Global Talent Trends study shows more than half of employees wish they had more flexible work options in the form of telecommuting, flexible schedules, and unlimited PTO. A survey by FlexJobs goes on to show working parents rank workplace flexibility ahead of salary, with 84% of working parents admitting work flexibility is the top factor they look for in a job. You can expect workplace flexibility perks to be a major recruiting tool in 2019, especially now that more and more employers are mastering the virtual workplace. While jobs in tech, customer service, and sales still lead the charge in areas in which remote and flex work is common, some surprising fields including medical/clinical, administrative, and accounting and finance are gaining steam thanks to better technology and remote collaboration tools.

Student Loan Assistance

With health insurance costs rising at an alarming rate, employers are continuing to look for alternative ways to dazzle job candidates with creative benefits instead. Elizabeth Halkos of employee finance solution Purchasing Power says student loan debt repayment is a huge (yet largely untapped) opportunity for employee benefits in 2019. “More than one-third of employees overall (and 55 percent of millennials) said student loan repayment is a must-have benefit, according to an Unum study,” she points out in a feature for Benefits Pro, adding that only 4 percent of employers currently offer it. According to the American Student Assistance, she points out, 86 percent of employees would commit to a company for five years if the employer helped pay back their student loans.

Employee Journey Mapping

With unemployment at an all-time low and the skills gap reaching epic proportions, employee retention is more important than ever. To this end, employee journey mapping has become a trendy way to visualize and fix weaknesses within the employee experience that can cause unnecessary turnover. For a better understanding of how to use employee journey mapping for retention, read these articles by HR Technologist and CMS Wire, and these examples (both good and bad) by HR Trends.