Hiring Trends: Tech, More Tech, and What Employees Want

By Kristen Harris

At Portfolio Creative we’re always focused on Growth–it’s one of our core values. And we know how important it is to stay ahead of trends so we can best serve our clients and talent. So we make a point to attend the American Staffing Association’s annual conference, Staffing World.

We love to share what we learn, so here are 5 trends we zeroed in on at this year’s conference.

Hiring and Staffing Trends for 2020 (and beyond):

  1. Technology #1. From computers and robots to databases and artificial intelligence, it’s amazing how our work has changed. We’re all using technology in large or small ways throughout the day, at work and in our personal lives. Robots aren’t exactly “taking our jobs” but they are replacing some jobs. Any task that is repetitive and predictable probably can be automated, perhaps using some level of machine learning or AI. Embrace these tools—they’re taking on our repetitive or manual work so we can focus on the creative thinking and problem solving that humans are best at!

  2. More Technology. No matter the business or industry, finding and hiring the right talent, is a challenge. There is an ever-increasing need for technology skills, even in industries or roles that previously were fairly manual. For example, manufacturing and logistics roles are continuing to become more automated and technology-driven, which means that the people working in these environments need more technical skills than ever before. We need to continue to train and re-train employees to keep up with the skill requirements of current and future jobs. 

  3. Flexible and Remote Work. Remote work is the fastest-growing non-monetary benefit employees want and companies offer. Consider whether there are roles on your team that can be done whenever/wherever needed, or with some flexibility in the work hours or location. You don’t have to go totally remote–often employees are just looking for some flexibility if it’s possible for their role. When you’re able to manage, review and reward an employee based on results and metrics, exactly where and when the work is done matters less. Finding ways to be flexible can help attract and retain talent.

  4. Stand for Something. Employees and customers are seeking out products and companies that align with their values. This is especially critical in hiring—people want to be associated with a company that reflects their interests and values. They have to believe in what you do to give 110%. In today’s world of transparency, it’s hard to be all things to all people. Being clear about who you are and what you stand for can help attract employees who share those beliefs and are invested in the company’s mission.

  5. Marijuana Legalization. Yeah, it’s growing. Even though marijuana is still illegal federally, as of today there are only nine states where it is 100% illegal. In all other states it’s decriminalized, medically legal, or fully legal. As these changes are being made at the local and state levels, companies need to quickly decide how they’ll address it with their workforce. Recreational marijuana users are not a protected class; however, eliminating them for consideration on all jobs in certain states could limit your candidate pool. When marijuana is prescribed for a medical condition, other HR-related factors come into play. Some companies are removing marijuana from their drug screen protocol for positions where they don’t consider it a risk. Consult your attorney and HR specialist on these decisions; this will continue to be a tricky area until addressed at the federal level.

Change requires change, and it’s happening more rapidly than ever. By staying on top of the trends, we can keep developing ourselves and our companies for future success.