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Liz Strikwerda

Content strategist and corporate blogger (2000+ posts). Her work has been featured on G2's Learning Hub, Human Resources Today, Better Buys and over 500 business websites. She plays bluegrass mandolin and enjoys sailing her catamaran and hiking in the red rock wilderness of southern Utah. Connect with me on LinkedIn

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5 Hiring Trends for Small Business Employers

What trends will impact hiring this year?

  1. Improved screening for soft skills will expand your hiring pool
  2. Company culture still an important factor for applicants
  3. Gender pay equity and diversity hiring
  4. Older workers (65+) will eventually be the fastest-growing employee demographic
  5. Prepare for an eventual recession

Measure Soft Skills for Hard-to-Fill Positions

Soft skills are key behavioral characteristics. They help an employee succeed if they don’t initially have the hard skills for the job role.

Hire for soft skills and train for hard skills. Custom assessments can help you.

Use the structured interviewing tools in your ATS. Craft behavioral questions to measure soft skills. We addressed this in detail in our 2019 guide to structured interviews.

Company Culture

Be proactive about a positive company culture. It affects all of your business operations. Identify your culture, improve it if necessary, and express it in your recruitment marketing.

Gender Pay Equity

Identify whether your company has gender pay equity. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to work with your executive team to address it. There is no quick fix but you have to start somewhere.

Gender pay equity (or lack thereof) affects your culture, employer brand, and workforce satisfaction.

Is salary inequity kept under wraps at your company? Don’t assume it will stay that way. Review sites like Glassdoor exposed pay gaps at many companies in 2019.

If your company has achieved gender pay equity, congratulations! Feature this achievement prominently in your recruitment marketing.

Workforce Diversity

Hiring bias (both conscious and unconscious) limit efforts to increase diversity. If your company wants to improve diversity, the onus is on your team. Increasing diversity at your company could be your teams’ greatest contribution this year.

Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.

Baby Boomers Haven’t Disappeared

In 2019, we were constantly reminded about the importance of Millennials, Gen Y, and Gen Z. But don’t count out boomers just yet. They continue to have an impact on the hiring landscape.

This is good news for companies that haven’t been able to fill highly-skilled positions. You may find ideal candidates in this oft-overlooked demographic. Strategize with your team to attract and accommodate applicants from all generations.

The Economy Will Start Slowing Eventually

The question is not if but when. We won’t stave off a recession indefinitely.

When the recession hits, companies will have to adjust their hiring practices. Employers will be approached by more underqualified applicants. Effective first-pass filtering will be essential to isolate a qualified pool of applicants. Automate this process now with custom questionnaires and knockout questions. Your ATS should have this capability.

Strategize with company stakeholders to create a plan. Consider how outsourcing, gig workers, and part-time positions can help you survive the next downturn.

Our Knowledge Base Can Help You Prepare Your Team

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