Key Takeaways From Spark Hire’s 2018 Hiring Trends Report

Jobs are already growing rapidly this year, as showcased by this month’s employment report, but what is driving the expansion of some companies around the nation, and what are companies focusing on to improve hiring processes? Spark Hire is one of the many companies researching the answer to this question. Many people believe companies are growing due to recent tax cuts; however, only 16 percent of companies reported growth due to the tax cuts, according to a Spark Hire report.

There are several hiring trends happening within many companies. For example, companies are offering new services and expanding into other industries or locations. Second, companies are looking for quality potential candidates across multiple platforms, thus encouraging diversity and the development of company culture. Furthermore, companies are beginning to use innovative technologies and tools to improve their hiring processes, which ultimately shorten the amount of time between receipt of an application and a job offer.

A lack of qualified candidates is a reason for concern for many companies. This can be reduced by companies advertising job openings in different ways. For example, companies are encouraged to advertise new job openings to current employees for referrals, to clients, and even to their social media followers. By expanding their talent pool, companies will be able to receive a diverse selection of candidates and a higher chance of applications and qualified candidates.

As demographics across communities change, companies have easier-than-ever access to diverse candidate pools. Below is a graph depicting the reasons behind companies wanting to focus more on diversity. It is evident that many companies want to improve their cultures as well as improve their overall performance.

Figure 1: Reasons why companies focus on diversity. Source: LinkedIn, 2018

According to a LinkedIn report published earlier this year, companies like Walgreens and Pandora make efforts to focus on diversity. For instance, they make it possible for all employees to feel included within the company culture. They also have resource groups for employees and ways for employees to express themselves and their ideas.

In addition, high turnover rates are a big concern for many companies, which is why it is vital that companies make the right hiring decisions. When looking for qualified candidates, the majority of companies feel that work experience is the most important deciding factor of whether or not to hire someone.

Growth potential within the company and hard skills are some of the other higher ranking factors companies look at when making a hiring decision. Although these are important qualities for a candidate to have, it is also important to hire people that are a good cultural fit for the company, as well as those with admirable soft skills such as the ability to collaborate and work with others in a team setting.

While a person may have the adequate skills for the job, they may not care too much about the company they are working for. Companies should offer surveys to employees who leave the company so they can better understand the reasons behind current turnover rates. Also, taking regular surveys from employees can help determine company culture and potential downfalls in the hiring process.

On average, companies offer the job to a candidate with one to two weeks. Is this too long of a waiting period? Some may argue yes, as candidates could need a job as soon as possible or another company could offer them a position during that time period. One way to reduce waiting time would be to allow potential candidates to choose their interview time by using an automated program. This can reduce multiple voicemails and emails and waiting for a response from both parties.

As time goes on, technology advances and companies continue growing. This means a company must update their hiring technologies to keep up with the changing times. See the graph above from a study conducted by Spark Hire showing what technologies and additions companies are considering integrating into their hiring processes.

Once a person submits their application, the company they applied for must continue using new tools and technologies to assess the candidate’s ability. For example, many companies offer to have an interview with a candidate over a meal. According to a recent LinkedIn report, the CEO of Charles Schwab takes candidates to lunch and tells the restaurant to purposefully mess up the orders. This exercise reveals how one overcomes obstacles and how they handle situations when they go unexpectedly.

Other companies have started using virtual reality to test candidates’ skills. This allows companies to see how a potential candidate will act within the work environment. It will also show a candidate’s skills and if they align well with the company’s needs.

A popular way of assessing a candidate’s skills is by offering an online skills assessment. This tests how a candidate works with other people, and how they react in stressful situations. Companies can easily learn how someone’s personality and whether they would be a good fit in the environment of the position. Overall, the most important trend in global recruiting is the use of data.

The data reported above as well as data from companies themselves allow companies to learn which methods work best for them when hiring new employees. Data can allow insight into things such as retention rates, skills gaps, candidate success, and hiring demands. In order to grow, a company must find their weaknesses in their hiring processes and make room for improvements.

The times, they are a changin’. And as the world diversifies, it is necessary for companies to be able to reach out to as many potential candidates as possible. This can reduce turnover rates, improve company culture, and reduce the amount of time needed to communicate with potential candidates. Companies must adapt to the changing environments around them to thrive.

Joel Cheesman has over 20 years experience in the online recruitment space. He worked for both international and local job boards in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. In 2005, Cheesman founded HRSEO, a search engine marketing company for HR, as well as launching an award-winning industry blog called Cheezhead. He has been featured in Fast Company and US News and World Report. He sold his company in 2009 to Jobing.com. He was employed by EmployeeScreenIQ, a background check company. He is the founder of Ratedly, an app that monitors anonymous employee reviews. He is married and the father of three children. He lives in Indianapolis.

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