Keep These 3 Talent Trends on Your Radar

Industry experts sounded off at RTTT LIVE! about the 2019 workplace trends identified by LinkedIn.
By: | February 21, 2019 • 3 min read
future of work

According to a new report from LinkedIn, there are several 2019 workplace trends that HR and recruiting professionals should keep front and center if they’re looking to transform their talent strategy.

The 2019 Global Recruiting Trends study was the topic of conversation at a Feb. 21 panel discussion at Recruiting Trends & Talent Tech LIVE! in Las Vegas. Moderated by Jennifer Shappley, senior director of talent acquisition at LinkedIn, the event featured remarks by Carmen Hudson, principal consultant of Recruiting Toolbox, and Tim Sackett, president of HRU Technical Resources/The Tim Sackett Project. The trio dived into three of the 2019 workplace trends—pay transparency, sexual harassment and workplace flexibility—that LinkedIn found should shape how organizations approach talent acquisition.

Pay Transparency

While the bevy of new state laws regulating pay transparency, many of which aim to reduce the gender-pay gap, have set up a patchwork approach to the national issue, Hudson said such legislation is still necessary to keep the topic in the spotlight.

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“These laws will make a difference,” she said. “We can hope that the practice changes over the years but, without the support of the law, it’s not going to happen quickly.”

“It’s less about these laws being perfect,” Shappley added, “and more about making this a focus—putting it out there and slowly making change.”

Recruiters need to keep on top of pay-transparency laws, Hudson said, to ensure hiring managers are aware of the latest changes.

“It’s recruiters’ jobs to help hiring managers understand the laws about pay transparency,” Hudson said, predicting that full pay transparency isn’t far down the road. “Soon, we’ll all be aware of what everyone else makes. So employers, do the right thing.”

Sexual Harassment

The #MeToo movement is continuing to have a significant impact on the workplace, the experts agreed, noting that transparency will also be key in this area.

Shappley cited an example of a company whose HR team gives employees a spectrum of potential behaviors, rated from green to yellow to red, showing what is and isn’t acceptable, and the questionable space that exists between.

“Give them something to understand,” she said. “Employees are less likely to report an incident if they don’t know how it would be handled, so HR can be doing more to make it clear to employees how they would handle things.”

Sackett added that having protocols in place can help HR avoid the trap of swinging too far one way or the other—by overlooking instances of harassment or being influenced by “outrage culture.”

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Workplace Flexibility

Workplace flexibility can be a “major tool for recruiters,” Shappley said. Not too long ago, the ability to work remotely was considered a workplace perk; now, it’s becoming more of a modern standard, she said. However, moving toward a flexible model requires business leaders to do away with short-term thinking in favor of a more long-term approach to talent management.

HR should lead the way in helping the company to institute measurements for success, Sackett said, as, with a more defined picture of success, it’s easier to see how flexibility won’t affect business outcomes. While not every employee may want to work remotely or flex their schedules, he noted, there’s no good case to be made for a blanket ban on flexibility.

Sackett offered the example of a manufacturer in Detroit with whom he worked, where its employee shifts were strictly regimented. A single mother was on the verge of being fired because her shift conflicted with the hours of her child’s daycare. The company ultimately reconsidered its approach—not penalizing employees who started their days at 8 a.m. instead of 7 a.m., for instance—and saw their turnover rate drop from 70 percent to the mid-teens.

“No one can tell you that there’s no possible way for them to offer flexibility. Yes, you can,” Sackett said. “You just have to really sit down and figure out what has to be done.”

Jen Colletta is managing editor at HRE. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in writing from La Salle University in Philadelphia and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before joining HRE. She can be reached at [email protected]