Navigating Today’s Hiring Challenges

August 14, 2023

Hiring This Year? Four Candidate Trends to Look For

Struggling to navigate hiring in a post-pandemic world? Don’t go it alone. Our monthly HR forum is a chance to talk about the challenges you’re facing and share perspectives with other HR professionals and share advice and insight. Reach out to learn more.

As one of the industries most dramatically impacted by the global pandemic and the ensuing economic turmoil, Human Relations is facing an unprecedented time of uncertainty. Yet, with some forethought, preparation and collaboration with other HR professionals, this turbulent time in the HR industry can prove to be an opportunity for growth and creativity. Here are four trends in candidate expectations to prepare for as you plan for this year’s hiring.

Candidates will expect more flexibility

One of the biggest shifts in employee expectations is the expectation for more flexibility. During the pandemic, people had to merge their professional and personal lives in new and unexpected ways. Many found that they preferred this greater level of integration between these previously siloed sides of their lives and many will want to preserve this. They will be looking for flexible WFH policies, remote work options and overall, a work culture that understands that life happens. Company leadership should have a plan in place to address the demand for flexible work and decide in advance on the policies that allow them to support their staff while maintaining productivity.

Candidates may have ongoing sensitivity about health precautions

Even though the brunt of the pandemic has passed and life for most of us has returned to normal, many people may still have lingering health concerns. Even if they aren’t directly concerned about COVID-19, it’s likely that the pandemic left them more sensitive about public health in general. In a workplace, they may be looking for ongoing safety measures, a clear plan in case of another public health crisis and resources available to them in case they want to take extra precautions. Having a workplace plan in place to address these concerns is an effective way to stay ahead of the curve and demonstrate your company’s awareness of these issues.

More clarity around workplace preferences

For better or worse, the pandemic gave us all more time at home, which meant more time to reflect on our personal and professional goals. Many candidates are coming out of this season of reflection with greater clarity about what they’re looking for in a job and in a workplace. There’s also increased comfort around articulating those preferences and an expectation that they should be accommodated.

Download the Guide: 5 HR Challenges and How to Meet Them With Creativity

While greater clarity around goals and workplace expectations is generally a net positive, trying to accommodate everyone can quickly become unsustainable. As an HR professional, your challenge will be to find ways to encourage greater clarity around goals while reinforcing the best practices that you know are needed in order for your company to function well and achieve its goals.

Greater social consciousness

These past few years have seen heightened awareness and conversation around various social issues. Increasingly, employees are looking for companies that demonstrate awareness of these social issues and present opportunities to contribute to positive change. Employees (especially younger ones) want to feel like their work is making the world a better place and are more comfortable than older generations with bringing social and political conversations to the workplace.

Seeing that this can have both positive and negative impacts on work culture, hiring managers should be extremely proactive in deciding with leadership how these conversations will be navigated and positive ways the company can position itself as socially conscious.

Ultimately, the shifts around hiring and work due to COVID-19 present an opportunity to rethink how we work and to be creative in addressing the new needs emerging in a post-pandemic world. One of the best practices for any HR professional is to make time to hear from other colleagues in the field, which is why we host a monthly HR forum. This is a chance to talk about the challenges you’re facing, share perspectives with other HR professionals and discover new solutions. Reach out to learn more!



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