3 Recruiting Trends in 2019 That Will Help You Avoid a Talent Gap

By: on February 1, 2019

Employees have more confidence to quit their jobs than ever before. Job quit rates are at a 17-year high, and over 3.5 million Americans quit their jobs every month in 2018.

Meanwhile, unemployment rates sit at a 48-year low, meaning that recruiters are sourcing candidates from a much smaller pool. Employees also know that companies are competing for their talent within a candidate-driven market, which means they have more power to view you as a candidate, rather than the other way around.

These trends will change the role of the recruiter as we currently know it. As talent acquisition and retention has become more challenging, recruiters must be open to new ways of sourcing and evaluating retainable candidates.

Your competitors are already thinking about new recruitment tactics for 2019, so if you’re not already implementing new ways of leveraging talent pools, your talent pipeline won’t be strong enough to compete with them.

An Increase in Blind Hiring Practices

In previous reports, we’ve demonstrated that everyone has hiring bias even if they don’t know it—yes, even you, reader, have inherent biases.

While the lack of general workplace diversity was once a hush-hush issue, talent managers are now actively seeking to address these inequalities.

Diverse hiring importance data

Almost 80 percent of respondents to LinkedIn’s 2018 Global Recruiting Trends report said that diversity is the most important factor impacting their hiring practices (Source)

While removing hiring biases is nigh on impossible, many HR departments are seeking to employ technology that can help address low diversity rates within recruiting and hiring processes.

Blind hiring: A practice that aims to reduce biases within recruitment and hiring processes by anonymizing certain information and steps throughout the candidate assessment journey.

The most common example of blind hiring is to remove any identifying information from resumes (such as name, gender, date of birth and sociodemographic factors), but can also extend to blind skills and aptitude tests and interviews.


TalVista’s redacted resume function allows recruiters to view resumes without applicants’ identifying information, such as name and gender (Source)

Tools such as TalVista can automatically remove identifying information that is specified by the user, while retaining categories that are deemed important, such as education or certifications. It can also provide help with writing more inclusive job descriptions, and matching resumes with the company’s most important hiring criteria.

Why Will the Use of Blind Hiring Practices Increase?

Smart recruiters and hiring managers know that diversity is not just a buzzword. They understand that drawing employees from a wider pool—one that is representative of society at large—is vital in supporting several business goals. Blind hiring practices encourage diversity by bringing skills and expertise to the forefront of the recruitment and hiring processes.

Companies who strive for higher diversity levels enjoy:

What Recruiters Need to Know:

  • Before implementing blind recruitment practices, recruiters and hiring managers need to agree on what candidate data they want to eliminate. The kind of candidate data you need to know will differ by each industry, so you’ll need to ensure that you all agree on how far down the recruitment process the data elimination will go.
  • Many ATS solutions support the anonymization of candidate data, and this functionality will become more commonplace due to new GDPR legislation controlling how personal data can be collected and processed.
  • Businesses that want to take a more scientific approach to avoid certain biases can also use predictive analytics platforms with big data to analyze their current employees’ strongest qualities, skills and qualifications to create an ‘ideal candidate’ profile.

Gig Workers Will Begin to Fill Talent Gaps

No, the gig economy is not new—in fact, we predicted two years ago that this trend would grow rather than shrink. Almost 57 million Americans undertook some form of freelancing work in 2018, and rather than believe that talent pools are shrinking even further, recruiters should be taking advantage of this new workforce model.

American freelance workers data
According to an Upwork study, more than one in three Americans took on freelancing work in 2018 (Source)

With almost full employment and an increasing talent gap, recruiters are faced with the complicated task of finding skilled workers to hire. Add this to the fact that traditional workforce dynamics are changing. People are shunning the 9-to-5 mentality, and enjoying the flexibility of choosing their own work and clients.

But rather than seeing this as a source of talent loss in the workforce, recruiters should focus on the potential of the gig economy to fill their own talent gaps. In fact, almost half of businesses are already using gig workers as a way to introduce new talent and grow internal expertise within their organizations.

Given the high employment rate, businesses need gig workers to take on work that can’t be filled by full-time employees. Indeed, rather than hiring and investing in new full-time employees, businesses can use gig talent to plug specific skill gaps in their organization on a casual and cheaper basis.

 BONUS TREND:  While a lot of recruitment and HR software functionality can be adapted to contingent workers, it’s likely that we’ll see an increase in software functionality that is dedicated to accommodating contingent workers. New features will likely address the current challenges and differences in payroll and onboarding processes when using contingent workers.

Why Will We See a Rise in Hiring Gig Workers?

  • The cost of labor is cheaper. Talent managers are seeing a reduction in labor costs of around 20 percent when using gig workers.
  • Gig workers are easier and faster to onboard. While gig workers will still need to integrate into a company’s culture, the process won’t be as long and as complicated as it is for full time employees.
  • Gig talent can help scale the workforce both upward and downward. Hiring gig workers means companies have more flexibility in scaling their workforce according to business demand—at a cheaper cost.
What Recruiters Need to Know:

  • Misclassifying a contingent worker as an employee can result in tax liabilities and penalties for your business, so recruitment teams and hiring managers need to be sure that they seek legal advice on how to hire and pay an independent contractor.
  • Since New York City’s 2017 Freelance Isn’t Free Act, there’s been a huge drive for other cities and states to adopt similar legal protections for freelancers. While the gig economy is largely unregulated at present, recruiters need to stay on top of changing laws and legislation in order to understand their obligations.
  • Recruiters need to understand this type of worker before trying to hire them. Contingent workers have chosen the gig economy over traditional 9-5 employment largely because they enjoy schedule flexibility, remote work spaces and a larger degree of control over the type of work they carry out. Recruiters must make sure that the contingent candidate can fulfill the terms of what the business is looking for and vice versa.

The Rise of Recruitment Chatbots

While there’s a lot of chatter about customer service chatbots, recruitment chatbots haven’t had their time in the spotlight just yet. However, we already know that given the state of the labor market, it’s crucial that recruiters spend more time on quality outreach in order to find quality talent in such a small pool.

But with what time to spare? Recruiters are already tasked with shortening the recruitment process, while also making sure they don’t negatively influence the candidate experience. By adding an intelligent chatbot to the recruiting tech stack, recruiters can automate the repetitive, administrative tasks that don’t require so much of a human touch.

Example of recruitment chatbot Mya (Source)

Recruiters cannot realistically answer every candidate’s question at any time and still manage their other responsibilities. And when they try to, they create organizational inefficiencies in the recruitment processes, often resulting in candidate fatigue.

Why Will There Be an Increase in the Adoption of Recruitment Chatbots?

  • Recruitment chatbots can improve the candidate experience. Candidates at the top of the funnel interacting with your recruiters usually want quick, factual information, which chabots can easily provide.
  • Large pools of candidates can be screened and qualified without extra effort. By ranking candidates against job criteria, recruiters don’t need to sift through to find serious candidates.
What Recruiters Need to Know:

  • If you plan to use a chatbot throughout the recruitment process, be up front about it. Candidates have the right to know about the use of this technology, and will also help to avoid any issues when it comes to managing candidate expectations.
  • User expectations will need to be managed—recruiting chatbots are not currently smart enough to take on a recruiter’s entire administrative workload, and there will still need to be a large degree of “caretaking” when it comes to the data that the chatbot collects.


Whether or not you believe these recruiting trends are applicable to your business, the writing is on the wall: Unless your business uses new ways of recruiting in 2019, you will lose out on quality talent to competitors.

In this current labor market, the word “competitor” has never been so literal. Recruiters are all fishing in the same tiny pool, hoping for a bite. The reality is, 2019 is the year where your recruitment practices need to scale in order for your organization to survive the talent gap.

In the meantime, if you want a hand finding the right recruitment technology for your business or industry, call our advisors at (855) 998-8505 for a free consultation to narrow down your options in less than 15 minutes.

Note: The information contained in this article has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. The applications selected are examples to show a feature in context, and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations.

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