June 22, 2021

A Look Back At 2019: What Went Well and What Didn’t


One might say that 2019 was a tumultuous year in the HR world. We would say that it was a mix of both good and bad. Either way, a lot happened, and we want to provide you with a recap. So, regardless of where you sit at the hiring table, we hope you’ll look back on these 2019 trends with interest (and nostalgia) as you write your year-end reports for the C-suite.

Trend #1: Changes in Candidate Communication

Texting establishes a close relationship, and our experience is that many candidates are more responsive via text than email or phone. And that’s not a bad thing. This responsiveness makes the interview process easier overall. We suggest, however, that texting remain focused on simple topics and logistics, not complex conversations where there’s a risk of things getting “lost.” For example, we prefer that candidates call us after interviews, and live interaction is a necessity during crunch times such as the offer stage. Just don’t let texting early-on in the process establish a precedent that leads to a lack of needed conversation later. One final note, texting has already evolved into the initial outreach method for a lot of high turnover roles and contract work, and it will be interesting to see if there are similar increases across all areas of recruitment as well.

Trend #2: Work From Home Policies

More companies are offering work-from-home policies because employees want them, and these companies are competing with others that provide them. With more workers skipping the office, companies are  also saving money on rent and other costs related to managing an office. None of this surprises us. As the Sloan School of Management at MIT reports, 51 percent of workers looking for new opportunities are doing so because they want more flexibility and more control over their work lives.

Trend #3: Salary History Laws

The No-Salary-History Law is new to Illinois (and yes, we’ve talked about it extensively here). These laws have been around in other states for awhile, though, and the data shows that in these states it’s decreasing the gender wage gap. A recent piece in U.S. News and World Report states that among the top five states with the narrowest gender pay gaps, four of them have such laws in place. These states include California, where women make more than 89 cents to a man’s dollar; New York at 88 cents, and Vermont and Delaware at 86 cents.

Trend #4: Diversity and Inclusion Focus

Candidates and employees are demanding an increased focus on Diversity and Inclusion (D&I), But they also want to be considered for opportunities based on their skills and not purely because of D&I. We’d like to remind you about our thoughts on the subject (“Look for Diversity of Thought, Find Diversity”) and encourage you to look for a post during Q1, when we will release data on our total 2019 placements and the diversity numbers associated with them.

Final Thoughts

Today our CTA is simple: Tell us what went well or didn’t work for you this year. And we’d love to hear your predictions for 2020 (link here).

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