This year, technology will make its biggest impact in the business world. Not only are new devices, software, social media and metadata allowing companies to produce more insightful knowledge on their clients and make better decisions, they are also transforming the way that businesses recruit talent.
At LaunchPad, we have collected 10 of the most important trends that will make a difference in the way the world, and specifically the recruitment world, will transform in 2014:
1- New technology will dominate the workforce
Smart technology will be a key feature this year. 3D printers and accessories will be used in many more companies, as well as new applications which allow them to reach further than ever through multiple devices and the online world. In the recruitment sphere, this means that people can access the recruitment process anywhere, any time. Hiring processes will have to meet the demand for flexibility that the 2014 candidates and recruiters will ask for increasingly in the coming months.
2- Everything and anything can happen from your armchair (or desk)
At home and at work, armchair living will take on a new meaning this year. Personal mobile apps like Tinder or Snapchat, organising apps like Pocket or news apps like FluentNews allow users to claim instant gratification from the comfort and control of their living rooms, and has sparked a trend in people spending an increasing amount of time on their mobile phones.
In the office, this translates to never having to commute to meetings or conduct interminable interviews. Live video streaming and conferencing, alongside captured video interviewing, will allow recruiters and candidates greater freedom than ever before to use their time to their advantage, eliminating the need to commute or sit across the interview table many times before the hiring decision is made.
3- Companies are connecting with people on a new and different level
The relationship between customers and companies have transformed. Employer branding has reached a new level of sophistication which will become wide-spread this year. Instead of companies talking at people, they are now interacting with them, through tailored content and intelligent conversations. More than ever before, companies are able to connect with consumers and potential employees outside of a sales-pitch.
4- There are new and dangerous challenges on the horizon
As more of our lives are transferring to the online world, the potential risks to information and safety increase. This year, companies and individuals will become more acutely aware of the online threats that could destroy or steal valuable information. The juxtaposition of "personal branding" vs. the need for safety will be a subject of interest for 2014, especially with emerging new security measures for mobile devices (think fingerprinting and "vein-reading", not to mention using glitter nail varnish to make a unique pattern to protect information stored on a laptop or).
5- The way we think about sharing will change
Whether tasteless or macabre, sharing intimate or even inappropriate moments will be on the rise in 2014. More people than ever before will share their exploits through social media sites -- have you heard of Digital Grieving, where people take pictures of a funeral? As more people live their lives online, there may be a shift in the way employers view candidates as their lives become more public: if everyone had embarrassing pictures on Facebook, will that still deter employers? In fact, with metadata and other online tracking systems, candidates should be aware that their employers might already know a lot more about their behaviour than they think.
6- Companies will be given the opportunity to find unexpected talent
Increasingly this year, employers will notice the trend that separates candidates from different socio-economic backgrounds. Traineeships, paid internships and schemes that offer opportunities to people whose talent surpasses their acquisition power will become increasingly important this year. Schemes like those offered by the Diana Awards or the Prince's Trust are striving to give opportunities to young people who need one chance to prove their talent.
7- It's all about mobile
It's the buzzword of 2014 for all businesses -- in emerging markets, SMS are even being used as a means to train and assist candidates during companies' recruitment processes. Employers will look to mobile as another platform through which to hire and interview candidates. Candidates are looking, applying and completing job applications and interviews through their smartphones and tablets. This means that employers will have to offer an easy and accessible platform through mobile devices, as well as the opportunity to complete applications and interviews on the go to keep up with the overwhelming trends in recruitment.
8- Actually, let's all get off our smartphones
Contrary to the previous statement, more people than ever before will try and wean themselves off their mobile phones and smartphones in 2014. In fact, many of the younger generations (Y and Z) may have missed out on key skills that could be useful in the physical world, because they have been too invested in developing their online skills. Businesses understand the need for excellent communication, which is why they are opting for technology that will allow candidates to demonstrate their skills. In fact, many companies are finding that technology cannot replace human interaction and have replaced faceless questionnaires with more amiable face-to-face remote interviews, which allow them to connect further with the candidate.
9- The world will be laptop-sized
Want to apply for a job on the other side of the world? That will no longer be a problem, as technology has broken down geographical barriers and has allowed employers to expand their talent pools to a global scale. For many international candidates, the implementation of new technology in the interview process means that they don't have to commute until they are offered the job.
10- Talent analytics will take centre-stage
As predicted by Deloitte, talent analytics will be an important part of recruitment in 2014. The trend towards data-driven thinking and integrated data infrastructure as part of doing business is already part of the finance and marketing world, and has made a transition to the recruitment world. Many companies are reaping the benefits of finding out what makes their high-performing employees different, and looking for markers to find more people like them.