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Commentary

Nicole Smartt is an author as well as co-owner and vice president of Star Staffing, based in Petaluma. She also writes the Business Journal column Smartt Principles (nbbj.news/smarttprinciples).


Read forecasts for 2019 from leaders in North Bay commerce and stories about trends to watch for the new year.

2018 saw continued trends toward shifting employee priorities, struggles in service-industry retention, adjustments to life after regional natural disasters, and the marketplace settling into a new groove. The U.S. labor market is the tightest in history and unemployment is at an all-time low. The competition for talent has never been this fierce.

Natural disasters, recession, changing talent pool

The record-setting California fires in 2018 impacted the North Bay region. In the aftermath, many employees moved out of town due to lack of available housing. Construction companies started paying entry-level positions at $26 an hour. That got the attention of local production employees who left their employers.

Attracting and retaining talent in any role — especially, in manufacturing sectors — will continue to be a challenge and focus point of 2019. Until housing and recovery efforts even out the region, we will continue to see this as a challenge.

In 2019, employers will be looking at ways to increase efficiency, prepare for changes in available talent pools, and attract new talent from geographically diverse areas.

Technology

As technological solutions continue to emerge, the nature of talent acquisition is changing. Data pools are getting more robust and more accurate, putting employees in the position to see the most relevant potential employers for their goals.

Likewise, employers will be focusing on tapping into their candidate databases and nurturing all leads. Those silver medalists might be a fit for another role or a future role. Employers must have a plan to nurture their leads and existing pipeline of candidates to keep engagement warm.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is real, it’s here, and it’s poised to transform the world as we know it. AI is driving fundamental changes in how people conduct their jobs and how companies source and identify the best candidates at rapid speed. The next workforce generation are texters, and if you’re not using SMS in your recruitment strategy, you’re falling behind. As video interviewing becomes more in demand and chatbots are on the rise, it’s important that your company keeps up on the latest and emerging trends.

Recruitment marketing

We will see more roles in recruitment marketing and employer branding continuing to become available. Marketing and recruiting have become a united team. Marketing an employer brand is not just about open jobs. It’s about the speed of the work day, how quickly and easily teams work together and the impact of the work being done. Companies are starting to understand the importance of this discipline and investing in efforts with better content. Start by showing your culture at a local level to attract higher-quality candidates. Share real photos and videos to drive greater engagement with talent.

Businesses evolve with the times

Employers are working to improve their communication and responsiveness with candidates, to get their mission and values across as quickly as possible. Best foot forward may have never been so important for employers.

Think: How intuitive is your application? How are candidates greeted when they come into your workplace? How do they get the job? How do they know when an offer is made? How do you communicate with them at every step in the process?

Eradicate steps in the process that leave candidates confused or waiting without knowing what the next step will be. Respect the process, and their waiting positions too.

Commentary

Nicole Smartt is an author as well as co-owner and vice president of Star Staffing, based in Petaluma. She also writes the Business Journal column Smartt Principles (nbbj.news/smarttprinciples).


Read forecasts for 2019 from leaders in North Bay commerce and stories about trends to watch for the new year.

Employees and power

Employees have more power than in recent decades from hiring shortages, a technologically strengthened workforce and the lowest unemployment rate in decades holding steady. Employees will continue to show willingness to change jobs for smaller upgrades in pay or benefits. Job seekers will continue to use these factors to their advantage.

With the new year just around the corner, this is the best time to start working on refreshing your recruitment marketing and talent acquisition strategy. Focus on ingenuity, authenticity and regular measurements of your progress, and 2019 will prove the most successful year yet.