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Human Resources Professionals Challenged by Recruiting, Hiring in 2020

Human Resources Professional

Human Resources Professionals Challenged by Recruiting, Hiring in 2020

Human resources professionals are becoming conditioned to the challenges of recruiting in what seems to be during a full-employment environment.  Many challenges lie ahead for the human resources professional in 2020. As of early December, the unemployment rate was 3.5% — the lowest it’s been since the late 60s. Given the tight labor market, the human resources professional faces unique challenges in the coming year — the biggest of which is recruiting and hiring.

That’s according to a survey cited by BenefitsPro from human resources information provider XpertHR, titled “Top HR Trends for 2020.” Recruiting and hiring was cited by nearly 30% of human resources professional respondents as their top strategic challenge for 2020. Of those, 50.9% are extremely challenged to find high-quality candidates. That’s more than double the number of human resources professionals who were challenged by this issue in 2017 (22.7%).

Finding top talent is so much a challenge that the human resources professional is focused on “‘Building a place where employees want to work, seeking out untapped job markets such as older employees, veterans and those with a criminal past, and taking advantage of non-traditional candidates such as gig workers, remote workers and jobs shares are all tactics that employers can implement in order to meet their talent acquisition needs,’” according to XpertHR’s legal editor, Beth Zoller, who was quoted in BenefitsPro.

Here are some other highlights from the XpertHR survey related to recruiting and hiring:

  • 6% of human resources professionals struggle to eliminate unconscious bias — social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness — compared to 11.6% in 2018 and 14.1% in 2019.
  • Another challenge the human resources professional is facing in the coming year is aligning talent acquisition strategy with business objectives; 18.8% of human resources professionals are challenged by this, compared to 11.7% in 2017, 9.8% in 2018 and 8.1% in 2019.
  • Hiring a diverse workforce is yet another struggle for the human resources professional; 17.1% say it’s a challenge, versus 4.9% in 2017, 7.4% in 2018 and 9.5% in 2019.
  • 4% of human resources professionals are extremely challenged by using technology such as predictive analysis and artificial intelligence for recruiting and hiring, compared to 9.6% in 2017 and 9.9 in 2018.

In addition, 16.2% of human resources professionals responding to the XpertHR survey said managing benefits was their number one challenge. Half of human resources professional respondents said they feel extremely challenged by healthcare costs, while 27.2% feel extremely challenged when it comes to preparing for the future of healthcare and the Affordable Care Act.

Other key survey findings related to the human resources professional’s challenges when it comes to benefits management:

  • Adjusting benefits to a generationally diverse workforce or different groups of employees is extremely challenging for 16.1% of human resources professionals.
  • Determining which voluntary benefit programs provide the best return on investment extremely challenges 14.4% of human resources professionals.
  • 6% of human resources professionals are extremely challenged by aligning benefits offerings with business goals.
  • 2% of human resources professionals are extremely challenged by communicating benefits to the workforce.

“Today’s employers need to strike a balance and determine which benefits are most valuable and attractive to its workforce,” said Ms. Zoller, as quoted by BenefitsPro.

Indeed, the tight labor market and low unemployment rate, combined with a workforce that now spans four generations, introduces new challenges for human resources professionals. As the workforce evolves, so too must employers’ recruiting and hiring practices, as well as their benefits offerings. One-size-fits-all, cafeteria-style benefits menus are no longer effective. Employers must recognize which benefits employees of different generations value most and configure their offerings to meet those diverse needs. It may not be easy, but it is necessary for employers to meet workers where they’re at and overcome the challenges that accompany recruiting and hiring in the current environment. Innovation is the way forward.

Steff Chalk

Steff Chalk

Managing Editor at 401kTV
Steff C. Chalk is Executive Director of The Retirement Advisor University, a collaboration with UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Education. Steff also serves as Executive Director of The Plan Sponsor University and is current faculty of The Retirement Adviser University.
Steff Chalk
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