two men shaking hands
Today's low unemployment rate is affecting the way companies hire employees. — Getty Images/Delmaine Donson

Finding and hiring qualified candidates is a top priority for all small businesses. However, the strong job market and low unemployment rate allow job seekers to be picky about what opportunities they’ll accept. As a result, recruiting has gotten more challenging and companies looking to hire must be aware of how the latest hiring trends impact their businesses. Here are three things you need to know about hiring in 2019.

Candidates will be hired based on skills, not a degree

Companies are increasingly looking to hire based on soft skills, like creativity, communication, problem-solving and adaptability. In the age of automation, these are skills that can’t be easily taught.

In a LinkedIn report, 92% of respondents said that they value soft skills as much or more than hard skills. However, most companies struggle to find a way to assess these skills. Only 41% have a formal process in place to evaluate soft skills, while 68% rely on observation during interviews.

Also, since skills-based training can be taught, companies are beginning to consider candidates who didn’t go the usual route and earn a four-year college degree. While having a degree typically makes a job candidate stand out a bit more, candidates without a degree are starting to receive opportunities for further training to enable growth within their jobs.

For instance, Apple CEO Tim Cook recently stated that half of the company’s U.S. employees don’t have a four-year degree. Cook said that many colleges don’t teach the skills needed for today’s workforce.

And, according to Glassdoor, many companies offer well-paying jobs to candidates without a degree. This includes like big brands like Google, Hilton, IBM and Bank of America.

Your company’s online reputation matters much more than you think.

Job candidates will be influenced by company reviews

In the past, the only way you could gain insight into a company was by knowing someone who worked there. Now, information is easily available online through online job review websites, like Indeed and Glassdoor, to give candidates a sneak peek into what it’s like to work for a particular company.

One report looked at the impact employee reviews and social media have on a company’s hiring efforts. After surveying 500 full-time adults, the report revealed that 92% consider employee reviews important when applying for a job. In fact, 43% of management-level job candidates have declined a job due to poor company reviews. And 47% of millennials have turned down a job because of poor online reviews.

Your company’s online reputation matters much more than you think. As a business owner, you must manage your online reviews and address any negative reviews from disgruntled employees.

Businesses will be more transparent about pay

When it comes to hiring, finding the best job candidates is only half the battle. Unemployment is currently at 3.6% so well-qualified candidates have a lot of options available. And, for most employees, the salary will be the main factor determining whether they accept the position or not.

Pay has always been kind of a taboo topic in the workplace. Typically, employers wait to discuss the salary until they’ve decided to offer a candidate the position, and employees wait to ask until they’ve moved forward a few steps in the hiring process.

This is beginning to change as more companies recognize the benefits of pay transparency. A LinkedIn report found that 51% of companies still don’t share salary information with early-stage candidates. But 27% do and 22% are planning to start in the next five years.

The companies that do share salary information said they found it tends to speed up the hiring process. It streamlines the negotiation process, filters out the wrong candidates early on, and best of all, it ensures fair pay.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Published May 21, 2019