Top 10 Workplace Trends and Predictions for 2015
As one year winds to a close and another one is about to begin, it makes sense to consider what is on the horizon. Whether you are actively looking for a job, managing a successful career, or planning on doing some hiring, the following trends and predictions can help you prepare for the year ahead.
- The death of HR gatekeepers
Here is some good news! HR professionals who act like fire breathing dragons when dealing with job seekers will meet their own demise in the coming year. As companies continue to vie for top talent, HR gatekeepers will need to transform into friendly, welcoming brand ambassadors for the organizations they represent.
- Résumés? You still need one but…
Referrals are the number one way to land an interview. It really is about “who you know.” But, even if you know the right person, you still need a résumé to move through the hiring process.
Your résumé must be targeted, accomplishment based, and offer a compelling story of where you have been and where you are headed. In 2015, look for more infographic résumés, video résumés, and links to online portfolios as candidates take steps to set themselves apart from the competition.
- It’s all about social media
The vast majority of recruiters are conducting stealth searches to connect with passive and active candidates. It is likely that a recruiter will have viewed your LinkedIn profile, looked you up on Facebook, noted the number of followers you have on Twitter, reviewed your industry-related posts, and read your personal blog before even making contact.
Most of us have no clue that we are being passed over by potential employers due to a lackluster or problematic online image. A recent LinkedIn survey found that 55 percent of recruiters have reconsidered a candidate based on what they discovered when digging deeper. In 2015 having a “complete” LinkedIn profile will not be enough. This is the year to embrace social media and create an “awesome” and active online presence.
- Internships on the rise
More companies will offer exceptional internship programs to brand themselves as employers of choice and to afford them access to top talent. And, it won’t just be college students seeking these opportunities. People in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and beyond will seek internships when transitioning to new careers or to stay competitive in their current fields. Along with the increase in internships, I sincerely hope that more forceful employment laws will curb the exploitation of unpaid interns in the workplace.
5. Mobilize your search
Starbucks was one of the first employers to create a mobile app allowing job seekers to find and apply to open positions right from their phones. In 2015, this trend will continue. More employers will optimize their websites or create mobile apps in order to engage with busy candidates and make it easier for them to apply. If you are in search mode, expect to put your smart phone to good use.
- Generational tensions increase
A recent survey conducted by CareerBuilder showed that 38% of the workforce is currently managed by a millennial. This generation will soon be the largest segment of the workforce. One issue is that young managers show a strong preference for hiring other younger workers. This can leave older workers feeling alienated and squeezed out of the workplace.
Yes, baby boomers are retiring but many older workers plan to keep working past typical retirement age. Companies can benefit from a multi-generational workforce that plays well together. I predict (okay, hope!) that the coming year will bring an increased focus on succession planning, generational training, and mentoring programs that foster generational respect and cooperation.
- The career path less traveled
Whether by default or by choice, people are stepping out of traditional roles to work more independently. Automation, outsourcing, and the trend towards hiring contractors and consultants have forced many of us to look at alternative ways to earn a living beyond the full time job. Freelancing a service or running a small business is no longer the rare exception and that trend will continue to grow.
- Skill gaps resemble the Grand Canyon
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported 47 million job openings while over 50 percent of employers say they cannot find the talent they need. A key issue is that education and training are not keeping up with changes in the workplace.
To close the skills gap, there will be an increased interest in vocational programs that lead directly to bright outlook jobs. Beware, however, of those for-profit schools that cost an arm and a leg. Check out more affordable certificate programs offered through community colleges that are supported by businesses and that include on the job training as part of the curriculum.
- Millennial women tackle equality
Pew Research recently reported that millennial women ages 23 to 34 are earning 93 cents for every dollar earned by men in the same age group. Woo Hoo! It is not equal pay but it is a huge improvement when you consider that the pay gap was 33 percent in 1980. This is a trend to watch!
10. People will be job hopping like crazy
Employers need to make engagement and retention a priority! People want to do work that matters. They crave flexibility, the right mix of perks, and a workplace that is fun and stimulating. Workers who are unsatisfied at work are going to hip-hop right out the door in search of better carrots.
I feel optimistic about the year ahead. I also believe that those of us who do not continually adapt and manage our careers will struggle to keep up with the changes. May you find greater meaning and joy in your work and in your life in 2015. Here is to a prosperous and happy New Year!