The Sonru blog has been writing news, views, and interviews on all things related to HRTech and recruitment since the late-noughties. We have assembled this list of what we feel to be the big stories and impacts in the last decade. It is by no means exhaustive but a starting point for a reflection on the decade that is about to close.
From bust to boom again
The decade opened with wide-scale unemployment, redundancies and hiring freezes but thankfully the economy bounced back in the run-up to 2020. It is a Candidate driven market once again so the Candidate Experience is back to the fore.
Watch out the Millenials and Gen Z are here
Millennials accounted for the majority of the workforce and whether you love them or hate them, they did revolutionise the way we work from challenging traditional top-down corporate structures to insisting on better collaboration and feedback not to mention putting shared values on the agenda for everyone’s gain.
Social Media Omnipotence
Social media really went mainstream in the 2010s. Within recruitment, we saw the rise of social media sourcing and the concept of the passive candidate.
The Rise of Remote
Rising housing and office costs in urban centres, advances in cloud computing along with the rising tide towards work-life balance saw the greatest ever increase in Remote or Distributed workforces. Attraction and retention strategies had to wise up to flexible work.
Training moved to the 21st Century
This decade saw the demise of the old-school training room. Instead, learners took training into their own hands literally. Learning & Development went mobile, turned byte sized and got gamified.
Diversity & Inclusion
Becoming more than a buzz word, D&I was put on the agenda as a result of the mounting evidence that companies with diverse workforces are often found to be higher performing. We also saw global giants rise to the D&I challenge by pledging jobs for candidates with autism and other disabilities.
Adios Annual Performance Review
Dissatisfaction with the process, complaints of inaccuracy and claims that it had no effect on how people do their jobs, the dreaded Annual Performance Review made its way to its rightful place in the past tense. Roll on the Real-time 360 Review which gathers input from everyone that a person works and interacts with on a regular basis.
The Workforce is aging
“Worktirement” is threatening to replace retirement for our aging workforce too strapped to sit back and enjoy their golden years. Governments scramble to change pension age and entitlements and we know it’s really serious when the decade saw Richard Thaler win the 2017 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work on nudge economics within pensions and savings.
Companies realised the importance of mental health awareness and practice. Employee Wellness programmes and increased openness and discussion saw a reduction in the taboo traditionally associated with mental health with most conferences now including it on the agenda.
Rise of the Gig Economy
Whether a hangover from the economic downturn of 2008-09 or today’s boom-time desire for new experiences and flexibility, the gig economy is on the up. Which benefits to provide, IP concerns and dealing with contractors working for multiple firms are just some of the challenges facing HR professionals.
Just three years after the first iPhone, this decade saw the real mobile explosion along with wearable tech that fundamentally changed how we eat, sleep, work and socialise. The challenge now for recruiters and hiring managers is to provide a seamless experience between an online site and a mobile presence for candidates not just in terms of browsing but in all stages of the recruitment process from the job seeking and application stages to the selection and on-boarding process.
Data is the new darling
Prompted by data protection legislation such as GDPR and a litany of data breach scandals, this decade was all about data ownership and privacy. Ancillary industries popped up to meet the demand and savvy internet browsers no longer ‘tick’ their rights away in blissful ignorance.
HR gets Automated
HR got an ‘automated’ makeover with lots of innovation in areas such as on-boarding, managing personal information, document management, scheduling meetings, conducting asynchronous interviews, travel, and timekeeping. The tail end of the decade saw some worrying hype and a gold rush towards unsubstantiated technologies but whose litigation cases are making even more headlines.
Power to the Podcast
Finally, podcasting certainly went mainstream and was found to be powerful enough to re-open court cases and used as a testing ground for TV boxsets. The HR community joined the podcast party with plenty of series and interviews covering every aspect of the profession.