Top 10 Workforce Trends for 2015

By Tim Denman — November 13, 2014

As Baby Boomers continue to retire and Millennials prepare to take over the top positions in the workforce, retailers need to adjust their recruitment and retention strategies to ensure their ranks are filled with top-talent.

At workforce management solution provider Kronos’ annual KronosWorks held in Las Vegas November 9-12 workforce expert, author, and New York Times and Wall Street Journal writer Dan Schawbel shared his top 10 workforce trends for 2015.

The founder of Millennial Branding laid out the following developments to watch over the next year:

  1. Workforce Analytics. No surprise here — analytics and big data are huge and will continue to be. It is expected that next year alone will see 4.4 million new jobs in analytics. Key metrics retailers should be monitoring include: employee social media usage (both business and personal), time and attendance, employee retention, and talent gaps.
  2. Mobile Hiring. Mobile is revolutionizing how people live, work and search for employment. Eighty-three percent of job seekers currently use smartphones to search for job openings and 45% of active candidates have applied for a job on a mobile device. Retailers hoping to attract top-level, tech-savvy employees need to optimize their job postings page for mobile and list their offerings on many of the available job search mobile apps.
  3. Gamification. Gamification is being used by retailers for recruiting purposes, training, marketing, and to boost employee engagement. From a workforce management perspective gamification can be used to foster competition among employees for punctuality, attendance, hours worked, etc.
  4. Skills Gap to Widen. As retailers increasingly rely on advanced technology to improve operations, the demand for workers with the skill set to operate these systems is on the rise. Unfortunately, the number of workers with these skills is not keeping pace with demand and the competition, and the salaries demanded, for these tech-savvy employees is likely to increase.
  5. Millennials into Leadership. By 2015 Millennials will hold 27% of management positions in the U.S. Due to Baby Boomers retiring at an intensifying rate many of the younger generation are being thrust into leadership roles much earlier than in previous generations.     
  6. Social Media. As the need for tech-savvy workers intensifies the role of social media in recruiting top-level talent is increasing. Fifty-eight percent of people are more likely to want to work at a company that is actively involved in social media.
  7. Employee Retention. We are in the job hopper era. Workers no longer stay at the same company for seven-plus years like they did in the just a generation ago. Today’s Millennial workers stay just two years on average at a company before leaving. With the average cost of recruiting and hiring a Millennial worker at $20,000 employers need to develop a culture of loyalty and promote from within to hold onto quality employees.
  8. Succession Planning. Over 10,000 baby boomers retire every day in the U.S. Retailers need to prepare its younger workers for leadership roles within the organization through mentorship programs and training and development. A growing trend across industries is the hiring back of Boomers as consultants after retirement.
  9. On-Demand Hiring. Forty-eight percent of CIOs are planning to add more contractors than full-time staff over the next 12 to 18 months. The rising cost of health benefits and the desire to fill short-term needs without long-term commitment is driving employers to turn to temporary workers with increased frequency.
  10. High School Internships. The hiring of high-school aged workers is nothing new for retailers as much of the part-time, in-store staff is comprised of students. The latest trend however is the hiring of high school students for internships at the corporate office. It is a win/win situation for both the students and retailers. The students gain valuable work experience and form contacts that can help them later in life while the organization gets to tap the students’ social media and cultural knowledge to help shape marketing campaigns.

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