Five Workplace Trends On The Rise

Every year, the workplace sees trends that change how we do business. This year, these five trends are ones that companies around the country should expect to see.

Widening Skills Gap

Last June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported nearly five million job openings. However, ninety-two percent of top executives said that the U.S. workforce has a job skills gap. Indeed, they say that forty-four percent lack soft skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, and communication. Of those executives, eighty-nine percent said they believe apprenticeships and training programs can fill this skills gap.

Increased Mobile Job Search

People continue to do more on their mobile phones, including looking for jobs. Right now, eighty-three percent of job seekers say they use their mobile phones to look for job openings, and forty-five percent say they have used their mobile devices to apply for a job. However, only twenty percent of Fortune 500 companies have a career section of their websites that is mobile-friendly. As more people turn to their mobile devices, companies need to make sure they optimize their websites for mobile viewing.

A Longer and More Rigorous Interview Process

At one time, the interview process consisted of a job candidate submitting a cover letter and resume and then having one or two interviews with management before being hired. However, today's interview process can take months to complete. Now, candidates may be asked to submit a work sample along with their cover letter and resume. Additionally, they can expect anywhere from three to five interviews, which can last anywhere from a few hours to a whole day. Finally, candidates can also expect a thorough background check that includes inquiring about a criminal record and a credit check before they are offered a job.

More Freelance and Part-Time Workers

In 2014, an Elance-oDesk study found that thirty-four percent, or fifty-three million Americans, were freelance workers. Additionally, twenty-three percent of employers in the U.S. say they expect to recruit part-time workers this year. That is six percent higher than last year. For employers, hiring part-time and freelance workers can save on costs because they do not have to pay these employees benefits. Some workers actually favor this, based on their personal preferences or family obligations.

A Growing Number of Telecommuting Employees

Those who hold an Executive MBA degree  are likely to become future business leaders. One trend they will have to prepare for is a growing number of employees who telecommute. According to a recent study presented in The New York Times, about 3.2 million workers, or around 2.6 percent of the work force, now telecommute. For employers, telecommuting is advantageous because it cuts down on the amount of necessary office space. Additionally, telecommuting makes it possible for employees to work from anywhere around the country, so they can reduce actual commuting hours when they telecommute instead.

Being aware of these trends, can help employers identify where they may not be “keeping up” and put processes in place to do so, and can help you better prepare for opportunities relating to them.