8 Hiring Trends of 2016 for Employers and Employees

Is your New Years resolution to find a new job? Is it time for a new career step? What exactly are employers looking for? Or are you an employer hoping to find the perfect candidates to help grow your business? What types of candidates will you find out there? Both companies and candidates are shaking up the tides of hiring. New ways of hiring, new generations taking management reins, and new types of marketplaces are coming into play in 2016. What aspect is staying the same? Companies still seek the highest quality of hire for work ethic, work performance, retention and longevity.

What employers are looking for:

Quality Counts

Each year companies spend more resources and energy on their “time to fill” process of interviewing, vetting and hiring candidates. They are seeking candidates who are a good fit not only for the position, but the company culture and goals as well. The quality of hire is measured through turnover rates within a certain timeframe, evaluations, and manager satisfaction of employees’ performance. For many companies upwards of 39% feel that the quality of the hire is the most valuable metric of performance that can be measured and tracked.

Retaining employees is the highest priority for employers to monitor, particularly during the start of a new employee’s journey. Another way that employers are retaining new employees is by recruiting internally. The cost to train an existing employee in a new position is considerably less too as they are familiar with software systems, and the culture of the company or department.

How employers are looking for high quality candidates:

Employee Referrals

Of the numerous ways for candidates to seek career opportunities (job boards, staffing agencies, direct application, etc.) employee referrals from inside a company are becoming more and more popular. By using word of mouth from friends or family and social media to promote internal/external networking, candidates are able to find out more about a company than just the provided job description and review on Yelp. Candidates are more likely to listen to their network of friends and colleagues regarding a certain company or position, and then apply with purpose. After all, friends wouldn’t suggest a company that they themselves don’t like working for!

This is great news for employers too. The trend is starting to show that referred employees have longer tenures and higher job performance ratings. HR departments also encourage company executives and management teams to hire in this manner as it saves time in the “time to fill” area, and there is less of a chance of turnover.

Improved Job Descriptions

Let’s be honest, a boring job description will make any candidate click to the next page before you can say, “hired!” Outdated or misleading job descriptions can increase new hire turnover when they come to realize that the job they thought they’d have isn’t what they’re actually doing. A good trick is to check your job descriptions against those of your competitors for the same position. Are you describing the true nature of the job on a day-to-day and big picture level? Or are you just describing something that you think would catch someone’s attention? Chances are if the job sounds boring, it probably is.

Creating a great candidate experience

It is important for employers to create a positive candidate experience from the start—whether or not they hire a particular candidate. By keeping candidates informed and engaged during the interview process you show that you respect them by not letting them wait in uncertainty regarding the status of a possible hire. When an offer is made, have all who were a part of the hiring process congratulate the new employee and express how happy the company is to have them aboard. On the new employee’s first day take time to check in on them once in a while and have the team and/or manager take them out to lunch to help them get acquainted and answer any questions in a more relaxed setting.

30 / 60 / 90 Plan

In the vein of monitoring employee retention, implement a 30 / 60 / 90 day follow up policy. Have review meetings with individual employees as well as teams to ensure that everything is running smoothly and as planned. This will also provide employees with the confidence that you are investing as much in them as they are in you, and that you want them to succeed. This review process also allows management to evaluate how well the candidate is doing in the position and if they continue to be a good fit. In the same regard, this pseudo-probationary period allows new employees the chance to see if their expectations of the job match their actual responsibilities.

Who are the up and comers:

Entrepreneur Z

In May of 2016 a new generation will be joining the workforce as college graduates of Generation Z get their diplomas. Being children of the Great Recession, they are more flexible and realistic in how they approach their career goals and handling of finances. Because of this, Gen Z’ers are more entrepreneurial and loyal to companies. They value work-life balance and career growth opportunities over a higher salary (knowing that a high salary isn’t always guaranteed).

Boomers vs. Millennials

An astonishing number of Baby Boomers—roughly 3.6 million—will be retiring this year. What does this mean for their successors, the Millennials? Nearly ¼ of the Millennial workforce will be taking Boomer’s positions in management. Millennials are transformational leaders in that they not only promote themselves, but encourage others in their environment to succeed.

Succession planning is going to become an important part of training curriculum across all industries, as styles of training will transfer from more traditional meetings to technologically advanced training. Styles of communication will change as well: inter-office communications and the style of communication between team members and the field will evolve to facilitate the types of technology that Millennials have grown up with.

What the job world might start looking like:

Freelance & Shared Economy Marketplaces

With any tide changes in existing companies from one generation to the next comes also an examination of what it means to work for a company. Is it merely sitting in an office or cubicle, or can it mean making strides for a company from the comfort of your home. 2016 is projected to see an increase in freelance work as a need for flexibility increases, and companies seek ways to lower costs.

The “gig economy”, where contractors work on a project basis, or for several companies at once, is starting to come alive. Candidates can be their own boss, pick and choose based on their own talents and interests, and create for themselves an automatic network for potential careers to settle into. This is good news for employers who can hire on-demand with lower costs and pick from a larger, competitive candidate pool for great talent. With access to the technology of our day this type of work is increasingly easier as well.


A hiring trend that may not be such good news to candidates is the emergence of increased automation. With minimum wage increases across the country, rising healthcare costs (particularly with Obamacare’s full implementation), employers are likely going to be highly selective in hiring full time employees. In industries where machines and automation can increase production and replace staff, this could be the time the tide changes. Automation is great for employers but bad for employees as there will be fewer opportunities in these industries and increased pressure to produce or be replaced.

Regardless of where you are as a candidate seeking a job, there are new ways to look at how you will be evaluated against your competition, and new ways for you to seek employment in a transforming job world. For employers, new standards of hiring are coming into play, and important decisions need to be made regarding the quality of hires made, and what types of hires to make.

Innovative Career Resources can help both candidates seeking employment and companies hoping to find the highest quality talent this year. Whether freelance, full-time, part-time or project contracts are your forte we can find you a position, and we can find employers the most suitable candidates. Let us be your unbiased hiring manager by finding, interviewing, and vetting qualified, talented people in the upcoming Millennial and Generation Z pool of candidates who will stay with you for the lifetime of their career!