Each new year brings new challenges for employers looking to stay competitive in the hiring market. With 2020 on the horizon, it’s critical to keep a finger on the pulse of the market and pay attention to how the worker landscape is changing. 

For a closer analysis of what’s to come in 2020, we tapped into our extensive network of industry leaders, employers, and hourly workers to put together a list of predictions and trends to watch. In the new year, employers will need to shift their hiring and retention strategies to offer hourly workers the benefits they want, like flexibility and worker protections, and keep up the technological advancements that are changing the way businesses operate and hire. 

Here are the five key trends employers can expect in 2020: 

Automation and Upskilling

Despite all the chatter about automation eliminating jobs, e-commerce growth is sure to drive demand for more warehouse and delivery workers. As employers continue to invest heavily in automation technology, opportunities for upskilling will only increase. This is especially good news for hourly workers hungry for career advancement. Smart employers will continue to emphasize upskilling and career growth opportunities as a key strategy for recruiting and retaining their hourly workforce.

Flexibility

Data from Bluecrew and other industry reports clearly indicate hourly workers favor flexibility above all other aspects of the job including pay and perks. A Bluecrew analysis of more than 10,000 job offer rejections found that a quarter (26%) of jobs were rejected due to the hours compared to 10% of jobs that were rejected due to pay. Employers increasingly recognize that in a tight labor market, offering flexibility around scheduling and hours is another strategic way to attract and retain workers without increasing wages or negatively impacting the bottom line. More employers will adopt staffing technologies and platforms such as Bluecrew to seamlessly provide the flexibility hourly workers want.

Worker Classification

The cat and mouse game will continue between regulators and gig companies. As lawmakers try to define and clarify existing worker classification rules that ensure worker protections like workers’ compensation, overtime, minimum wage, and sick pay, gig companies will continue to fight back and invest in ways to avoid providing worker protections by classifying drivers and other workers as independent contractors. 

Backlash Against AI and ML in Hiring is Over

More employers will adopt or at least test out machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance hiring strategies in 2020. By focusing on objective job performance data of employees and eliminating inherent biases such as appearance, employers will find more reliable, higher-performing workers and will be able to staff-up significantly faster. 

Worker Organizations and Union Membership

As the popular backlash builds against income inequality and declining worker benefits and protections, private-sector, non-union worker organizations will continue to emerge to advocate for fair pay and labor protections among various groups including teachers, retail workers, drivers, etc. Traditional union membership will also grow for the first time in decades.

For a closer look at how these trends will impact your company, and how Bluecrew can help you keep up, click here to schedule a meeting with one of our staffing experts