Ingram’s Insights: 3 trends shaping hiring today
Co-Founder of Proven Recruiting Ingram Losner has always been our personal bellwether of change – with one foot firmly grounded in the data and the other networking with friends and colleagues across the industry, he has an acute awareness of the often fickle forces shaping the world of hiring. Today he’s bringing that expertise, honed over 30+ years in the business, to help illuminate the challenges and opportunities in today’s market.
When asked what trends he’s keeping a close eye on, he had this to say:
The fight against obsolescence
Twenty short years ago, everything of relevance – contracts, invoices, pay stubs, company documents – was stored in filing cabinets. Depending on your vocation, research alone could take hundreds of hours and innumerable financial and human resources.
Now you can find any information, on any topic, at the click of a mouse.
Did that shift take jobs away? Undoubtedly…yet I don’t see anyone lobbying for the return of purist filing techniques. Since the industrial revolution, structural changes in the economy have shifted jobs from one sector to another. The recent rise of AI and the accelerated rate of digital growth only serve to reinforce the fact that jobs are not static.
What this means for you and every worker in our country is this – just as some doors close with the rise of efficiency, others open. We’ve seen this time and again. But not everyone will benefit equally from those newly opened doors; those who resist change will find themselves left behind while their friends and peers leverage emerging technologies to advance their careers, companies, and ultimately society. Upskilling and reskilling are no longer optional “nice to haves”; they are essential parts of remaining relevant. Anyone who doesn’t heed the call of modernization doesn’t just risk becoming obsolete – they’re all but guaranteeing it.
Forget hiring for experience, the future is about hiring for aptitude
I have no interest in resumes. They have some limited uses, certainly – listing out your experience is a practical jumping-off point to spark focused discussions. But using a resume as a means of judging the competency and ability of a candidate? No, thank you – I’ll pass.
Much more important are the leadership capabilities, integrity, and drive of an individual – characteristics that rarely surface in a resume. Does the candidate align with your company’s core values? Are they intellectually curious? Have they demonstrated their coachability? Are they driven to achieve greatness? These qualities are far more revealing than whether or not they have five years of experience or what project they worked on last.
Of course, I don’t mean to understate the importance of hard skills. Yet the reality is that most hiring decisions are not based on pure skills, but rather on potential – and using “experience” as a proxy for “potential” is an inherently flawed approach.
The next generation of managers will need to be undercover hiring experts
Hiring takes up an inordinate amount of my awareness – and not just because I lead a recruiting firm. The ease or difficulty of hiring can determine a team’s ability to achieve objectives, secure funding, and expand into emerging focus areas. The flow of capital, expansion into new markets, and ability to meet changing demands all tie back to the availability of skilled, reliable, resourceful talent.
Even with the economy cooling this past year, the staying power of a ~3% unemployment rate is indicative of an inescapable reality – our society is aging. We’ve witnessed this demographic shift over the past 10-15 years and are likely to feel its effects well into the next 10-15 years. There simply aren’t enough skilled people coming into the workplace to replace the extraordinarily high number of Baby Boomers retiring.
Given these conditions, any manager looking to remain relevant and useful will have to master the art and science of hiring. They’ll have to become experts at selling their company’s mission and vision. They’ll need to connect – really, authentically connect – with Gen Z and Gen Alpha. Homing in on what makes the next generation of workers tick will become essential to growth. The smartest teams will double down – financially, culturally, structurally – on unearthing and manifesting those next-generation priorities.
The days of “we’ve always done it this way” are coming to an end; it’s time for more fluid feedback loops, flexible work accommodations, and expanded cultural and intellectual diversity. Hiring the right people – and moreover, creating a workplace that attracts the right people – will mark the difference between the managers who thrive in this new economy and those who flounder.