Entering 2019, changing employment trends have emerged that will likely impact many employees and job seekers.
Here are 4 specific developments that Allison & Taylor Reference Checking anticipates for 2019:
Employer surveillance of employees increases. The number of employees who are monitoring their employees’ activities is growing, a function of the low cost of monitoring technology, an ever-increasing percentage of employees using their computers for both professional and personal use, and an increase in employees leaking sensitive company information. Employers are also watching their workers to avoid sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits, in large part due to several high-profile cases in 2018 that resulted in the termination of well-known corporate executives.
The modern workforce will become increasingly freelance. The current growth of freelancing is estimated to be three times faster than that of the traditional workforce, with approximately 47% of working millennials now working in some freelance capacity. At the current growth rate, the majority of the U.S. workforce will freelance by 2027. These statistics have significant ramifications for the importance of employment references. Those in the workplace will have many more employers over the course of their working career, and virtually every new employer will be checking references as never before. The presence of even one unfavorable reference is likely to disqualify a candidate from future consideration. Therefore, it is critical that employment seekers utilize a reference-checking firm such as Allison & Taylor Reference Checking to identify and address possible negative references. Also, the job seeker is well advised to have a list of their references readily available (in the same format/font as their resume) to be given to prospective employers. When offered at the conclusion of an interview – in a highly professional format – it can create a very proactive (and favorable) lasting impression.
Workplace abuse will continue to be an issue. A 2014 survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute (workplacebullying.org) identified 27% of respondents as having current or past direct experience with abusive conduct at work. Bosses constituted the majority of bullies. The issue persists as we move into 2019. (http://www.workplacebullying.org/wbiresearch/wbi-2014-us-survey/) Third party reference checks conducted with former abusive employers will often reveal information that can be utilized for remedial action, such as Cease & Desist letters, or more aggressive legal action.
Employers lag behind the trend of “Work-Life Balance.” While compensation pay has traditionally been a leading prerequisite for all job seekers, a desire for workplace flexibility continues to rise dramatically in importance. Survey data suggests that employees value a desirable work-life balance above virtually all factors other than compensation. However, it is estimated that only a third of global corporations offer such flexibility. Of those that do offer at least some degree of workplace flexibility, many are not promoting this benefit to job seekers who increasingly spend more time researching companies before applying for new employment. This suggests a considerable opportunity for companies to not only increase their degree of workplace flexibility, but to market this benefit more aggressively to prospective new employees.
There are a number of components to overall work flex, which include:
- Working from the home, facilitated by the use of new technological tools
- Elimination of strict office hours
- Adoption of “casual days” with reduced formal business attire
2019 will be a year of highly significant employment trends. If you dealt with workplace bullying or employer surveillance at a previous job, you might be at greater risk of a bad reference from your previous employer. Check on your references to make sure they’re not hurting your employment chances.