20 Things We Discovered in 2020

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2020 has felt like the longest year ever. And whilst technically it’s been the longest we’ve endured in at least a few years (it was a leap year) it’s one we’ll certainly never forget. The impact of COVID-19 has touched us all, and affected us in different ways. Perhaps this line from a that went viral during the early stages of the pandemic best captures this moment in time: “We are all in the same storm, but not in the same boat.”

Throughout this strange and uncertain year, we’ve continued to publish content on the Indeed blog that has addressed hiring challenges, provided labour market and economic updates, and offered tips on how to manage the abrupt work from home situation many people were plummeted into. We also revealed how job seekers and employers feel about the uncertainty of their respective situations, and discussed what lies ahead for the Australian labour market.

In this blog post, we’re going to take a look back at the year that was, outlining 20 things we discovered in 2020.

  1. Onboarding is more than just what happens on day one. Only 12 percent of employees think their organisation does an “excellent” job of employee onboarding. Challenges cited include a lack of participation from current employees; an inability to track effectiveness; and programs that are too short, don’t reflect the company culture, or fail to outline a career progression path for new hires.
  2. Soft skills matter. In fact, some experts say that emotional control, or the ability to regulate emotions and how we display them, is the most important soft skill at work.
  3. Clear job descriptions are vital. 37% of job seekers in Australia who left their job within the first six months did so due to a lack of clarity around what was expected of them. Receiving clear guidelines outlining their responsibilities would have helped them stay in their roles for longer.
  4. Recognition is key to employee retention. 16% of job seekers in Australia have reported looking at other job opportunities whenever they don’t get recognised for their accomplishments in their current role.
  5. Management is both an art and a science. According to Julie Zhuo, author of The Making of a Manager, great managers are self-reflective, put their reports first and are willing to step out of the spotlight to let the team shine.
  6. A wide variety of roles pay more than 130K AUD. According to our Indeed database, superintendents, senior product managers, sales directors, and senior risk managers are just a few of the jobs in which you can earn more than 130K in Australia.
  7. Tackling bias requires action. We can encounter over 100 cognitive biases every day. With most recruitment and selection processes still driven by quick human decisions, implicit biases have the potential to slip in anywhere in the recruitment process.
  8. Self care is not selfish. “If we take care of ourselves, it puts us in a position to give our best to others. We can turn up to work refreshed and full of vigour. We can be our best version to our families and friends.” — Chelsea Pottenger, CEO & Founder, EQ Consulting, EQ Minds.
  9. Working from home has its challenges. 2020 has afforded more employees than ever before the opportunity to work from home. While this arrangement has its perks—it can be distracting and downright difficult depending on your living situation. Errands, chores, family, housemates, TV, social media, and pets can easily shift your attention and morph the 9-5 into something unbearable.
  10. The candidate experience is more important than ever before. Conducting interviews and onboarding new employees virtually is a tricky task. Three recruiting pros shared their best tips on how to create a great candidate experience when the entire recruitment process takes place online.
  11. The new normal is here to stay. Employer brand, virtual recruiting and flexible working are three core areas organisations can focus on to effectively recruit top talent now and into the future.
  12. Data is king. Empathy, intuition and experience have always been essential to recruiting. But there’s also a wealth of numbers available to help inform recruiting decisions too.
  13. The robots are coming for (some) jobs. It’s estimated that 20% of workers (approximately 2.7 million Australians), have jobs that could be completely replaced by automation by 2034.
  14. Ageism is alive and well in Aussie workplaces. A recent report by Indeed found that 34% of Baby Boomers hide part of their identity at work. One of the most common things they hide is their age (33%).
  15. Long lists of requirements can lose you talent. More than 20% of women didn’t apply for a job because they felt they didn’t meet all of the qualifications. This is compared to just 12.7% of men.
  16. Looking after your mental health is paramount. “You need to make sure work doesn’t fill up every moment and you still find time to do things you enjoy.” — Patrice O’Brien, Chief Community Officer at Beyond Blue.
  17. Not all interview questions are created equally. Brian Chaney, Director of Employer Brand at Indeed revealed the one interview question you should be asking — one that will get your candidate thinking, and make you think twice, too.
  18. Job security is a concern for half the workforce. 49% of people we surveyed who are working from home are worried about their job security.
  19. People with a disability feel the need to hide it. 65% of employees with a disability say they either some, or all of the time, feel the need to hide their true selves at work.
  20. We can create a better future of work. “The pandemic has given us an opportunity to use a difficult situation to innovate, making life more flexible, enjoyable and productive for our employees.” — Paul Wolfe, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Indeed.

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