Five 2019 workforce trends to know now

May 13, 2019

This paid piece is sponsored by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

By Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development

As important as it is to understand viable career paths for talent and workforce, it’s also essential to understand the talent and workforce landscape today. What trends will contribute to our workforce success within the Sioux Falls region in winning the competitive war?  Is there any truth to saying that “Home is Where the Heart is,” and, thereby, do our college graduates desire to build careers close to their families? Do we really understand what today’s talent wants and expects from the modern workplace?

As part of our efforts to implement the year three goals of the Forward Sioux Falls Strategic Workforce Action Agenda, it is important to stress what we know about talent and workforce today.

First, 66 percent of post-secondary graduates within the Upper Midwest choose to stay close to home. This is caused by a thriving economy within the Sioux Falls region and Upper Midwest, resulting in the type of economic security and safety that early career professionals find desirable. With a decade of unemployment levels continuing to offer more employer choice for talent, we see this as most beneficial.

Equally important is the generational shift toward quality-of-life preferences, resulting in more early career professionals focusing on trendy neighborhoods, limited drive times and active communities for volunteerism as key differentiators for Sioux Falls employers to focus on when talking about lifestyles with potential employees.

But what other trends should human resource professionals consider as part of winning the war for talent? Are there best practices used to integrate technology and process optimization within corporate America that may be helpful to shaping our own strategies here? If so, what are the top trends that every human resource manager needs to know now about talent today?

The first important trend for human resource professionals to know is how companies nationally are increasing the usage of people analytics.

According to the 2018 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report, a survey of Fortune 1000 corporations found that 84 percent of executives consider people analytics to be a high priority for their organizations. However, in the past, usability was an issue — many companies weren’t sure how to gain actionable insights that could drive performance. Analytics and artificial intelligence have the ability to touch every aspect of human resources, from recruiting and performance management to employee engagement. As analytics and technology continue to improve, we will see more companies adopt these tools and make the process of measuring, tracking, understanding and predicting employee behaviors and trends easier and more reliable in determining performance.

The second important trend for human resources to know is how the usage of intelligent recruiting software will positively simplify their internal departments.

Recruitment software, coupled with the usage of people analytics, enables human resources to develop a clearer picture of skills gaps within their organizations, as well as traits shared by their highest-performing employees.

This information allows for data-driven decisions on resource allocation and recruitment efforts. We also discussed as part of our article The Road to 2026 – Best Career Advice for Talent Today and Tomorrow that artificial intelligence and automated processes will continue to improve internal processes, such as recruiting technology, by handling much of the administrative work. In doing so, this will enable corporate recruiters to spend more time building relationships with employees, which also is key to winning the war on talent acquisition. Utilizing recruiting technology software to optimize and target talent is vital to hiring and on-boarding candidates who align with a company’s culture and skills.

The third trend to understand is the usage of creative employer branding to attract and retain talent.

As competition heats up in 2019 for talent, companies will need to leverage branding as both a culture-building and proactive recruiting tool.

Rather than reacting to how their organization is perceived online, either in reviews or ratings, companies now have the power to engage and control their narrative. In doing so, they need to build creative marketing and social media campaigns that focus on company values and highlight key cultural differentiators.

This type of push-pull marketing enables companies to attract talent that matches their culture through both employer and employee self-selection.

It’s also critical to apply marketing needs to the company’s internal, day-to-day culture because if there’s disconnect, new hires will quickly realize, word will get out and turnover rates could spike.

The fourth trend is the growth of the remote workforce and how it will be mutually beneficial for employers and employees alike.

Technology makes it easier than ever for employees to work from home, a cafe, a shared office space or even another country. In late 2018, Deloitte’s report showed that 70 percent of office professionals work remotely at least once per week.

But it’s not just full-time employees who are telecommuting. There are 53 million freelancers in America, which will increase to 50 percent of the U.S. workforce by 2020. The rise of the gig economy is real and part of the generational shift in workforce. Human resources can leverage this by using temporary and contract workers to fill in gaps.

Rather than hiring employees full time, organizations can tap into a global network of talented, remote freelancers and independent contractors, building relationships on a short-term, project-by-project basis.

Finally, our last trend to share is an emphasis on career-based training for employees.

While executives “anticipate a growing requirement” for social skills in the workforce for early career professionals, they also see more technology training needed for mid- and late-career professionals. This is related to how technology has transformed the workforce by increasing the number of peer-to-peer interactions.

Employee interaction has increased, and with more time spent collaborating across platforms, organizations need to consider the “productivity of the hyperconnected workforce” to be a very important opportunity.

With more than 20 years of executive experience working for Fortune 50 companies, Denise Guzzetta serves as the vice president of talent and workforce for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. Please reach out to Denise directly if you have questions about talent acquisition and incentive packages or career-based experience and training programs. Denise may be reached at 605-595-4355, or

To get connected to workforce development opportunities in the Sioux Falls area, visit

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Five 2019 workforce trends to know now

If you’re in the business of attracting workers and trying to win the war for talent, these are five workforce trends you must know.

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