As an insurtech company, we find ourselves riding a wave of excitement as the industry develops and expands. In addition to unprecedented amounts of funding pouring into our space, there is a lot of money going into HR-related startups; HR tech startup companies have seen considerable momentum, raising $2.4B in 2015. The hottest segments of the market include companies with recruiting tools, employee culture and productivity, operations management, and HR/insurance and employee benefits. A key component in these industries is the concept of modernization and automation of existing legacy systems.
At Limelight Health, we work closely with both the HR and insurance industry, and we face similar challenges to other HR and health tech startups.
Finding great talent isn’t as easy as it would seem. According to a recent LinkedIn survey, 52 percent of talent acquisition leaders report that identifying the right candidate is the hardest part of their jobs.
A recent report by American Action Forum (AAF) examined current labor force trends and projected occupational growth rates in an attempt to shed light on the potential labor shortage in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) occupations. They concluded that if current trends continue, the shortage of U.S. citizens working in healthcare, architecture, and engineering STEM occupations is likely to reach over 1.2 million by 2024.
This is a huge dilemma for all of us, particularly those of us building and scaling software companies. Our own company is seeking to hire more than 100 people in 2020, and we had been behind on hiring for almost all of 2019.
Adapting to Changing Demands and the Need for Remote Workers
By 2020, it’s estimated that approximately 50 percent of the U.S workforce will be temporary, contract, or freelance workers. We are following in the footsteps of a number of companies whom we admire when it comes to creating a remote workforce. Zapier and Invision, for example, are 100 percent remote workforces. Limelight Health has about 100 employees, of which 65 work from an offsite location. How we shift in our philosophy to manage, hire and build a culture in a largely remote company is completely different than if we were all in one office.
There are some new and interesting trends we see taking place in the workplace and HR that may help with solutions to these challenges.
Automation & AI
According to a recent LinkedIn survey, 46 percent of talent acquisition leaders report that their recruiting teams are struggling to source and attract qualified candidates. Incorporating AI into the sourcing phase allows teams to streamline the process and increase recruitment success. AI technology can search available data to find resumes and social media profiles of candidates who match job requirements. Companies can also use automated candidate matching systems, which use algorithms to gather data on skills, salary preferences, qualifications, and experience and locate prospective candidates that match roles they seek to fill. Using AI, organizations can narrow down to only the best matches and cut their recruiting time in half.
At Limelight Health, we have been running targeted ads on a number of social sites, which have yielded a much greater number of qualified candidates much faster than traditional recruiting methods.
The Continued Shift in Workers’ Roles and the Need for New Skills
Employers anticipate a significant shift in the division of labor between humans, machines and algorithms in the next several years. Currently, an average of 71 percent of total task hours across the industries covered by the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report is performed by humans, compared to 29 percent by machines or algorithms—by 2022, this average is expected to have shifted to 58 percent task hours performed by humans, and 42 percent by machines or algorithms. As we see more and more automation in the workforce, it will allow us as workers to focus on the more strategic and meaningful parts of our job. However, this requires both flexibility and a growth mindset. Workers will need to increase proficiency in skills such as analytical thinking and active learning, as well as more uniquely “human” skills such as creativity, initiative, persuasion, and negotiation. Emotional intelligence, leadership, resilience, and flexibility will also be ever more in demand. On average, employees will need 101 days of retraining and upskilling in the period up to 2022 to adapt to the demands of a newly automated market.
It is becoming increasingly clear that a multi-pronged approach to workforce and HR planning, utilizing technology while being mindful about creating company culture as well as skills training, will be key for companies who want to remain at the forefront of recruiting and retaining the best talent.
Jason founded Limelight Health to bring modern tech tools to insurance carriers. Prior to Limelight, he founded Stone Meadow Benefits & Insurance Associates, a Silicon Valley-based insurance brokerage that provides cutting edge technology and wellness solutions for its clients. Jason’s 20 years of insurance experience began as managing producer at Lawson-Hawks Insurance Associates where he focused on public entity clients, non-profits, and technology startups.