recruitment trends
Top 10 biggest recruitment trends in 2020
- Jan 06, 2020

Recruitment Trends in 2020

LinkedIn’s 2020 predictions for the world really got us thinking.

How will the macro trends, determined by such a rich data set (their entire 2019 content) play out in the world of recruitment?

The last decade has been the most transformative the recruitment industry has experienced. From the tools we now use, the processes we apply to even the language we speak – it has all changed.

A so-called RecTech revolution has impacted the way we attract, acquire, onboard, understand, manage & even reward talent. The cumulative impact has been a technology network effect. That is, not investing or engaging online is simply no longer an option.

Given that each company, department, and job can require its own unique approach, the need to enable more people with these technologies and tools has never been so apparent.

However, when you contrast all of the influencing forces impacting the job market economy against the vast range of solutions providers out there – it’s frankly mind-blowing! And depending who you talk too – better or worse than ever.

 

Has RecTech wrecked us or just rewired us?

Keeping up with this pace of change and interpreting it so that you can hire or get hired in the most effective & efficient way possible – seems impossible.

However, the attraction, development and retention of the best talent are still listed as a massive concern for the vast majority of CEOs. As Mark Benioff, Founder and CEO of SalesForce, explained;

“Acquiring the right talent is the most important key to growth. Hiring was – and still is – the most important thing we do”.

The emergence of “employer”, “personal” and now “career” branding further demonstrates a radical shift in the world of recruitment.

So that’s my prelude, now let’s make sense of what I believe are the top 10 most significant trends.

 

 

 

1. Evidence based recruitment to become the new standard

There are many stages within the recruitment lifecycle where better decisions could be made. Unless you are on the OJ Simpson trial, the best choices are based on real evidence. In the world of business that proof is in the form of extensive data sets, aka “Big Data”.

The evidence-based recruitment trend will mostly be delivered by technology. AI, Big Data, Machine Learning, Predictive Algorithms & other cognitive technologies are going to enable this shift.

Thinking more intelligently about how we do what we do, based on facts, without slowing us down – will only make us better.

 

2. The top perk that professionals will want.

Several significant 2019 surveys confirmed that the perk that professionals appreciate and desire most – is time.

Expect the following “time perks” to continue and expand:

  • Flexible hours
  • Burnout breaks
  • Remote working
  • Coworking spaces

With cloud computing the norm and collaboration tools like Asana and Slack, the time sink of commuting every-day is being addressed. There is no more unequivocal evidence to support this than the adoption of Microsoft 365.

Even the company most synonymous with the desktop & office has its head firmly in the cloud.

 

3. What prospective employees value most.

Anyone born pre 1980 will remember a corporate world of reputable and trusted brands to work for and the concept that a “job for life” being desirable.

However, between 2000-2010, Gen X and Y shifted employee mindsets towards a “cool culture” as the most influential factor when looking for a job. Initially, this manifested itself in the form of egg-shaped chairs, casual Fridays, ping pong and a beer fridge.

Over the last 10-years, we have seen cultural trends evolve even further. This reflects the influence of the millennials, many of whom – now in their thirties – are calling the shots. And it’s more likely to be double expresso over tequila shots.

 

This generation has shifted corporate culture from “cool” to “caring”

The beer fridge has been switched out to a smoothie machine and healthy eating options. Company happy hours? How about discounted or subsidised health club memberships and access to a range of wellness and mental health-related initiatives.

The newer generation genuinely cares about the environment and want to work for companies that take environmental issues and corporate responsibility seriously.

They also have no time for management speak, waffle words and lip service. Any divergence in the public image and the company culture will be exposed by employees anonymously via social media and platforms like Glassdoor.

Even a whiff of “David Brentitus” will be remedied with a level of ridicule that Ricky Gervais would be proud of. In an era where the Clickarazzi can make even the smallest infection go viral, keeping it real is the only way to win.

An authentic & caring culture might seem like a “nice to have” to many leaders, but the trend towards “must-have” is in full effect. If you want the minds of the next wave of bright young talent, you must first understand their hearts.

We have effectively moved from a ‘Cool’ to ‘Caring’ culture. The working environment has replaced the ‘family’ in terms of ‘who will look after me’.

 

4. Brexit

At the point of writing this article, we are just a couple of days away from the 31st Jan deadline.

Markets do not like uncertainty, and the employment market is no different. I think 2018 took the brunt of the Brexit negativity with companies investing more in talent acquisition in 2019. However, this bad break up is not over.

Brexit is the single most potent force that could affect the stability of the British economy over the next 12months. Continued whispers of an economic recession refuse to go away. And subsequent caution and procrastination may resume when it comes to spending money on talent acquisition.

I am, however, relatively optimistic that we will grind out an acceptable deal with Europe and secure a good trade agreement with the US & other international partners. Hopefully, in 12 months, uncertainty will be replaced with optimism and Boris saying, “I told you so”.

 

5. Plugging the skills gap

Internal training, upskilling & reskilling programs combined with a far more proactive long term apprenticeship and graduate recruitment program that recruits from ground level up, seems to be the only reliable and sensible approach to plugging the skills gap.

Continuous increases in salary and the use of contract workers can not be the long term strategy. The competitiveness of organisations will continue to suffer if labour costs and price pressure are not rationalised with more proactive and forward-thinking workforce strategy.

In a rapidly changing, technology-driven world, it is very easy for individuals to get left behind. The government must anticipate this problem and policy must keep up with reality – even if it’s virtual.

New technology entrants focusing heavily on next-generation features, including social and video learning, microlearning and learner engagement have disrupted the traditional LMS (Learning Management System) market over the last few years.

Look for the emergence of Learning Experience Platforms (LXPs) to see where this market is heading in the future.

 

6. The role of AI in recruitment (and recruitment tech)

AI continued to make a significant impact on the recruitment environment last year and is set to continue for years to come.

Just as robotics has shifted mechanical tasks away from human beings, AI has the potential to impact so-called knowledge workers. Reskilling programs that are run either within colleges or the workplace can help address these issues.

Any company that fails to see the overall and ongoing role that variants of AI will bring to the table will undoubtedly get left behind. Burning Glass has demonstrated that AI is no longer a buzz in this industry – it’s in play today.

2020 will “clearly see” more technology platforms embrace and incorporate AI. Also, watch out for a new variant of AI dripping into our consciousness as Quantum AI joins the conversation over the next few years.

“Quantum recruiting” – you heard it here first!

 

7. The new-look independent recruiter

Independent recruiters and HR professionals that deliver recruitment services directly to corporations will start to benefit from the lower costs of Talent Acquisition and HR Technology. While most already understand the benefits, they are put off by what the perceived investment would have on a “Me Ltd” business model.

The reward to the (early adopter) recruiters will be that more clients will that want to work with them. The independent recruiter model makes sense in the right situation. By adding a technology benefit (usually reserved for teams), it will make even more sense and therefore more money for the freelance professional.

The advantage to the client will be a deeper external recruitment partnership that can provide a more comprehensive range of recruitment & HR services.

Advanced recruitment platforms and tools such as Smart Recruit Online can become the cornerstone of the independent 2020 recruiter’s service offering.

 

8. Wellbeing, Mental Health, Diversity & Inclusion

High on the agenda for many companies are issues such as wellbeing, mental health, and diversity.

We believe that 2020 will trend away from a reactionary box-ticking approach to these critical issues – to a more proactive mindset.

Depression and anxiety alone cost the global economy more than $1 trillion in lost productivity every year, according to the World Health Organization.

As the millennial’s move from the management to the executive level of the corporate world – expect their values and concerns to permeate only further.

 

 

9. Highly configurable centralisation recruitment software

Most of us are aware of and probably already use an ATS or HRIS system for managing recruitment activity.

What you may or may not know is that ATS and HRIS systems don’t really do meaningful talent attraction. Or at least they do it poorly and in most cases are actually counter-productive to a direct hiring strategy. They also offer minimal configuration and customisations are usually very slow and very expensive.

Unwitting users are often stuck with a complicated, over-engineered one size fits all platform for several years. Modern recruitment platforms are cloud-based, plug & play, and acts like a configurable web application rather than a website. Think of a mobile device where each feature that you want to use is downloaded and activated like an app.

Next-generation software platforms are designed to be far more proactive and effective when it comes to talent attraction. They are simpler to use, provide a better candidate experience and cost a fraction of the price of an ATS or HRIS service. However, before you rush to throw away your ATS. First, look at whether the system you are considering can complement what you already have.

 

The recruitment ecosystem is fragmented. Centralisation systems are evolving to help users embrace and utilise the ever-changing best in class tools and services.

Despite the marketing hype, the idea that a single technology platform will be the “total” end to end solution – now and forever – will continue to trend towards nonsense.

A single dashboard that consolidates and generates management information from a dynamic technology stack should be the preferred end game.

 

10. Tech providers to deliver complementary services

I will paint the scene. You sign up for an expensive ATS or HRIS. Once the system is installed and you’re trained to use it, it’s as if the vendor no longer has any interest in you.

But now you’re signed up for the next 3 years. And that’s the SaaS model and good luck trying to get someone on the phone who can actually help.

Sound familiar?

Servicing models that take a proactive role in ensuring that users continue to get the most out of technology will be the trend as customer churn becomes the focus. Customer acquisition is only as powerful as customer retention when it comes to growth.

Beyond ‘services’, expect a commitment to performance becoming a vital feature of the current business models. This will, in turn, change the mentality of the vendor in terms of the ongoing development & support of their technology and customers.

Vendors becoming accountable for what their tech delivers is what the market wants.

Solutions providers understand that adapting and supporting an evidence-based approach to the processes that are applied will influence and optimise desired outcomes when using their systems. And we are back to prediction number 1 – Evidence based recruitment will become the norm.

Article was written by Mark Stephens and Simon Billsberry.

 

Smart Recruit Online offers a multi-award-winning talent acquisition software that will streamline and revolutionise your recruitment strategy.

We offer a customisable cloud-based platform integrated with multiple screening tools, enabling you to make well-informed recruitment decisions. 

To find out what we can do for your recruitment strategy, book a demo by clicking here.

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Mark Stephens

Mark has established a reputation for his passion and enthusiasm over twenty years working in the recruitment industry, both client and agency side. For the last ten years, he has been researching the recruitment landscape from both a technology and people perspective. His insights into market trends are often used and quoted across the industry’s leading publications. His company, Smart Recruit Online, has been the winner of 5 international awards for technology innovation and Recruitment Technology in the last 18 months. And currently holds the accolade of filling more jobs from direct applications for their clients than any other online recruitment service in the UK.


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