Top 10 biggest recruitment trends in 2020
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

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.


The Impact of Brexit on the Recruitment Industry
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

The Impact of Brexit on The Recruitment industry By Bridgette Hernandez

The UK was scheduled to leave the EU on March 29th. Having come and gone, there is certainly still upheaval, as the eventual outcome looms ever closer.

Prime Minister May can’t get her deal through Parliament. And at this point, the EU has provided a short extension for her to continue to try to get this vote, but it still looks unlikely to get through parliament.

Could Brexit still occur without a vote? Yes. Could Brexit be cancelled? Yes, the EU has provided that the UK could cancel Brexit up to the last minute, provided there was a Parliamentary vote to do so. This, however, does not appear likely. And there are those in Parliament who would prefer a no-confidence vote right now, regardless of Brexit issues.

Obviously, things are in a state of upheaval in the UK. But this current crisis has been two years in the making, as May has negotiated the terms of Brexit, and the uncertainties surrounding the full impact have weighed on a number of business sectors.

 

It’s the Uncertainty That Matters

Whenever there is uncertainty in the political, social, or economic environments of a country, there are consequences. Businesses and people are hesitant to take major steps or make major changes until things “settle down.”

And this uncertainty has certainly impacted the ability of the recruitment industry to find talent and expertise outside of the UK and convince these individuals to uproot themselves, move to an uncertain business environment, and put their faith in the hope that all will be well.

 

Talent Attraction

What the Recruitment Industry is Experiencing

According to a LinkedIn Quarterly Report on Recruiter Sentiment Survey, as reported in The Undercover Recruiter, 96% of those involved in HR or recruitment state that Brexit is negatively impacting their efforts to find skilled and talented people to fill open positions in the UK. And, in this report, 50% of respondents stated that they expected this impact to significantly grow in the months, and perhaps years, after Brexit goes into effect.

 

The Specifics of the Toll That Brexit is Taking

There are a number of specific circumstances affecting the recruitment industry – circumstances that they credit to the uncertainties of Brexit.

  • They cannot find enough available talent to fill position openings in the UK.
  • Candidates are not open to moving to the UK in the current environment of uncertainty
  • Candidates are far more willing to relocate for positions in other EU countries, because their economic environments remain stable. Thus, the competition is simply becoming too tough.
  • Those from other EU countries already employed in the UK are concerned about their status once the exit occurs. If they were looking to change positions within the UK, they are no longer doing so.
  • Many companies in the UK have their headquarters in other EU countries. Plans they may have had for expansion are now on hold indefinitely.

 

Here are some additional specific stats as reported by The Undercover Recruiter:
  • 37% of surveyed recruiters are experiencing a decrease in recruitment form Italy
  • 35% are seeing a decrease from France; 35% from Germany; 32% from the Netherlands; 29% from Spain; and 33% from the other 27 member countries of the EU.
  • Surveyed recruiters are also experiencing a decrease in recruitment and hires from Canada, Australia, and the U.S. as well.

In short, UK job opportunities are far less attractive to international talented and qualified candidates. And the prospects for this changing are clearly up in the air. It is difficult to predict if and when the effects of Brexit will level out and candidates will again begin to see the UK as an attractive place to which to relocate and further their careers.

 

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The UK Labor Market is Tightening

Because the ability to recruit internationally has suffered a decline, the internal labour market in the UK is tightening. Competition among businesses within the UK for local talent is high, and the pressure on companies to brand themselves as more attractive than their in-country competition has certainly increased. Companies will be forced into offering higher salaries, greater benefits, and other perks, in an effort to attract the talent they need. Of course, this provides an amazing environment for local talent that will be in a far better negotiating position than ever before. And recruiters will have to explain to their clients the realities of this new employment environment.

How Recruiters Should Advise Their Clients

The recruitment industry is not about to succumb to the challenges that Brexit has wrought. Instead, they will “roll with these punches,” advise their clients on the best strategies, and continue to seek the talent that their clients need, both at home and abroad. They will become more aggressive.

But in advising their UK clients, there are some strategies that may prove critical.

  1. Businesses will have to develop long-term strategies, anticipating what their need will be over the next several years and begin to work to fill those positions sooner rather than later.
  2. Companies must look within their existing talent and skills and make plans to provide professional development and training to meet their future needs, both short- and long-term.
  3. Look beyond the EU for talent. Particularly in tech fields, there is a great deal of talent in Asia, India, and Eastern European countries that are not in the EU. While this talent has certainly heard of Brexit, it may have fewer concerns about fallout from it, especially if the company is UK-based.

 

What the Future May Hold

Certainly, there are concerns about the economy of the UK once Brexit occurs. And the uncertainty is causing reticence among job seekers to make any major moves right now. It is also possible that some EU-based companies may withdraw, though not likely if they remain profitable and can continue to operate as usual. The bigger issue right now is political, and that uncertainty continues to impact everyone.

 

About the author

Bridgette Hernandez is a technical writer and contributing blogger at Hot Essay Service and Supreme Dissertations and Now for Smart Recruit Online.

She has more than five years of experience writing on topics such as tech careers, gadgets, and software development. In her spare time, she competes in robotics projects and volunteers at a local animal rescue.

 

Smart Recruit Online offers an award-winning talent attraction software that can streamline and revolutionise your recruitment. To find out what we can to for your recruitment strategy, book a demo by clicking here.

Book a demo

 

 

BridgetteHernandez@smartrecrooot.com'
Bridgette Hernandez


Bridgette Hernandez is a technical writer and contributing blogger at Hot Essay Service and Supreme Dissertations and now for Smart Recruit Online. She has more than five years of experience writing on topics such as tech careers, gadgets, and software development. In her spare time, she competes in robotics projects and volunteers at a local animal rescue.


Will Employee Engagement Save the Hospitality Industry From Brexit?
Danielle Meakin - 6 Comments - 29 Sep 2019

Businesses in the hospitality sector have every right to be worried. At least a quarter of the 3 million people working in the hospitality industry are EU nationals, according to a report by KPMG. The sector is a labour-intensive contributor to the British economy and many hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes across the UK are already reporting that they are finding it harder to recruit staff.

At a time when the hospitality industry is actually doing quite well, could Brexit take many businesses in the sector from boom to bust? There’s little doubt that businesses in the sector will need to adapt. So, what can they do right now to fight the Brexit recruitment disruption?

 

What Brexit means to the hospitality industry

The hospitality sector stands to face a shortfall of 60,000 workers per year. Post-Brexit recruitment in Britain’s fourth biggest industry is a key issue.

As well as the issue of recruitment, the hospitality sector also faces challenges with its supply chains. The Brexit-induced drop in the value of sterling has contributed to higher costs on imported produce. Businesses are already adapting their supply strategies, sourcing more foods produced in Britain. But, procurement planning is another big issue for hospitality.

As well as setting out plans for potential supply chain disruption, the industry needs to focus on building an engaged and motivated workforce without relying on immigrants from the EU. Improving employee engagement could prove part of the solution to the recruitment crisis.

 

What is employee engagement?

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), “employees who have good quality jobs and are managed well, will not only be happier, healthier and more fulfilled, but they are also more likely to drive productivity, better products or services and innovation.”

Employee engagement is a workplace approach focusing on the emotional commitment employees have to the organisation and business goals. It essentially drives the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs and the effort they put into their roles.

 

Company Culture

 

Why employee engagement is crucial for the hospitality sector

Employee engagement is important in all sectors, but it is more vital in the services and hospitality industries than in any other. In customer-driven sectors, staff are brand ambassadors. They are critical for creating a happy customer experience and improving customer loyalty.

Employees in hospitality roles are part of the lifeblood of the business. Brexit poses its challenges in the supply of labour. Existing employees will be faced with longer hours and have to work harder to fill the gaps. Employee engagement will help employees to feel they are appreciated and have a future in the organisation they are working in. It will also help uncover under-utilised skills.

High staff turnover is costly. It takes time and money to train a new recruit. It makes sense to invest in existing employees. Excessive turnover is disruptive and causes morale to plummet.

 

What do the best hospitality companies do to retain staff?

Last year, the uber-chic Firmdale Hotels group launched its Employee Engagement week. Without a guest in sight the group’s employees gathered across the group’s eight London hotels to network, upskill, learn and get enthused. The programme of events included inspirational talks, demos, information about company benefits, career advice and tips on building better relationships.

Speaking to hospitality magazine, The Caterer, Julia Murrell, director of people and development at Firmdale, said “I believe retention is driven around engagement. We have a diverse workforce so we have to think of new ideas all the time.”

Group operations manager, Anna Jackson, added, “We spend time on guest engagement, work on how to exceed expectations, how to turn that visit into a repeat stay, and we need to apply those principles to our team, too. We need to look at how we engage them from day one – make them feel special, understand their needs and meet those needs around every role and nationality, as we do with our guests. It is a people business after all.”

 

Employee engagement can’t be imposed. It’s all about creating a cultural shift. Here’s how:

  • Make work fun
  • Recognise employees with rewards
  • Offer ongoing training
  • Create a strong team environment
  • Encourage collaboration
  • Give your staff opportunities to develop
  • Let your employees know you value them
  • Share information
  • Give regular feedback about performance
  • Offer fair pay and competitive benefits
  • Reward creativity
  • Be open to employee feedback
  • Weed out toxic employees
  • Promote from within

Richard Branson says “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” In an industry with a high turnover it’s easy to become too focused on recruitment and forget about existing staff.

The hospitality sector has been heavily dependent on immigration. To weather the recruitment storm, hospitality businesses need to prioritise employee engagement and retention now more than ever. Hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars need to attract UK workers and keep them. Employee engagement is just a part of the answer for future-proofing the British hospitality landscape.

 

About the author

‘Annie Button is a Portsmouth based writer and recent graduate. Annie has written for various online and print publications, she specialises in business, Recruitment and career development’.
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Offering support for both recruiters and on-site HR workforces, Smart Recruit Online helps businesses find and hire the best talent more efficiently. To see how SRO can improve your talent acquisition, campaign management, and candidate screening workflows, book a demo today. 

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Annie Button


Annie Button is a Portsmouth based writer and recent graduate. Annie has written for various online and print publications, she specialises in business, recruitment and career development.


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