2020 recruitment trends: must-know trends for leading HR professionals
3 minutes | Posted 20 November, 2019

From automation and AI, to recruiting for soft skills and employer branding, here are the trends leading HR professionals need to know.

Recruitment has never been more fundamentally crucial to the success and growth of an organisation, than it is today. Why? Because organisations are on a more level playing field than ever before, and it’s therefore the people who work in our organisations who give us the competitive advantage required to grow and get ahead.

The ability to recruit the right people, with the right skills into the right role, at the right time is consistently cited by CEOs globally as one of the major threats to the growth of their organisations. Even during the GFC when we experienced higher unemployment rates, over 50% of CEOs still maintained that recruiting people with the right skills was a key strategic challenge and a major contributor to their potential growth.

Candidates and hiring managers are coming to expect more from recruitment, meaning recruiters are leaning more heavily on technology and streamlining processes to effectively deliver their people strategy. Here are five trends to keep an eye on to remain competitive in 2020.

Prioritising the candidate experience

In today’s increasingly competitive talent market, organisations that design and deliver a great recruitment process and prioritise candidate care are more likely to turn top candidates into new hires.

People who are satisfied with their candidate experience are 38% more likely to accept a job offer. An astounding 87% of candidates say a great recruitment experience can change their mind about a company they once doubted. On the flip side, 83% of talent say a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked. (HCA Mag, 2019).

For organisations prioritising the candidate experience, this includes optimising careers sites and the application process for mobile. Gen Z and millennials, who are expected to comprise 50% of the workforce by 2020, have grown up with technology and expect a seamless, tech-enabled recruitment journey. 46% of Gen Z and 38% of employed millennials have applied for a job via a mobile device, so include mobile optimisation as part of your strategy to improve your candidate experience.

Hiring for soft skills

Hard skills alone aren’t enough for organisational success. With the rise of automation and AI, soft skills are an area where machines can’t compete.

80% of recruiters say soft skills are increasingly important. And while the half-life of many hard skills is shrinking, soft skills stay relevant: a particular programming language may go out of fashion, but creativity, adaptability, and collaboration skills will always be valuable.

As we face a national skills shortage that’s predicted to grow to 29 million skills in deficit by 2030, soft skills are the currency of the future. In fact, two thirds of jobs created in the next ten years are expected to be strongly reliant on skills like communication and empathy.

Many organisations still struggle to accurately assess soft skills, despite their growing value. In hiring for soft skills, put a formal strategy in place. Determine desirable skills and use behavioural testing, online tools and specialist support to pre-screen candidates.

Automation and developments in AI

AI recognises patterns, learns over time, designs, and strategises to make decisions through machine learning. Deep machine learning has the capacity to simplify processes and has made significant advancements, although it still has a way to go.

In terms of recruitment, AI is reducing bias and powering data analytics tools for effective decision making.

While some HR professionals fear AI will take their jobs, the fact is, AI will automate, simplify, and shorten the recruitment process and in fact create more jobs than it eliminates.

AI remains an exciting field seeing rapid developments. With each passing year, HR professionals are looking for some extraordinary features to take recruitment to the next level, leveraging it throughout the candidate journey to free time spent on manual processes. Chatbots engage candidates at critical points in the candidate journey, and software helps identify top performers using objective performance measurements.

A strong employer branding is crucial

More and more talent acquisition leaders understand the power of employer branding to attract the right team members. Employer branding has become mission critical, with close to 50% of people entirely ruling out organisations that exhibited negative employer branding factors, and negative brand perceptions costing organisations 10% more per hire.

Not to mention, organisations with great employer brands receive 50% more qualified applicants and see a 50% reduction in cost-per-hire.

Beyond marketing to your potential customers, your social media presence can also act as a powerful signal of what it’s like to work for your organisation with active involvement of your team members, including your leadership team.

In today’s candidate-driven market, recruiting the right people into the right role in the right organisation at the right time has never been more fundamentally crucial to the success and growth of an organisation. The best-performing organisations, the employers of choice, will be those that approach recruitment with a marketing mindset, embrace technology to empower their teams and recognise that recruitment deserves its own seat at the business strategy table.

In the ever-developing recruitment landscape, take these trends into consideration to streamline your processes, inform your strategy and stay competitive in 2020.