• 8 min. read

Recruitment & HR Trends for 2019 by the Experts

As 2019 starts to take off and you’re still looking to improve your recruitment strategy, skeeled invited a group of amazing HR & Recruitment experts to share their insights on the top trends that will deeply impact the recruitment process.

Written by Daniela Costa

As 2019 starts to take off and you’re still looking to improve your recruitment strategy, skeeled invited a group of amazing HR & Recruitment experts to share their insights on the top trends that will deeply impact the recruitment process.

We know that sometimes it’s not easy to see things from a new perspective to understand the challenges ahead and determine what your top priorities should be. So, we’ve asked our experts which are the concepts and tools that are already reshaping recruitment.

Don’t get left behind! Check what our experts had to say and leverage their advice to improve your recruiting strategy.

Tom Haak, Director of the HR Trend Institute


“In my predictions for 2019 ("10 inspiring HR Trends for 2019") I mentioned the continued importance of personalisation. The need for personalisation will also have implications for talent acquisition. There will be less demand for people who fit in one specific job profile, and more for people with broad (but not superficial) skills and a future proof personality. This will enhance personalisation when people enter the workforce (job crafting). Candidate experience design can also benefit a lot from more personalization, as the expectations and preferences of candidates also greatly vary.

The use of 'Virtual Job Tryouts" will increase. Pre-employment screening is getting more advanced, and with the technology of today it is possible to combine employer branding, an attractive virtual job tryout and an initial assessment on really relevant criteria. Integrating and face validity (relevance for the job) are important.

What will not change in 2019: the importance of the human touch and a real interest in candidates.“

Marcus K. Reif, HR Manager, HR-Expert, Speaker and Blogger at www.reif.org


“The biggest influence on recruiting from the outside is digitalisation. From the inside, it is the professionalisation and qualification of recruiting. We have to further invest in the activity orientation and effectiveness of recruiters. How does reliable personnel selection work without filter? And how do we gain the best candidates with an attitude “we apply to our applicants” with the best candidate experience?

Our challenges are huge. Be it the candidate shortage, too old-fashioned culture, management of the eighties, diversity lacking, insufficient personnel and management development, or missing competency models. Recruiting works like a seismograph for necessary modernisations in our companies. This is a real opportunity to get out of the monocultures of the eighties.

The applicants of today have clear desires and expectations of their career. With a greater focus on modern people management and the question of how agility will help our organisations, we will gain top talent with the right competences. Recruiting is often a moderator between an internally-focused department and the candidates. The candidate shortage, globalisation, digitalisation, and shift in values of the generations have changed the rules of the game. Especially the young professionals of today do not have the same capacity to suffer as Generation X did, who are now the ones taking the hiring decisions.

With a new understanding of the roles in recruitment and next to the know-how, we are increasingly paying attention to personality, socio-cultural fit, cognitive performance potential, communicative competence and, where appropriate, environmental compatibility. These, together with the common soft skills, render the image of the candidate complete. Recruiting is more than gut feeling!”

Stefan Scheller, Personnel-Marketing Manager at DATEV eG and HR blogger at Persoblogger.de


“In 2019, HR managers will increasingly pay attention to the effectiveness of their processes for personnel recruitment. This will happen in most cases on the basis of quantitative observations with a focus on the filling of vacancies (for example with the help of the KPI: time-to-hire). However, qualitative questions, such as “Did we actually hire the right people?”, will be asked increasingly. Such a question can, though, only be answered through a (more) detailed consideration of the newly hired employees.

Generally, a management based more heavily on key figures would benefit the whole recruiting process. This means that meaningful (!) performance indicators need to be collected and evaluated. Measurability requires standardised processes; standardisation, in turn, allows the (part) automation of personnel selection procedures. I’m thinking particularly about software-powered mechanisms for the pre-qualification of data, for example, to optimise the processing sequence. The gain in efficiency that can be achieved hereby may then be invested in the considerably more intensive assessment of applicants.

The use of algorithms and AI in recruiting shouldn’t be an end in itself, but has to benefit each and every human involved in the recruitment process. The principle of getting the right and most appropriate people for the task at hand on board is valid more than ever.

In line with this, companies should verify the forecast quality of the methods used for interviews or other measures of the personnel selection. Resumes and certificates are only conditionally a basis for valid statements about the future performance of candidates at their new position.

In sum, this means for recruiters: develop openness for new technologies, improve the capabilities in the area of diagnosis, and measure and evaluate the willingness, the own approach and the work results. With the aim to make the recruiting success more systematic.”

Tim Verhoeven, Head of Recruiting & Employer Branding at BearingPoint


“This year the issue of skills shortages will escalate and attention to recruiting is set to increase even further. This will be both a blessing and a curse. It will be a curse for recruiting divisions that still set store by the “post and pray” technique and gut-feelings. It will be a blessing, however, for the increasing number of recruiting divisions that engage with key figures and the impact orientation of recruitment measures.

In particular, suppliers and service providers who engage with analytics and reporting will benefit, as a clean overview of key figures is the basis for further activities. An example is the recruitment analytics carried out by the company HRI Solutions, which has specialised in evaluations of recruitment channels. Anyone who masters these methods as a recruiting division will have created a sound basis for being able to engage with robotics and artificial intelligence in recruitment.

As themes such as recruiting analytics, robotics and artificial intelligence become even more complex technically speaking, a central question for this year will be how the field of recruiting deals with this. Will there be a new training concept for this theme? Will new recruiting profiles be sought? Will there be more uniform standards? We will see, and look forward to what we assume will be an incredibly exciting year ahead.”

Ben Whitter, Founder & CEO, World Employee Experience Institute (WEEI)


“For businesses, large and small, recruitment has always been about getting the right people in and doing so in a cost-effective way. In 2019, these are still the major intentions behind and driving recruitment strategy. However, the stakes are getting much higher when it comes to bringing in talent. People have more options and choices when it comes to where and how they work. This is why businesses are reshaping around the entire employee experience and the employee journey. This includes the candidate experience, which is being positively disrupted as more organizations begin experimenting with automation, AI, and personalization to deliver high quality and seamless experiences to every candidate and new employee.

Why? Because it’s not enough to simply automate a recruitment process. It’s not enough to digitalize the entire recruitment process. Organizations are learning this as they try to find a balance between utilizing technology to move fast with efficiency whilst ensuring a human-centred experience remains a major factor within recruitment efforts. This is the challenge yet crafting well-designed, personalized, and data-informed experiences helps businesses attract the best people, and ensures those interacting with the company remain (or become) brand advocates before, during, and after any type of recruitment process.

Thinking and acting with empathy, colleagues are designing experiences that deeply connect with candidates and employees. Of note too is that perks, benefits, and pay – as companies are discovering- are not as effective as they once were when it comes to attracting people to fill roles. The candidate and employee in 2019 expects more – they want and demand something that not all employers are able to give – a mission to believe in."

Patrick Boonstra, Projectlead Recruitment Innovation | CRM, ATS, Careersites, Marketing | Dragonslayer at Recruitment Innovation Lab


“In a world of beautifully looking smartphones, fun ecommerce experiences and a newly found perception that having a Job is a precious gift: how come applying for a job (or handling a candidate in your ATS) is currently a boring administrative chore, supported by outdated, ugly looking tools?

There will be big focus in recruitment on making beautiful tooling. This will reflect both on the design, as well as seamless integration of careersites, ATS's and other recruitment tooling (e.g. video, CRM, email integrations). If your tooling doesn't look sexy, or if it needs training you will go extinct quickly.

Nobody applies to a lifelong job anymore. The differences between permanent jobs, temp jobs, contracts or projects is fading: everybody is a passive candidate, always open for the next gig. This means companies need to a) change their job requirements and text to fit a range of contract types, b) broaden scope of job advertising for not just posting to job boards, but always be engaging with potential new contacts and c) change your hiring, learning & development AND firing processes to adapt quickly to a temporary skill-need.”

According to our experts' point of view, there are many changes that are not completely new but that will grow in significance during 2019. Here at skeeled, we also pay close attention to the trends and to the status of the job market and the recruitment industry. One of our Co-Founders, Nicolas Speeckaert, also shared his take on what will matter most in recruitment for 2019:

“More than ever candidate experience is at the center of the recruitment process. The job market is candidate-driven and given the skills shortage we’re experiencing in many industries, it’s of the utmost importance to effectively attract and retain top talent. To do so companies need to deliver a great candidate experience and have a strong employer brand. This means companies need to update their processes when it comes to recruitment. They need to leverage technology and implement recruiting solutions that allow them to improve their hiring strategy and meet candidates’ expectations. If possible, even surpass those expectations. Using a recruitment software that automates the communication with candidates while allowing it to be personalised is just one of the ways in which a company can solve one of recruitment’s bigger pain points and strive.”

So, from the rising importance of candidate and employee experience to the use of data and technological solutions that allow better pre-employment assessment, there are more than enough improvement opportunities for you to tackle. We hope you find these insights useful and we thank our experts for taking the time to contribute to this article and help our readers!


Skeeled offers you the perfect opportunity to bring innovation and digitalisation to your hiring. Check our website or our LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook pages for further information.

Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Your team here at skeeled

Subscribe to get the latest insights on recruitment and talent acquisition delivered right to your inbox.