• 12 min. read

Top 2020 HR & Recruitment Trends - by the Experts

As we dive into not only a new year but also a new decade, the recruiting landscape has evolved, yet again, and new challenges await for those who fight the war for talent. Learn what are the top trends in HR & Recruitment that professionals will be talking about in 2020, according to a group of amazing HR & Recruitment experts.

Written by Daniela Costa

Resuming last year's HR & Recruitment trends article, skeeled invited a group of amazing HR & Recruitment experts again to share their insights on the top trends that will deeply impact the recruitment process and HR in general during 2020.

As we dive into not only a new year but also a new decade, the recruiting landscape has evolved, yet again, and new challenges await for those who fight the war for talent. According to Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report, the technological evolution is “bringing disruption to the political, economic and social fabric” and that disruption is “impacting work, workers and employers like never before”.

From digital transformation and the automation of processes to great talent shortages and tech skills gaps, many are the factors that contribute to the main challenges recruiters, talent acquisition professionals and human resources departments will face during this new year.

Here are the top trends in HR & Recruitment that professionals will be talking about in 2020, according to our expert panel:

1. Micro-Experiences, Fast-Moving Processes, and Connecting Recruiting and HR

By William Tincup, President, Editor-at-Large at RecruitingDaily

“I'm looking for three major talent acquisition themes to occur (or further develop) in 2020. In no particular order:

We're more thoughtful about candidate micro-experiences.

The candidate experience has been talked about in one form or another for years. That's a nice umbrella but it's just an umbrella. Turns out, when you turn an umbrella upside down you discover a ton of moving parts. For folks involved in the hiring process, those parts are micro-experiences. For instance, I've learned that you love growing exotic variations of roses. Now I'll send your offer letter via FedEx with 10 packets of exotic rose seeds. It's personal. It's scalable. It's ridiculously lazy not to care enough to dazzle candidates at each and every turn in the hiring process.

We learn that speed eats quality for a late brunch.

Our candidates are faster than we are. We find them. We reach out. We fumble along with our normal hiring process and that wonderful candidate that you fell in love with has three offers already and has picked one of them. We need to analyze how fast each step in our hiring process is AND how we can make it faster. Think of your hiring process as a 4x100 relay and the finish line is the candidate. We have to be faster than all the other teams racing to the finish line.

We finally discover that the link between recruiting and HR is closer (not further) to one another.

Whoever thought that recruiting should or would break off and join marketing should be punched in the throat. Candidates ask HR questions whilst being interviewed by those that hire: what's next (internal mobility), how are you going to make me better (training/learning & development) and how will you know I'm better than my peers (recognition, performance, feedback). These are old fashioned churched up HR questions. Full stop. The problem that we must address is that the candidates aren't going to change (if anything, they'll ask deeper more probative HR questions without even knowing it). Truth is, we have to change and get great at connecting the dots between these two disparate functions.”


2. Employer Branding and Transparent Selection Process

By Joachim Diercks, Founder and Managing Director at CYQUEST GmbH

“A fundamental change in personnel recruitment is taking place across the board, beginning with a gradual breakdown of the previously rigid categorisation into employer branding and personnel marketing on one side and recruiting on the other. This is a good sign, since both are directly linked to each other. The importance of functioning self-selection cannot be emphasised highly enough. The dominant term aptitude is being replaced by a greater concentration on fit – Keyword: Cultural Fit.

This is where employer branding also plays an important role: construed in a literal sense - employer branding places a strong emphasis on employer distinguishability features; aids such as matching tools, self-tests and candidate feedback from employers during the recruiting process are also valuable.

If we limit our frame of reference specifically to recruiting, in other words, to the selection tools chosen by companies, it's pleasing to observe how aptitude diagnostic methods have grown in significance. Data supported “justification” for selection decisions is now an important guiding principle in the recruiting business. Of course, long outdated methodology (such as typological tests) is still held in high regard, or even tools touted as “AI”, or those which are extremely dubious in regard to their content (for example, facial or speech analysis). However, this is a fairly positive development from my perspective: these tools also ensure that we pay far greater attention to empirical evidence and robust justification (“selection ethics”).”


3. Increasing Candidate Ghosting

By Katrina Collier, Author: The Robot-Proof Recruiter and Candidate Engagement Speaker & Facilitator at The Searchologist

“In 2020 candidate ghosting will increase! People who are confident that their skills are sort after will ghost recruiters – especially those who don’t treat them well during the recruitment life cycle – without concern for the consequences. People are researching companies and recruiters online before deciding if they will reply to a recruiter’s email or make a job application; they don’t feel obliged to respond. Companies who continue to ignore review sites and their social media footprints, their hiring manager’s behaviour, and those who continue to place process and technology in the way of the human experience, will suffer the most.

To reduce the likelihood of candidate ghosting, recruiters could read The Robot-Proof Recruiter, of course, which gives them the step to keep candidates engaged through the entire lifecycle. Importantly, companies who invest in developing the irreplaceable human skills of their recruiters, clear the roadblocks in their hiring, and place candidate-centric technology firmly at the heart of what they do, will put themselves in the best position to reduce candidate ghosting in 2020 and beyond.”


4. Using the Human Touch to Improve the Candidate Experience

By Jim Stroud, HR Influencer at jimstroud.com

“Technology has brought great benefit to the recruitment process with solutions that facilitate offer creation, resume parsing, de-duplication of databases, ATS updating, sourcing candidates, personality assessment, skills assessments, interview scheduling and initial screening. The list goes on.

However, despite those advantages, it remains important for recruiters in 2020 to maintain the human touch while managing candidates in order to provide the best candidate experience. Therefore, I suggest that recruiters focus on developing and improving their soft/interpersonal skills by being involved with charities, taking an improvisation class and/or joining a Toastmasters club. Why those suggestions? They will teach recruiters how to deal with all sorts of personalities, react to unexpected changes and speak with confidence.”


5. Candidate Engagement Paradigm Shift

By Hung Lee, Editor of Leading Industry Newsletter Recruiting Brainfood

“2020 will be the year when employers finally understand why prospective candidates won't talk to them. The Internet is already way too noisy and every trick recruiters are trying to improve engagement is simply adding to that noise. People are retreating into closed online communities to escape from this unwanted outreach, and this is going to force employers into a paradigm shift in how we communicate with prospective candidates.

The winners are going to be those who are able to shift their focus from active sourcing, volume outbound and pressured pipelining, and toward creating experiences, soliciting inbound, building community and gaining trust."


6. Leveraging Employee Engagement and Referral Programs

By Clair Bush, Marketing Consultant & Founder at Ambush

“This year, I believe that the success of recruitment will lay firmly in the hands of employees. Employee engagement is a huge focus for so many global organisations as productivity, employer brand value and talent shortages are increasingly being discussed at board level. For me, one solution that can reap serious rewards is a referral program. By reconsidering their referral process, businesses can increase access to talent and at the same time, raise the bar with current employees by recognising and rewarding their commitment to growth.

Referral strategies are traditionally viewed to increase employee retention by 39% and can reduce recruitment costs by 3 to 4 times. Candidates are also 55% faster to hire, as they have reference and resonance with the brand. But the challenge today is to think differently about referrals. It’s not about asking people to recruit for us. It’s about contacts being identified, and for employees to have the choice to make an introduction, or to refer a specific job to someone. Real Links, a referral platform, does exactly this.

Recognition and reward are tied to the company culture and so the employee is highly, and continuously engaged. It’s a simple but highly effective fix to a very long-standing flaw in the referral process and one that can take recruitment strategy success via referral, from 10% to 30%.”


7. Adopting AI-Based Tools to Improve Talent Acquisition

By Mike Reiffers, Co-Founder at skeeled

“Talent shortages are considered as the factor having the biggest impact on HR and Talent Acquisition over the next few years. Thus, companies cannot afford to keep doing business as usual at the cost of losing good candidates due to obsolete recruitment methods. Hiring the right person for a role is determinant for business success. Therefore, companies are increasingly betting on new ways of recruiting more efficiently.

For 2020, I predict that artificial intelligence (AI) will gain even more ground and will quickly become essential for searching, screening and hiring the right candidate. With AI and automation, companies can collect, sort, and analyse high-volume candidate information, which can improve the decision-making process. What's more, adopting innovative talent acquisition tools will definitely impact and transform companies’ employer branding capabilities and strengthen their ability to attract the most talented candidates by providing the best experience.

AI and HR can go hand in hand to provide candidates with a simpler, fairer and more transparent recruitment process and to assist recruiters, taking care of low-value administrative tasks and freeing them to do what really matters: engaging with candidates. Candidates want more meaningful experiences when they are involved in a recruitment process, and companies that leverage AI in the right way will be able to meet and exceed those expectations.”


There are great challenges ahead of you this year. To help you design an effective action plan, here are some strategies you should start working on to optimise your talent acquisition process:

1- Employer Branding

Everything a candidate has ever heard, read or witnessed about a company will ultimately impact the decision of whether to work with that company. Employer branding makes a difference in recruiting efforts so take these steps to enhance it:

  • Create a Positive Company Culture - providing a positive company culture has a major impact on job satisfaction and it’s of the utmost importance to get your employees to share their positive experience and advocate your company values. Candidates want to know all about your company culture and how it’s like to work for you. Hence, you need to promote a genuine and positive company culture.

  • Focus on Your Employees - giving employees the right environment for them to succeed is essential to build a strong employer brand. Share their views and opinions on your company through the use of videos or quotes and share them on your website, career page and social media. This will show your future candidates that your company is the right place for them to succeed in their career, motivating them to apply to possible vacancies.

  • Offer Learning and Development Opportunities - these programs help attract the right candidates. Consider the areas that your company employs and offer courses that will be beneficial to those exact areas. Also, try to offer more general training programs, like personal development ones, that will be well received and interesting to the majority of your employees and candidates.

  • Share Your Company’s Stories - storytelling is a powerful tool that you should use to promote your employer brand. Besides your company website, social media is a great platform to share your company stories. Capture genuine moments and share them with your audience. From employees having fun at work to a business convention attendance, use your creativity and share the day to day of your company with employees, customers and candidates. This is a great way of showcasing your work environment and your company values and strengthening your company culture.

2 - Candidate Engagement

It is important to source candidates for open positions and to proactively engage with the most promising talents. However, it is also increasingly important to build a community full of talented passive candidates around your company. To do so you must start by creating a content and social media marketing strategy. Given that your goal is to attract top talent, you need to promote a workplace that people want to be a part of. Therefore, you must focus on posting about your company culture, employee stories, company events, new hires, and highlight the benefits of working at your company. You can also share valuable information to candidates about your recruitment process, provide tips for interviewees, etc, on your career page, for instance. Having genuine interactions with your followers will win their trust and make them part of your community.

3 - Candidate Experience

In this highly technological era, questions arise regarding the loss of human interaction during the recruiting process. The use of HR tech without a proper implementation plan can in fact be damaging for the candidate experience. However, recruiters and talent acquisition professionals that understand the technologies they’re using and manage to leverage them to get rid of the burden of administrative tasks and focus on the candidates can actually improve their experience. Having more time in hands enables recruiters to be more organised, more expedite and more thoughtful in their interactions with candidates. This being said, when implementing hr tech tools at your company, make sure you leverage their full potential so you can totally devote yourself to the human part of recruiting: engagement.

4 - Employee Referral Programs

Referred candidates tend to get hired more quickly, perform better and stay longer in a position. Creating an employee referrals program helps recruiters in reducing their workload and saves them time. Start by thinking about the compensation and referral requirements you think are fair, plan the referral process and announce the program internally to all your employees. Leverage current employees' professional network to get fast, direct access to great candidates that are very likely to be a good match for your company.

5 - AI-Based Talent Acquisition Tools

AI is here and it is assisting the recruiters in many relevant ways. It increases their productivity, it helps them to identify the most suited candidates for a role faster, and it allows them to hire the right people with greater certainty. AI operates based on data, not personal opinions or prejudice. Hence, you should plan to invest in this technology to improve your recruitment and decision-making process. When searching the market for solutions, focus on AI tech providers that are guided by Responsible and Transparent AI principles, such as skeeled, which ensure you that you will always be informed and have a final say on any automated decision.

Concluding Thoughts

Consistently finding, attracting and hiring top talent is key for continued business success. Hence, recruiters and HR professionals definitely need to get ready to face these challenges in order to fulfil the main functions they perform successfully and to work together with management in the business strategy.

skeeled recruitment software

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.