The Roaring Twenties? 8 predictions for a new decade of hiring

February 19th, 2020

While it sometimes feels like the HR industry moves at a glacial pace, there has never been a more exciting decade to be a recruiter. As new technology and skills are emerging, recruitment innovations, trends and practices are being developed at breakneck speed, all with the intention of making hiring better. So, as we head into the new decade, what can be expected for the industry?

1. Recruitment teams will comprise more non-recruiters

Over the next decade, internal recruitment teams will undergo an unprecedented transformation. When you walk into the office in the morning, you won’t just see hungover recruiters and operations admins – there’ll be data scientists, developers, brand ambassadors, creatives and marketers too. 

Companies have been adopting employer branding strategies to secure the talent they need for some time now – and those with consistently high volume requirements are already bringing some of that expertise in-house. 

While many employer brand pros and recruiters currently find themselves siloed away from each other, the intensifying war for talent will force leaders to think harder about how they integrate non-recruiters into their recruitment functions. As such, we predict 2020 to be the dawn of complete integration between talent acquisition, marketing and tech professionals.

2. Artificial Intelligence will beat the bias 

We’ve spent the last decade talking about AI, with much of the conversation in recruitment centred around smarter decision-making versus ingrained prejudice. It’s one thing to strive towards inclusion, but it’s a different ball game to actively achieve it. 

Human error and natural bias have previously made it near impossible for AI companies to develop software that remains impartial towards candidates – much like the recruiters before AI who unconsciously prejudged applicants right from the moment they read a name on a CV. 

Luckily, the previously agreed upon standards already being reinforced by artificial intelligence are consistently being improved to tackle the bias that AI has many times been rebuked for. Less prejudice in the sequence of new code and algorithms means AI will learn better, find higher quality candidates and help companies to hire more inclusively.  

3. Employers’ lofty candidate experience goals will finally be realised

Almost everybody in the HR industry has bought into the idea of candidate experience. LinkedIn post after LinkedIn post evangelises its importance. Again, it’s one thing to talk about candidate experience, and another thing entirely to actually deliver a quality experience across a complex global organisation.

This is why, in 2019, 72% of job seekers were still sharing stories of bad candidate experiences. As we move into the new decade it’s becoming increasingly clear that technology, specifically intelligent automation, has found the answer to the candidate experience problem. We predict that more and more employers will adopt recruitment systems like our own, which make it easy to track and boost candidate experience on a macro and micro scale. As well as powerful operations software for recruitment leaders, these new recruitment systems can simultaneously be personal assistants for frontline recruiters, advising us on the tasks that are most important each day.

With a system that seamlessly manages all the admin and timing, recruiters will be able to focus on the stuff they’re best at; evaluating talent and interacting with stakeholders. This means more candidates will be paid more attention, and recruiters will be given more bandwidth to provide that all important human connection.

4. Employer branding will take place on radical new technology channels 

We predict that developments in how people consume content will bring about a drastic change in the preferred technological mediums and platforms of employer brand professionals.

As the Gen Z demographic grows, the importance of millenial social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter will shrink while newer platforms like Twitch, Reddit and TikTok will see more and more employer brand activity.

As well as evolving platforms, we can also expect to see evolving mediums; Virtual Reality, Voice and Influencers are all sure to get more attention.

5. The freelance market could be in jeopardy

In recent years, the freelance market has been on the rise. Businesses welcomed the gig economy, with its dramatic cost savings and wider access to the ever-changing list of in-demand specialist skillsets. Scott Cawood, CEO of WorldatWork, explained how there are benefits to professionals too, creating more opportunities to develop a unique career path on a self-employed, contractual and/or project-by-project basis.

This trend was on an upward trajectory as we came into 2020, however, the new IR35 legislation changes being passed on 6th April 2020 could change that. The updates will induce stricter rulings for companies employing off-payroll workers, expanding from just public sector clients to medium-to-large private sector companies – and even some charities. 

Are those who are good enough to make their talent their business the top talent still worth winning over by recruiters in 2020? With the increasing popularity of platforms like Fiverr, whose stocks grew by 11% in January 2020 alone, it’s clear that the relationship between freelancer and client remains strong for now. But come April when the IR35 updates are put into action, this may no longer be the case. 

6. More employers will invest in skillset-specific messaging

There’s a new kid on the block – and he’s taking all of your candidates. In the most difficult-to-hire environment in two decades, generic talent messaging is becoming increasingly passé. Other companies may have a better deal to offer candidates – and in 2020 they may be selling it better, too. 

More employers are beginning to realise the benefits of skillset specific messaging (SSM). In a nutshell, SSM means building out value propositions that sell specific roles; why work at this company, in this specific job.

By tailoring content that resonates and adds real value for candidates, companies can demonstrate genuine care in an individual’s career. To the candidate-driven markets of the new decade, this approach will be one of the most cost-effective routes to deliver top talent.

7. Recruiters will increasingly integrate social media into their source mix 

In a single social media minute, the world uploads 474,000 tweets, 400 hours of new Youtube video, 510,000 Facebook comments and 50,000 Instagram posts – and all this activity is building an ever-growing goldmine of data that recruiters can use to find relevant candidates for our roles.

Social sourcing is not a new concept. Even as far back as 2014, 59% of recruiters rated their socially sourced candidates as those with the highest quality. Despite this, social sourcing has retained a ‘voodoo’ and ‘geeky’ reputation among recruiters, somewhat similar to how marketers viewed SEO at the beginning of the 00’s.

As social platforms mature, social sourcing is being more clearly defined. And we predict that the 20’s will be the decade in which it goes mainstream. If you want to get a head start on the competition, this blog can help you use social media to attract, engage and hire quality talent.

8. Graduate degrees will be required less

In the modern economy, employers are realising that a relevant degree is increasingly irrelevant to whether you will be successful in a role. The pace of technology innovation is increasing exponentially – things you were trained on yesterday might not be relevant tomorrow. And, thanks to the internet, opportunities to ‘self-educate’ are more abundant than ever. That’s why, in 2019, 44% of recruiters said that less than 25% of their technology hires had a relevant degree

It’s long been understood that having any graduate degree is better than having none, but some studies even suggest that not having one can be just as beneficial. The argument goes that less time spent acquiring a degree means more time spent honing your craft, particularly in STEM fields. 

We predict that college graduates will on average continue to earn more than self-taught talent – but the barrier-to-entry faced by many without a degree in the recent past will increasingly be removed.

Advancement in recruitment can be a slow affair with many steps and set-backs, and what the new decade holds for the industry will never be black and white. But with these predictions you can safely begin to arm yourself for whatever comes next. Here’s to 2020 and beyond, recruiters!