5 Recruitment Trends to Look Out For in 2020

With the whole Brexit uncertainty dragging on, trying to predict recruitment trends in 2020 isn’t as easy as a few years ago.

On top of the political whirlwind of 2019, the year 2020 also marks the start of a new decade.

Naturally, this is when a lot of businesses and agencies start mapping out their three to five-year growth plans.

That’s a lot of pressure all in one year!

Nonetheless, hitting targets and accelerating business growth requires the right personnel.

That’s where your recruitment strategy and ability to attract candidates come in.

To help your business or agency make right hiring decisions, here are five recruitment trends to look out for in 2020.  

Outbound hiring

What is outbound hiring?

In layman’s terms, outbound hiring is when you go and proactively hunt for talent – instead of waiting for them to come to you.

Interestingly, around 90% of recruiters spotted this trend back in 2015 when they agreed that the current employment market is being driven by prospective employees.

Fast-forward five years and it’s being touted as a top recruitment trend in 2020.

Having a top outbound hiring process involves utilising social media to influence and showcase your company to future prospects.

Using first-class end-to-end talent acquisition software to put together an efficient talent pipeline is another example of outbound hiring.

Finally, encouraging employee referrals is a cheaper way of keeping your employees engaged, feeling part of the team and finding talented professionals who they know and trust.

Prioritising the candidate experience

Candidates are expecting a quality candidate experience when they apply for a job.


Because they deserve it!

It can take hours out of a candidate’s day to apply for a handful of jobs – and that’s not even mentioning the countless interviews, telephone calls, emails and tasks to complete.

To make smarter hiring decisions and attract more candidates in 2020, you need to provide an exceptional experience.

According to research, applicants who are satisfied with their experience are twice as likely to recommend your company to others, compared with those who weren’t satisfied – 62% vs. 28%.

What’s more, 87% of candidates say that they’re willing to change their mind about a company they once doubted if they receive a top candidate experience.  

So, it certainly pays to consider this 2020 recruitment trend!

To implement a successful candidate experience, you must consider three core elements:

1. Come up with a consumer-grade candidate experience and measure how successful your approach is.

2. Align your strategy with your company’s culture, ethos and goals.

3. Segment candidates and create personalised journeys when communicating.

Soft skills will influence more decisions

Soft skills have always been around.

However, for the first time, soft skills like communication and empathy are set to have more of a hiring influence than technical skills.

Don’t get me wrong, you’ve undoubtedly hired someone for soft skills before and relevant experience isn’t going to suddenly be rendered irrelevant!

The point is, there’s a growing need for social and emotional skills within the workplace.

Mental health is extremely prominent nowadays and having candidates or managers who can help aid those suffering become invaluable to your business.

On top of that, there’s a skills shortage in the UK.

So, trying to attract a ‘perfect candidate’ with every single preferable technical skill isn’t realistic.

If businesses affected by the skills shortage continue doing this, the gap will get worse and nobody will be hired!

Soft skills are essential and can provide strengths in other areas.

Positive brand exposure will attract more candidates

As I briefly touched upon earlier, selling your brand is an integral part of outbound hiring.

In today’s competitive market for talent, you need to think about how your company is perceived to outsiders.

Are you posting cool videos of the workplace on social media?

Do you encourage your employees to take more paternity leave or to work from home whenever they want?

Forget stuffy corporate lifestyles.

Candidates are searching for a quality way of life within the workplace.

As a business, you need to think about what resonates with your candidates the most.

Will offering a comprehensive benefits package do the trick?

Or are they calling out for more social gatherings and clubs?

For more inspiration, take a look at our previous blog: ‘What Work Perks Do Employees Really Want?’

This 2020 recruitment trend falls under the candidate experience umbrella too.

Get these elements right and you’ll start attracting ideal candidates who can help your business grow.

Artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to evolve

AI was inevitably going to make the list.

Noted in our 2018 recruitment trends blog, it’s not going anywhere soon.

In fact, it’s still in its early stages, especially within the recruitment industry.

The misconception of AI replacing jobs has subsided and now we’re seeing it enhance the role of the recruiter.

It can use algorithms to shortlist CVs and communicate with candidates on a basic level.

Both of these points are important as they enable the decision-makers to focus on the hiring decisions and improve the candidate experience.

If you’re a part of a larger HR team, AI can take some of the mundane manual process jobs too.

However, AI’s steady growth could be down to the increasing number of HR professionals who said that they were concerned that it perpetuated or even increases biases in the hiring process.

While the percentage might only be 23%, it shows that AI is still in its early development stages and will continue to evolve as the year goes on.

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