A new decade is upon us, bringing with it the next generation of talent, greater innovation in HR tech, and new recruitment process strategies. Hopefully your recruiting team has had a chance to reflect on the past year’s successes, identify areas for improvement and celebrate a job well done together.

As you toast to the new year and finalize your business plans for 2020, take stock of the emerging recruitment trends that will define talent acquisition in the coming years. Here are our top hiring predictions for 2020 and beyond: 

Recruitment operations teams will be a must-have

One of the most exciting trends to watch this year has been the rise in recruitment operations. A newer human resources function meant to streamline the operational aspects of sourcing and hiring top talent, recruitment operations teams oversee logistics like interview scheduling, extending offers to new hires, and the onboarding process. In other words, recruitment operations professionals are responsible for making the recruitment process an efficient machine that can quickly hire and retain top talent. 

Talent acquisition is quite literally our business. Anytime we’re not operationally excellent — we forget to call a candidate back, we let somebody fall out — that’s money that’s gone.

Adam Godson, SVP of Global Technology Solutions, Cielo

Building a strong recruitment operations team is important for companies to prepare for the future of work, anticipate industry trends, combat global talent shortages and identify how external forces may affect the company.

HR teams will become data analysts

Once a niche discipline, people analytics has become another well-established function of any human resources team. Making data-driven decisions is paramount for recruiters who want to become more efficient at communicating with candidates and finding the right fit for open roles. Recruitment automation, artificial intelligence, interactive training, predictive reporting, employee turnover, chatbots, employee engagement and performance are just some of the areas companies are processing and using data to improve.

And while research shows that there’s still some work to do to make sure recruiters have wide access to the right metrics, talent acquisition teams are well on their way to making data analytics a key part of their recruitment strategy. 

Diversity & inclusion efforts will drive business success

When you ask leading organizations what they’re hoping to achieve with diversity recruiting, you may get responses involving net profit, innovation, revenue and more. Rather than seeing diversity recruiting as only a micro problem (employee satisfaction and doing the “right thing”), leading-edge companies correlate the diversity of their workforce with business results and societal impact.

Diverse companies produce 19% more revenue.

*Source: Forbes

Not surprisingly, these organizations go way beyond standard anti-discrimination policies to invest in innovative solutions that proactively make way for a more diverse workforce internally and globally — like flexible work options, professional development training for underrepresented groups, public advocacy and more. 

The compelling business case for D&I means that more companies will adopt stronger policies and become more adept at integrating a myriad of individuals into one cohesive workforce. D&I will therefore become the norm rather than the exception.

Diversity & Inclusion Trends: Emerging Innovations to Watch, Mercer

Automation is the answer

Recruitment technology continues to become more and more advanced, streamlining the hiring process and significantly reducing the administrative burden associated with attracting and onboarding new talent. Talent acquisition professionals know that tasks like interview scheduling take up a significant portion of the process, and recruitment automation tools make it easy for recruiters to eliminate repetitive tasks, communicate with candidates more quickly, and build more personal relationships. That’s important, especially for Gen Z job seekers — who rank their relationship with their recruiter as the most impactful factor when deciding whether to accept a new role.

We’ll redefine “candidate experience”

While offering a positive candidate experience is hardly a new concept, it’s becoming an area of increased focus for leading HR professionals. Smart recruiters know that in today’s tight labor market, candidate experience is everything — and it’s not just about a friendly team of interviewers or free swag at the career fair. 

Talent acquisition leaders like James Ellis understand that candidates (not employers) are the ones in power, and they have a choice when it comes to where they work every day. Recruiters who can communicate their company’s “why” throughout the recruiting process will be most effective:

“If you think of candidates as volunteers — I’m going to volunteer 40 hours a week to this mission, because the pay is effectively the same across the board — that’s how recruiters should communicate with people.”

James Ellis, employer branding expert

Industry expert Tracey Parsons advocates that the candidate experience is about creating delight throughout the process — from the job application to onboarding to ongoing professional development — because the candidate experience becomes the employee experience, and a strong (and honest) employer brand is what it takes to win and retain talent.

“Worktirement” will replace retirement

90% of Americans over the age of 60 with retirement savings have saved less than $100,000, and only 3% of companies now offer a pension — a major change from decades ago. This crisis has led to multiple financial fears: never being able to retire, always living paycheck to paycheck, and living in debt forever. The net result? Many people are forced to work past retirement age. 

What opportunities does this present for recruiters? Hiring strategies should target seniors, and organizations should consider retiree “returnship” programs that address the potential skills gap faced by employees who have stepped out of the workforce.

Remote work is on the rise

Remote work will continue to grow as a workplace trend in 2020. The co-working space sector has grown an average of 23% annually since 2010, and more spaces are opening every day. Many companies are opening coworking hubs in cities they don’t currently operate, allowing organizations to capitalize on talent in areas that were previously out of reach.

Not only is this good news for businesses looking to cut operating costs, but it’s an important consideration for human resources teams. Recruiters will need to expand their search nationally and globally to consider talent in remote locations, and company culture will need to evolve to include effective work-from-home policies, employee inclusion initiatives and more.

Two-thirds of all companies currently have remote workers, and 4.7 million people work from home, which is a 159% increase since 2005. Telecommuting clearly has evolved beyond the “perk” stage into a global phenomenon, and the 2020s will see organizations focusing on issues related to this development, such as well-crafted work-from-home policies and better security for shared information.

Looking Ahead: 2020 Workplace Trends, FlexJobs

HR leaders will become business partners

We’re in a time of ongoing organizational disruption. Technology has changed business drastically, competition is more fierce than ever, and employees are job hopping at higher rates. As a result, CEOs have called the talent shortage the #1 emerging business risk for organizations globally.

That means talent management teams are now crucial to organizational success. HR leaders who can understand business metrics, identify opportunities to drive strategic vision by leveraging top talent, and serve as a true partner to company leadership will be a must-have for today’s companies. 

Tomorrow’s HR leaders will need to be bigger, broader thinkers, and they’ll have to be tech-savvy and nimble enough to deal with an increasingly agile and restless workforce.

HR 2025: 7 Critical Strategies to Prepare for the Future of HR, SHRM

Employee benefits will expand

As the competition for talent continues to grow, many companies are increasing their employee benefit offerings. Helpful for both attracting new hires and retaining current employees, organizations are expanding their traditional medical and retirement benefits package to include a broad array of other trending employee perks (like student loan assistance, tuition reimbursement, maternity/paternity benefits, elder care, child care, flexible schedules and commuter benefits). 

Employers were more likely to increase offerings in all benefits categories than to decrease offerings.

Employee Benefits 2019, SHRM

Recruiters will become marketers

As recruiters vie for attention from passive candidates, they’ll need to put on their marketing hats to develop stronger relationships and build a more robust talent pool. Impactful employer branding and recruitment marketing has become a necessity, and social recruiting is standard practice for recruiters who want to reach young talent. Work with your marketing team to establish a clear employer value proposition, build a candidate communication plan, and gain other insights on how to best approach a competitive labor market. 

Your employer brand is integral to every touchpoint an employee or prospect might interact with, from the website to social media to the interior design of your office and internal communications.

Employer Branding Trends for 2020, EmotiveBrand

What recruitment trend are you most excited about for the year ahead? Are we missing anything? Let us know by sharing your thoughts on social media using #RecruitmentYearInReview.