From the adoption of social recruiting to the introduction of mobile-recruiting apps, the recruitment industry has experienced numerous changes over the past decade, all aimed at improving the process for candidates and employers alike. Technology continues to empower hiring managers and recruiters to make smarter staffing decisions, and is giving job seekers more access to opportunities worldwide. As we usher in the new year — and a new decade — our industry will continue to evolve.
At Talent Inc., our main goal is to provide job seekers with the tools necessary to showcase their experience and potential so they can land the right job faster. In order to do so, it’s important for us to stay ahead of recruitment trends that could affect how job seekers go about finding and securing jobs. Based on what I’ve learned over the past several months, I have five predictions for 2020.
1. Candidates will experience a more engaged and informative process
Indisputably, recruitment technology has come a long way, and I believe that 2020 will be a year where major advances begin to transform the industry. Recruitment marketing technology and AI will allow employers and recruiters to offload more administrative tasks associated with recruitment, such as scheduling interviews, answering questions, and even conducting initial applicant screenings. This could potentially improve productivity by more than 50%, allowing recruiters more time to focus on what they do best: speaking to prospective candidates. That’s a significant transformation in job responsibilities.
More importantly, technological advances will enhance the candidate’s experience, creating greater satisfaction throughout the process. They’ll be better informed regarding their application’s status and more engaged in the overall process. Some companies, such as Marriott, have already successfully implemented recruiting chatbots.
2. Companies will combat the skills gap by adjusting their hiring strategies
As employers around the globe continue to face a widening skills gap, they will prioritise candidates who demonstrate the willingness and ability to grow and adapt to new challenges in the workplace. Emphasis will be placed on hiring employees who can devise creative solutions to meet their goals or have what’s known as “high potential” As the global skills shortage is predicted to cost £6.5 trillion in unrealised economic output, these skills will continue to grow in demand.
According to one report from Deloitte, roughly two-thirds of the jobs created between now and 2030 are expected to be strongly reliant on interpersonal skills, often referred to as “soft skills,” such as communication and empathy. Our recent data supports this prediction: When asked, “Which of the following is most important in a candidate?,” 63% of U.K. employers cited “potential” as the number-one factor, beating out experience, personality, and education.
3. Recruiters will increasingly use assessment tools to validate candidates' capabilities
While a well-written CV will continue to get candidates through the initial screening, pre-employment assessment tests will confirm they actually possess the skills stated on their job application. But these assessment tests don’t just evaluate hard skills and intellect, they can also evaluate a person’s soft skills, which helps employers determine whether a candidate will be a motivated employee and a cultural fit. Nearly one-third of employers (28%) surveyed by our CV-writing business, TopResume, in 2019 stated that their organisations are already using competency, job-knowledge, and technical-skills tests to evaluate candidates’ capabilities, while another 15% are taking advantage of personality tests and neuroscience games to determine which candidates have the right combination of soft skills and hard skills to succeed in a given role.
Advances in AI now provide employers with even more assistance, such as the ability to score free-form answers on tests and help candidates find jobs that best fit their profile. When AI scores sentences or essays on assessment tests, it increases recruitment efficiency and informs recruiters which candidates may be successful in a specific role. Shoe companies such as Merrill use AI to pair the candidates with the best job opportunities once they’ve answered questions about everything from their education and experience to language and location.
4. Recession fears will result in preventative actions
While not everyone agrees on whether 2020 will lead us into a recession, some employers are fearing the worst and have already begun to react. For example, it was recently reported that Morgan Stanely plans to cut approximately two% of its workforce worldwide, due to uncertainty in the global economy. if large, international corporations take these precautionary steps, it could be what actually pushes us into a recession.
Regardless of the unknown, employees, candidates, and companies should “recession-proof” themselves. For employees, recession-proofing your career means investing in skill development, proving yourself as a valuable employee, and beginning the job search, just in case. For those who are currently seeking work, make sure you update your CV and your LinkedIn profile to focus on and quantify your success. As the candidate pool grows, make sure you stand out every time. Companies tend to “recession-proof” their hiring strategies by identifying which recruiting channels — and technology solutions — will deliver the most highly-qualified candidates.
5. Flexible work schedules will become the norm (not the exception) for professionals and employers alike
In 2020, flexible work environments for both employees and employers will begin to normalise. In fact, International Workplace Group’s 2019 annual survey found that 50% of employees globally are already working outside of their main office headquarters at least 2.5 days a week, and 80% of those surveyed said that if they were presented with two similar job offers, they’d decline the one that didn’t offer flexible working. Plus, research by U.K.-based Capability Jane found that not only do 80% of women and 50% of men want flexibility in their next role, but most employees over the age of 50 prefer to ease into retirement with reduced hours and a flexible work schedule.
For employees, flexible work schedules allow professionals of all ages to create what is known as a “portfolio” or “slashie” career that allows them to work in various organisations using numerous skills. It also provides them with more autonomy and a better work-life balance. For employers, flexible work schedules allow them to fill more project-based, temporary, and freelance opportunities while reducing costs. It also gives employers the opportunity to hire skilled professionals to act as specialists on a project basis, rather than employ multiple full-time professionals who may (or may not) meet expectations. Plus, flexible work schedules often eliminate the geographical restrictions that prohibit both employees and employers in finding the perfect match.
About Jeff Berger
Jeff Berger is the CEO and founder of Talent Inc., the global leader in technology-enabled career services. Through its suite of brands – TopCV, TopResume and TopInterview – the company helps professionals tell the best versions of their career stories, enabling them to stand out from the crowd and land the right job, faster. He founded the company in 2014 and is based in its New York City headquarters.