April 23, 2020

Recruiting trends for 2020: What HR leaders need to pay attention to

As organizations adjust to the changing business environment, they will need to address recruiting needs for the months ahead. Here are the top recruiting trends to keep an eye on for 2020.

While some industries are addressing increased demand, others – such as retail and food services – have shuttered locations. As the pandemic evolves, businesses will need to think about resuming business operations and put a plan in place to hire the right talent quickly.  

Looking back on 2019, Mercer’s Global Talent Trends report reveals HR’s biggest talent acquisition challenges were a lack of predictive analytics, manual processes, and delivering a poor candidate experience. According to the report, these challenges pose significant risk to business performance, especially for high growth companies, when it comes to talent acquisition. Looking forward, organizations will be under pressure to overcome these challenges as they begin to reopen locations.

Many companies, however, are still relying on outdated recruiting strategies. Hiring and onboarding the right talent in the context of today’s constantly changing environment will require organizations to adopt a modern approach to recruiting. Here are the top recruiting trends that will shape talent strategies as companies ramp back up in 2020.

Recruiting trends for 2020

Trend #1: Sourcing transferable skills

The World Economic Forum as well as several other sources have written extensively on the impact of automation in the workplace and the increasing demand for technical skills that do not currently exist in today’s workforce. The most in-demand skills of the future are becoming industry-agnostic and while demand for data scientists, robotics engineers, and tech specialists continues to climb, organizations must also acquire talent that understands how to harness the value of emerging technology. In fact, humanistic skills that can’t be replicated by machines, such as critical thinking and adaptability, are growing steadily in demand.

According to LinkedIn’s Future of Recruiting report, a top priority in the next five years for talent acquisition professionals is keeping up with rapidly changing hiring needs. This means companies must detach from the practice of sourcing candidates with all the required skills for open job roles and adopt a more agile approach to finding top talent. Market leaders are hiring people with broad experiences and capabilities and developing talent pools consisting of candidates from outside the industry that have an interest and aptitude for building new skills. These organizations are leveraging technology to source candidates with a variety of skills that can be applied within their industry.

Learn how recruiting software can help your organization attract and hire the best candidates, quickly

Trend #2: Intelligent use of talent data

Today, the role of the recruiter is evolving as HR teams now play a key part in ensuring the company has the right talent to drive business outcomes. Forward-thinking HR teams are moving away from filling role vacancies that currently exist and instead, focusing on skills that will be needed for the future and identifying which candidates will move the needle long-term.

Organizations are leveraging recruiting technology and tapping into data sources to better understand the characteristics typical of high performers, as well as which factors are likely to make them flight risks. Access to this information drives more strategic, targeted hiring, and also gives HR teams valuable insight into how they can improve the work environment to attract and retain high performers.

Related: Five ways that data helps HR be more strategic

Trend #3: Leveraging a broader talent ecosystem

Organizations are realizing the benefits of hiring baby boomers as a talent pipeline. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that people are living longer and retiring later. In fact, a third of middle-aged Americans plan to work part-time after the age of 65. This demographic is healthier, work in less physically demanding jobs, and are in more need of retirement income than previous generations, according to Glassdoor’s 2020 Hiring Trends report. In the next decade, it will be essential to source talent outside of the traditional talent pools and consider older candidates that have transferable skill sets.

Additionally, hiring new candidates reactively to full open roles puts strain on resources and can lead to business discontinuity. Organizations are investing in retaining older workers past the typical retirement age to help lessen the effects of skill and knowledge loss. The healthcare industry in particular is one sector experiencing significant knowledge loss as baby boomers retire in waves. Organizations are bridging the gap of knowledge lost from retiring workers – from institutional knowledge to operational procedures – by leveraging succession planning and making workplace learning more social and collaborative.

Related: Engage and retain top talent by elevating your employee learning experience

Trend #4: Increased focus developing internal talent pools and internal mobility

According to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2020 Report, 73% of HR and hiring professionals say internal recruiting is increasingly important to their company.

A disruption to business operations, such as a global health crisis, puts an even greater focus on the need to leverage the available skill sets within an organization.

Over the last few months, many companies – for example, those classified as essential businesses – have redeployed employees to mission critical projects to support business continuity. In the interim, companies may pause or reduce external hiring as they continue to adhere to social distancing measures and even as they resume some business activities. In the coming months, as business leaders focus on the future, they will put a greater focus on identifying which roles and skills will be essential going forward, as well as investing in upskilling and reskilling existing talent.

With this in mind, as analyst Josh Bersin writes, “internal mobility is a very strategic investment.” The positive business impact extends not only to cost efficiency, but also to employee experience. 

According to Bersin, internal hiring can be six times more cost-effective than hiring external candidates – an important consideration as leaders build and design their future talent strategies. And according to LinkedIn’s report, a majority of talent professionals agree that internal recruiting improves retention (81%), accelerates new hire productivity (69%), and accelerates the hiring process (63%).

Trend #5: Investing in a new employer brand

At the beginning of 2020, 50% of leaders claimed they struggled from a recruiting perspective because their industry is not seen as attractive, and they have difficulty attracting younger workers. Employees that have been laid-off or furloughed during COVID-19 may look for jobs in other industries that provide more secure work such as the financial services or technology sectors.

Top technology companies are leading the charge with employer branding and crafting unique brand propositions to attract top talent. These companies have built their reputations as desired places to work by creating an employer brand that employees are proud to put on their resumes. As companies reopen and resume operations, they’ll need to attract and hire talent by offering a unique brand proposition. Organizations that distinguish themselves as an excellent place to work will have the strategic competitive advantage. Marketing and offering benefits such as creative compensation packages, progressive leave policies, and on-demand pay technology will help companies improve the perception of their sectors, enabling them to attract and hire the best talent.

Related: Is it time to shake up your recruiting process?

Britt Armour

Britt Armour is a content marketing specialist at Ceridian, where she writes about the HCM space, and how Dayforce is disrupting traditional HR solutions.  

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