Culture at the top: 6 recruitment trends for 2020 and beyond

Published on 30-12-2019

2019 is almost at its end and this time there is a new decade waiting for us. A decade full of challenges and innovation for both (latent) jobseekers and Hiring Experts. Meaning, that this time we won’t only be looking at recruitment trends for the year 2020, but beyond that we’ll direct our gaze at the upcoming decade.

These are the six recruitment trends for 2020 and beyond:

  1. Culture
  2. Diversity and Inclusion
  3. AI & Predictive Technology
  4. Dealing with economic changes
  5. Employer Branding and recruitment marketing
  6. Social Media and Whatsapp

The six topics that I’ll discuss may seem very different from each other, but one important subject influences almost all of them: Culture.

1. Culture at the top

One of the most important topics in 2020 – and even the next decade – will be culture. As earlier this year CEOs of 200 of the most influential companies in the world decided at a Business Roundtable that they should not only try to please shareholders. With that decision, the solo became a quintet of shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers and the communities in which they operate. In short, they decided that employee culture is important.

And rightfully so. Companies with better cultures often have more satisfied customers, perform better financially and attract talent more easily. This last point is, of course, very important for Recruiters and Hiring Experts. According to a survey by Glassdoor, 77% of the participants would consider a company’s culture before applying for a job there, and 56% percent think company culture is more important than salary when it comes to job satisfaction.

This is the case, especially among millennials and other generations under the age of 45. Meaning, that this trend will increase, the more millennials and candidates from generation Z enter the job market.

Source: Glassdoor Mission & Culture Survey 2019

Tips for employers

  • Try to make your company culture as visible as possible to (latent) jobseekers coming across your career page and vacancies.
  • Find out if the values and preferences of your candidates align with the core values and corporate culture of your organisation before you decide to hire them.

Reading tip: Top 5 Podcast Episodes on Company Culture

2. Diversity & Inclusion done right

The focus on culture also puts more pressure on letting go of bias while hiring women and minorities. Thankfully, more and more employers really want to hire based on diversity. Afterall, diverse organisations are 33% more likely to have financial returns higher than their industry average. On top of that, they tend to be more creative and give people a more positive perception of the company. Moreover, if you truly start hiring based on diversity, your pool of fitting applicants should become bigger, so you’ll have more people to choose from to find the perfect candidate. All in all, it seems like a no-brainer to just start hiring a more diverse group of candidates.

Unfortunately, this is quite difficult in reality. It is hard for people to hire in a purely unbiased way. For example, a study done by Kessler and Low at Wharton University indicates that

for jobs in STEM fields, women and minority candidates with 4.0 GPAs were treated the same as white male candidates with 3.75 GPAs. (…) Across the board, employers gave less credit to female and minority candidates for having a prestigious internship.

And in this study the participants knew that they were participating in a study about bias in recruiting for diversity. This shows that even the best recruiters can let their conscious and unconscious biases get in the way of hiring the best candidate for the job and for the company.

What to keep in mind while hiring for diversity and inclusion

  • Don’t just talk about it, but really do it. This is not about marketing. It is about getting the best employees for your company.
  • Inform your whole company of the diversity and inclusion policy and make them aware of how they can contribute to it.
  • Double check all job postings and make sure there is no language in them that could discourage women and minorities from applying.
  • Rely on the right data. Don’t measure diversity company wide, but per team and department. If most minorities are in low level jobs and none in management, your data is skewed and not truly showing the amount of diversity of your company.
  • Make sure you have a company culture that is open to other ideas and perspectives and makes your employees feel included and heard. And give people who are diverse in other ways (people with ADHD, autism, dyslexia, introverts etc.) a way to be themselves at work.
  • Use recruitment technology that helps take the bias out of recruiting.

Reading tip: Diversity Management – A culture based management approach

3. The journey of AI & Predictive Technology

Talking about recruitment technology, people have been trying to improve their recruitment process with AI for a while now. Artificial Intelligence is a hot topic. I’m sure AI will soon help us all to find the ideal candidates through automated pre-selection, help us learn with perfectly fitting career trainings, and more. Yes, there were some failures in the past, like with Amazon, whose algorithm strongly disliked female applicants, but we learn best through trial and error. A lot of learning will need to be done, by both humans and algorithms, but proper AI implementation will become reality.

LinkedIn has already started. The platform offers employers algorithmic rankings of candidates based on their fit for job postings on its site. But the service is not a replacement for recruiters. John Jersin, vice president of LinkedIn Talent Solutions:

I certainly would not trust any AI system today to make a hiring decision on its own. The technology is just not ready yet.

It will come though. Which is good, as humans are even worse at predicting work success than AI: according to Gallup, 82% of the time companies fail to choose the candidate with the right talent for the job. The time has come for AI in recruitment, as long as it’s better and more ethical. Proper AI will be able to detect patterns that elude us humans and revolutionise the recruitment process.

Tip for employers

  • Keep your eyes peeled for the future endeavours of recruitment AI.

Reading tip: Data Driven HR – Impacts of Big Data on Recruiting

4. Shrinking economy, same recruitment issues, less budget

Another big influence will probably be our waning economy. More and more people predict a stagnation in economic growth – and maybe even economic decline – in the coming years. This will probably mean that there will be less budget for big recruitment marketing campaigns. On the other hand, more people from the baby boom generation will retire in the upcoming years. As the younger generations are smaller, there will still be a shortage of candidates, keeping the issue of high demand and low supply of talent on the recruitment agenda.

Tip for employers

  • You might need to adjust your recruitment (marketing) strategy to get the same, or better results on a possibly reduced budget.

5. More Employer Branding and creative recruitment marketing

This will mean that, even though the budget will be lower, Employer Branding and Recruitment Marketing will be more important than ever to attract the right candidates to your company. Potential candidates need to know what kind of organisation they are applying to, or they just won’t do it.

Especially companies that have a negative reputation will struggle to attract the right candidates and to combat the turnover of their employees. A way to prevent this, is to be transparent about the employer brand and core values, and to promote a company culture that is in alignment with the core values and needs of the organisation. It will lead to less surprises for new hires, more employee satisfaction, lower turnover rates and an improved reputation.

Recruitment marketing is all about improving the perception of your employer brand and about reaching potential candidates. According to a SmashFly Recruitment Marketing Benchmarks Report 55% of the Fortune 500 companies are at a very low level of recruitment marketing. While companies with mature recruitment marketing strategies have more Glassdoor reviews and more positive reviews.

source: SmashFly

These positive reviews improve the companies reputation and help attract more candidates.

Tips for employers

  • If you haven’t started yet with Employer Branding or Recruitment Marketing, start doing it now. Research your organisation’s core values and culture, set up and communicate your employer brand to your target groups.
  • If you already started, keep trying to improve your strategy and implementation. The more mature your Recruitment Marketing, the better it will turn out for your company.

Read how top brands use Employer Branding and killer Recruitment Marketing Strategies to attract top talent

6. Reaching your target groups via Social Media and Whatsapp

The way we do recruitment marketing is changing all the time. 2020 will be no different. A big part of your recruitment marketing will consist of reaching out to candidates via social media and letting them apply via channels like Whatsapp. Most of the working population is not actively looking for a job (latent jobseekers) but may be open to applying once they come across a relevant job ad.

Social Media, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and even Snapchat, are great for that, because you can target users on really specific points, such as job description, interests and region. This way you have a higher chance of your target group being interested in the ad, clicking on the link and, finally, applying … via whatsapp.

Enabling applicants to send their CV via whatsapp will lower the bar for candidates to actually apply. The employer will be able to confirm the receipt of the application and answer questions very quickly, removing one of the biggest stumbling blocks on the road to a great Candidate Experience: slow response time.

Tips for employers

  • Find out what target groups use which channels and use that to optimise your ads and reach the right people.
  • Don’t forget to let your culture seep through your job ads to attract the right candidates.
  • Check what device your careersite visitors use (desktop or smartphone). If they use a smartphone, give them the option to quickly apply via Whatsapp.

Recruitment Trends 2020 – Culture, Creativity and Custom Made

Corporate life in 2020 and beyond will become more human, with culture getting such a prominent place in the focus of organisations. It is their way of preparing for the new generations entering the workplace, who place a very high value on company culture, more so than on monetary gain. Companies that dismiss the importance of culture will have a harder time attracting talent because of this.

The same goes for Diversity and Inclusion. Companies who ‘get it’ and work hard on really implementing a hiring process based on diversity and inclusion will, in the end, be better off than the ones who don’t. But it won’t take long until AI can help businesses overcome this hurdle of hiring without bias, making this challenge easier for hiring and recruitment departments.

Impending economic issues will probably force Recruitment Marketeers to be creative on a smaller budget, while having to reach the same targets as before. But thankfully, Social Media will be able to help out with targeting the right people. And Whatsapp will lower the bar on communication between applicants and hiring staff with quick applications via the chat function.

This all makes me feel hopeful and excited to see what 2020 and the upcoming decade has in store for Recruitment and HR!

Download our white paper Corporate Culture in a Digital World to read more on the topic of Culture, AI, Employer Branding and other future developments in Recruitment. To download, just fill in the form on this page.

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