New Year, New Hiring Trends: HR in 2020


Despite the many improvements in talent acquisition and management strategies in recent years, a few challenges persist. According to industry surveys, these issues include talent attraction, workforce engagement, relationship management, and talent retention. A significant portion of employers have also struggled with the increasing diversity of the workforce and adapting to this inevitable change.

Many employers are aware of these challenges and will put effort into addressing the above issues in the new year. Experts predict that HR departments will confront the issues on three fronts;

  1. Proactive, super-recruiting 

Two words will define recruiting in 2020 – speed and intensity. As in 2019 and other recent years, data will play a critical role in finding the right talent. But the search process will be faster and intensified – because every decision in the recruitment process will be more informative from data analysis. 

Automation will be one of the go-to tools where process acceleration is needed. Humans tend to be slow. Automating certain processes speeds up the entire recruitment process. Automation also removes bias. According to a recent Harvard Business Review study, automated evaluation queries can reduce human bias by at least 25%.

Intensification will come in the form of deeper talent pools and greater depth of analysis. With a worsening shortage of qualified workers, recruiters will need to be a lot more proactive in the identification and the evaluation of passive candidates. Rather than focus on filling static roles with only a small pool of current candidates, HR will shift focus towards playing a more proactive role in creating a list of candidates, their skillsets and what positions are a good fit.  HR will use this talent pool of candidates to identify candidates for future job opportunities within their company.  Candidates who show promise but didn’t make the initial cut will be added to the talent pool for future considerations.

  1. Prioritization of workplace experience 

In a bid to enhance retention amid the prevailing talent shortage, HR departments are also expected to put a lot of effort into delivering exemplary worker experiences, right from onboarding.  

There are several ways employers will aim to boost worker experience. First off, 2020 will be the year when everyone makes work culture the number one priority. Employers will work tirelessly to ensure that they have a clear, discernible culture that not only clarifies the company’s mission but also embraces employee goals.  Employees entering the workforce more and more want to be heard, be a part of something, understand and align with a company’s vision.  A company’s ability to incorporate these items into their business practice and culture will determine if they are able to establish and maintain that bond the will keep talented individuals from leaving.

Inclusivity and diversity will also rank high on HR priority lists. A recent Glassdoor study revealed that 49% of employees in the U.S. experienced some form of workplace discrimination in 2019. Employers will explore every possible strategy including diverse hiring practices, ADA compliance, and diversity seminars to address the issue in 2020.

  1. Tending the new way to manage talent

Finally, talent management will evolve significantly in 2020. Rather than manage employees with improved output as the main goal, employers will shift focus to building a sense of community and prioritizing employee well-being. The biggest question will no longer be what the company wants, but what the worker needs to remain engaged and productive. Every employer will be asking – what can we do to help our workforce live a better life?

The reason for this shift is simple – prioritizing the well-being of employees works even better than the “workers-as-machines” approach in improving bottom-line metrics. When workers feel that their employer truly cares about their well-being, their loyalty to the company increases multifold. In the end, the worker is happy to do more because the employer appreciates the effort.

A few strategies in employee tending including offering wellness packages, ranging from paternity, maternity, and caregiver leaves. Fitness and adventure programs, medical and mental health benefits, and an emphasis on employee financial wellness are other likely strategies.

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