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10 Recruitment Trends for 2020/2021: Latest Predictions You Should Be Thinking About

Category: B2B News

Recent technological advancements had forced the modern workplace to evolve. From shifts in recruiting expectations to AI-powered hiring, disruptive recruitments trends continue to emerge.

Are you prepared to succeed in competing for today’s best talent? Below are ten global recruitment trends businesses and HR professionals should be aware of in 2020 and beyond.

key recruitment trends

Amidst changes in the HR space, technology has given birth to a new breed of recruiters. These technology-empowered headhunters are pro-active, savvy, and highly strategic in hunting down the right talent for the job.

Recruiters are increasingly using social media posts, web-based job boards, and online job portals nowadays. However, some traditional methods continue to be effective until today[1], such as referrals and job fairs.

Yes, we’re now in an age where AI, augmented reality, and machine learning rule. Actually, finding the right balance between digital and traditional channels is key to recruitment success.

Top Recruitment Methods 2019 survey results

Aside from knowing the right recruiting mix, it is important for businesses and hiring managers to be aware of the current recruitment statistics.

For instance, unemployment in the U.S. is at its lowest in 50 years[2]. Your recruitment strategy should adjust to keep your offers competitive.

Being on top of the workforce market’s current status and upcoming directions will be key in this evolving environment. This is why knowing these recruitment trends 2020 below is a perfect place to start.

1. The emergence of employer branding

In a highly competitive talent market like today’s, a compelling employer brand is key to attracting the best talents[3]. Businesses with excellent employer brands receive 50% more qualified applicants. Having a great brand image helps in reducing hiring costs per candidate, as well.

A company’s reputation and popularity as an employer mainly comprise an employer brand. Another key element here is its employee value proposition[4] or EVP.

An effective EVP integrates employee engagement with branding to support an efficient candidate attraction and retention approach. In the US, the top EVPs are an inspiring purpose, respect for people, and team-oriented work[5].

Is employer branding important?

Employer branding strategies are becoming more crucial to creating a robust and attractive employer brand. In fact, over 75% of job seekers research employer brand and reputation[6] before they apply. Businesses plagued with a bad reputation find it hard to attract new talents and to retain hired ones.

The effect of an employer brand is real and compelling. A robust talent brand helps in building a dynamic workforce and influences a brand’s success. An employer brand dictates if strong candidates will join you or your competitor.

Employees actually never stop asking for more from their organizations even after being hired. Aside from career growth opportunities, they want to know that they’re working for a company they can be proud of. It’s no wonder why employer branding will likely be a top recruitment trend for the years to come.

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Employer Branding is a Top Priority for Businesses of All Sizes

Employer Branding is a Top Priority for Businesses of All Sizes
World's Most Attractive Employers: 89

World's Most Attractive Employers

Employer Branding is a Top Priority for Businesses of All Sizes
Large sized employers: 66

Large sized employers

Employer Branding is a Top Priority for Businesses of All Sizes
Medium sized employers: 69

Medium sized employers

Employer Branding is a Top Priority for Businesses of All Sizes
Small sized employers: 61

Small sized employers


Source: Universum, 2019

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Employer branding highlights

  • A powerful employer brand is crucial to attracting and retaining the best talents.
  • Successfully building your own top-notch work teams rely on having a robust employer brand.
  • An employer brand must have a good EVP to seal the deal for long-term retention.

2. Companies increasingly rely on HR automation

Around 72% of employers predict that elements of their talent acquisition will be automated[7] within the next decade. Integrating HR automation allows companies to cut up to 17% in hiring costs and 26% HR staff hours.

At the core of this trend are innovative recruitment automation solutions. In fact, automation and other digital recruitment trends have been around for a while. However, the new class of such HR automation tools transcends those of earlier generations.

Vendors now offer integrated HR recruitment platforms that include HRIS, recruitment marketing tools, and the best applicant tracking software.

How does automation help in recruitment?

HR automation tools are increasingly used by recruiters in their tasks. These integrated technology solutions help to find, attract, engage, nurture, and convert candidates to become applicants. By automating the hiring process, these tools help streamline recruitment, making it more efficient and faster.

An increasing number of firms are using AI in their recruitment processes as well. A recent survey found that 50% of firms use AI to source and screen candidates[8], in addition to using it to schedule them for interviews.

Businesses that still disregard the advantages of recruitment automation tools are likely to lose their candidates to tech-savvy competitors. On average, HR managers lose 14 hours a week[7], manually completing tasks that could be automated. That’s a considerable waste of time and productivity.

And to further ensure you’ll get ahead of your local competitors, go for the best HR software.

HR Recruitment Automation Trends infographic

Source: LionessMagazine / Recruiterbox.

Most Popular Applicant Tracking Software

  1. BambooHR is an applicant tracking and HR software that sees you through the entire employee life cycle, from hiring, onboarding, preparing compensation, and building work culture.
  2. SmartRecruiters is an enterprise-grade recruiting software built to attract and hire great talents.
  3. Workday is a robust ERP system that provides HR, planning, and finance solutions in a single platform. I
  4. Submittable is a simple and secure applicant management solution that can easily review and select the best submissions.
  5. Greenhouse is a recruiting and applicant tracking software built for structured hiring processes.

HR automation trends highlights

  • More businesses are automating their recruitment practices.
  • Today’s HR automation solutions are integrated with other tools like HRIS and ATS.
  • Automating the hiring process helps simplify, streamline, and hasten recruitment.

3. Data-driven recruiting and HR Analytics

The use of data-driven metrics is one of today’s hottest recruiting trends. These powerful tools are new types of recruiting strategies where HR makes hiring plans and decisions based on data. Sources of these data include other technology tools like ATS and recruitment marketing platforms.

HR analytics enables users to gain insights by which areas of their recruitment strategies function well or otherwise. When recruiters can easily identify areas for improvement, appropriate changes can be quickly made.

How effective is people analytics-based recruitment?

Can this trend be just a case of using a popular tool without knowing its actual use? In a recent survey, 71% of companies have been found to prioritize people analytics[9]. However, only 9% understand how talent management enhances their firms’ performance.

The proper use of HR analytics has been proven to enhance a number of key hiring metrics. These include quality-of-hire, cost-to-hire, and time-to-hire.

Businesses are turning to data-driven recruiting to drive their overall talent lifecycle. Organizations use people analytics to help them continuously enhance their recruitment strategy. These measures include skills gap analysis, workforce planning, assessment, engagement, and retention.

HR analytics use can be further optimized when utilized with efficient talent management software.

Data-driven-decision-making-in-HR-Analytics infographic

People analytics trends highlights

  • HR Analytics involves the use of data for recruitment planning and decisions.
  • Data-driven recruiting helps improve hiring practices.
  • Only a few businesses understand how people analytics can improve business performance.

4. Organizations are hiring for soft skills

The US is experiencing a widespread skills deficit, which is expected to increase to a shortage of 29 million skills by 2030[10]. Most of these missing skills will be soft skills. Thus, the ongoing recruiting trend for soft skills across all industries.

From today and the near future, around 66% of all new jobs will mainly rely on soft skills. Some of such top soft skills are collaboration, problem-solving, and communication.

This is why recruiters are increasingly focusing on hiring for soft skills. Many repetitive jobs will be automated soon. But those with the essential soft skills are ensured that their positions won’t be replaced.

How crucial is hiring for soft skills?

Around ten years from now, workplace demand for social skills will increase in all industries[11]. In the U.S., such demand will grow by 26%; in Europe, the growth will be by 22%.

This demand for important soft skills didn’t emerge in a vacuum. It really is part of the burgeoning skills shortage.

In the early 2010s, an ordinary employee tends to lack 1.2 of the essential skills[12] that employers require for a particular position. Today, that number had risen to 18 essential job skills. This translates to 23 million skills shortages.

Recruiters had long been hiring for soft skills. What has changed is that hiring for these skills now involves a set of converging factors in the workplace. And these converging hiring trends are expected to hasten further.

10 skills future workforce infographic

Soft skills hiring trends highlights

  • Recruiters today are hiring more for soft skills.
  • The shortage of soft skills makes up most of today’s skills gap.
  • Soft skills are essential to address the demands of the current workplace.

5. Creation and maintenance of talent pools

Using talent pools[13] could be the missing recruitment strategy you’ve been searching for. The truth is, dynamic organizations are turning to their own talent pools to successfully hire the best talents today.

In a highly competitive talent market, businesses must search from every possible source to address their skills shortage. And the best approach is through internal and external talent pools.

The traditional recruitment approach had been the focus of external hiring. But in today’s ballooning skills deficit, businesses simply have no choice but to search broadly outside and within their workplaces.

Offering your own staff current vacancies helps to further increase their company loyalty. Just make sure it’s a promotion[14]. Simply making horizontal or vertical transfers without any corresponding increase won’t do much good.

What are the benefits of talent pools?

Although talent pools are becoming popular nowadays, recruiters have been using them for a long time. However, it’s only recently that businesses understand how to properly use them to their advantage.

As today’s labor market experiences skills deficit, talent pools offer companies an effective way to address their labor needs. With competitors constantly providing irresistible offers, businesses simply can’t afford to lose any current talent.

Building and nurturing a warm talent pool of external and internal candidates is the best way to retain talent. Companies increasingly build talent pools:

  • to help cut recruitment costs,
  • to shorten the time-to-hire and entire hiring cycle,
  • to identify quality candidates for future needs.
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The Biggest Challenges in Talent Acquisition in 2019

From the 2019 Global Human Capital Trends Report

The Biggest Challenges in Talent Acquisition in 2019
Finding qualified experienced hires: 61

Finding qualified experienced hires

The Biggest Challenges in Talent Acquisition in 2019
Identifying full-time talent with right skills: 37

Identifying full-time talent with right skills

The Biggest Challenges in Talent Acquisition in 2019
Finding qualified entry-level hires: 34

Finding qualified entry-level hires

The Biggest Challenges in Talent Acquisition in 2019
Articulating accurate talent brand: 31

Articulating accurate talent brand

The Biggest Challenges in Talent Acquisition in 2019
Onboarding employees in a timely fashion: 27

Onboarding employees in a timely fashion

The Biggest Challenges in Talent Acquisition in 2019
Ineffective recruiting technology: 26

Ineffective recruiting technology

The Biggest Challenges in Talent Acquisition in 2019
Constructing appealing job offer: 25

Constructing appealing job offer


Source: Deloitte

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Talent pools trends highlights

  • Talent pools offer an effective approach to hire and retain quality talents.
  • Internal hiring is effective if it results in some career advancement for the employee.
  • Other benefits of talent pools include shorter time-to-hire and hiring cost savings.

6. AI-powered head-hunting advances

Artificial intelligence has penetrated the HR hiring environment, and the initial outcomes are promising. Recruitment vendors and HR managers agree that AI technology is never meant to replace recruiters. It’s designed to vastly improve their roles.

Unlike people, AI doesn’t have any biases when screening and selecting new hires. But having such a highly objective recruitment process does take time to achieve. It depends on the most part on robust machine learning programming to minimize biases and to allow better candidate-job matching.

HR software vendors are also increasing their use of AI for candidate evaluation purposes. This entails the use of candidate data, NLP, and pattern recognition for gaining valuable insights into candidates.

How valuable is AI in HR processes?

The entry of AI into the recruitment space involves two major purposes. These are to leverage automation by removing manual tasks and improve the candidate experience[15].

The use of conversational chatbots is becoming a popular AI deployment in recruitment. These chatbots can now effectively engage candidates at the various contact points during the hiring journey.

At present, HR chatbots can do the rigorous task of pre-screening candidates with ease. They can monitor employee issues using real-time analytics and use sentiment analysis to solve these issues. They’re also becoming a staple in onboarding activities and employee online learning programs.

Benefits of AI recruitment

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Source: Ideal, 2019

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AI-powered hiring trends highlights

  • AI technology is now becoming essential to the entire recruitment journey.
  • The keys to increased AI deployment are access to big data, pattern recognition, and natural language processing.
  • The use of AI in hiring continues to increase, such as in pre-screening, new hire monitoring, and on-boarding programs.

7. Reliance on social recruiting grows

One of the most popular recruitment trends today is social recruiting[16]. This HR strategy pertains to the various ways of using social networks for finding, attracting, and hiring talents.

Early on, who would have thought social media will become a powerful hiring channel? Aside from the extensive and easy access, social media-based recruiting offers the opportunity for one-on-one engagement. This approach makes candidates feel they’re valued and cared for.

With the vast advantages it offers, social recruiting has become one of the top 2019 recruitment trends. And looking at today’s social media statistics, this trend is likely to continue in the years to come.

Is social recruiting effective?

The social platforms’ hiring efficiency is unquestionable. 84% of businesses[17] are now using social media to hire new talents. From the remaining non-users, 9% are already planning to use these channels.

It’s simply clear that if you don’t use these channels, you’re allowing your competitors to out-recruit you. But social recruiting doesn’t only involve posting job vacancies on your company’s social account.  You can do so much more with these channels.

You can use your free or premium Facebook or LinkedIn[18] accounts to search for promising candidates. Once you’ve reached them, you can easily engage them towards building a relationship with your brand. Later, you can invite them to apply for your job vacancies.

By the way, essential to successful social recruiting is having a reliable social media management software.

Social Media in Recruiting Talents

Social recruiting trends highlights

  • Social media-based recruitment is among today’s most powerful hiring strategies.
  • Almost all businesses are now using social recruiting.
  • You can use social networks to proactively search for potential candidates.

8. Recruiters are embracing the new hiring CRM

Another type of CRM is making it big in the business scene. This time, it involves the HR recruitment space, and it’s called candidate relationship management. This CRM is becoming one of this year’s top recruitment trends. 

This new recruitment strategy was specifically created to solve one of today’s most serious problems in HR–talent attraction. CRM is a strategic approach since 90% of HR professionals say today’s talent acquisition trends are mostly candidate-driven. 

Candidate relationship management had been found to be effective when applied to three levels. These are with existing candidates, with previous candidates, and with potential candidates.

What is this new HR-based CRM?

Recruitment marketing methods are increasingly used nowadays through recruitment marketing tools. These robust tools allow HR practitioners to easily implement CRM strategies in a candidate-centric approach. 

As a result, this strategy significantly streamlines and automates the hiring process. Treating candidates as valuable “internal customers” elevates every hiring aspect to new heights. Thus, recruitment quality and outcomes become much improved.

Using this new CRM as a recruitment tool offers various hiring solutions. For one, it can be used for making engaging email campaigns. These can effectively provide interesting and relevant content to potential candidates.

CRM helps a lot in building stronger relationships with qualified candidates. It facilitates the expansion of HR talent pools as well.

Importance of Candidate Relationship Management statistics and trends

Candidate relationship management trends highlights

  • CRM functions as a solution to the growing problem of attracting talents.
  • Recruitment marketing tools help HR practitioners to implement CRM easily in a personalized manner.
  • CRM can be used for making engaging email campaigns to better attract potential candidates.

9. Candidate experience now a key recruitment factor

Candidate experience pertains to the total perception of a candidate about an organization’s recruitment process. This key candidate element is now increasingly being used by companies in their recruitment practice. 

This new factor helps in improving the hiring process, as well. Candidate experience combines several aspects. These include candidate attitude, behavior, and feeling during the hiring process.

A recruitment experience motivates 97% of candidates to refer other candidates[19]. Over 50% of candidates would even share their positive experiences via social media. A poor hiring experience will result in adverse outcomes for the company.

How powerful is candidate experience?

The majority of business owners report that candidate experience can impact buyer purchasing decisions. A negative hiring experience[20] would compel over half of candidates not to purchase a company’s products or services.

Cases on the adverse effects of a bad candidate experience are many. A notable one is that of Virgin Media, which measured that poor candidate experience costs them as much as $5.4 million a year[21].

The three key elements of building an awesome candidate experience are:

  • Segmenting candidates types and selecting which hiring journey addresses to specific expectations.
  • Adjusting your candidate experience approach to align with your corporate goals, culture, and values.
  • Building a consumer-centric candidate experience and assessing the efficiency of your methods.

Benefits of a Positive Candidate Experience

Candidate experience trends highlights

  • Candidate experience is increasingly used as an important hiring element and metric.
  • Positive candidate experience results in good things for a company’s branding and bottom line.
  • A candidate experience process should be similar to marketing to potential customers.

10. The rise of the proactive recruiter

Yesterday’s recruiters’ role is different today and tomorrow. Armed with efficient technological tools and know-how, they’re more empowered to better engage with candidates and colleagues.

By shifting from reactive hiring methods, they’re now proactively sourcing from outside and internal talent pools[22].

These accessible, easy-to-use HR technologies are key to streamlining and accelerating the hiring workflow. Such innovative tools enable hiring managers and recruiters to have closer relationships as well. The resulting transparent, simple workflow helps to eradicate constraints to excellent talent pool management and internal candidate mobility.

Talent acquisition competition intensifies

With their enhanced capabilities, today’s strategic recruiters must thrive in a highly competitive talent market. And it’s becoming a totally distinctive environment of business enterprises.

In today’s talent market, 90% of the S&P 100 firms are hiring for 37 similar, in-demand jobs[23]. And those 37 sought-after jobs comprise around half of the job postings of S&P 100 firms.

Strategic recruiters search outside and inside their companies to fill vacancies. They know that untapped talents abound internally. They’re proactively developing internal mobility and career paths, too.

success factors in transforming you

Proactive recruiter trends highlights

  • The role of today’s and tomorrow’s recruiters are changing fast.
  • Recruiters are now actively looking for talent within and outside their companies.
  • They’re dynamically facilitating career development and internal mobility as well.

What do these recruitment trends mean to you?

These trends offer a wealth of applications for candidates and businesses. As companies search for talents, knowing effective strategies gives them a considerable edge over competitors.

These ten hiring trends show how technology has assumed a critical role in the recruitment process. These essential tools enhance the capabilities of HR professionals. Technology is meant to support, not to replace human recruiters.

No matter what hiring strategy or technology is trending, the ultimate objective remains the same. Businesses must attract the right talent in a way that enhances the candidate experience.

It’s crucial to note that technological support occurs at every stage of the hiring journey. These sophisticated HR tools will continue to advance in the years to come. Aside from these latest trends, it’s also good to know the leading career trends that’ll likely shape tomorrow.



  1. ^Hiring trends: 2019 survey results
  2. ^U.S. Unemployment Rate Drops To 3.7 Percent, Lowest In Nearly 50 Years
  3. ^What is the Importance of Employer Branding in Recruitment?
  4. ^Employer Branding: A Sample Employer Value Proposition
  6. ^The Ultimate List of Employer Brand Statistics
  7. ^72% of Employers Expect Talent Acquisition Roles Will be Automated by 2027
  8. ^State of AI in Talent Acquisition
  9. ^2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends
  10. ^The path to prosperity: Why the future of work is human
  11. ^Skill shift: Automation and the future of the workforce
  12. ^While the future of work is human, Australia faces a major skills crisis
  13. ^7 Ways to Build Effective Talent Pools
  14. ^When and How to Promote Your Employees
  15. ^Chatbots Expedite Recruiting, Save HR Time
  16. ^Social Recruiting Center
  17. ^Using Social Media for Talent Acquisition
  18. ^LinkedIn
  19. ^15 New Recruiting Trends You Should Implement in 2020
  20. ^23 Surprising Stats on the Future of Recruitment – Infographic
  21. ^Bad Candidate Experience Cost Virgin Media $5M Annually – Here is How They Turned That Around
  22. ^The Future of Technology in Recruitment
  23. ^Elevate your talent management for workforce resiliency


Louie Andre

By Louie Andre

B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. From pitch deck to exit strategy, he is no stranger to project business hiccups and essentials. He has been involved in a few internet startups including a digital route planner for a triple A affiliate. His advice to vendors and users alike? "Think of benefits, not features."

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