Recruitment Trends in 2020

Runita Verma, Director - Talent Acquisition & Mobility, Schneider Electric In her two decade long career, Runita has handled key functions across an array of companies such as Tata Internet Services, Patni Computer Systems, Aricent Technologies, BloackRock, and Ericsson, prior to joining Schneider in 2017.

The HR industry has undergone seismic shifts over the past few years, thanks to reverberating technological advancements in the space. In addition, there are multiple attributes which have contributed to this shift like need to foster a diverse work environment, establishing a gender neutral culture, steering pay parity and more. Recruitment is getting more strategic by the day, and it’s imperative for recruitment professionals to learn new skills, adapt to new assessment systems, and be adept at handling digital tools.

Demand for recruitment professionals is on the rise, and as per LinkedIn data, it has increased by more than 60 percent in last five years. Businesses need more recruiters, and recruiters are expected to do more engaging passive candidates and building a pipeline, and use data & recommend hiring strategy to business leaders. Businesses have become agile, and this results in varied hiring demand. It goes without saying that recruitment teams should become more agile too.

Here are some of the key trends that will dominate the recruitment landscape in 2020 –

Leveraging Technologies like AI & Blockchain: The HR industry has been no stranger when it comes to deploying AI tools for talent acquisition purposes. AI has proven to drastically cut down the time needed to shortlist candidates, removing the need to manually evaluate hundreds of applications. Going forward, we anticipate deeper AI integration to take place across multiple employee facing applications and software, designed to augment productivity and increase efficiency & engagement within organisations. AI powered virtual assistants are to permeate more deeply into the workplace environment and many technologies will surface that will seamlessly automate many of today’s repetitive routine tasks.

As the department gradually embraces the technology, recruiters would have enough time to be creative, and they would be able to better engage the business and candidates. Experts are also contemplating that if they can use Blockchain for recruitment, Blockchain can securely store candidate data on a real time digital ledger. Since blockchain is completely transparent and decentralized, it might be a game changer.

Chatbots and Video Interviews are already a reality. Infact the tool can be programmed to screen resume, interact with candidates and feed recruiters with the data of the shortlisted candidates.

There was news about an AI based recruitment tool which was rejecting female profiles based on the pattern of recruitment it had witnessed over a period of time. There is a need to safeguard these tools from such biases. It is imperative that such tools are foolproof and aid the diversity in hiring; else, it would sabotage the very purpose they were built for.
Data Guided Hiring & Analytics: Data driven Recruitment would continue to be one of the hottest trends in recruitment. Platforms like ATS and Recruitment Marketing tools have become extremely incisive and help culling-out the required information at a click of a button. This aids planning, decision making and helps in incrementally improvising.

In the Indian context, organizations here have been hiring people on contract for long; however, we still aren't confident about engaging freelancers for the role

Data received from various assessment tools help form trends and drawing inferences. This not only makes recruiters proficient in having intelligent conversations with business leaders, but also makes them adept to partner with business leaders in making the talent strategy.

With availability of data pertaining to experience, skills, qualifications & education, personality characteristics, career aspirations, behavioural indicators and employment preferences, crafting Candidate Personas is no longer a dream, but a reality. This would make recruiters far more effective, as they would then be able to have tailor made Job Descriptions and customized Job Advertisements. This would also prove impactful in creating a candidate pipeline and improving candidate experience.

Organizations Would Build a More Inclusive Workplace of the Future: As organizations aspire to embrace more and more diversity, the processes and assessment systems would be built in a way that the inherent biases are eliminated and it’s a level playing field for all. A special effort would be needed to ensure that the only way of evaluation of the candidates must be the value they bring to the table and nothing else. Some of the steps which can be taken are – Having a diverse set of panels, advertising jobs through diverse channels, driving diverse referral programs, showcasing the diversity practices in all the touchpoints with the candidate, and training the panels & hiring managers to overcome their biases.

Hiring in the Gig Economy: As the concept of co-workspaces, flexible work options and Gig economy becomes more popular by the day, engaging Gig Workforce is what companies would be eyeing for. This way, organizations have an opportunity of employing best candidates available for the job. It also comes along with many more advantages like lower costs, demand-based deployment, improved innovation and more. Of course, it has a flipside and lot of challenges like huge churn of workers, low reliability, lesser collaboration, risks of retaining confidentiality and more.

HR would have to simplify the Recruitment, onboarding, training and other processes for the Gig Economy workers to stay motivated. The engagement would have to be utterly transparent and objective driven. One way of attracting and retaining Gig workforce would be by offering a lucrative benefits package, in addition to the monetary remunerations and lucrative assignments. This has the potential of acting as an ace upthe sleeves of the organizations, as this practice isn’t commonplace.

In the Indian context organizations here have been hiring people on contract since long. However, we still aren’t confident about engaging freelancers for the role. A starting point can be earmarking the positions where engaging Gig Workforce would make sense and start experimenting so that they don’t miss the bus when this becomes the ‘talk of the town’ in near future.

Recruitment Marketing will Further Take a Centre Stage: In the war for talent, everybody is chasing the top 20 percent of the talent in the market. We must understand that people are spoilt for choices hence, it is pivotal that you are able to clearly communicate your Employer Value Proposition.

Zero Moment of Truth aids the decision making for the candidates. Most of the early careers and middle managers we hire are either Millennials or Gen Z. These generations spend a lot of time on digital platforms, and it goes without saying that they would evaluate and compare various organizations before they make a decision on which employer to work. To attract and influence such talent, organizations would continue turning to social media and using creative ways to reach-out to desired talent.

Improving Search Engine Optimization is another strategy which organizations must be looking forward to. This would ensure a high visibility of the Job Advertisements to the right target audience.

We should be cognizant of the fact that employer branding and building attractive brand equity & salience is no longer just a responsibility of the HR folks every employee contributes to the Employer Brand in their respective sphere of influence. The impact of Employee Advocacy is tremendous. One negative online review can result in viral online conversations.