5 Hiring and Recruiting Trends for 2020

It’s 2020. We officially live in the future. Unfortunately, we don’t have flying cars or robotic HR professionals to do all of our hiring for us (yet), but that doesn’t mean you can’t modernize your approach to hiring. 

This will be especially important as we’re heading into 2020 with a job market that favors candidates. Unemployment is low right now (3.5% as of December 2019), which means the qualified candidates who are searching for new opportunities have a lot of options and the freedom to be picky.

When employers have a hiring need, it can be easy to get lost in the process of hiring without taking a step back to consider how they hire and how they can make it easier and more effective — both for themselves and candidates.

Preparation — time to reflect, plan, and set your intention for how you’re going to improve your hiring — is essential to smoothly executing your business goals in 2020. Here are five recruiting and hiring trends that can help you prepare for the future (until we invent robot hiring managers, of course).

1. Hire to create leverage.

The most efficient organizations don’t just hire when turnover occurs. They are also intentional about hiring to create leverage. 

Have you ever been a part of a team that seemed to always lack the people-power to meet its goals? It’s a recipe for stress, burnout, and loss of profit. In 2020, ditch the “skeleton crew” approach and take the time to assess your organization’s needs so you can make new strategic hires to create the right kind of leverage now.

This leverage might be for yourself — what difference would it make to your business if you had your least important tasks off your plate? Or the leverage might be for your team — is there a recurring issue or blocker that could be solved with the right hire?

It can be hard to know the right time to hire a new person or which role will make the most impact, but it’s worth keeping top of mind in 2020. Remember: With every hire, you have an opportunity to raise the standard for your team — and yourself.

2. Organize your hiring process.

Modern hiring requires modern hiring processes — and that means being efficient, consistent, and organized. Having a hiring and interviewing process provides the momentum you need to funnel applicants and make the right hiring decisions. Your hiring process should have:

  • A standardized set of criteria to assess all applicants
  • The ability to track all candidates through each stage in the process
  • Interview scorecards to help gather objective data
  • The ability to manage all communication in a centralized place

That last bullet is particularly important, as the absence of an organized hiring process makes it easy for hiring managers to fall into the bad habit of “ghosting” candidates in their pipeline when they’ve made a hiring decision. In other words, they fail to follow up with the candidates they didn’t hire. This lack of courtesy to candidates can damage your company’s reputation on job boards and review sites like Glassdoor.

Make 2020 the year you start treating your applicants like customers. You manage your customer relationships with a CRM, so consider managing your applicant relationships with the hiring version of a CRM — an applicant tracking system (ATS) like CareerPlug.

Three women in a conference room.

3. Start looking beyond the resume.

When you hire based only on who someone is today, you miss out on hiring for growth potential. This year, take a wider perspective beyond years of applicant experience in the same role for which you’re hiring.

Instead, think about the soft skills needed for the role and evaluate someone’s career trajectory and motivation. Keep in mind that the current low unemployment rate means there’s a chance you may not find a candidate who has the perfect experience and checks off all your boxes. Look for emerging talent in 2020 and decide which skills gaps you can handle.

Keep an eye out for candidates who have those talents, behaviors, and potential to succeed in the role. Being able to identify this kind of emerging talent can have a tremendous upside. A highly-motivated hire who is hungry to learn new skills can quickly grow with your company and make a long-term impact on your business, even if they didn’t have the perfect resume!

4. Attract a diverse applicant pool.

Think about where most of your applicants came from last year. Maybe they came from job sites like Indeed or ZipRecruiter, referrals from your employees, your personal network, or perhaps current customers. Take a look at your applicant sources and consider ways to cast a wider net in 2020, such as posting to custom sources (local universities, groups, or job boards).

You may increase your quantity and quality of applicants as well as the diversity of applicants applying to your jobs. While you want to hire applicants with similar values who fit with your culture, remember that culture is not “who looks and thinks like me.”

If you only source applicants from one place (like only hiring your friends), you risk building a homogeneous team, which can ultimately stifle innovation and growth.

5. Strengthen your employment brand.

Your employment brand is your company’s reputation to job seekers. We know that 38% of candidates spend 1-2 hours researching a new opportunity online. This means it’s more important than ever for employers to build an attractive Careers Page.

Think of your Careers Page as your marketing hub for your employment branding, the same way the rest of your website is a marketing tool for customers. Your Careers Page should include:

  • Real company photos
  • Your company’s core values
  • A description of what it’s like working for you
  • Employee testimonials

For our own Careers Page, we added a video explaining our hiring process (the steps in our process and what applicants can expect). We’ve been told by many candidates that it helped set us apart and encouraged them to apply!

You can also ask employees to leave honest reviews for your company on Glassdoor — just remember to respond to all employee feedback. Good or bad, this is an opportunity to reflect your engagement to the community.

We hope that implementing these five 2020 recruiting trends will get your hiring started on the right foot in 2020! For more hiring insights and how-to guides, be sure to check out our resources page.

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