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Recruitment 2020: My five predictions for the year

One of the safest predictions for 2020 is to say that there are many changes ahead. With a new government in place, there are many different opinions as to what Brexit will mean for the UK economy. As a result, many businesses are waiting to see the full effect of the December election before altering hiring plans.

A poll of 2,101 UK employers suggests a slow start to the year, indicating that less companies will be hiring in the first quarter. However, this isn’t discouraging jobseekers. In a separate survey of over 31,500 workers, 55 per cent said they plan to look for a new role in 2020. With the UK at record employment levels, it’s highly probable that competition to attract the best Candidates will remain fierce.

Talent attraction and retention remains a key priority for hiring teams. According to Gartner, a global talent shortage is now the top risk facing organisations. Given these results, it’s worth considering what companies can do to futureproof your recruitment. Here are the five things I think we’ll see businesses focusing on this year.

Prioritising Candidate experience

Remember that 60 per cent of Candidates will tell friends and family about a poor experience with an Employer – and 35 per cent will share this online. Not only will this have a negative effect on customer loyalty, it’ll discourage others from applying as applicants in the future. Talent attracts talent. Developing a passionate, motivated team will help you to hire in the future. Now more than ever, Employers have to consider the Candidate journey. Make sure your application form is simple to fill in, that you communicate consistently with people and you give a good impression at interview. If you don’t get this right, you risk losing your top choice to a competitor.

Recruiting for soft skills

It’s estimated that 49 per cent of UK companies struggle to find people with the right CV for the job. As a result, many are choosing Candidates with soft skills, such as teamwork and problem solving. These attributes are important indicators that individuals can be trained successfully once they’re in their new roles. In today’s fast-paced digital world, the ability to adapt is particularly important. In fact, many Employees are having to reassess, updating their experience in light of new technologies. Developing soft skills helps Candidates transfer into different roles, and often these are more difficult to automate or outsource. Increasingly, Employers are searching for workers who are committed to continuing their professional development throughout their career.

Embracing new hiring technologies

From AI to data analytics and HR automation tools, technology continues to disrupt traditional hiring methods. Of course, many developments are still in their infancy. Stories of companies like Amazon being forced to scrap AI recruiting tools are well publicised. On the flip side of the coin, 67 per cent of recruiters surveyed by LinkedIn last said that AI was helping them to save time – with others reporting that they find it helpful to screen applicants, remove human bias and find the best Candidate matches. Other technologies, such as video interviewing are quickly becoming normal practice for recruiters. Increasingly, companies must spend their time analysing new trends to ascertain the benefits for their business, and whether they can improve the hiring process.

Creating a compelling offering

In a Candidate-driven market, where applicants may be choosing between two to three different roles, businesses must work harder than ever to entice top talent. Research shows that 78 per cent of jobseekers consider a company’s benefits package as ‘very’ or ‘extremely important’. Initiatives range from health insurance to childcare support, gym membership, travel assistance or Employee team days. Oxford employer Oodle, for example, offers a yearly festival for staff and their family, and a tea trolley with snacks and treats at 3pm. In particular, wellness schemes, promoting physical and mental health have risen in popularity. With more and more Employers offering these kinds of perks, applicants are certain to consider this as they choose whether to apply for a position.

Focusing on Employer branding

It’s thought that 75 per cent of jobseekers will consider a company’s brand before even applying for a job. As a result, recruiters who are able to think like marketers, showcasing why Candidates should work for them via their website and social media will have the competitive edge. Many of the companies listed on Glassdoor’s list of top UK companies to work for in 2020 are experts at this. Just take Equal Experts, a London-based software company that has its own events programme, called ‘Expert Talks’. By organising key speakers to talk in cities like Bristol and Manchester, this business is positioning itself at the forefront of the technology industry, as well as increasing brand awareness with Candidates in these locations. As we head into a new year, it’s clear that those who pay attention to the importance of company image will continue to attract applications.

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent Recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 we opened our first London office, to service Clients and Candidates in the capital.

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Kate Allen

Kate Allen

Kate founded Allen Associates in 1998 out of a determination to build a recruitment business which delivered a bespoke service centred on the needs of clients and candidates.

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