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Recruitment Trends and Tips

In 2020, the expectations of candidates, hiring managers, and recruiters are evolving. Technology has produced recruiters who are savvy, strategic, and supercharged when it comes to choosing the right candidate for the job, and employers are more likely to prioritize employee experience.

While some of the recruiting developments have been leisurely, others have occurred at the speed of light, quickly embracing our age of technology. The acquisition of talent is moving toward video interviews and skills assessments—away from phone screenings and paper resumes. In short, reactive hiring has changed to proactive recruitment, and random choices have progressed to focused selection. Some of the trends you are likely to see in 2020 include:

Employer Branding Playing a Bigger Role for Prospective Employees
According to, a compelling employer brand is key to attracting the best talent, and businesses with excellent employer brands receive up to 50 percent more qualified applicants. Employer brand encompasses an employer’s reputation, particularly when it comes to how the company values its employees and whether the company is considered a good place to work. It is estimated that at least three-quarters of job seekers will research the employer’s brand and reputation prior to putting in an application. A business with a bad reputation will find it much harder to attract new talent and retain current employees.

In particular, small- to mid-size businesses face a number of unique recruiting and hiring challenges, making it even more important to create a robust, attractive employer brand. Another key element of employer branding is an employee value proposition (EVP), which is not as complex as it sounds. EVP refers to the rewards and benefits received by employees in return for workplace performance.

An organization develops an EVP that goes hand-in-hand with employer branding—a magnet that attracts highly qualified job candidates. EVPs are associations and offerings provided by a company in return for the skills, capabilities, and experience brought to the company by a prospective employee. An EVP must be both compelling and relevant. Employee branding brings in robust talent, which in turn builds a dynamic workforce, influencing the success of the brand.

Hiring for Soft Skills by More Organizations
The United States is experiencing a widespread deficit of employee skills—a deficit that is expected to increase to shortages of 29 million employee skills by 2030. It is expected that most of these missing skills will be “soft” skills, including collaboration, problem-solving, and communication. While a number of repetitive jobs may one day be replaced by automation, employees who possess these essential soft skills are unlikely to ever be replaced. Employees lacked about 1.2 of the skills employers considered essential for a specific position in 2010—today, employees lack a whopping 18 essential job skills employers are looking for. The soft skills considered most necessary to employers for a future workforce include:

  • Design mindset
  • Computational thinking
  • Social intelligence
  • Cognitive load management
  • Media literacy
  • Sense-making
  • Virtual collaboration
  • Trans-disciplinarity
  • Cross-cultural competency
  • Novel and adaptive thinking

Creating and Maintaining Talent Pools
Today’s recruiters know that top talent can be lost forever simply because a potential hire wasn’t right for a specific job. By building a relationship with these prospects and keeping them interested, you can build your own talent pool. A good starting point is to create When you create and maintain a talent pool, you significantly decrease your cost-per-hire, as well as the time it takes to hire. In turn, this makes your life much easier, giving you a “safety net” to fall back on when faced with a sudden employee departure. To create a talent pool:

  • Add sourced candidates
  • Build a landing page dedicated to these candidates
  • Re-engage unsuccessful candidates regularly
  • Engage those who come recommended
  • Include internal talent in your talent pool

Maintaining your talent pool is a matter of keeping candidates (who are not quite ready to apply) interested in your company, providing content to different candidate groups, and looking into the talent pool on a regular basis. Don’t forget to include former employees!

Key Recruitment Factor is Now Candidate Experience
The perception candidates have regarding an organization’s recruitment process is known as the candidate experience. The candidate experience includes attitude, behavior, and feeling during the hiring process. Candidates who have a positive recruitment experience are likely to refer other candidates, even sharing a positive experience on social media. Conversely, when the hiring experience is not positive, the company is likely to have adverse outcomes. In fact, according to, a negative hiring experience not only prevents candidates from sharing a positive experience, it can compel at least 50 percent of the candidates to refrain from purchasing the company’s services or products. To ensure a positive candidate experience, a consumer-centric candidate approach that aligns with corporate goals, culture, and values is essential. In the end, the candidate experience process should be similar to marketing to potential customers.

  • Proactive Recruiters on the Rise
    The role of today’s and tomorrow’s recruiters is changing quickly: Recruiters now actively search for talent both within and outside their company, while facilitating career development and internal mobility. Today’s recruiters are heavily armed with technological tools, allowing them to better engage with potential candidates, and to proactively source from internal as well as outside talent pools. It is absolutely a necessity that recruiters use every tool at their disposal, as today’s talent market is highly competitive.

    Consider the following five tips to ensure you recruit the very best talent out there in 2020:

    1. Add workplace flexibility as a core benefit for employees.
    2. Make sure to be transparent about pay and benefits during the hiring process.
    3. Practice skill-based recruitment.
    4. Make sure your company is properly responding to equality, equity, and anti-harassment in the workplace.
    5. Consider proactive help from specialized Executive Search Firms offering to create and maintain talent pools specific to your hiring needs, as a service.