Human Hiring 2020: 5 Expert Predictions Set to Rock the World of HR

5 min read

The world in 2019 has been as unpredictable as Trump’s next tweet.

And HR is no exception.

From digital transformation to GDPR-gate, keeping up with the twists and turns of human resources can get pretty overwhelming.

But don’t worry, you’re in the right place. 

We’ll help you run a well-needed check on your hiring practices and get ahead of the game, as we reveal five expert predictions for the biggest HR trends in 2020. 

#1. Personalized automation is the new black

“We may see more self-service options for job seekers as they apply to and engage with employers... [But] employers still need to personalize the experience for candidates during their in-person interviews.” —Chris Russell, Founder of RecTech Media

Technology is awesome.

From using analytics to measure company data, to connecting with remote teams, these days there seems to be a tech solution for every HR challenge—including recruitment. 

According to HR expert Chris Russell, founder of RecTech Media, we should expect to see a lot more automation creeping in over the next few years. And, as a man who’s been described as “the mad scientist of online recruiting", he should know. 

Chris’s experimental recruitment tactics—which include podcasting, live webinars and new job boards—are widely applauded. But despite predicting the inevitable rise of automation, Chris is still a firm believer in people power.

“Employers still need to personalize the experience for candidates during their in-person interviews,” he says. “For example, ask them before they arrive how they take their coffee. Give them tips on impressing in the interview itself. Invest in their success during your hiring process.”

We couldn't have said it better ourselves. 😍

Ready to automate the boring bits? Check out our mega-resource Beyond the Buzz: A Real-World Guide to Agile Recruitment.

#2. Traditional applicant testing is out

“I would advise people to start doing pilot projects (or something similar) instead of technical & personality tests.” —Sarah Corboliou, Employee Success, Unito

News flash: traditional is boring.

Your tried-and-tested hiring process might still be the easy go-to method —but with a growing talent pool of tech-savvy millennials, it’s time to freshen up your act. 

In fact, according to Forbes, millennials have been reshaping the hiring process for some time now. From niche-specific job boards to mobile-friendly applications, the expectations of younger applicants are through-the-roof.

Sarah Corboliou, Head of Employee Success at Unito certainly agrees—for her, traditional hiring just doesn’t cut it anymore.

"The tendency is to always add a ton of bullshit requirements. I really try to resist that. Realistically, if you ask someone if they can work in a team, no one's going to tell you 'no'."

Instead, Sarah is all about giving potential employees a pilot project—a completely real, non-hypothetical task to help them show off their skillset and figure out what it’s really like working at your company.

"We think the pilot project is a huge improvement both for the candidate and for the company. They get to come and work with us, they get to meet the entire team if they want to. No one changes their behavior in the office, so what they see is real and you get to work on stuff that you will be working on in the future," she explains.

And for the tech-savvy talent pool, jumping out from behind the application form and showing off their skills is exactly the kind of challenge that gets them excited. 

It’s certainly worked for Sarah and Unito, who are crushing it with a 5-star Glassdoor rating.

#3. Flex work is now a permanent thing

“Working from home is a future-looking technology.” —Nicholas Bloom, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Working in your pajamas might sound like a dream—but for thousands of people across the US, it's fast becoming reality. 

Whether it’s work-from-home or flex-time, flexible working is becoming more popular by the minute.

In fact, according to the International Workplace Group, a huge 83% of workers would turn down a job that didn’t offer flexible working. The result has been one giant leap in businesses offering flexible workspaces—over the last decade 85% of US businesses have responded to the demand. 👍

The bottom line? Flexible working makes sense for everyone, including recruitment professionals.

Nicholas Bloom, Professor of Economics at Stanford Graduate School of Business, told audiences at TEDxStanford about his research into employees who regularly work from home, “We found massive, massive improvement in performance—a 13% improvement in performance from people working at home.”

Not too shabby, right?

“For employees, they’re much more productive and happier. For managers, you don’t have to spend so much time recruiting and training people. For firms, you make far more profit. For society, there’s a huge saving of reducing congestion, driving times and, ultimately, pollution. There’s not much to lose, and there’s a lot to gain,” he adds.

Sounds like a win-win-win.

#4. Say ‘Hello’ to chatbots

“When done well, bots can delight customers and increase their connection to your brand. But when done poorly, you risk losing customers. Make sure you have a plan in place to ensure your bot amazes your audience and achieves your business goals.” —Christi Olson, Head of Evangelism for Search at Microsoft

Imagine a cute little virtual assistant who pops up and answers all your applicants’ questions, so you don’t have to—what’s not to love?

Chatbots have been around for a while. Designed to help automate admin tasks and provide a personalized service for applicants and employees, chatbots make time-consuming jobs faster and easier—saving you time and money.

With businesses across the internet utilizing quick-response technology, communication for customers has become so much easier—and now it’s HR’s turn.🙌

In fact, expert Christi Olson believes chatbots are the future. And as head of Evangelism for Search at Microsoft, she really knows her stuff. 

“Gartner predicts that by 2020 people will have more conversations with chatbots than their spouse,” said Christi, in an article for Search Engine Journal

In another article, Christi went on to write, “There’s no doubt that bots can yield some fantastic benefits from a business perspective, especially for service-oriented brands. By using bots to automate, businesses can save up to 30 percent in customer support services. Bots can perform a multitude of tasks, from directing help support calls to making style recommendations to qualifying sales leads… It all comes down to what your business needs (and what your customers expect).”

#5. Digital transformation will change the face of HR

“There’s no point coming up with a digital HR strategy in isolation, it’s got to be linked to what the business is trying to achieve,” —David Green, Executive Director at Insight222

Fact: The world has gone tech crazy.

From Alexa composing your shopping list to tracking your taxi journey with Lyft, there are a million pieces of software to make each part of your life easier. 

And the same is true for hiring.

In fact, with the rolling-out of digital transformations in businesses across the US, recruitment processes are becoming more streamlined every day.

But digital transformation ain’t easy—and it can’t be done in isolation.

“There’s no point coming up with a digital HR strategy in isolation, it’s got to be linked to what the business is trying to achieve,” said expert David Green, Executive Director at Insight222, speaking to AIHR Digital at the UNLEASH conference. 

His fellow delegate, Talent Acquisition Thought Leader Peter Gold, added, “[With any] digital transformation project, the things that are really important are first of all, will this change benefit me as a user? Because if there’s nothing in it for me… then I as a user won’t want to do it,” he said, “Second thing, as a business sponsor I need to know what is the business impact… The final thing is—is it actually adding some fun to somebody? Is there actually something interesting or exciting about it so that internally it goes viral?”

We couldn't agree more. At the end of the day, if it isn't making your process more efficient and more fun, what's the point?

Ready to bring a little joy back to your hiring process?

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