HR Trends in the New Normal

As things have — and are — changing rapidly, so are the best practices for HR. In order to continue recruiting strong candidates and retain your best employees, you need to keep up with the times. These are the HR trends that recruiters should follow in 2020.

Artificial Intelligence

Many people believe that, despite all the buzz around Artificial Intelligence, it probably won’t become a part of their lives anytime soon. Little do they realise how much of our daily lives are already affected by it.

Artificial intelligence is now being widely used to simplify and streamline all kinds of processes. It helps us by automating parts of our work, especially repetitive, high-volume tasks. Which means saving a lot of time.

Recruiting is no different. AI has actually been strengthening its position for a few years, but due to this year’s turn of events, it has become a must-have among recruiters. Implementing it to everyday activities is one of 2020’s biggest HR trends.

As a result of the last few months, there are more candidates than ever on the market. So, most likely, the amount of applications will increase massively. Manually screening resumes is still the most time-consuming part of recruiting, and with around 80% of the resumes received being unqualified, some might feel a lot of time is wasted. To deal with this, and to make sure not to miss the suitable candidates, it’s time to turn to your problem-solving friend. According to LinkedIn, 76% of recruiters believe that AI’s impact on recruitment will be at least somewhat significant.

AI is not only helpful for reducing screening time, but there are loads of exciting applications for recruiters. Automated candidate sourcing and matching, chatbots, pre-employment assessment tools, diversity hiring — the list goes on. 

Recruitment Marketing

Employer branding is nothing new, every company has an employer brand. The important thing is how you cultivate and display it. Job seekers today will research potential future employers thoroughly, to be able to determine if the company meets their requirements and needs. It’s safe to say that the work environment is almost as important as pay and other benefits.

So, employer branding is a crucial tool for companies trying to stand out from the crowd and attract the top candidates. In 2020, companies need to work hard on how they portray themselves as an employer. Think about recruitment marketing like traditional marketing, but instead of selling a product you’re selling the workplace.

This is an ongoing, proactive strategy. Even when there are no open roles, you want to communicate how awesome it is to work in your organisation. Then, when you have a spot to fill, half the work is already done as people will be wanting to join. (If you’ve done a good job promoting it, of course).

As mentioned before, there are now more candidates on the market. To save time, you only want to attract the people who would be a good fit. 

Mobile-Friendly Recruitment

Todays’ job seekers are tech-savvy and will expect to be able to find and apply for jobs on-the-go. We have no time to waste. According to Inc.com, 45% of job seekers use their mobile devices to search for jobs at least once every day. If the site is slow, hard to navigate or read on the phone, you risk losing qualified candidates who give up.

A mobile-friendly recruitment system also makes life easier for the recruiters. To always be able to screen and communicate with candidates saves time and makes the job more efficient. The candidate experience will increase since the time to wait for a reply shortens. 

More Remote Employees

Most people’s work environment has changed completely for a long time to come. Maybe forever. The number of people working remotely has increased exponentially due to the outbreak of COVID-19. This has resulted in a lot of new challenges for the HR departments.

How do we make people feel motivated and keep the company culture flourishing?
What can we do to maintain high levels of candidate experience?
How do we on-board people properly, making them feel like part of the team?
What can we do to support a healthy work-life balance and employees’ mental health?

This, and much more, are things that we are going to have to figure out how to do sustainably.

Remote work does have upsides too. I mean, a lot. A study by Airtasker found that working from home not only benefits the employees by allowing them more flexibility and time in the day (without a daily commute). It also increases productivity and leads to healthier lifestyles.

In the long run, if companies continue to work remotely, or part remotely, they will be able to save a lot of money on smaller office space, less office supplies, other perks like parking spots, cookies etc.

If you manage to do this right — making sure employees are happy, that the team spirit isn’t lost and that motivation stays high — it will definitely benefit the organisation.

Maybe it’s time to consider giving employees more say over how, when and where they work?

Virtual Team Building

Company culture isn’t just for the office anymore. With more people working from home, companies have to figure out a sustainable long term plan for virtual team building. Since teammates might be located in different cities, maybe even countries, there’s no way to do it traditionally. We have to get creative. 

According to Remote.co “87% of remote workers feel more connected through the use of video conferencing.”

The answer is simple: Involvement is key. Team building is crucial for both regular and remote teams. It just might be a bit harder for remote teams to socialise and get to know each other. 

The Harvard Business Review states that “close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50%” and that “people with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to engage fully in their work”. 

By developing good working relationships, individuals will feel able to communicate more openly, solve problems and collaborate well. They can also help to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.

In the long run it might be hard to keep coming up with new things, but there are many websites to help you when the ideas peter out. Nowadays there are even companies leading these exercises.

Removing bias

In a perfect world, people would get hired solely based on their work experience, skills and personality traits. Unfortunately, we don’t live in that world. Yet.

Whether it’s unconscious or not — biases still often affect the hiring process, causing decisions to be made based on other factors than what would fit the role. Luckily, in recent years, the use of anonymous recruitment has been on the rise. This year, it’s definitely one of the HR Trends.

Unbiased recruitment is when we remove any ways to identify personal details in the applications — such as name, gender, age, ethnic background etc. — making the process of screening candidates as fair as possible.

Even the most “open-minded” people happen to be influenced by thoughts and feelings they don’t even know that they possess. All life experiences, big or small, impact how we deal with different situations. Many times unconsciously.

Another important part of this is to focus on inclusion. As mentioned earlier, a key part to improve the employee experience, and therefore retention, is the feeling of belonging to the group. It’s more important than ever to find ways of building inclusion into company culture for a more and more diverse workforce.

According to Fierce “creating a workplace culture that empowers employees to feel that they can show up to work and be themselves will become more vital as the line between work and life continues to blend together”.

An easy way of removing unconscious bias in the workplace is to use Anonymous hiring.

We are certainly living in challenging times, but there are plenty of exciting opportunities and developments on the horizon. By taking a moment to evaluate your recruitment strategy and looking to some of these key trends for inspiration, companies can beat the odds and continue to grow and hire the best talent.

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