3 Job & Hiring Trends You’ll See in 2020 (& Beyond!)

Recruiting and HR are always constantly evolving, but with a new decade just around the corner, change is in the air more than ever before. Today’s most proactive organizations are already getting ready for these shifts by reading up on the latest trends and planning for them accordingly. And while we can’t use a crystal ball to show you the future, we can offer the next best thing — a list of recruiting and HR predictions identified by Glassdoor’s Chief Economist, Dr. Andrew Chamberlain.

Years of closely studying the labor market coupled with access to Glassdoor’s vast repository of data provide Chamberlain with unparalleled insight into the direction of the job market and economy at large. In his new report, Glassdoor’s Job & Hiring Trends for 2020, Chamberlain shares what talent acquisition and HR professionals need to know today to prepare for tomorrow. Read on below for a preview, and view the full report for more information!

1. Culture Will Come First

In a world of increasing transparency and corporate accountability, a strong company culture is no longer a nice-to-have — it’s a business imperative. For one, company culture has a significant impact on a company’s ability to recruit and retain top talent. A recent Glassdoor survey confirmed that workers increasingly value company culture over cash, and since today’s candidates have the ability to get an insider’s look at your organizational culture through platforms like Glassdoor and social media, companies can no longer just talk the talk — they need to walk the walk as well. Furthermore, there’s a growing body of research proving that company culture drives real business results. Companies with better cultures tend to perform better financially, attract talent more easily and have more satisfied customers.

Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that many of the world’s most influential companies are placing a renewed emphasis on employees. At this year’s Business Roundtable, a summit that brings together a group of almost 200 CEOs from top-tier brands, the organization revised its mission statement for the first time ever, stating that companies can no longer focus on shareholders alone — they must focus on employees, as well as customers, suppliers and the communities in which they operate.

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of this shift. This formal recognition of employee culture in business today is one that executives can’t afford to ignore,” Chamberlain says. “In 2020, we expect this changing tide of CEO opinion to usher in a new wave of culture-first thinking among business leaders, elevating employee engagement to the status of core business focus for a growing number of companies.”

So, what can you do to improve your company culture? Forget about fluffy perks like free food and ping-pong tables — Glassdoor research has shown that the three biggest drivers of employee satisfaction are a clear mission, high-quality senior leadership and career opportunities.

RELATED: Culture Codes of Best Places to Work 

2. Employers Will Brace for a Potential Recession

We may currently be in the midst of the longest period of economic growth in U.S. history, but as the saying goes, what goes up must come down. Indeed, there are a number of different warning signs than a recession may be around the corner. For example, the yield curve — historically one of the best predictors of an approaching recession — suggests that an economic downturn is likely to occur in the near future. Additional indicators include the slowing pace of job gains, which have decreased from an average of 223,000 per month in 2018 to 167,000 per month so far in 2019, and the ongoing trade war with China, which continues to impact manufacturing and may be spreading to other industries. As a result, today’s most forward-thinking companies have already begun to develop recession-proof hiring strategies.

Many employers assume that hiring will become easier in a recession — but while candidate pools are typically bigger during an economic slowdown, many companies find themselves overwhelmed by a flood of low-quality applications. As a result, companies will likely have to identify which recruiting channels deliver the most highly-qualified candidates and invest in them more heavily. Employer branding will also play a critical role in helping companies stand out among the competition, in both the short-term and the long-term.

“Building a strong employer brand takes years, while most recessions last nowhere nearly as long… When the economy picks up and it’s time to ramp up hiring again, companies who’ve maintained a strong employer brand will enjoy a clear strategic advantage,” Chamberlain says. “For that reason, we expect employers in 2020 to keep the long view and maintain investments in employer branding even if the economy slows.”

Coming up with a plan for how your company can continue to invest in your culture and grow your employer brand, even in lean times, will be essential for continued success in talent attraction and retention.

3. More Candidates Will Embrace the Mobile Job Search

Today, an estimated 81 percent of Americans own a smartphone, according to Pew Research Center. What’s more, the World Advertising Research Center (WARC) estimates that in just five years, 72.6 percent of internet users will exclusively access the web through a smartphone. So it makes sense that in the twelve years since the debut of the smartphone, mobile devices have become embedded in our daily lives, playing a key role in everything from dating to shopping to navigation to banking and more. Another thing Americans are using their phones for? Finding and applying to jobs. Unfortunately, not many employers have evolved their job application experience to keep up with today’s technology.

A Glassdoor study found that mobile job seekers encounter multiple barriers to entry in the application process. Most companies have not yet created a truly mobile-first experience, and as a result, companies are turning high-quality candidates off of their organization. In fact, mobile users complete only about 22 percent of applications they start versus 47 percent on desktop. And when the median time to complete a job application on mobile is 10.5 minutes compared to just 5.9 minutes for desktop users, it’s no wonder. If you don’t want to lose out on top talent, you’ll want to make a mobile-friendly application process a top priority. Don’t worry, though — even small steps toward improving your mobile job search experience can reap serious rewards. Things like creating a mobile-optimized version of your career site and leveraging Glassdoor’s “Easy Apply” feature, which helps mobile users apply to jobs in just a few short clicks, result in a much more mobile-friendly experience.

On the verge of a new decade, changes in the world of recruiting and human resources are nigh. But this shouldn’t be cause for panic — employers who read up on these trends and prepare for them today will see their efforts pay off for years to come. With a little foresight and planning, you might just be able to give your company the competitive edge you need to hire and keep the very best talent.

Learn More:

Glassdoor’s Job & Hiring Trends for 2020