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Recruiting Trends 2019: 4 Predictions for Talent Acquisition

We've looked at how the industry has been evolving over the past few years, where it has gained momentum and where it has finally settled down. These are the four trends who have identified for 2019.

Talent acquisition is getting a seat at the table

In the past five years, recruiting professionals feel that talent acquisition has become more involved in executive decisions. They might have seen their executive leadership pulled into more strategic planning sessions, board presentations, and other company-wide conversations where they weren’t previously involved.

In 2019, this graduate change will fully shift into an open acknowledgement that TA leaders need to participate more directly in business-wide decisions.

Talent markets are at their tightest since right before the Global Financial Crisis in 2007, and CEOs are worrying about how they will attract the best people.

As a consequence, they will ask more of their heads of TA: what are the best candidates looking for? How do we attract them and keep them engaged? How do we reduce risks around hiring, and how do we ensure we keep our pipelines sustainably supplied with great candidates?

Candidate data privacy in the spotlight

The first GDPR fines have already been issued, and while none are particularly notable so far, they are only the beginning, and more might be coming soon. There are definitely GDPR violation investigations in the works that, if not resolved, will make the headlines in 2019, like this one with British Airways,

Candidates are concerned about how companies manage their data, like when it comes to sensitive diversity information, for example. They also care much more about companies’ reputations, and mishandling private data, be it from candidates or customers, can deal a serious blow to an employer’s reputation.

This means a few things for talent acquisition teams. Data privacy regulation is not the problem of the legal team only. Recruiters will need to adapt their processes and ways of working to stay compliant and respectful of candidates’ rights when it comes to their personal information.


Second, a more robust technical support will be needed to support compliant recruiting processes, which brings us to our third prediction.

Candidates will expect ultra-personalization at scale.

Candidates are getting used to highly personalized experiences in every aspect of their lives, from detailed vacation suggestions to targeted deals from their local supermarket.

Providing a quality omnichannel interaction from first touch to last interview means having a long list of work streams set up in parallel, and all working together in unison. As a consequence, talent teams will need a tight handle on their backend operations. Automation will be key, as well as are processes, long-term planning, and a powerful technology platform to carry it all.

The pressure to deliver that ultra-personalized experience will climb to all-time highs, and we will start see normalization of sophisticated nurture and personalization practices in recruiting teams, especially as they close their skill gap and acquire the marketing knowledge they need.

Teams will specialize (even more)

The need for new specialized functions, such as recruitment compliance or recruiting operations, is another natural consequence of the higher expectations placed on recruiting teams.

Screenshot 2018-10-31 10.46.25

Teams will become more analytical, better able to communicate and cooperate with external stakeholders, and generally more agile as team members with different expertise come together to execute on different recruiting projects and then dissolve and reform again as needed.

The underlying theme to all these upcoming trends is the cementing of the importance of engagement and relationships in recruiting. Talent engagement is not a tactic or strategy, it’s the central tenet of recruiting in the current market, and companies will be affirming this thinking internally in 2019.

We’ll be watching to see who stays ahead of the pack, and what form their strategy to attract and engage with the best talent will be.

State of Talent Engagement 2019 report

The results of the State of Talent Engagement 2019 survey are in! You can download the full report here for statistics and data on how companies plan to engage with talent in 2019.

Download report


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