8 Recruitment Trends for 2019

Every new year brings fresh trends for every industry — and recruitment is no different. Trends can help inform you of what the future will likely bring. This helps you in adjusting your recruiting process to better fit the needs of the market. And when it comes to the recruiting market nowadays, much has changed.

It’s a candidate-driven market. Just a few years ago, there were more unemployed persons than there were jobs — now, it’s the opposite. Research suggests that the current job market is as much as 90% candidate driven. That means that candidates have more power. Consequently, attracting and successfully hiring the best talent is more expensive, time-consuming, and difficult.

With this tremendous power shift comes new buzzwords and trends — and ways to take advantage of them. Here are 8 of the most important recruitment trends for 2019:

1) Recruitment marketing

What’s recruitment marketing? It’s a strategy based on implementing marketing tactics into recruiting — i.e. attracting talent to your organization using traditional marketing methods. Because of the current nature of the job market, the power is more in the candidate’s hands; so, recruiters need to adopt marketing practices to sell their organization to these talented individuals, much like selling a product or service.

2) Quality candidate experience

The term “candidate experience” refers to a candidate’s overall perception — past, present, and potential future — of your company’s recruiting process. The general expectation is that the recruiting process should be fast, efficient, easy, and mobile-friendly. A candidate who has a positive experience during recruiting will more likely accept a job offer.

Conversely, if that candidate has a negative recruiting experience, you may lose more than just good talent — you may lose money. Virgin Media, a British cable and mobile service provider, calculated that a negative candidate experience costs them $5.4 million every year.

3) Employer Branding

Employer branding means an organization’s reputation and popularity as an employer, as well as its employee value proposition (a different thing entirely from a company’s brand reputation and value proposition to customers). Essentially: how positive of an experience is it for employees to work at your company? How do the rewards and benefits balance out against performance? What do you offer them that’s different from elsewhere?

LinkedIn research has shown that 75% of job seekers do their own research on employer brand and reputation before even applying. That means if you have a bad reputation, your company will likely struggle. Not only to attract candidates (especially top talent) but also to retain employees. Improving your employee branding is a must in 2019.

4) AI/automation tools

Recruiting is full of often-tedious tasks. Many recruiters face challenges like dealing with more job requisitions (without an increase in staff). In addition to that, the candidate-driven market, and trying to engage job seekers quickly before they lose interest. Some of the more low-level tasks can be taken on by Artificial Intelligence or automation tools.

For example, Hilton uses end-to-end recruiting tool AllyO to help guide candidates into the right role for them, follow-up interviews for some positions and scheduling final offer-extension calls — just to name a few ways. ThredUp likes texting candidates, so they use AI to do everything from scheduling a phone screening interview to providing directions for new hires of their first on-site day.

And while AI is becoming more embraced, automation tools are nothing new — they’re starting to go beyond HRIS, ATS, and recruitment marketing software. Much of the automation tools are moving toward 2-in-1 ATS + recruitment marketing solutions to consolidate things onto one platform.

5) Video + VR/gaming for interviewing

52% of respondents to LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends said that innovations in interviewing were at least very important to the future of hiring. Using video and even virtual reality are two such innovations that are gaining ground. Companies that incorporated either video or VR platforms into their interviewing process found they were able to better assess skills, engage candidates more, increase efficiency and improve talent pool diversity, and encountered less unconscious bias.

Car-design company Jaguar employed a free mixed-reality app to test and teach candidates about the nuances of electric vehicles. Jaguar’s press release reported that these games “test their curiosity, persistence, lateral thinking and problem-solving skills.”

Jet.com uses VR to show its relaxed and collaborative company culture, showcasing sitting in on meetings with the CEO, the company’s happy hour and company band, as well as games.

6) Social recruiting

This one’s got a simple definition: using social media channels for recruiting. But rather than just posting job ads on your company’s social network accounts, it means using social media to proactively search for, build relationships with, and encourage potential candidates to apply.

Do this right, and it helps with your employer brand, too. In fact, in the 2018 Jobvite Recruiter Nation Survey, social media ranked as the top investment (47%) for companies growing their employer brand.

7) Contract/contingent employees

The “Gig Economy” has changed and will continue to change the workforce. 65% of employees surveyed in the research said they would pursue contract work if they were given the opportunity. 68% of candidates reported in another study that the ability to work remotely impacted their decision to accept a job offer.

The entire workforce will likely not be replaced by contract work rather than traditional jobs. Nonetheless, the popularization of non-traditional roles has changed employee expectations.

8) Data-driven recruiting

Data-driven recruiting is used to discuss recruiting methods that are based on data and analytics insights from HR tech. For instance, Applicants Tracking Systems and Recruitment Marketing platforms. By determining exactly what has an effect where what worked well, and what can be improved in hard numbers, you can improve the most important hiring metrics — i.e. time to hire, cost to hire, and quality of hire.


HR and recruiting is constantly changing and evolving — there’s no denying it. As you face newer and younger workforces, these changes are only going to become starker. If you want to remain competitive, you’ll need to stay on top of the latest trends that will affect the recruiting industry this year — and evolve with them throughout 2019 and into the future.

James Meincke

James is the Head of Marketing @ Demodesk, the intelligent meeting platform for remote sales. Previously he was the Director of Marketing at CloserIQ.