Recruiter Trends That Will Impact Your 2020 Job Hunt

The ways that recruiters and managers identify, recruit and hire tech talent are constantly evolving. Because of that, if you plan on looking for a new job in 2020, you may need to update the job-hunting process you used last time around.

The good news: Most of these recruiter-based changes will benefit tech job-hunters… but they still may require you to tweak your habits and approach. Here’s a look at the biggest trends and what you need to know to land your dream job in the New Year.

The Candidate’s Experience Is Paramount

Employers and recruiting firms that are serious about attracting and hiring the best and brightest are committed to providing candidates with a great experience.

It’s clear that candidates want a shorter, more transparent hiring process, noted Angela Harder, director of Operations for recruiting firm CorTalent. They want to know what the process entails, how long it will last, and where they stand at every stage of the cycle… all without having to ask.

The best organizations listen to that feedback and make a concerted effort to optimize their recruiting process. “So much so, that it’s a red flag if an employer or recruiting firm doesn’t set clear expectations before the hiring process even begins,” Harder said.

Don’t settle. Think twice about applying to any company or recruiting firm that doesn’t have a clearly defined hiring process that recognizes and addresses the needs of candidates.

Greater Flexibility on How Work Gets Done

Given the fundamental changes in the structure of the workforce—and increasing difficulty finding qualified candidates—tech managers must be willing to consider a broader range of talent for getting work done.

Hiring managers won’t care so much about a person’s employment status in 2020, explained Lars Schmidt, founder of Amplify Talent. They will be willing to hire a full-time worker, contractor or project-based freelancer—so long as they have the skills to get the job done.

“If you’re interested in working for a specific company, industry or project, don’t worry about the employment status listed on the job posting,” Schmidt said. “Just do a little sleuthing to uncover the name of the hiring manger and reach out directly.”

Keyword Density is Dying

Technology professionals who want to stay on the proverbial radar will need to use two different sets of tactics to make sure recruiters find them online.

That’s because using keyword searches and prior experience to identify suitable candidates is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Those techniques are being replaced by A.I.-powered algorithms that synthesize data from a variety of sources to proactively identify candidates who have the interest and ability to fill a particular role.

The new search tools go beyond the components of a résumé and other application materials, Harder noted. For example, these automated platforms can analyze a candidate’s online presence and discover that they are very active in online discussions about machine learning or robotic process automation.

To ensure that recruiters and employers consider you for positions with growth potential, participate in side projects and online discussions that reflect your interests, Schmidt advised. Also, make sure that your online presence tells the whole story about your past, present and future.

Potential Over Pedigree

With companies such as Amazon, IBM, Oracle and Microsoft committing millions to up-skill employees, and more and more companies looking to hire people with potential over a pedigree (i.e., they might not have the formal education, but they’ve spent their lives building software nonetheless), it’s important to be clear about who you want to work for and what you want to do – and to make sure that you partner with a recruiter who won’t waste your time with positions you held five years ago.

The best recruiters know the market and whether a hiring manager has realistic expectations. To increase your chances of landing your dream job in 2020, partner with a seasoned recruiter who is willing to act as an advisor for hiring managers and an advocate for candidates.

The Rise of Data Privacy Laws

First it was GDPR. Now the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) will go into effect January 1, 2020, which may inspire other states to adopt similar legislation. That means restrictions on what recruiters and hiring managers might be able to find out about you online. How can you make sure you’re not overlooked for a great opportunity?

While the exact implications of the CCPA are still in flux, it’s a good idea to let recruiters (privately) know that you’re open to new opportunities, and reconnect with companies and staffing firms where you’ve applied in the past.