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What is the tech recruitment landscape in 2019?

From increased diversity to AI, we’re looking forward to what the coming year may bring. Discover what the recruitment landscape will look like in 2019.

Last year saw many developments in the recruitment industry. GDPR affected how companies gather data, gender diversity was at the forefront of discussions and Brexit had HR departments on tenterhooks. Ever-evolving AI technology also split opinions on robots in the workplace.

So, what will the recruitment landscape look like in 2019? At CWJobs, we’re looking ahead to predict what the forthcoming year may bring.

Data privacy and GDPR

When the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced on the 25th of May last year, some companies were quick to adhere. Others, scrambled around at the last minute trying to meet requirements. Almost everyone however, assumed that GDPR would change things immediately.

Eight months later, and it’s clear that the regulations haven’t had an industry-wide effect…yet. As of September 2018, the Information Commissioner’s Office hadn’t fined any UK companies over breach of GDPR despite receiving around 500 calls per week to their breach reporting line. And to date, there still haven’t been all that many fines issued. With the one-year mark approaching since GDPR was introduced, we might expect to see more fines being issued for failure to adhere to regulations.

As more HR departments start using Big Data as part of its recruitment process, GDPR will likely have an impact on how it’s used. Companies will need to embrace data mapping to ensure that candidate information is being used and stored ethically.

GDPR will also become a driving force for gaining customer trust. As fines become more commonplace, companies that adhere to regulations will be seen in a positive light, as ethical and trustworthy.

Increasing diversity

Last year saw many companies create successful diversity initiatives but many others are still struggling to build diversity into their company culture.

We expect 2019 to see a continued drive towards inclusion across many industries, not least in STEM workplaces. Companies like Hewlett Packard are leading the way in closing the diversity gap in tech and this year we expect to see more large organisations promote diverse leadership.

We’d also expect to see companies actively removing gender bias from their recruitment process by adopting more inclusive practices. Many companies are already using skills-based assessments in the early stages of recruitment to remove bias related to gender, age and race.

Men will also have an increasing role in promoting diversity in the workplace as they become agents of change.

The impact of Brexit

With the UK’s exit from Europe scheduled for March 2019, no-one is quite sure how leaving the EU will affect the UK economy and its major industries – including technology and recruitment.

What we do know is that between the first quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2018, there was a 95% drop in EU nationals joining the UK workforce. And according to HR company CIPD’s Autumn 2018 Labour Market Outlook report, last year, 44% of employers found recruitment difficult and 34% found retaining staff a challenge. Depending on what happens in March, we might assume that we’ll see a similar drop in EU nationals applying for jobs in the UK.

In 2019, we’d expect to see companies offering an increase in salaries to attract new talent and retain existing employees. Flexible working schemes could also become more commonplace to attract a bigger pool of candidates and to ensure existing staff can create a better work-life balance.

If Brexit does lead to a talent shortage, we’d also expect to see an increase in the number of training opportunities being offered by companies. We’ve previously written about the challenges of attracting talent in the technology industry on the CWJobs blog and many of the same principles apply to recruiters in other industries.

Artificial intelligence

As AI continues to make inroads to HR processes, 2019 could be the year that AI really makes an impact in recruitment. We predict that psychometric testing tools like Teamwork Pro from Good&Co will become more commonplace in HR departments, helping to find candidates based on personality data.

The use of AI-powered assistants like chatbots will likely increase as companies focus on increasing the speed of processing applications in a bid to improve the candidate experience.

The recruitment industry may also see an increase in the use of augmented writing tools like Textio. AI-driven writing software typically uses data and predictive analytics to identify the most effective use of language. In recruitment, these tools can be used to write more effective job adverts.

In 2019, we’d also expect to see the debate around robots in the workplace continue. The consensus on the impact of robots in the workplace remains split. Whereas some believe that robots will lead to job losses, others believe that they’ll create more jobs than they replace. We’d expect 2019 to provide more insights into the reality of having robots in the workplace.

This coming year looks to bring many significant developments in the recruitment industry. As more GDPR fines are issued, the regulations will likely affect how companies use Big Data to source candidates. And companies that comply with GDPR will be seen as ethical and trustworthy. We’d expect to see more companies removing gender bias from their recruitment practices and we predict that more men will be actively involved in promoting diversity. Despite the uncertainty over Brexit, we may conclude that companies will continue to find recruitment challenging in 2019. As psychometric testing, chatbots and augmented writing tools become the norm, this year will provide interesting insights into the role of robots in the workplace.