The 2019 recruitment trends that should be on your agenda

The new year brings with it a revised set of recruiting trends that have the potential to seriously disrupt your recruiting efforts and processes, aligning recruitment with your core business goals and allowing you to access a far wider pool of talent. 

It’s vital that businesses in all industries recognise the market is candidate driven, meaning that candidates are picking the firms they want to work for. This means that it is becoming harder to hire those candidates with the right skills, behaviour and attitude, as competition from other firms is fierce. Candidates are going to choose the employers that can exhibit a positive experience throughout the hiring process and are focussed on being a great employer. 

Below we have compiled some of the top recruitment trends that we predict you will be taking notice of in 2019 – and will enable you to hire staff that will have longevity and ultimately, impact your bottom line. 

Strategic Alignment

The danger of having recruitment siloed into the realm of HR, means that it runs the risk of potentially losing overarching business objectivity. Looking for a specific set of achievements and level of expertise means that the act of recruiting becomes a surface level exercise. 

Businesses need to recognise the need for making their recruitment process more strategic, so that hiring efforts support the wider business goals and objectives. 

This approach means that potential skills gaps can be identified, and candidates that drive the business forward will be recruited. However, HR should not be an afterthought, HR heads should be involved in setting the objectives to ensure that the process can actively support the goals, and agree how this will be measured. 

Candidate Relationship Management

The process of candidate relationship management enables you to improve and effectively manage the relationships that you have with current candidates and those that have the potential to be considered for future roles. 

Despite being a method used within the talent acquisition industry for a while, it’s a new consideration in the wider area of recruitment, and candidate relationship management is being hailed as one of the top recruitment trends for 2019. 

By keeping in contact with candidates in an engaged and enthusiastic way, you can nurture a pipe line of future talent, whose skills, education and expertise are categorised, making data-driven decisions easier to make. 

GDPR Impact

GDPR has been high on the business agenda for quite some time now, and it’s not set to slip down the list of priorities in 2019, especially when it comes to recruitment. 

Businesses will need to be far more forthcoming and transparent with regards to how they are storing the personal data of candidates and must be receptive when it comes to the candidates requesting that data is deleted. 

Some brands are beginning to establish well researched, tailored recruitment methods and establishing relationships with these individuals, making GDPR compliance much easier, as there is no unsolicited contact by phone or email. 

Employer Branding

A term used to describe a company’s reputation as an employer, a strong employer brand not only gives you a competitive edge when it comes to attracting top talent into your business, it also enables you to retain them for longer. Research shows that businesses that work to establish a great employer brand see recruitment costs decrease considerably, while their staff productivity and profits increase. 

Research by LinkedIn found that 75% of candidates reportedly research a brand and its reputation before applying for a role, and 69% stated that they would reject a job offer from a business with a bad reputation, even if this meant that they were unemployed. 

Capture the interest of both active and passive job seekers by being proactive in creating a standout employer brand. 

Candidate Experience

How do past, present and future candidates rate the recruitment process they underwent with your business?   

Candidate experience is a comprehensive focus on the entire recruitment process within your business and the feelings, behaviour and perceptions of the candidates that are involved in any part of it including interviewing, hiring and onboarding. 

Firms need to acknowledge the weight that candidate experience carries; candidates that have a positive experience carry a greater chance of accepting an offer, or if they weren’t successful, reapply for future roles. 

Research found that 95% of candidates are more likely to reapply with a company after having a positive candidate experience, 97% would refer others to apply for the company and 55% of candidates would take to social media to share their positive candidate experience. 

However, those that have a negative experience can impact your bottom line. Virgin Media famously admitted that negative candidate experiences cost them more than $5 million each year. 

Structured Interviews

There are three variations of job interview formats, unstructured, semi-structured and structured. For a while, unstructured interviews seem to have been favoured, especially among the millennial generation and those who were wholly focused on searching for a ‘culture fit’.  

However, structured interviews are tipped to take precedence in the impending new year. This format sees the interviewer lead with a set of questions that are predetermined, that are asked in the same order to each candidate being interviewed. 

The argument for structured interviews is that it allows the hiring manager to evaluate candidates objectively and easily and fairly compare their answers, but it can conflict with the employer branding and candidate experience initiatives as the structure can create an atmosphere that is cold and impersonal. 

It will require the hiring manager to conduct the interview in a way that doesn’t compromise the overall experience. 


As you can see from the compiled elements above, a strong recruitment and onboarding process requires a strategic, far-reaching approach that extends far beyond the interview process. By considering how your brand as an employer is being perceived, and how your entire recruitment process makes candidates feel about your business, and if it allows you as the hiring party to make an informed, objective judgement, you can tailor appropriately. This will in turn, act as a catalyst for capturing the individuals that will drive your business forward and achieve the overall business goals.

About the Author

Anne Corder

Anne Corder


Whilst still actively handling recruitment assignments, Anne specialises in Human Resources with many years of experience in that sector. She blogs on wider recruitment issues affecting both candidates and clients, commenting and offering tips and advice to help achieve the right outcomes.