How will recruitment change in 2019?

Have you ever wondered what the recruitment will be like in 10 years’ time? With all the new HR 2.0 trends and social networks will it remain the same? Will the current economic crisis affect the employment conditions? How will the rapidly aging society cope on the labour market? Will CVs and cover letters survive? Who will have the actual power on the job market?

dephi_buttonWhile writing a blog post about how Web 2.0 tools influence HR activities I came across the report ‘Recruitment in 2019’ (Delphi study), published at Jobsite. It forecasts how the recruitment market is likely to evolve over the next decade. The predictions, made by HR specialists, business owners and futurologists, are based on the state of the economy in 2019 – which is hardly possible to forecast, that’s why the authors made bold assumption that by then we will have returned to the economic ‘normality’. Below you will find some of the most interesting predictions the panel of experts made while looking at the big picture:

1. The workforce fragmentation will make recruitment more complex by 2019.

Demographic fragmentation (age and gender related), meaning more women, ethnic and old people on the labour market.  It will have a significant impact in many areas of the market and will force recruiters to using new technologies and channels, which in turn will create more demand for intermediaries such as recruitment consultancies. With the diversity of workforce ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach will no longer be acceptable. Companies will have to come up with more tailor-made solutions and become more flexible in terms of hours, remuneration, work location and role. Employers will have to use different channels while communicating with different target employee groups.

Fragmentation caused by attitudes to technology will further complicate the HR job. There will emerge a new species of candidates who develop an antipathy towards increasing automation, and concerned about their privacy they will refuse to use certain channels of communication (the so called post-Facebook generation). Consequently, it will be essential for recruiters to appeal to this group using a wider range of channels.

Fragmentation caused by people’s attitude to work will require a more flexible approach to working hours especially in relation to women (child care duties) and the elderly people as neither of these groups will be able to commit to a standard 9-5 job. Employers will have to provide more flexible employment packages.

Also hard-to-recruit markets will shape work conditions. They will obviously become more demanding.
“Once Gen Y and Gen X, to some extent, realize how in-demand they are on a global basis, I believe many of the norms in employment will be redefined around their aspirations.“

Fragmentation caused by the changing structure of company operations due to internationalization of the workforce (European Union market) and the continuing development of the outsourcing and offshoring model. This will also create serious challenges such as handling a range of international recruitment channels, managing the employment effectively across different cultures and finding new ways of building consistent employer brand on the international employment market.


2. The power will shift towards candidates and away from recruiters. This will be driven by the ‘war for talent’ in key markets and will result in candidates shaping their individual career paths, controlling how recruiters use new technology and the ways recruiters market themselves to candidates. In other words, it will be the candidates who will manage the recruitment processes.

3.The comeback of recruitment consultancy.With the development of direct digital recruitment channels smaller, technology-resistant, non-specialist job agencies will face serious challenges which will give new opportunity for recruitment consultancies. Thanks to the innovative technology the candidate relationship process will undergo improvement as well as CRM technology will allow agencies to  manage candidate relationships more effectively.

4. If the global economy returns to a ‘normal’ state by 2019, ‘war for talent’ will start again in key markets. In this “war” major employers will be under pressure to use all possible channels to secure the best employees before their competitors snatch them. SME employers, for which recruitment is not a core activity, will need the support from recruitment agencies in their struggle for talent against well resourced brands investing heavily in the recruitment market. Obviously, this will result in the employee being a king once again and will shape the way the recruitment process is carried out.

5. Advanced recruitment technology will be used routinely by organizations of all sizes and types but companies will become  aware of its limits. Candidates will have become accustomed to user-friendly and efficient online processes. Candidates will have high expectations of all organizations in terms of  providing established minimum standard. If companies fail to provide the above they risk creating a very negative employer image.

6. The increased importance of the employment brand will create new opportunities  for experienced brand specialists. Similar to recruitment consultancies, the services offered by advertising agencies will also widen, with a stronger focus on ‘brand’. It will involve experience, usability, and reputation management – rather than just basic ‘advertising’.

How do you like these predictions? All of them are quite long term and I’m a bit hesitant if such assumptions can be made so far in advance. One thing is certain, the whole recruitment sector has always been considered cyclical in its nature, so it’s pretty natural that an employer driven market will eventually shift towards a candidate oriented market and back. This cycle can repeat a few times during the decade, and the ruling trend always forces certain attitude changes both in candidates and employees depending on who has a ball in his court.

Feel free to add comments and your own predictions below. Besides we invite you to discuss with us through Twitter: @GOYELLO


Aspire Blog Team

Aspire Systems is a global technology services firm serving as a trusted technology partner for our customers. We work with some of the world's most innovative enterprises and independent software vendors, helping them leverage technology and outsourcing in our specific areas of expertise. Our services include Product Engineering, Enterprise Solutions, Independent Testing Services and IT Infrastructure Support services. Our core philosophy of "Attention. Always." communicates our belief in lavishing care and attention on our customers and employees.


  1. In response to the part above that cites managing across cultures in the future, there's an excellent new book that's been published by McGraw-Hill, and it's titled just that: Managing Across Cultures: The Seven Keys to Doing Business with a Global Mindset, by Charlene Solomon and Michael Schell. It's full of real Fortune 500 stories that demonstrate how cultural barriers and cultural insensitivity lead to disaster and financial loss. It also introduces different ways of learning and recognizing cultural behaviors in people from other countries. I strongly recommend it as an interesting read and a powerful reference!

    Here's the book's website:

  2. I really like these predictions. Most of the ones I come across are quite bleak and depressing while these are really positive. To what extent they are realistic is another story, I guess… Generally, I believe it is healthier for the society when recruitment process is the employees' call. Maybe because I am one of them ;>

  3. I could not agree more with your idea that the recruiting is becoming fragmented. Just as the recruiting market will change, the world of work will also look drastically different in 2019 than today. Since you mentioned the War for Talent, I wanted to suggest a book done by the creators of the idea. It is called the War for Talent, and was written by a few McKinsey consultants who have lead the charge on this idea. It has some interesting statistics and analysis that you may find helpful.

  4. Thanks for the comment Brett. I will definitely take up on your suggestion about the book. Since you do not agree with the fragmentation theory the futurologists included in their report, what are your predictions then? Really curious how the world of work will look in ten years' time. Share your ideas please 🙂

  5. Thank you for commenting on the post. I bet you like these predictions being an employee 🙂 Do you belong to a Y generation?

  6. Thanks for all the suggestions and comments 🙂 I bet all employees will like the idea that they are in control 🙂 Ally, do you belong to a Y Generation?

  7. Hi Aga,

    I think you accidentally misread my comment…I was actually agreeing with your thoughts on the fragmentation of recruiting. I think most companies will shift much more towards an independent contractor model rather than the current long term employee one we have today. I think the first wave is already occurring in the consulting and accounting fields, and I think this trend will only accelerate over the next couple of years.

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