Top HR Trends to Watch in 2020

Craig Hynd |


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HR is a constantly-evolving field, and 2020 looks set to bring new opportunities and challenges to HR professionals. Unemployment levels are at a record low, yet a recent study has revealed that 22% of UK workers will look for new jobs this year. This presents a difficult task for HR to adapt to and embrace a rapidly-evolving landscape in order to entice the best talent out there, and to satisfy an existing workforce that is becoming increasingly demanding and hungry for change.

The power of branding

One of the most important functions of HR is to attract talent. Potential candidates have likely already formed a brand image of your organisation before they’ve even applied, which means the way in which your company is perceived is critical to being able to attract the best talent possible.

Much in the same way as branding influences consumers, the way in which people perceive your brand will determine how they interact with you. Candidates will research your culture and values by looking at your website, reading reviews, and scouring social media channels. This means that the impressions they form of your company during this research phase will determine whether they apply for a job, accept a position, and even if they stay with your company for the long-haul.

Thus, the power and reach of sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook, will continue to grow. It is imperative that HR works hand-in-hand with marketing colleagues in order to ensure that your company brand is relevant, fresh, and attractive to not only consumers, but to the best possible candidates.

The redefinition of diversity and inclusion

As discussed in one of our previous articles, the term ‘diversity and inclusion’ will continue to evolve and expand beyond the traditional facets of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. in 2020.

HR professionals – if they haven’t already – will need to reframe what the term means to them and think about non-traditional factors such as geographic location, age, educational backgrounds, political beliefs, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

For the first time ever, the workplace contains five different generations; each with dissimilar cultural norms, communication styles, and belief systems. A study conducted by Resource Management found that 33% of HR professionals believed that demographic shifts and an increase in diversity in the workplace will have the most significant impact on HR by 2025, yet only 34% of employees believed that their company leaders were prepared to lead such a diverse workforce.

Thus, HR professionals will be the ones who must drive diversity initiatives throughout their businesses; giving company leaders the tools necessary to advise, teach, and engage with their workforce. To achieve this, they must be able to report on how diverse their business currently is, and to use comprehensive and secure HR software with detailed reporting and analytics features.

Culture and flexibility

Where flexible working patterns and the ability to work from home could once be considered as lavish perks to entice great talent, they are now increasingly being considered by workers as necessities in order to maintain a high level of productivity and a good work-life balance.

As technology continues to evolve at a blistering pace, gone are the days of employees only being able to work at their desks in the office – they can now work from anywhere, taking advantage of high-speed 4G, 5G, and Wi-Fi, as well as lightweight and powerful portable devices.

In 2020, HR must adapt to these ever-changing demands by shaping best practices for flexible work arrangements.


Artificial Intelligence is continuing to evolve at an exponential rate. However, the term ‘AI’ has been repeated so many times, that it has in many ways lost all meaning – the term has, for some, been disintegrated and pigeonholed into being limited to virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.

Yet AI tech is everywhere – it powers everything from your TV to your toothbrush. It’s being deployed in healthcare and warfare, it’s helping people make novels and music, it’s scrutinising your CV, judging your creditworthiness, and automatically enhancing your photos before you upload them to Instagram. In effect, it’s fundamentally changing the way we live.

So, the key question is this: how can HR professionals leverage this cutting-edge technology in order to make their roles easier? An important way that AI can help is with the automation of menial but important administrative tasks that come with defined operational processes.

Yet in order to take advantage of such technological shifts, HR professionals must adopt comprehensive online HR software that supports them with creating a standard intelligent workflow, rather than continue to use HR software that lacks process automation.

It is imperative that you choose HR tech that adds tangible and true value to your day-to-day role, and ensures that you and your organisation are prepared for the immense technological opportunities that exist today and well into the future.

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