hiring trends in human resources.

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There's a lot of change transforming the world of recruiting today, and companies are facing more challenges than ever in their quests for top talent. For those businesses having difficulty landing the innovative, forward-thinking HR pros they need to spearhead the hunt for quality candidates in today's tight job market, the pain is doubly strong.

To help you navigate today's hiring landscape, we've analyzed three of the biggest hiring trends in human resources, outlined the challenges each poses to you and offered solutions to help you overcome them.

Ready to dive in and learn more? Let's get started. 

industry outlook in numbers

Demand for HR professionals has grown dramatically in recent years, and that's not expected to recede in the years to come. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts that the need for certain roles in human resources is poised to grow up to 10 percent by 2028.

Add to that growth an increasingly widening skills gap being felt across all industries — one that has left 4.4 million jobs unfilled nationwide due to a lack of qualified talent, according to labor-insights provider Burning Glass. Just in the business and financial operations segment of the workforce alone (which accounts for HR functions), Burning Glass research shows that demand exceeds supply by 21 percent, resulting in nearly a million unfilled roles — a five-year high.

And what are those highly in-demand jobs most at risk of going unfilled? According to data compiled over the past 12 months, there were:

  • recruiters: 100,728 job postings

  • HR managers/directors: 46,935 job postings

  • HR generalists: 31,410 job postings

  • compensation/benefits managers: 12,030 job postings

  • learning and development managers: 11,845 job postings

what this means for employers

Given how critical a strong HR function is to your company and its employees, it's more urgent than ever for businesses to upgrade their recruitment and hiring processes in order to ensure no role goes unfilled. From employee engagement and retention to company morale — not to mention your bottom line — you can't afford to face the impact outmoded hiring practices may be costing your company.

addressing the talent shortage and skills gap is the #1 external challenge hiring leaders in accounting, finance and HR expect to face.*

So what can you do to attract the best candidates out there? Here are our recommendations for rethinking your hiring strategy in order to buck today's biggest trends.

trends arrow yellow illustrationtrend:
critical shortage of top talent

how this affects you:
qualified candidates aren't on the market for long

accelerate your hiring cycle

In today's market, top talent is finding it easier than ever to seamlessly move from one company to the next. These numbers from a recent study don't lie:

33 percent

Thirty-three percent of recent hires say they applied to a total of 2-5 jobs in their most recent job search.

  19 percent

Nineteen percent of those said they applied only to their current job.

58 percent

More than half (58%) said their last job search lasted two months or less.

  43 percent bar

Nearly half (43%) said they received a job offer less than two weeks after beginning the application process.

As an example, let's look at what it takes to
hire a recruiter today. To be successful, you'll need to:

  • audit your hiring process and remove any roadblocks
  • know what makes for a competitive salary for recruiters

  • determine the must-have skills a successful candidate needs

  • write an engaging job description 

  • understand the industry- and position-specific hiring trends in HR (which you're already doing here!)

  • identify the ideal channels available for sourcing talent

For further insights and actionable items for addressing each point on this list, be sure to check out our guide on how to hire in human resources.

trends arrow blue illustrationtrend:
candidate-driven job market

how this affects you:
you don't choose a candidate — they choose you

use recruitment marketing to showcase your employer brand

Think search engine optimization (SEO), digital ads and social media engagement is only the responsibility of your marketing team? Think again. HR leaders can give their companies a big advantage in today's digital world by using recruitment marketing strategies to trumpet your employer brand and drive interest in working for your company. 

Just like traditional marketing efforts that focus on where to meet consumers in order to promote their products or services, recruitment marketing means learning more about potential applicants by diving into their different personas (Where is our next HR director spending their time online?) and using content marketing (Have we posted our latest employee interview on LinkedIn?) to build long-term awareness of your company and its employer brand.

75 percent


  83 percent


75% of candidates research a company's reputation and employer brand before applying for a job.   83% of employers say that employer brand plays a significant role in their ability to hire talent.

If you're new to recruitment marketing, here are three key areas to focus on as you develop your strategy:

1. social recruiting

LinkedIn isn't just a place to post your open roles. Develop a talent pipeline on the site by identifying quality candidates through searches for specific skills and interests, and connect with them to start building a relationship that ultimately excites them to apply for the right role when it's available.

49% of employers who use social media found improvement in candidate quality.

2. mobile recruiting

Make applying to your company as stress-free as possible by ensuring your job listings and career website are optimized for a mobile experience. If the process takes too long or proves too frustrating, candidates are likely to abandon their application and head over to another app to continue their search.

3. video recruiting

Optimizing your postings for SEO is key to making sure they get in front of real eyeballs — and video has proved to be a white-hot catalyst for making sure search engines reward your postings by ranking them high in search results. Plus, polished video content pulls back the curtain and shows candidates what it's really like to work for your organization and gives you the chance to highlight your culture, mission and values.

trends arrow turquoise illustrationtrend:
candidates know their value

how this affects you:
salary and benefits offerings need to be best in class

develop compensation packages that set you apart

Thanks to data transparency, employer review sites and more, today's job seekers know exactly how much it will cost you to bring them on board — and no one knows this better than HR pros, whose job it is to stay abreast of current trends in salary and benefits. 

Here are three areas to focus on when developing an ideal compensation package that ensures what you're bringing to the table meets candidates' expectations:

1. salary

Audit your salary levels to gain critical perspective on what it takes to be competitive for both your industry and marketplace. To make the most informed decisions possible, make sure your research encompasses recent salary trends and salary guides that speak to your industry and digital calculators that offer data specific to your location. Once you've established competitive salary levels that set you apart from the pack, you'll be in a stronger position to attract top candidates.

2. benefits

In today's market, a strong benefits package is just as important a lever as salary when attracting quality candidates. In fact, a stellar benefits package can win over candidates even if you're coming in short on salary, given that 61 percent of employees said that they'd be willing to accept a lower salary if a company had a great benefits package. 

61 percent61% of employees would be willing
to accept a lower salary in exchange
for outstanding benefits and perks.

So be sure your benefit package includes a mix of:

  • Health and wellness offerings: Yes, you need to offer great health insurance, but to really attract top candidates, be sure you're also subsidizing gym memberships, yoga classes and massages.

  • Benefits that reduce cost of living: Help your employees make every take-home dollar go further by helping to cover transportation and commuting costs, offering healthy in-office lunches and providing employees who need on-the-go technology with smartphones and laptops.

  • Retirement savings contributions: Especially when it comes to attracting millennial and Gen Z talent, offering easy ways to build retirement savings — especially with a company-sponsored matching program — shows employees that you're investing in their long-term future.

3. perks

Adding a portfolio of great perks to a strong benefits package can be the deciding factor when it comes to landing your next hire. Be sure to offer perks that increase quality of life and promote a work-life balance, such as flexible work schedules, opportunities for telecommuting and remote work and summer Fridays.

key takeaways

Increased demand for seasoned HR professionals is forcing companies to rethink not only how they recruit talent for their HR positions, but how best to keep those employees engaged and committed to their work. To ensure your organization remains a competitive edge in today's rapidly changing job market, remember to:

  • Expedite your hiring process in order to attract and land top talent — fast.

  • Deepen your talent pool by implementing a recruitment marketing strategy that attracts quality candidates to your company.

  • Develop a strong compensation package that differentiates you from your competition.

To dive even deeper into today's hiring demands and what you can do to buck today's biggest recruitment challenges, our How to Hire resources are just a click away.

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* Randstad US, "randstad professionals: client survey executive summary," 2019.

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