Employment trends for 2020

Every year we see different HR trends emerge as organisations switch their mindsets to “new year, new plan”. With this, HR are often at the heart of organisation strategies to implement these changes to help them achieve an enhanced company culture, improved their employee experience and of course achieve the much-desired sparkly employer brand.

To shed some light upon what could happen over the coming year, I have pulled together some points that I think we could be seeing in 2020 and the outlook is very human.

Back to basics

As the uncertainty with Brexit continues, I think that there will be an increased requirement for basic HR principles such as restructuring, retaining talent and emphasis on cost saving will be important. We may see a lot of this especially within the evolving retail sector.

This also applies to the standard of the data held by HR departments; the quality of reporting and analytics are also set to dominate boardroom discussions. Productivity and its links to profitability will certainly influence decisions relating to all areas of the business activities, so it’s essential that HR is ready to demonstrate its value.

Focus on wellbeing

In 2019 we saw wellbeing rocket into the spotlight, and I don’t think this will waiver in 2020. We are likely to continue to see organisations recognise that nurturing wellbeing is essential because happy and healthy employees are capable of doing amazing work. However, wellbeing means different things to different people so approaches will move away from being one-size-fits-all to a more tailored solution, if employers fail to recognise this, they will be left behind.

Diversity and inclusion

The feeling of being in on things and a sense of belonging will be a key focus for many organisations who are seeking to progress their Diversity and Inclusion policies within 2020. Recruiting and retaining diverse talent is a great starting point, however, the next steps will be looking at a sense of belonging and whether individuals are in an environment that encourages success. If employees don’t feel like they feel valued and belong within an organisation, they won’t stay for the long term.

Promoting positive employee experiences

From a political and economic perspective, the outlook continues to be uncertain for 2020, therefore, one of the priorities for HR is to proactively promote a truly human workplace experience for their employees in order to attract, retain and develop their talent.

It is more than just a lick of paint to improve the workspace, it runs much deeper than that, it is about creating positive organisational cultures that support their employees by ensuring they are listened to, communicated with effectively and providing the right tools to do the job (IT problems on a Monday morning anyone?!). Additionally, it provides scope to plan effectively to reduce reaction and promote a more proactive approach and, of course, not forgetting training and development opportunities that are aligned to both the individual and the business.


Where would a summary like this be complete without a nod to the ever-changing technology space? It seems like it is difficult to keep fully up to date with technology however it will increase its presence within the people management space.

The impact upon some areas may be more obvious than others for example within the recruitment space, there is a greater emphasis upon candidate experience; tools such as AI and cloud-based technologies are just two of the ways that are helping to improve the candidate experience. Advances in programmatic advertising, chatbots on careers sites and virtual interviewing tools, will simplify the application process for candidates.

What trends do you foresee changing the HR space this year? Do feel free to share your thoughts below!

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