HR Strategy

It’s almost 2020. Here are the emerging HR trends to look out for.

emerging HR trends

As far as emerging HR trends go, 2020 is poised to be a year for the books, especially right here in sunny South Africa. We’ve just kicked the ever-living daylights out of the English rugby team in Japan (here’s a video of Faf greeting the royals in his proudly South African cozzie if you wanted to relive it real quick - go on, you know you want to), and although we still face a huge variety of challenges here in Mzansi, there is plenty to be optimistic about as well. 

For instance, Stats SA revealed that South Africa’s GDP grew by 3.1% in Q2 of 2019, and Harvard’s Centre for International Development (CID) has estimated that our economy is projected to grow at 4.9% annually until 2026.

DOWNLOAD: 10 steps to building an employee recognition program

This is an indication that the socio-political sphere will eventually stabilise and, as such, there is no reason to fear starting a new business, or maintaining an existing one.

Here is some more good news from the Good Things Guy if you’d like to stay in half-glass-full mode. 

In the meantime, let’s ride this wave of ‘hell yeah’ all the way to the bank and tap into 5 of the emerging HR trends that will help us to grow our local businesses from the inside out in 2020, shall we? 

Let's get started:


1. Artificial Intelligence will really be a thing 

Artificial intelligence is here to stay and it will be making major inroads in terms of HR tech in the year to come. Forward-thinking businesses are getting busy to harness innovative technologies to help perform routine tasks such as scheduling, budgeting and communicating, freeing up HR professionals to focus on issues that require one-on-one finesse. 

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2. Company culture will be front and centre during hiring

Company culture will become a two-way street, as businesses work to develop healthier, more supportive spaces for their employees to work; but at the same time take care to employ individuals that fit into their established culture. According to Winani Ndlovu, research manager at employer branding specialist Universum, South African companies have a retention problem that should be addressed from a hiring perspective. 

“If you look at the true costs to a company of losing key talent, companies should be doing far more work to align their employer brand with both potential hires’ and existing employees’ preferences," said Ms Ndlovu. 

READ MORE: How to build a winning company culture that drives success


3. Diversity and inclusion are no longer optional

We're not saying that there hasn't been a focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace up until now, but in 2020 this notion will truly crystalise.

If you want your employer branding to be on point, D&I will have to become woven into the very fabric of your company culture in the year to come. Jobseekers can tell the difference between a PC facade and a true commitment to the creation of an inclusive space for a diverse workforce.

The trend seems to be to encourage diversity from the top down, by recruiting for C-suite members that can drive the initiative from an inclusionary perspective. 

READ MORE: 10 Ways to cultivate diversity and inclusion in the workplace


4. Those ‘Boomers are ricocheting (and it's a good thing!)

Hold onto your hats, ladies and gents, because those pesky Baby Boomers are on their way back into the job market, and, wait for it, it’s going to be so good for business!

See, 60+ is no longer 'old'. The Boomer generation has taken care of their health, and they're still very much alive and kicking and unkeen to pick out flowery drapes for condos in assisted living communities.

In fact, some of them are choosing to reskill and enter the job market at a completely different angle now that their kids are grown and out of the house. These folks come with unprecedented amounts of experience and increased focus, and when positioned correctly within a flourishing business they can add a tremendous amount of value. 

DOWNLOAD: 10 steps to building an employee recognition program


5. Top talent will expect to find you via mobile 

Those job openings you have coming up? If you want to attract top talent, you need to make sure that you reach them online, and by online we mean right there in the palm of their super talented hands.

In 2020, tech-savvy jobseekers will expect to be able to find jobs on their mobile devices and apply for it on the go, instead of having to wait to do so when they get back to their desktop PCs eventually. 

READ MORE: The digital employee experience is here! Is your business on board?

Righto, here’s the short and sweet recap for our time-starved speed readers. The most exciting emerging human resources trends for 2020 include: 


  1. AI lessening the load on HR teams by performing certain routine tasks. 
  2. Hiring procedures that will include a firm focus on company culture. 
  3. Focussing on diversity and inclusion from the top down
  4. The Grey Wave bringing Baby Boomers back into the fold. 
  5. Finding top talent by making your job postings and application procedure mobile friendly. 

Now you know! Exciting stuff, right? We can’t wait for all this to unfold, and we bet you can’t too.

If you're serious about leveraging HR technology to promote employee engagement within your company in 2020, we recommend taking a look at our SaaS-based employee recognition platform. In fact, we’re so sure this will help you to implement emerging HR trends at your company that we’re going to let you take it for a spin for FREE. Simply click the button below to get started 👇

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