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#WantedlyMeetup Recap: HR Trends for 2019

What would be a better start to the new year than looking at trends 2019 will hold for the HR world?

We had the honour to host last night's event in our series #WantedlyMeetup, where we were given a sneak peek into trends from Silicon Valley, Asia and Europe. What are the hot topics of 2019 recruiters and people managers talk about?

Sit back, read on and shine at your next networking event with this insider knowledge ;)

The New Era of Hiring - Made in China

Justin Lai, country Manager of Wantedly HongKong, shared trends in hiring in Asia.

As by 2020, the majority of the workforce will be millennials, he focused on this group sepecifically and started his talk with a humorous (while perhaps exaggerated) video of "how to hire a millenial":

His message with showing this video was that this generation of job seekers are far different from previous generations, which means that in order to successfully reach, attract, hire and manage them, we have adapt to new trends and circumstances.

Main challenges in his market are:

1. Attracting high quality talents
2. Identifying the right sourcing channels
3. Employee turnover
4. Top talents no longer being won over by salary and compensations

While many companies still follow the "post-and-pray" approach (i.e. posting a vacancy on social media without following a clear strategy and hoping for it to reach the right audience), others have recognised the need to see recruiting more from a marketer's perspective. This led to four major trends is Asia:

Employer Branding

A major trend which evolved from combining recruiting and marketing is employer branding. This term is commonly used to describe an organization's reputation and popularity as an employer and is essential for marketing your company to both active and passive job seekers.

A very important aspect of it is the Employee Value Proposition (EVP), i.e. the value an individual gains from working with your company, which will help you not only attract candidates, but also retain them.

Social Recruiting

Next is social media. Because of the rising popularity of social media - in Asia almost more than anywhere else - and the time spent on it, social recruiting was born. The term refers to different ways of using social media networks to find, attract and hire talent. Social recruiting goes beyond posting current vacant jobs ads on your company’s social network accounts. You can use social media networks to proactively search for potential candidates, build a relationship with them and encourage them to apply for your vacant job positions. Because of all the possibilities it offers, social recruiting has become one of the top 2019 recruitment trends.

Employee Referral Programmes

Justin shared with us, that 73% of candidates are classed under the passive seeker category. This means that there is a large, passive pool of talent that stands to be tapped into. Employers have revealed that referred candidates take 55% less time to hire, and that employee referral programmes can help save companies around $3,000 per hire.

One way to leverage referrals is to offer monetary rewards for every successful hire, which will inevitably cause employees (both current and potential) to take the process more seriously. At the end of the day, it is ironically the human factor that has the potential to solve society’s data crunch problem. To receive any sort of referral, one must first get to know the referee.

Artificial Intelligence and Automation

There are many recruiting tools which are built on automation and AI. These all in one tools offer help in finding, attracting, engaging, nurturing and converting candidates into applicants. They also streamline, simplify and automate the hiring process, making it faster and more efficient. Those organisations that have up until now been too slow to incorporate automation into their recruitment systems are in danger of losing the best candidates to their more forward-thinking competitors.

Repetitive, time-consuming tasks like answering frequently asked questions, setting appointments, and sending reminders are where recruiters can take advantage of AI’s help in the form of chatbots. Candidates embrace chatbots because they value on-demand help navigating careers sites, learning about new openings, and being guided to the proper channels for information.


While the APAC is not one market, but is a region made up of many cultures, languages and nationalities, there are some major trends we can observe. The new generation has to be reached on the go, as mobile devices and social networks are main tools and channels of communication. Many recruiters and software providers miss out on new oportunities for not supporting mobile applications or leveraging new channels to the full.

Felix Berghöfer, Human Resources Director at Visual Meta GmbH, brought news from California straight to our meetup in Berlin. He recently spent some time in Silicon Valley and was happy to share his impressions with us.

After a marathon of more than 30 meetings with approximately 20 companies, we can safely say that Felix got a broad sample of companies and their HR processes. After having been given some insights into common people management practices, we can't help but feel that while Silicon Valley is perceived as one of the most innovative and fast-paced environments to work in, both work and life conditions tell a very controversial and somewhat unhealthy story.

In this fast-paced environment, where both hip office environments and notice periods of two weeks are common standard, companies are outbetting themselves to attract the best talent and make up for horrendous costs of living and hours of commuting. On the other hand, employees are given unlimited holidays per year which many don't choose to take at all due to the danger of being replaced by colleagues while being away on annual leave. Top-down and time intensive OKRs are used as hard performance indicators but are seen very critically across different companies.

While many employees use their job in Silicon Valley to boost their resume and gain some experience, it is hardly an enviroment to sustainably work in long-term and therefore functions as a stepping stone for the majority. New start-up hubs like Berlin or Amsterdam are, on contrast, better equipped to offer both innovative companies and affordable living conditions and therefore have an advantage in attracting international talent.

HR insights and new developments in Europe

Our third speaker was Leonie Deisel, Key Account Manager at Potentialpark.

She kindly shared brand new insights to Potentialpark's newest study on developments in the sphere of HR in Europe, while focussing on the aspect of talent communication.

When looking at the classic candidate journey, a very important trend in attracting candidates is social media.

Last night's stats and figures showed once more the power of social media in Europe and especially outlined the growing importance of Instagram.

Leonie, again, pointed out that candidates had to be seen as audiences, similar to approaches used in marketing. Depending on the specific type of audience, respective channels should be chosen to target them directly.

The power of review platforms

Anther impressive takeaway was the power of review platforms. While in Europe more than half of the contestants of Potentialpark's survey reported to read up about potential employers on review platforms, the results in Germany reach a whopping 69%.

This information, combined with the fact that 28% of candidates actively turn down a job offer after reading negative reviews of a company, stresses the importance of managing your employer brand while also living up to your EVP, both with regards to candidates and current employees.

Takeaways for Talent Comminication in 2019

To sum up, Leonie provided five major points to consider for talent communication in 2019.

These are:

  1. Be transparent - the biggest frustrations for candidates when applying for a job result from bad communication regarding the application process, timelines, and documents required
  2. Encourage true interaction - use channels to interact with talent
  3. Use social media right - leverage the right channels to reach your audience and follow a clear strategy
  4. Learn to manage your reputation - review platforms are powerful and can both have a massive positive and negative impact
  5. Develop recruiting & candidate experience alongside another - your EVP starts at the hiring process, so make sure your candidate experience reflects it from the beginning!

Food for thought is best digested with a drink and good conversations

As always, our meetup ended with time for networking, tasty food and refreshing drinks to provide the opportunity to discuss everything we've just learnt.

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