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4 Predictions for HR and Talent Acquisition in 2019

December 11, 2018
iCIMS Staff
4 min read
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It seems like the recruiting industry was in a constant state of change throughout 2018.  

In the last 12 months, we faced a historically tight labor market, the initial impacts of Google’s entry into the talent acquisition space and gearing up for, and the introduction of, GDPR.

Not to mention new technology disrupting the industry daily, with mobile, social and AI leading the charge.

With the New Year fast approaching, let’s take a look back at some of the top recruitment news of 2018 and how key trends might transition into 2019.



The job market is more competitive than ever. In much of the last year, America has seen a record number of unfilled jobs, while unemployment rates continued to decline. This has boded well for job seekers but has made it increasingly difficult for employers to hire top talent.

2019 Forecast: This trend is likely to continue into 2019 and beyond. Why? The economy is strong and we’re facing a declining workforce due to an ageing population, slow growth in working-age workers and a stagnant prime-age (25-54 years old) labor force participation rate. As the market gets more competitive, employers will need to scoop up top talent more quickly than ever.


The business world, especially in the European Union (EU), has been gearing up for the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for quite some time. On May 25, 2018, the new data protection framework went into effect giving internet users more control over the ways in which their personal information is collected, stored and processed. For organizations in the HR and talent acquisition space, data security should be top of mind as employers are privy to significant personal information from employees and job applicants.

2019 Forecast: While GDPR was introduced earlier in 2018, its implications will continue to be a force as we head into the New Year. Not only will GDPR begin being fully enforced in the coming weeks and months, imposing crippling penalties and fines for non-compliance, it also will pave the way for additional legislation surrounding data privacy around the globe.   


Launched in 2017, Google for Jobs is simplifying the candidate experience for employers and job seekers. Nearly 7 in 10 candidates begin their job search on Google. Rather than send these folks on a goose chase of job boards, Google’s recruitment search tool uses AI and machine learning to help job seekers to find relevant opportunities quickly and directly. Employers get more candidates, potentially at a lower cost.

In 2018, we saw Google begin to stop indexing job boards. At iCIMS, Google traffic to customer career sites (in aggregate) significantly increased year over year. Additionally, the search tool continued to add new job posting features and guidelines – surrounding expired jobs, the inclusion of comprehensive job details, salary comparison, location details and more – impacting search result placement.

2019 Forecast: Google’s power in this space will only increase. We predict that the tech giant will continue to use its search prowess to better the candidate experience and job posting results in 2019. And, while it may not happen in the next year, Google’s dominance in this space will eventually eliminate the relevancy of job boards.



Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a buzzword in recruitment for the last several years. In 2018, AI products picked up more speed in HR and recruiting with a growing number of tools using the technology to automate workflows and improve the candidate and recruiter experience.  AI-powered assistants (or chatbots) are one of the applications that became more widespread in the last year. Chatbots like Ari by TextRecruit help automate the recruiting process by announcing jobs, screening candidates and even scheduling interviews – helping build talent pipelines more efficiently and reducing time- and cost-to-hire.

2019 Forecast: AI will become more advanced and more integrated into recruiting in 2019. Organizations will begin truly putting AI to work with predictive analytics to be more strategic and improve hiring processes. Additionally, with 58 percent of jobseekers already comfortable with communicating with chatbots, expect to see this technology become increasingly mainstream and its functions expand.

All in all, it seems like the happenings of 2018 are not going away anytime soon. As the New Year begins, stay connected with iCIMS Hiring Insights Blog and Monthly Hiring Indicator for all the latest recruiting news and trends.


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