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Predictions for 2020: chaos, evolution, and heat

It’s the end of the year, and while some folks have already done a year in review, others are looking ahead – others being ‘me’. Yes, the end of the year is merely symbolic, and a ‘year’ is a construct we place on what is really an ongoing, neverending process. Hmm. Maybe too much eggnog for breakfast! Yet I promise you that at least a few of these predictions will come true – which is enough to get me a meteorologist job at the local TV station. Let’s go!:

  • It’s going to get hotter: Yes, the earth’s atmosphere is getting hotter – and 2020 is going to bring more of the same. Sorry, folks.
  • Some programmatic company is gonna get bought: Programmatic is hot – just ask Appcast, ClickIQ, and Perengo! Yet there are still some programmatic players who haven’t been bought yet. I’d say odds are good that at least one will get snapped up in the coming year.
  • Job boards will keep thriving: Yep, despite the very useless moniker of ‘job board’, these recruiting services will continue to grow. As I often point out, the job board biz is a global biz, reaching into every nook and cranny in every country. I don’t think 2020 is the year they ‘die’.
  • Hands-on is popular again: ‘Curated’ has been beaten into the ground – yet I continue to see sites like Hired doing very well by provide a more ‘hands-on’ recruiting service for their customers. Especially in a tight labor market, employers are looking for help wherever they can find it – and if a ‘curated talent site’ can get them the right candidates, then so be it.
  • I know what you did at work: Ever more continuous monitoring of employees seems to be a trend – whether it’s a good one or not. Versions of retroactive monitoring are being applied to candidates as well – employers frame it as getting a ‘360 degree view’ of the candidate, but I suspect it’s more CYA. As devices get smaller and cheaper, and people become more willing to be monitored, this trend will grow.
  • Indeed gets too big: This is really a guess, but…Indeed has started to run up against the edges of its own ‘bigness’. In many markets, its penetration is extremely high and I suspect it is reaching the limits of how much PPC it can sell. Thus Indeed Prime (Seen?). Resumes. ATS. Expect to see more products to roll out. Expect to see Indeed look more and more indistinguishable from any other large generalist job board. Expect Indeed to continue to make boatloads of money.
  • Facebook makes its move!: Ha ha! Just kidding. I’ve gotten tired of predicting when Facebook will make its ‘big move’ in SMB recruiting.
  • Google does…something: When you’re big – REALLY big – you have lots of options. Maybe too many options. Google’s various recruiting initiatives have been confusing this year. Hire bit the dust, of course, even though it seemed to have an audience that liked it. Google for Jobs kept rolling out to new markets. Google’s search product kept popping up in various job board and employer sites. But the overall effect was less ‘wow, they’re really taking over recruiting!’, and more ‘are they still doing stuff?’. We expect something flashier from the world’s biggest search monster!
  • Video makes its move!: Ha ha! Just kidding. Video has been promising to make its move for a decade. Maybe 2020 will be the charm. I’m not holding my breath.
  • AI is the new black: I’ll go out on a limb here – 2020 will be the year when ‘AI’ is less a marketing term and instead becomes part and parcel of the reworking of many basic recruiting functions offered by job boards. I mean, why not? It’s finally (somewhat) cheap, the shine has worn off enough that we can really get a feel for how it might work, and it can – in some cases – deliver real benefit.

What are your predictions? Tell me! They’ve got to be better than mine!

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