LinkedIn reveals the top trends influencing talent strategy in 2020

LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, today revealed four trends that will have the biggest impact on how UK companies attract and develop talent in 2020 and beyond.

The 2020 Global Talent Trends report from LinkedIn, which surveyed more than 7,000 talent professionals in 35 countries – including nearly 500 in the UK – found that employee experience, people analytics, internal recruiting and harnessing the multi-generational workforce are top talent priorities for businesses in the year ahead.

As well as behavioural data on how people use LinkedIn, the report also takes into account insights from experts and leaders at companies including McKinsey & Company, Estée Lauder, and E.ON.

Jon Addison, Vice President of Talent Solutions EMEA at LinkedIn, said: “The competitiveness of UK companies is dependent on their ability to attract and retain the best talent. The current competition for disruptive tech skills in particular is fierce, with fintechs, traditional banks and retailers all fishing in the same talent pool. Companies are harnessing their culture and brand purpose, and investing in thoughtful learning and development initiatives to differentiate themselves and appeal to the hearts and minds of existing and prospective talent. This is crucial to building a strong talent pipeline today and in the future.”

Trend #1: Employee experience is king

Everything an employee observes, feels and experiences at work can impact retention, engagement, productivity and performance. This includes everything from learning and development opportunities and performance management, to office design and the technology choices available to them.

While the overwhelming majority of UK talent professionals (96%) say that employee experience is critical to their company’s success, and 80% say it improves retention, less than half (47%) believe their company offers an excellent experience today. The biggest areas for improvement are compensation and benefits, tools and technology, and learning and development investment.

Trend #2: People analytics is key to future-proofing business success

Analysing employee data can help companies gain critical early warning signs into skills gaps and shortages, and enable strategic workforce planning. This intelligence, which is derived from human behaviour, can help companies preempt challenges and plan ahead.

While LinkedIn has seen a 299% increase in UK HR professionals with data analysis skills in the past five years, companies are only at the early stages of developing this capability. Sixty-one percent of UK talent professionals say the biggest barrier is that they lack the infrastructure to analyse employee data. This is set to change as nearly three quarters (72%) agree that people analytics will be a major priority to their organisation in the next 5 years.

Trend #3: Internal recruiting on the rise

Given the UK’s competitive labour market, the majority of talent professionals (79%) say internal recruiting is becoming an increasingly important component of their talent strategy to fill open roles. While lifelong career paths are less common today, we may be seeing a resurgence as companies rethink how they can offer talent an exciting, rewarding and varied career path, which is crucial to improving retention.

According to LinkedIn data, role changes within UK organisations (via promotion, transfer, or lateral move) have increased steadily by 6% over the last five years, and the financial impact can be significant. A 2018 Gartner study found the cost of employee turnover due to lack of career opportunities for an average-size company is £38 million per year. While talent professionals are keen to encourage internal mobility, 73% say the biggest barrier is often push-back from managers that don’t want to let good talent go.

Trend #4: Harnessing the power of a multigenerational workforce

With people living longer and Generation Z (aged 23 and younger) hitting the job market, the 2020s represent a new chapter in workforce age diversity. Companies are carefully considering how to recruit and manage multigenerational workforces, and harness the power of diverse experiences and skills. The report found that 46% of UK companies have recently started to change recruitment practices to appeal to younger and older generations.

Contrary to some popular beliefs, Baby Boomers (aged 55 to 73) put the highest priority on working for a company with a purposeful mission. Gen Z, meanwhile, is most likely to value training – 36% call it out as a top factor when considering a new job. For companies that get it right, there are huge benefits, with 89% of talent professionals agreeing that a multigenerational workforce makes companies more successful.

Janine Chamberlin, Director of Talent Solutions UK at LinkedIn, said: “LinkedIn data shows that the hottest hard skills in-demand in the UK right now are people with blockchain, analytical reasoning, cloud computing, AI and business analysis expertise. Soft skills like creativity, persuasion and collaboration are also highly sought after. HR professionals are using these data-driven insights to power their talent strategy, assessing the existing skills within their organisations, identifying potential gaps and planning for future needs.”