Looking Forward: HR Tech Trends in the 2020s

Rachel Stewart Johnson

Psychologist | Driven by communications about human behavior in News

The arrival of a new year brings a spirit of transition that impacts both our personal and professional lives. With that frame of mind, Traitify offers our insights into how the HR tech landscape of the 2020s will take shape. Here are four trends to be ready for this year and beyond.

The rise of Generation Z. Millennials have been the Millennialstalk of the culture town for years now, with major tech breakthroughs during their youth making them the first “digital natives” in the working world. Millennials are on track to comprise 50% of the global workforce this year. Not to be neglected, however, is the emerging influence of a new crew: Gen Z, or those born since the late 1990s, now taking its place on the payroll. Indeed, this year Gen Z will constitute 20% of the workforce around the world.

What difference does this make? This generation brings us vocal advocates for efforts to combat climate change. Commuting options, workplace sustainability, corporate responsibility and fossil fuel divestment rise in importance for these young workers. Concerns about addiction to digital devices impact today’s youth more than ever, as does the prevalence of anxiety and depression at young ages. At the same time, today’s youth display relative comfort with the discussion of mental health challenges. Concerns about the student loan debt of the generation before make Gen Z cost-conscious and concerned about value. This is also the most entrepreneurial generation to date, with one survey reporting that 42% of Gen Z respondents expect to work for themselves someday.

Efforts to improve internal mobility. Two years ago, Deloitte Insights asked, “Why do so many organizations overlook their greatest source of talent -- themselves?” Talent acquisition firm Futurestep reported in late 2015 that 87% of companies agreed that internal mobility programs would help with both recruitment and retention. Nevertheless, research by Bersin found that three-quarters of organizations had only limited internal mobility programs in place in the later years of the 2010s -- this despite the fact that research from Gallup shows that 51% of current employees are either actively looking for a job or are open to one.

Internal Mobility

Not surprisingly, Bersin’s analysts predicted that hiring-from-within would gain increasing corporate attention. Leading organizations like food services and facilities management company Sodexo now have formalized programming to help personnel pursue progress within the organization rather than looking elsewhere. Expect these initiatives to continue to pick up steam in the ‘20s as savvy employers across industries and payscales catch on to their value.

The emergence of Employee Engagement in High-Volume Hiring roles. With high turnover a chronic headache for TA professionals and rates reaching jaw-dropping levels in certain sectors, efforts to combat the revolving door are becoming increasingly innovative. Among these, look out for the development of Employee Engagement in the HVH space. Recent research identified core factors driving the employee experience and focused on access to learning and development as a leading influence. With the emergence of technologies that democratize career development by making them mobile-first and accessible, HVH hiring managers and their team members will gain access to on-the-job learning, personality insights, and communication channels between supervisors and crew, opening a new frontier that was long left unexplored.

Workplace initiatives for student loan debt. Millennials dominate the workforce now, but they are also the first generation to assume heavy debt loads to reach their career goals. Student loan debt will continue to impact the political narrative during this election year. Meanwhile, employers will further emerge as role players on this issue. Research conducted mid-decade in the 2010s found that student loan repayment as a job benefit was already high in value, with over a third of respondents reporting that the benefit would be either “extremely” or “very” important in evaluating a job offer. As the debt-saddled Millennial generation moves toward middle age and years of loan payments take their toll on wealth accumulation, home ownership, and overall quality of life, leading employers will be smart to recognize that this major need is here to stay.


If you’d like to learn how Traitify solves for these emerging HR Tech trends like employee engagement and internal mobility for various generations, try our tool for free or set up a demo.


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