Top HR in Tech Trends for 2020

HR professionals and tech recruiters today must contend with many factors, including tech advancements, a widening skills gap, and changes in talent priorities. Talent acquisition is shifting focus from phone screenings and paper resumes to technical skills assessments and video interviews. From random options to focused selection and from reactive recruitments to hands-on hiring.

With all these exciting innovations happening so fast, what can one expect for recruitment in the tech space in 2020? During our annual CodinGame survey, we asked a panel of HR experts what their focus would be in 2020. 

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The following are the top trends we can expect in 2020:

  1. Employer branding
  2. Talent retention/Retention-focused hiring
  3. Technical assessment tools
  4. Collaborative hiring
  5. Employee referral programs
  6. Flexible working
  7. Candidate experience

What are these trends about, and why are they the focus of many HR professionals for 2020? Continue reading to find out.

Employer branding

Two in three HR professionals that participated in the CodinGame annual survey said employer branding would be their number one focus point this year.

For some years now, businesses have used social media to strengthen their reputation and how they’re perceived by both current and potential employees. According to LinkedIn, 72% of recruiters believe that a company’s reputation and brand has substantial power on not just their hiring process, but also their business’ bottom line, lowering cost-per-hire, and recruiting more eligible candidates.

In summary, this trend is not short-lived, but a strategy that tech recruiters must invest in if they have not yet done so. Also, technology can play its part—from business review websites and expanding job boards to career sites incorporated with social media and HR software. Targeted social ads, promoting employee stories and job offers, can practically narrow the search and help reach the right audience.

Talent retention/Retention-focused hiring

Next in line is talent retention, garnering 60.8% of responses from participants.

Every company’s goal is to save money and make money. Employer turnover can be expensive, which is why recruiting employees for the long-term rather than filling empty roles immediately will be a major recruiting trend in 2020.

Recruiters are looking to hire for the long-term, saving precious pennies

HR professionals should be looking to not only fill their current available positions, but to make an effort to hire someone that will fit over the long term. To accomplish this, we suggest tech recruiters:

  • Focus on the skills necessary to perform current and future duties. Candidates must be flexible, meaning they are capable of fulfilling the requirements of their current position and well-placed to learn skills that they might require in the future.
  • Evaluate and ascertain a candidate’s interest in and commitment to your company during an interview.
  • Adopt innovative interview techniques to appraise a candidate’s potential – use fluid, conversational style questions, ask about potential challenges, discover their primary motivation for seeking to join the company, and create questions to evaluate their soft skills (innovative thinking, creativity, problem-solving).
  • Focus on keeping people in the company, and not just in their role. This has its benefits as it gives developers more exposure to the entire company and allows them to acquire more skills. Also, they will be motivated and be familiar with different aspects of the business. Develop a growth plan for every role so that candidates have an idea of a potential career path through the company.

Technical assessment tools

In today’s tech-driven context, your recruitment process is only as good as the tools you use. We asked our community of HR professionals which tools they use to manage their candidates as part of their recruitment process. 

It’s not too surprising that job boards came out on top, as the most-used tools. What’s more interesting, however, is that over half of HR pros use technical assessment tools (like CodinGame!). These tools are definitely on the rise.

Indeed, to assess a candidate’s technical skills, more HR professionals will adopt technical assessment tools as part of their screening process in 2020. From front-end to back-end developers (and everything in between), online technical assessment tools ensure potential candidates have the required skills for the job.

On a side note, it worries us a little that 44.6% of HR professionals still manage their candidates manually with spreadsheets. There is a better way! ?

Collaborative hiring

“Two heads are better than one.” 

This common saying applies in tech recruitments, especially in 2020. It is significantly impactful to include your entire team in the hiring process.

Looking at the current state of the market, it is only natural for companies to focus more on collaborative hiring this year. Collaborative hiring is essential as it helps to boost the quality of new employees dramatically. Consequently, employee turnover rates decrease, employer brand improves, team cooperation progresses… positively affecting the entire recruitment process. 

For these reasons, 90.5% of our HR community say they ask members of their tech team to take part in their tech hiring. Indeed, developers will often be more than happy to take part in an interview or help sort through the first applications (who better to lend a hand and take part in building a technical assessment test than a member of your tech team?).

Recruitment is a team sport: discuss, listen, learn

Employee referral programs

We asked our HR community which strategy they thought was most effective to attract developers. Close to 80% (78.4%) answered “Employee referrals.”

Yep and yep! You can bet that developers know developers.

Referral programs can be an effective and cost-cutting tactic to attract developers. How about organizing a small tech-friendly event and asking your tech team to invite a fellow programmer? These events are your chance to wrap recruitment, referrals, employer branding, company culture, and employee retention all up in one! What’s not to love?

Your current employees are the best promoters of your company’s employer brand and can provide reliable insights into why new developers should join the company (quality of technical stack, flexible working hours, creative autonomy for the engineering team, company culture on upskilling or continuous learning, etc.).

Flexible working

Over 86% of HR professionals offer some form of remote working possibilities. Despite the growing popularity of flexible working, there is yet a greater potential for growth. Companies are already adopting solutions to solve challenges that come for remote workforces – from collaborative workspaces to virtual office rooms.

It is one of the biggest trends that has gained attention in recent years. Remote working is fast becoming the model for many industries.

While remote working is becoming one of the preferred employee perks, it presents an administrative challenge—meaning businesses have to interact with developers from different time zones and take measures to provide equal learning and growth opportunities. 

Looking on the bright side, HR professionals now have access to new, previously inaccessible talent pools and opportunities to reduce recruitment costs.

Fortunately, several technological solutions allow effective communication and collaboration among distributed teams. These tools, including virtual coworking spaces ( for example), enable HR pros to combat procrastination and allow developers to benefit from social interactions.

Candidate experience

Candidate experience is how past, current, and potential future candidates perceive your company’s overall recruiting process. It considers the candidates’ behaviors, feelings and attitudes from sourcing to assessment to interviewing, hiring, and employee onboarding.

Why is candidate experience a vital trend to adopt in 2020?

Candidates who’ve had a pleasant experience during the recruitment process have higher chances of accepting your job offer, applying for future roles and referring developers to your company. On the other hand, a poor candidate experience can cost you more than candidates – you could also lose money. 

Companies that get talented coders are proficient in providing experience that turns candidates into employees.

According to Talent Board, candidates who enjoy their experience during recruitment are 38% more likely to accept a job offer. The key is to make candidates feel valued during the process. As researchers at Deloitte noted:

“Not every candidate will join your organization. But every candidate will have an opinion about whether your organization is worth joining.” 

It’s no wonder that 59.5% of HR pros plan on investing in candidate experience in 2020. You can switch up your candidate experience by, for example, investigating developer-friendly tech and gamification. 

Solutions such as CodinGame, allow you to invite tech candidates to take part in gamified technical screening tests. Instead of simply answering a theoretical coding question, developers are immersed in a game experience and put to the test in a visual environment. 


So, there you go, our top HR in tech trends for 2020. Of course, everyone has their opinion on what counts and what does not. So, this list is not exhaustive.

However, it gives you an insight into the aspects of technical recruiting that you might want to focus on this year.

Whether our predictions are true – and if so, to what extent – we will see in the upcoming months. One this is certain – tech recruitment will continue to be defined by innovation and technology. 


There’s a better way to test coding skills.

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Nathalie Figuière

Nathalie is Content Manager at CodinGame. When she's not busy creating quality #techrecruitment content, chances are she’s watching Friends or snuggling her little grey cat, Moon.