The Top Recruitment Buzzwords for 2020

The top Recruitment Buzzwords for 2020

Every year top dictionaries are updated to include the latest terms or buzzwords. In October 2019 for example, the Oxford English Dictionary officially introduced several new additions to our language, including “whatevs”, “gym bunny” and “ange” meaning distress or anxiety.

So what does 2020 hold in terms of progressive change in and beyond job recruitment? Recruitment agency Hunter Selection stated that, according to BAE Systems, “virtual reality (VR), AI/Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies will significantly impact and influence future careers in engineering, manufacturing and technology sectors”. There’s a whole lot of buzzwords in that statement which reflect the pace and speed of recent change and what the future is likely to hold.

Here are a few more up-and-coming buzzwords to add to your 2020 lexicon (and your next job application) so you sound more like Luke Skywalker and less like George Orwell.

Artificial Intelligence

Let’s start with AI (supercool techies always abbreviate!). This term covers a broad spectrum of computer science. It refers to machines taking over from humans to create superior predictions and decisions for problem-solving. Many companies already use it in language translation apps, content analysis, outcome recommendations and social media filters. More down-to-earth use of AI allows it to diagnose medical conditions or aid in disaster relief in the most productive and effective way. AI is definitely going to be a crucial element in our lives and the world we live in. Careers in this exciting new sector including being a Robotist, Conversation Artist, Engineer or perhaps an AI Researcher.

Machine Learning

Coupled with AI, you will often hear the term “Machine Learning” which is really a subset within AI. Machine learning brings rationality to computer logic by training or programming computers to make decisions and future predictions by learning from existing input data. It’s like having a brain without human emotion, bias or personal ethics.

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality was originally developed for the gaming industry. It involves donning a headset and goggles which will immerse the user in 3D surround sound and visual technology. However, VR is moving on and can be used to train people in more complex physical training, such as performing surgery or flying a helicopter without actually leaving the office. How cool is that!


You’ve probably held a conversation with a Chatbot and not even been aware of it. Chatbots are computer programs designed to hold intelligent conversations with humans, often by text, on Chat Helplines or Instant Messaging (IM) apps. The information they are fed and the logic process of their responses make Chatbots able to talk on a human level as they communicate, answer questions and help.


The term “Robotics” has been around for a while, but what it refers to is changing and progressing. Robotics is the area of engineering and science that builds and programs robots. The use of robotics continues to expand into the military (such as a bomb disposal robot), manufacturing and the healthcare sector. 

Industry 4.0

What is Industry 4.0 exactly? Part of the future manufacturing process, Industry 4.0 is the fourth stage of the Industrial Revolution. It follows the original 18th century Industrial Revolution, with mechanization using water and steam powered factories, to mass production through electricity (the second revolution). Computers and automation marked the third industrial revolution and Industry 4.0 sees a further progression in manufacturing using computers and digitization. Be ready!


Although Qubits may sound like a tasty snack, they are very much the future of computer science. While traditional computer programmes have just two bit states – 0 and 1 – qubits are more complex. They allow Quantum computers to work faster and more powerfully. Expect to hear more about Qubits and Quantum Computing in the next year or two. 


Th 21st century has been marked by a massive increase in the collection and analysis of data. BlockChain is the new type of database to hold it all. Every new piece of information added to a BlockChain database is time-stamp recorded and linked to the previous data, rather than overwriting it. In practical terms, it means every piece of data or transaction can be seen historically which allows for better validation and verification. BlockChain technology is used in crypto currency technology and is likely to be adopted for medical and financial records too.

How Buzzwords Apply in the Job Market

New advancements in science and engineering are constantly creating new buzzwords and opportunities. The good news is that for those prepared to embrace it, the job market is wide open. While many traditional and physical skills in manufacturing may be replaced by AI and automation, there will be plenty of new roles for those who can embrace the latest 21st century skills.

New jobs are not limited to engineering, science and technology and workers who are able to adapt and evolve will not only survive but thrive. While hard skills tasks are likely to be done accurately and efficiently by robotics and Qubits, new soft skills will be at the forefront of the jobs market. The need for excellent communications, intuition, building relationships, empathy and collaboration are something that machines cannot replicate (yet!).

Top UK companies that are at the forefront of recruitment are those that understand the changing landscape in core industries. While the tools become faster and more creative there will always be a need for employees to govern the whole process. Although recruits need to understand the latest buzzwords, they also need to understand what these technologies lack. Recognizing and developing the human skills mentioned above will mean that Gen Z employees will be able to harness AI and the latest technological innovations and channel their uses in every business sector across the globe.

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