2017 was a positive year for the recruitment and HR industry with onrec reporting that in the first four months, almost 900 new agencies were opened.
They also revealed that the total revenue from permanent and temporary placements reached £32.2 billion in 2016/17. That’s the good news.
The bad news? Competition is (very) high right now.
That’s why I’ve assembled some key trends that are set to impact our industry in 2018 and ways in which you can implement them to achieve more over the next 12 months.
1. CRM Systems
Let’s start with the broadest trend, technology.
Although most of the recruitment industry is using an aspect of technology to improve the candidate and client experience, there are still some useful areas to explore in 2018.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are becoming significantly more important, especially when it comes to developing the perception of a brand.
In fact, research from Bullhorn revealed that the adoption of CRM platforms has been very high in 2017, with 68% using it to manage sales and 78% to track candidate activity.
2018 is set to extend this, with the recruitment industry recognising the need to make their processes streamlined and efficient.
After all, with so much fierce competition around, an emphasis on quality could be the difference between attaining a sought-after candidate or not.
2. Mobile Technology
In this day and age, we’re never too far away from our mobile phones. In fact, Ofcom claims that adults over 16 spend in excess of 60 hours a week on their smartphones.
With Hppy saying that 70% of job seekers visit a recruitment company’s website via their mobile device to view career opportunities and almost 50% used their phones to apply for an open position.
So, it’s no wonder there’s a real desire in the recruitment industry to develop their mobile technology strategies.
Are your online processes (really) mobile-friendly?
‘One-click’ buttons for job applications are being identified as a priority in 2018.
The same report from Hppy also stated that 13% of companies have implemented this feature so far.
But with more recruitment agencies realising the need for simplicity and speed, this is the key if you want to capitalise on the 21st century mobile-happy society.
3. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is continuing to make waves in the industry, with more useful opportunities arising for recruiters.
Just like the need for ‘one-button’ applications via mobile, AI can help streamline the process of recruitment.
For instance, chatbots are becoming increasingly commonplace in recruitment (and other industries), with candidates and clients now able to receive instant answers to their questions via websites.
This reduces unnecessary time spent and inconvenience caused by receiving unwanted phone calls.
It will also help you to improve your employer brand (and wider brand). The quicker you respond to someone, the more efficient and approachable your company becomes.
Chatbots will free up time for more of your employees and enable them to get on with other tasks.
This is especially important in 2018 if you want to keep up with other recruitment agencies.
For more information on how chatbots could help you, check out this blog post.
4. Social Media
A pretty obvious inclusion in my list, but nonetheless, extremely important.
Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen LinkedIn emerge as a career hub for every professional. And that’s not going to stop over the next 12 months.
Both of the internet giants have added job opening features to their arsenal, giving users quick access to the latest career opportunities.
Facebook and Google have identified the opportunity presented via recruitment and fancy a slice of the action.
If you’re quick enough, this could be a viable option to tap into Facebook’s 30 million users and Google’s search capacity before it spreads like wildfire.
I’m sure you’ve read a couple of articles on the subject matter by now, but the General Data Protection Regulation, otherwise known as GDPR, is a relevant and an essential addition to the list.
Although you could argue it’s not a conventional ‘trend’, it is an emerging subject matter which is set to come into force from 25 May 2018.
The stricter controls enforced by GDPR will impact the way we, as recruiters, process and control user data.
The recruitment industry deals with data every day, meaning we have to ensure the correct procedures are in place over the next few months or run the risk of receiving a fine of €20 million euros or 4% of your annual turnover.
Recruiter pro tip
We’re only months away from GDPR being enforced by the European Union. So if you’re still not 100% sure on what you have to do or what it is, don’t fear.
I recommend reading this article we put up a few months ago. It has everything you need to know so you’re prepared for the future.
6. The Gig Economy
“The gig economy” may have appeared in our 2017 list, but it’s arguably more relevant now than ever.
In case you’re unaware of this term, “the gig economy” is used to describe the fact that more companies are choosing to hire staff on a temporary, contract or freelance basis to save money and remove the big commitments involved in permanent employment.
Uber is a prime example of this.
However, it’s up for debate whether this is a good thing for the economy or not, with more and more disputes set to emerge in 2018 with companies like Just Eat adopting this business model.
Although “the gig economy” hasn’t impacted office jobs yet, 2018 could be different.
Don’t panic though, if anything, this could give you the opportunity to save money by utilising freelancer websites and hiring when you need assistance.
Just be aware that it’s harder to screen candidates coming from remote areas and it’s very competitive.
Ok so it’s highly unlikely that any of these trends will be a surprise to you.
But 2018 really is set to be a huge year for the recruitment industry, so it’s vital to keep your eyes on any developments in these areas – if you want to stay ahead of your competition.
With businesses and candidates exposed to so many different agencies and independent recruiters, developing your brand is essential.
I’d recommend starting with technology, as streamlining your processes through AI and mobile ‘one-click’ button applications could instantly position your company as a pioneer in the industry.
Candidates seek easy solutions and these trends could really make the difference this year.
On the other hand, while GDPR isn’t the “sexiest” inclusion, it’s also extremely important to consider and implement the necessary steps.
Do your research and stay ahead of the curve – and you could be in for a special year.
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