It’s that time of year where we all gaze into our crystal balls to predict what key trends will emerge in our respective industries in the coming year.
Given the space we occupy within the employment market, we’ve seen a few shifts over the course of 2017 that we feel will come into even sharper focus in 2018, which we’ve compiled below - as always, any thoughts from your own experiences are welcomed.
1. Talent retention will remain a key challenge
With talent availability predicted to continue, retention of key staff will be a major focus for HR teams across the country. The latest research from the Open University suggests 70% of business leaders are concerned about their ability to find and recruit talent with the skills they need. Our experience is that this is fuelling a focus on a variety of schemes and processes to create more engaged and loyal workforces.
2. Counter offers are here to stay
The trend for employers counter offering candidates at the point of resignation shows no signs of abating. Our experience is that this rarely retains employees long term, due to underlying frustrations going unaddressed, however, this is of little consolation to the new employer. It’s almost impossible to become counter proof, but there are various things that you can do to enhance your recruitment process and minimise the risk of losing your new hire, starting with…
3. Candidate experience is crucial
A well designed and streamlined recruitment process is crucial to ensuring your potential recruits ultimately choose to work for you over your competitors. The candidate is now the consumer and businesses are beginning to realise that a well-designed candidate experience is an important differentiator. We expect to see this continue and are will be working closely with clients to advise on how to develop a hiring process that sets them apart.
4. Engage recruiters to engage with the passive candidate audience
With traditional routes to potential candidates yielding less response, the best candidates are often those passive candidates who aren’t actively looking for a new role. Using data and digital to find these candidates and then engaging with them to build relationships and understand motivations will be central to accessing key hires, which is where a partnership with a specialist recruiter will become more valuable than ever.
5. Tailored training and development to retain & build
Continuous learning is high on candidates’ wish lists when deciding on a new role, but employers have often lagged behind in delivering tailored programs. We expect to see this change as businesses recognise the need to up-skill their teams in order to have the talent to adapt to changing market conditions, workforce trends and, crucially, to retain their best people.
6. Wellbeing in the workplace continues to be increasingly important
Just as health will be on a lot of people’s list of new year resolutions, so too will it be for many HR teams. There’s an inextricable link between mental health and general wellbeing and a focus on developing programs to help boost wellness in the workplace is increasingly in the spotlight. It’s not constrained to the big companies with their corporate gyms and complimentary massages either - SMEs are finding numerous innovative ways to weave wellbeing into their cultures.
7. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on the rise
AI is starting to gain traction in the world of HR and recruitment and it’s something we expect to hear much more about over the next 12-months. Numerous major corporates are now incorporating AI in to their hiring process, whether this is for automating shortlisting or building in chatbot functionality, the signs are that AI is set to have an impact. It’s an incredibly complex area and there’s still a huge amount to be done to ensure the ‘human’ communication and engagement element isn’t lost.
8. Blind screening for a diverse workforce
Studies show that unconscious bias still plays a big part in the recruitment process, with hiring managers tending to recruit people in their own image. Whilst some argue that this helps cement culture, the counter-argument is that it can make culture one dimensional and inhibits creativity and diversity. Even worse, it can mean people who will be more successful in the role are overlooked, which impacts business performance. Some businesses are now deploying a process where CVs are anonymised - removing reference to name, gender, age, religious beliefs etc - with some, such as JWT London, asking potential recruits to respond to a series of questions, rather than submitting CVs.
9. Augmented reality will be a key engagement tool
With candidate experience a key weapon in a hiring manager’s armoury, augmented reality is set to provide businesses with new, innovative ways of reaching and engaging with potential recruits. We’ve already seen a number of companies developing virtual walkthroughs of their offices and there’s sure to be more to come.
10. More temporary workers for a more flexible workforce
Increased demand for talent in a talent-scarce market, coupled with many people’s desire to develop more of a portfolio career, means that we’ve seen a marked increase in clients looking to recruit temporary or freelance workers to cover specific projects or circumstances. This trend is likely to continue well into 2018 and beyond.