What’s in store in 2017?

Recruitment in 2017The biggest issues affecting all businesses in 2017 will undoubtedly be legislation driven – namely the implications of Brexit and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). But with continued skills shortages and a new generation entering the workforce there are other issues to consider. Toby Conibear, European Business Development Director from Bond International Software, considers the changes recruiters might need to make in the coming 12 months.

While the requirements of GDPR are clearly defined it is as yet very unclear how Brexit, whether hard or soft, will affect employment models within the UK. Add in the arrival of a new US President in January and continued global economic uncertainty and there is little doubt that 2017 is likely to be defined by a somewhat cautious approach when it comes to recruitment in general. Yet in a market still suffering skills shortages and low unemployment, the onus will be on recruitment companies to nurture both candidates and clients.

In ‘the year of the recruiter’ there are a number of key issues to be addressed:

Right Technology, Right Time – capturing candidate commitment is key, but that demands excellent insight into candidates’ attitudes towards technology. 2016 was not dominated by social media, as some pundits expected. Instead, according to our research, the vast majority of candidates prefer online job boards as the starting point for any job change and growing numbers are opting for specialist or niche boards where available.

Agencies should not step too far back from social, however. Firstly, check out the demographic differences – age and job type/skill really affects a candidate’s likelihood to use social and the social platform of choice. Undertake a good review of candidate activities – for example, use a survey or a check box during the application process to ascertain preferences.  And keep pace with social trends – WhatsApp, for example, is growing in popularity – is this something that recruiters have considered using? Organisations really need to understand how the market is changing and the specific platforms currently gaining traction with candidates.

Download our market research report to learn more about how candidate behaviour is changing

Understanding Legislative Change – With Article 50 unlikely to be triggered before March 2017, the legal implications of Brexit will not come into effect this year. Indeed, it is highly unlikely that any changes will be made to employment legislation in the UK but will apply to the recruitment of overseas candidates. Recruitment agencies need to keep up to date with every shift in policy to provide clients with good consultation on strategy.

The other legislative change – GDPR – will require a clear strategy and understanding. With punitive fines on the table for those that fail to safeguard data, agencies need to take GDPR very seriously indeed – from defining data strategies to ensuring employees understand their role in data protection.

Four Generations in the Workplace – 2017 marks the first full year Generation Z will be in the workforce with new graduates joining job seekers in the hunt for employment. In addition to a desire to make a difference in the world, have an impact and leave their mark, Gen Zs are even more technologically embedded – from job applications to job boards, if it can’t be done on a mobile or tablet, they will go elsewhere. Recruiters need to be ready because Gen Z would far rather go to one job board with 1000s of jobs than trawl through the individual career pages of multiple agencies. The challenge is to make it easy but also to ensure the journey reflects the way this Generation thinks.

The other consideration is that Gen Z means there are now four generations in the workplace, each with very different attitudes and expectations, which means a ‘one size fits all’ approach will not work. Tailoring job ads towards each generation, both in terms of content and placement, will be important. But there are also roles to play in advising the younger generation about workplace expectations and to provide training in areas such as appropriate interview techniques and responses.

And finally, Virtual Reality is now becoming commonplace and has a role to play in recruitment. The British Army has used it to provide potential recruits with a glimpse into life in the forces to great success, and organisations from oil rigs to manufacturers are exploring the potential for enabling budding candidates to understand just what a particular environment or job feels like.

The technology’s potential is still untapped – and few UK organisations have yet to offer a serious VR led recruitment strategy – but in an era of skills shortages and new generations entering the workforce, VR offers both a chance to stand out from the competition and an exciting way of assessing candidate potential.