2018 Review of the Year

2018 Review of the Year

If, like us, you feel 2018 came and went in a blur, here’s our round-up of the year’s big stories. As you can see, it was a whirlwind of a year with lots of major news and announcements – here’s to an equally eventful 2019.


We kicked off 2018 with Jobsgopublic’s recap of 2017 and caught up with CV-Library on its top ten recruitment priorities for 2018. On the education front, new regulator The Office for Students came into force (getting off to a shaky start according to SMRS), whilst we shared our thoughts on apprenticeships and UCAS published its 2017 equalities data. We heard that the graduate jobs market was set to expand in 2018, although shock results showed grad recruitment fell in 2017 with UK’s top employers and learned that Graduate Promotions became part of Havas People. In other news, UK managers offered a gloomy outlook for 2018, but we had a feel-good gender pay gap story thanks to Norway paying it’s female and male international footballer’s the same. We learnt how Pink Squid was helping Deloitte tackle emerging talent, caught up with the lovely Ali Hackett and heard about Nationwide’s new assessment for graduates and apprentices. As ever, the RAD Awards see in the New Year celebrating the good and great. However, January also revealed the very sad news that Ron Rowe passed away in December. He is sorely missed. 


Let’s start with some campaign news. PepsiCo turned to graduates for inspiration for the next big trend; Volvo used one of its cars as an HR Manager to tap into personal service technicians, and the Army’s recruitment came under fire. UCAS indicated that, despite Brexit, there was still a strong demand for UK education, whilst Dan Beynon, SMRS, commented on the review of HE funding in England. Neurodiversity came under the spotlight, as did Keith Pilling (COO, Penna), in the shape of our Ri5 profile. New agency, Hype Collective, opened its doors and we listened with bated breath as the National Undergraduate Employability Awards 2018 winners were announced.


Making the headlines twice this month, CV-Library acquired Education-Jobs.co.uk and re-launched EngineeringJobs.co.uk. Ri5 kept an eye on what businesses were up to, showcasing SodaStream’s new recruitment video, as well as M&S and their early years recruitment, and the New Zealand Police campaign. We all welcomed the news that 18 major organisations signed up to the ‘Tech She Can Charter’, learned what impact GDPR was having on student recruitment, and watched how Amberjack was bringing Situational Judgement Tests to life.  We also caught up with White Label and their views on social mobility, and SMRS about future talent.  March also saw SMRS celebrating 20 years in business. Congratulations! And finally, The FIRM Awards, The RIDI Awards and TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards all patted their 2018 winners on the back in this bumper award month.


Spring… a time for new beginnings and there were a few of those. Havas People partnered with BP for their global recruitment marketing, Vodafone launched its future jobs programme to help 10 million young people into work, Jobsgopublic partnered with the National Housing federation and Penna moved to a new home. On the nursing front, RCN called for a national recruitment campaign as UCAS revealed a decline in nursing applications, at the same time the BMJ played its part in tackling the medical crisis. Meanwhile, we found out more about Google’s Play for Jobs, that StepStone filed for acquisition of Universum and that CV-Library relaunched JobsRetail.co.uk. Dartmouth partners shared what Gen Z wanted from a recruitment process and careers, while SMRS showcased their B&Q employer branding work. And this month, it was the turn of the PPMA Awards, the Employer Brand Management Awards and The Times Top 50 Employers for Women to announce their winners. It was also the end of an era, as The Guardian told us Tony Bowley and Helen Bird were moving on. We hope their enjoying whatever they’re doing now.


The year’s whizzing by. Perhaps the biggest news in May was that Alexander Mann Solutions was sold for £820m. There was also a bit of new business activity going on, with Symphony Talent growing thanks to taking on new clients, whilst Talent Works International announced they were powering technology for Amadeus and Rolls-Royce partnered with Blackbridge Communications. Meanwhile Jobsgopublic looked to overhaul their jobs board, and SMRS and The Student Room launched Firsthand. It was also the month where Jupiter looked to disrupt the market by promoting an off-the-shelf employer branding product and MI6 launched its first TV recruitment advert. On the research front, UCAS media’s student lifestyle report was worth a read and we also picked Pink Squid’s brains on early talent. CV-Library celebrated John Salt joining them as their Deputy Managing Director. And finally, recruiters and school leavers were recognised in the Recruiter Awards and the School Leaver Awards.


It’s the start of a long hot summer. On an acquisition roll, CV-Library acquired JobsMedical.co.uk, whilst Wave acquired Recwebs and TMP Worldwide was acquired by TrueBlue. Havas London wins a much-coveted three-year contract with the DfE. And with our readers enjoying seeing what other businesses were up to, we shared campaigns from McDonalds, PepsiCo, and the RAF, as well as RMP Enterprise’s new brand. There were also quite a lot of reports published in June: partnering with PPMA, Jobsgopublic investigated what made people of different age groups tick; Alexander Mann Solutions told us that milkrounds were still relevant in the social media age and Ri5 did its own rapid-fire survey on the gender pay gap. Seemingly, everyone was too hot and bothered to host any awards!


First up, we wished Talent Works well as they moved to new offices in Northampton to support their growth plans. In the world of education, it was revealed that teachers were unlikely to advise apprenticeships, even though internships were hailed as a means to securing a top job. Milkround quizzed graduates on the reported ‘skills gap’ and UCAS reported that there was an increase in unconditional offers. And with social mobility continuing to be on everyone’s agenda, we learned that KPMG claimed the top spot when it comes to social mobility in a new index. It was also good to report that LEGO® was getting behind a national campaign to promote engineering to children as a part of the Year of Engineering and IET, and BA launched a new campaign to recruit experienced pilots. At Ri5 we thought we’d ask our readers how they felt about Brexit 18 months on since our first poll. July also was the month of The ISE Awards, and Heist Awards, as well as the first birthday of That Little Agency. Our favourite coffee-break article was ‘what’s in a job title?’ which showed the evolution of job titles. If you missed, it, now’s the time to take a look. Enjoy!


In the month when students got their results, we kept an eye on what was going on in Clearing 2018 and saw a record percentage of young people heading to university. It links us nicely to the review of August’s campaigns, which included Dare.Win’s innovative use of fortnite, and easyjet’s charming advert to target the next generation of pilots – especially females. In the news, Jupiter acquired Sparks Advertising, McDonald’s flagged a rising desire to move from traditional working patterns, whilst TUI pushed the boundaries by ‘employing’ its first ever robotic humanoid.  To round-up August, CV-Library opened an office in Glasgow, whilst Ri5 asked Paul Naylor, Head of Employer Sales at Prospects, to share his pearls of wisdom. 


As the heatwave passed, there was a record number of students accepted through Clearing, in the same month RateMyPlacement released its top 100 undergraduate employers in the UK. Agency news saw Penna and Adecco acquiring Stafford Long, Phil Lane was appointed as MD of ThirtyThree’s Bristol office and Blackbridge was appointed by Aviva as a key recruitment marketing partner. September also saw a big campaign hit the market: The Metropolitan Police Service launching their ‘Do Something Real’ campaign. McDonalds also hit the press for doing their bit for the youth of today.


We start October with the news that Stuart Thomas was appointed as Job Board Manager at Cision. Meanwhile EY shook-up their student process by removing the final one-to-one interview, something that would probably be appreciated as Barclays launched a new graduate fund to cut the cost of getting onto the career ladder. It’s also the time of year that heralds The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers, whilst Blackbridge released research around students’ perceptions of ‘The Future of Work’ and Monster.co.uk released data that women are underrepresented in tech and digital roles.  Events were hosted by British Airways to attract tomorrow’s pilots, as well as Meet&Engage, Cielo and Capp who held a breakfast to look at the return on candidate engagement. In other news, Symphony announced a growing client base. This month’s highlighted campaigns were ‘First teacher’ for DfE and the work done by SMRS and Yodel. Autumn also saw the Caterer.com People Awards and UK Social Mobility Awards winners being announced.


As 2018 draws to a close, what’s on the industry’s mind? Well, a desire to de-bias the hiring process with pymetrics was a hot topic, as was an increasing belief that women entering employment suffer from imposter syndrome. On the matter of education, half of apprentices are in debt, whilst internships got bad press for not always being fair and RateMyApprenticeship’s Top 100 Employers Table was released. Virgin Atlantic was the latest to campaign for the next generation of pilots and The Met Police launched a campaign to recruit more women. It was also the month that Ben Nunn joined Blackbridge and we just had to share Vanessa Hare of Stafford Long’s musings around Ye Olde Recruitment Advertising. And last, but by no means least, it was time to celebrate the winners of the Recruitment Marketing Awards and the National Apprenticeship Awards. We also got a peak at the 2019 RAD Awards shortlist.


As thoughts turn to 2019, it’s time to wrap up 2018. We saw a rise in salaries by 28.9% as businesses fought to fill vacancies, whilst on the education front the final UCAS end of cycle report confirmed record numbers of 18-year olds were accepted into university and the Office of Students aims to eliminate equality gaps. The last reports of the year flagged Gen Z were going to present a new kind of recruitment challenge; Glassdoor announced the top UK places to work and LinkedIn told us the most-viewed jobs mirrored the news agenda. Go figure. We also saw a pretty unique partnership between Vodafone and Sony Pictures as they went all-out to promote digital careers. And Wave appointed Kevin Green as their Strategic Director.


So, there you have it. So long 2018, you’ve been a bit of a mixed bag. From all at Ri5 we thank you for reading and we look forward to seeing you in 2019. It promises to be interesting…  

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Share this article

Any questions? Any comments?

Your instant reactions to this article can be posted here.

Be the first to make a comment...

  • Latest jobs
  • Find out how to place an ad here Media Job Read more >>