Ri5’s industry predictions for 2016


Unfortunately, here at Ri5 we’re not able to predict the future. If we were, we’d be down the newsagents queueing for Lotto tickets.

However, we know it’s nice to look ahead and predict what the year ahead might have in store for us.

So instead of trying to do it ourselves, we asked the industry’s finest to give us their forecasts – and wish lists – for the year ahead. Here’s what they told us…

Andrew Wilkinson, CEO, TMP Worldwide

“In our VUCA world there are few certainties; we have an oil industry facing huge challenges, Chinese stocks falling and RBS telling customers to get out of shares so predictions for 2016 are quite challenging. It’s a leap year, so one certainty is the 29 February. 

“My personal view is that we are going to see a greater and greater convergence of thinking that the jobseeker is a consumer and that organisations will need to think and behave differently to ensure that they win in the battle for great talent.

“I’m sure Glassdoor will continue to grow rapidly in the UK; we are all hungry for information and use all the assets at our disposal to make sure we make better and smarter decisions. I never book a hotel without a check on Trip Advisor; I buy with an awareness of brand and quality so I fully expect that the job hunting consumer will follow.

“They will have a perception of an organisation’s employer brand.  They will research on social media the reviews of an employer.  They will assess their experience in the recruitment process and they will choose the best fit option for them based on all this – just like a consumer buys a product.”

Steve Playford, global director, Financial Times Career Management

“I think 2016 will be an extremely volatile year both politically and economically. Nobody knows what the impact of the widely anticipated interest rate rise will be; the economy is still very fragile and the world is a much less stable place than it was 12 months ago. I don't think that businesses will batten down the hatches as we saw in 2008 and 2012 but they may exercise caution on job growth.

“The continuing austerity measures will also bite harder this year and likely impact public sector recruiting. However, as reported in the FT yesterday, the UK is outperforming most European countries in terms of economic output and I think that this resilience will help us all to have another pretty strong year.

“My wish is that both LinkedIn and Indeed surprisingly close down and that recruiters realise the incredible value of using job boards!”

Toby Windsor, managing partner, SMRS

“George Osborne might be warning us all about an unsteady global economy, but our clients remain confident, so we’re predicting continued investment in delivering smart employer marketing solutions throughout 2016.

“And the key word for us is smart.

“We’re not talking run-of-the-mill stuff here. Clients want multi-channel solutions that tell the story of their employer brand in a compelling and consistent way. One that talks to each distinct audience, is relevant to the channel it’s being told in, and achieves smarter targeting and deeper engagement of key talent communities.

“Technology and audience behaviour will dictate this like never before. Driven through mobile, there’ll be more visual content and smart use of new social channels alongside smarter use of more traditional channels too.

“Engaging candidates throughout the recruitment process will be vital. From attraction to on-boarding and beyond it will be more important than ever to use data to prove the value and ROI of these increasingly smart ways of working.”

Anna Eccleston, director, RBI Recruitment Media

“I think we'll see another eventful year - consumer and jobseeker confidence remains relatively high, and that will hopefully equate to continued mobility in the labour market. That, in turn, offers positivity for all of us in the industry as candidates continue to seek out their next roles.

“Of course, we hope the predicted blip in the global economy doesn't have too much of a long-term impact, particularly since we've seen promising growth in key areas for the past couple of years. It would be a shame to lose the momentum the industry has built since the difficulties experienced during the recession.

“In a crowded recruitment marketplace, I expect to see further innovation as stakeholders continue to compete. Technology is moving forward at a rapid rate and we're sure to see some interesting uses of emerging and established tech in a recruitment context – both in terms of the attraction side of things as well as in recruitment media and platforms.

“And from an industry perspective, could we see more mergers and acquisitions in line with some of the interesting moves that took place in 2015?”

Jo Redfern, managing director, educ@te

“In the Higher Education White Paper (which has just finished its consultation) the Government has pledged to launch a major programme for public sector modernisation which includes encouraging competition and opening the market up to new providers. There is plenty to consider in how that impacts the HE marketing world this year but I personally keen to see how this ‘opening up‘ will be received by the sector and its effect.

“In light of the focus on STEM subjects, I expect we will begin to see arts specialist institutions having to ensure that they fight harder – as a body and individually. I am having a few conversations with HEPs around creating some noise to help maintain the level of interest in the arts – especially around employability. Along similar lines, I also hope that The Telegraph continues its STEM awards – a really great event.

“UK education will continue to attract a disproportionate share of students from overseas though a slowdown in China will force many to look for pastures new. I hope the Government will look on student visas as a massive positive and relaxes its approach.

“Programmatic and retargeting products will continue to show significant growth in 2016 – this might not be Nostradamus-level insight but it’s difficult to ignore the changes that we are seeing. Increasingly marketers are finding that it’s more effective to find the candidate than to sit on a media channel and wait for the candidate to find them. Greater transparency in results and slicker reporting will mean that clients – quite rightly – will demand more from programmatic suppliers. That’s ok with us (and I personally recommend Edunamic).”

Gareth Edwards, executive vice president, Europe, aia worldwide

“2016 can and should be about moving from process to purpose when it comes to recruitment marketing. The best recruitment marketing will use technology to tell talent stories in a way that resonates with candidates at an emotional as well as a logical level.

“We can target candidates better with our advertising (programmatic will become more important) and our video content can be more tailored and more immersive through interactive and 360-degree video – the challenge will be about making the content great and linking it to jobs in a way that enables the right candidate to make the right decision.

“Then we have to add in the fact that we are operating in the post-control era – how do you enable your people to tell the story in a way that is authentic, aligned and autonomous?”

Danny Heath, senior agency sales manager, News UK

“I think video will be a huge focus area in 2016, not in terms of video interviewing but more around candidate interaction - particularly in entry level recruitment.

Looking at the success or explosion of vloggers over the last 18 months, as well as how the social media landscape has evolved to be video-focused, it’s a trend I see rolling into the recruitment advertising world.”

Simon Phillips, managing director, Hodes UK

“In the past year, win or not, we have been fortunate enough to experience some refreshingly cool pitch processes, which in my opinion set a benchmark for how brands should look to find their agencies of choice – lots more of these in 2016 please!

“However there have also been a few against which I share the following 2016 ‘wish’:

“I sincerely hope, and I know it’s been said before, that collectively across the industry we begin to challenge the ridiculous - and sometimes insulting - tender processes that still exist. In isolation agencies simply appear under-resourced or arrogant if they decline the opportunity to pitch and their challenges regarding insufficient time, lack of insight and often unrealistic expectations fall on deaf ears because there always seems to be an agency willing, or duty-bound, to ‘do what’s asked’.

“The truth is we all have extremely important (and valuable) clients to look after who are paying for our efforts, value the brilliant minds they are working with to create something unique and bespoke, and we absolutely have to prioritise our clients. These potential clients appoint a partner agency and of course then want to be that agency’s priority too and yet in their search show such disregard for an agency’s expertise, existing clients or workload. 

“In my mind the benchmark should simply consist of three elements and if any of these are missing then we should all really decline the opportunity to benefit everyone: I don’t think it’s too much to expect sufficient time, plenty of insight and respect.”

Olivia Vines, head of marketing, jobsgopublic

“Although this has been a growing trend over the last few years, I believe 2016 will be the year when candidates officially become the kings and queens of the recruitment world.

“Now, more than ever before, organisations will have to pull out all the stops to win the talent war. Recruiting managers will need to reach out to passive candidates and they’ll lean heavily on different social media platforms to make this happen.

“Employers will start to really see the importance of their employer brand when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent. More and more organisations will get their own dedicated career sites in order to achieve this. I also predict an increase in graduate recruitment and internships as companies start to recruit for the future and bring in fresh blood to drive innovation from within.”

Zach Drake, national recruitment and education sales manager, Metro and Evening Standard

“Our core focus is the London market and 2016 looks set to see a continuation in the importance of key sector recruitment. London is leading the way with employment growth, however there are significant recruitment challenges in areas such as medical and health, with substantial staff shortages. This is leading medical organisations both inside and outside of London to promote themselves to a targeted London audience where there is a highly concentrated skill and talent pool.

“The importance of apprentice schemes will also continue across the board in 2016, where the ability to target a young and mobile audience will be key. The housing boom in London is powering ongoing building and construction job growth and with so many positions available it is crucial to get these roles in front of as many Londoners as possible.

“Even with growing job creation, it’s still a job seeker’s market in London due to the lower levels of unemployment and this has led employer brand back to the fore. There is fierce competition for skilled workers and this will continue, so standing out from the competition will be key. Used in the right way, print delivers targeted candidate communication like no other and that’s what’s going to matter most for recruiters in London.”

Helen Bird, director, Guardian Jobs

“20 years leading a successful digital recruitment operation has taught me that any forward-looking business must put the customer at the heart of everything it does. 

Guardian Jobs follows this formula by getting real insight via research/UX testing and then developing effective products to meet jobseeker needs. Each year we increase the pace and breadth of resources we dedicate to improving response. Candidates want to see a refined and personalised selection of the right jobs and recruiters want quality applications.

Predictions are impossible, but what I believe is that a job site in 2016 must now offer expertise in programmatic trading, data-driven targeting, and vital passive jobseeker reach across a quality content network amplified by social media, cross-device/rich media ad formats and a range of employer branding options.

Programmatic offers the promise of cheap reach however I believe the most progressive employers will recognise the importance of a quality environment to support their brand.  There will never be one ‘silver bullet’ but I believe close collaboration with clients and their agencies will offer the best solutions in a cluttered digital market.”

Louise Rengozzi, marketing and communications manager, Crunch Simply Digital

“Recruitment marketing constantly adjusts and responds to modifications in technology and the 2016 recruitment world is no exception. At the top of that list is videos ads; they’re not new, but they will soon emerge to the next level from the recent growth of mobile video.

“The rise of mobile and video within recruitment over the past two years has been phenomenal. While everyone is now fully aware about the importance of mobile for web design and user experience, mobile is now the second largest audience base after TV for advertising.

“Another gem to watch out for is 360 video cameras, available to the consumer market at a price similar to that of a GoPro camera. An immersive new level will be added to what is already one of the most real recruitment brand experiences available online.”

Monday, 18 January 2016

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Anonymous Date: Jan 22, 2016

All sounds very positive, surely there must be a down side somewhere?

Anonymous Date: Jan 22, 2016

Wishing everyone in our industry a prosperous year, except my competitors!

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Ri5’s industry predictions for 2016
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