Ri5's industry predictions for 2017


Now, at Ri5 we’ll admit it was virtually impossible to predict what was going to happen in 2016. It was one of the most tumultuous – and unpredictable – years in recent times, and the repercussions are yet to be fully felt.

However, despite the rollercoaster that was 2016, we still felt it would be good to ask the industry’s finest what they think 2017 might have in store. Here’s what they told us.

Simon Phillips, managing director, Hodes UK

Employer brand will evolve further as corporate and consumer brand teams continue to see the importance and impact this has on brand reputation and business performance. This in turn will continue to create more competition in our industry as mainstream brand and marcomms agencies compete for employer brand and employee engagement work.

I think there will be ever-increasing demands from clients for transparency on media performance, especially from programmatic. I also see this with strategic impact and creative value - with benchmarking data in place the tracking of effectiveness and value from brand and creative work is really gaining momentum.

I believe technology will continue to evolve with the likelihood of new platforms and products coming to market which will enable brands to deliver even better employer brand experiences, both internally and externally – all of which will be highly measurable with very robust data.

Andrew Wilkinson, CEO, TMP Worldwide

There is strong possibility that the some of the uncertainty following the Brexit vote will diminish, and that organisations will start to make the investments that they delayed / postponed in 2016.

The importance of the employer brand will continue to feature highly, not just in the attraction of candidates but more importantly through the entire candidate experience from application through on-boarding. How the selection process brings a brand to life is going to start to concern employers and they need to sort the wheat from the chaff. It is not necessarily the innovative, gimmicky things like virtual reality that will do this but more practical activities such as situational judgment tests and immersive assessment. The challenge of diversity and inclusion will trouble employers who are feeling more pressure from reporting data rather than talking about initiatives.

The types of supplier that organisations want to work with are those that add value and bring fresh and relevant thinking to the table, and ideally the more of this that is joined up (under one roof) into integrated talent solutions the better.

Manjoor Azizul, co-founder and creative director, Pink Squid

2016 was the year of the Monkey, and a strange one at that. As our tech director Tsz Wu will tell you: everything comes down to the Chinese Zodiac. The monkey is smart, agile and active, but can we say the same about this year? I suppose it depends on where you sit, so I'll stop sitting on the fence. Not sure the Brexit thing is smart or the Trump thing is agile, but it's definitely active.

We think 2017 is going to be fun. Video is going to explode. VR is going to be our school outing – and everyone loves keeping the pencil and eraser, don't they? But you can't say it's not exciting. IA is on the scene to change the way we think - those lucky ones that got a new girlfriend called Alexa for Christmas will know what I mean. On the whole we're scratching at the surface, but let's give it a good old itch with a ruler.

Gareth Edwards, executive vice president – Europe, AIA Worldwide

We see trends for the new year that are a combination of the old and the new. The challenge might lie in not making the candidate blue.

To begin with employer brand - there is significant demand, once again, from clients for employer brand work – especially in activation and effective distribution. This is exciting because the means of distribution and effective candidate engagement in employer brand terms are greater than ever.

However, there are also more opportunities than ever for bad candidate engagement as we also predict the rise of chatbots and possibly over-enthusiastic adoption. With AI roles the fastest growing emerging tech job on Indeed, we’re pretty sure that we are going to see more AI than ever in the recruitment space. As technology drives possibility we will need to keep an eye of quality if candidate experience is not going to suffer.

Steve Playford, global director, Financial Times Career Management

2017 will be the year when programmatic advertising will become a much bigger part of the mix. It has already been spoken about at lots of conferences and has always been high on the agenda.

I'm not sure whether it will manifest itself through more recruitment display advertising campaigns on wider networks, more sharing or aggregation of job content through platforms such as JobG8, further moves towards PPC models or probably elements of all three. It will certainly be another interesting transformation for the recruitment communications industry.

Andy Sumner, managing director, Monster

This year, new technology and alternative ways of working will change the face of recruitment. These will be reinforced by increasing numbers of Millennials entering the workplace, whose job satisfaction goes beyond factors such as pay and hours in the office, focusing instead on business values and loyalty.

It will be vital for employers to invest in their employer brand and match what’s important to Millennials in job adverts. Businesses unable to communicate a strong employer brand will lose out on attracting the best talent. Expect digital communication channels to come to the fore as a means of capturing both active and passive talent as companies align themselves with the same values as the talent they’re trying to reach.

We’ll also see more ‘independent’ workers enter the gig economy. It’ll provide those tempted by career change with an opportunity to try something different, with flexible hours to suit different lifestyles. Understanding and better defining this new category of workers will become an industry priority.

Tony Bowley, head of sales, Guardian Jobs

We know that we are almost at full employment, and skill shortages will continue to make it difficult for recruiters. We also know that with the consequences of Brexit and Trump still pretty much unknown, the uncertainty will mean that great people in good jobs will be difficult to shift.

So, more than ever in 2017 employers will need to back up their active jobseeker attraction with campaigns that reach out to receptive or passive jobseekers. For this to work, they’ll need highly targeted advertising drawing on first party data which is delivered in a trusted content environment that adds gravitas to their message.

Programmatic trading for recruitment communications will continue to grow, but this will be increasingly allied with quality data, so 2017 will bring a year of more effective and targeted campaigns.

Olivia Vines, head of marketing, Jobsgopublic

We can't see the balance of power shifting from the candidate to the employer - just the reverse - so this will make it harder than ever to attract and reach quality candidates. Even more innovative methods will need to be used to stand out from the crowd, and we hope that our industry embraces the need to develop their employer brand and communicate it throughout their recruitment strategy. 

I think we will see an increase in video being used as a recruitment tool and also candidates being further engaged with via social media channels. Employers no longer have a choice of whether to do social, the choice in 2017 is how well they do it. We have been talking about ‘big data’ for a number of years now, but I think 2017 is the year that data will be properly leveraged in a way that will make hiring more effective and efficient, as recruiters can track what’s working and use this to form future strategies.

Richard Badley, Head of Planning, SMRS

Despite the catastrophic performance of polls both here and in the US during 2016, I fully expect data to be a big deal this year. There’s already more of it than ever, on employers and candidates alike, and there’ll be more every day. The amount of information out there, and the new ways in which people consume it, is going to change the way organisations think about their employer branding and attraction. And it’s going to change how we agencies work. 

What do I hope to see happen? Employers starting to use all of this data properly. There are some huge opportunities to be taken, and some huge advantages to be gained. The first employers to really get it working for them are going to put themselves well ahead of the pack.

Sophie Milliken, operations director, Smart Resourcing Solutions

The continued fallout from Brexit and Trump will ensure uncertainty in the market this year with many companies taking a cautious approach to recruitment and the likelihood of a recruitment freeze where they manage with less until things settle down. The potential impact of Brexit on industries like hospitality could be immense and employers are keen to know what will happen before increasing numbers. 

Candidate experience will become ever more important with the increase of technology in the selection process. Employers will need to respond quickly to candidates and include some human interaction within the process to build rapport and differentiate themselves. This is challenging when many recruitment managers are being asked to do all of this with smaller budgets and teams. Outsourcing will become more attractive to companies who realise the cost savings and efficiencies that can be made.

What do you think 2017 has in store? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

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Ri5's industry predictions for 2017