Ri5’s industry predictions for 2018


2017. Not as rocky as many had predicted. In fact, despite concerns as to the impact of Brexit and the much talked about impending related skills shortage, Britain remained pretty competitive and the labour market was strong. 2017 was the year where apprenticeships were under the spotlight, as were companies with 250+ employees as they started to report on gender pay gap reporting. And everyone was talking about AI and the gig economy.

So, what’s up for 2018? Here’s what some of the industry’s movers and shakers had to say.

Claire Herriott, CEO and founder, White Label Ltd

Developing on from 2017, we predict the gig economy will continue on its current upward trajectory. Negative press aside, the way we think about work has changed forever, with “gig employers” providing technical platforms that shape the working practices for the many.  Flexible.  Diverse.  Working in real-time. Lives are led more and more on-demand and now working can be on-demand too.

AI campaigns look set to dominate the market.  However, they could be hindered by a decreased ability to access personal customer data and ability to target individuals based on that data, as the effects of GDPR, due in May 2018, may place restrictions on this.

Finally, expect Google for Jobs, launched in the US in 2017, to become a major player in the UK recruitment market. As Google looks to utilise its own AI tools to enable job seekers to find jobs that might not show up in a traditional search. If it delivers as promised, it could mean a major shift and improvement in the way applicants and employers find the right match.

Andrea Marston, talent acquisition director EMEA/APJ, Workday

The relationship between employers and employees will continue to evolve.  People do not expect to do the same role for three years and businesses will be focused on developing their skills or losing talent. This has a huge impact on how we recruit people and to help them find purpose in what they’re doing. This isn’t a millennial thing, it’s true for all.

Recruitment tools have already become smarter taking the admin and basic sourcing skills away. In 2018, talent acquisition functions will focus on building their talent ecosystems and develop their skills in networking, branding and relationship building (old school agency methods using modern tools) as the candidate market tightens further. Sitting behind a computer screen sending inmails will seem old hat by 2019. Diversity and inclusion will continue to be a prime issue and flexible working will become increasingly common place. The #metoo campaign will encourage more openness about issues in the workplace.

Simon Phillips, MD, Europe - Symphony Talent and Chief Creative & Brand Officer - Hodes

Organisations (Brand, Corp Comms and Marketing Teams) who have developed new brand positions, customer/client promises and brand architecture, with little or no involvement from the employee/people specialists, are likely to realise that the cultural shift needed internally to deliver on this newly defined ambition has been missed. Their new brand purpose and vision won't quite achieve the impact they'd hoped because the EVP/Employer Brand hadn't been considered and refreshed to support the new direction. Enter (urgently) Hodes, part of Symphony Talent - and of course any other reputable agency with this expertise ;-).

A growing blurring of the generational lines as the influence of each generation continues to impact on the others, means organisations must consider more and more the personalised experience and not be blinkered just by generational bands (ie. Gen X, Z, Millienials, BabyBoomers etc). All audiences will be thinking 'What's relevant to me, what do I want from life, what do I want from my career/job, what do I want to give back, how do I want to interact with that, how do I want to manage my brand, and how are you (employer or potential employer) going to respect that?'  

Career websites will continue to become more 'e-commerce' (find your product (job), add to basket and check-out (apply) as efficiently as possible) and less about consuming endless reams of content and navigating numerous pages. With external channels being the primary employer brand engagement solution, alongside employee advocacy, influencers and 3rd party affirmation - the vast majority of candidates will be landing directly on job descriptions or content hubs. Building on the personalisation demand, it's going to be essential for employers to ensure they have contextually relevant content, advocacy and similar/matched opportunities, all on the first page every visitor lands on. Or very quickly be able to determine what that content needs to be and personalise from then on.

Lee Biggins, managing director and founder, CV-Library

2018 will continue to be all about candidate experience. That means organisations will be thinking smarter about their recruitment process and how they can make it more efficient. In order to achieve this, companies will need to innovate to the best of their abilities, especially if they want to stand out from the competition. At CV-Library, for example, we’re already launching an instant messaging platform for candidates and recruiters to interact through, and we expect to see more developments launch throughout the course of the year.

What’s more, when focussing on workplace trends, we predict that there will be even more fluidity in the job market, as workers opt for freelance or contract positions in a bid to restore a better work/life balance. In addition to this, workplaces will seek to improve conditions for female employees, with continued progress being made on closing the gender pay gap and introducing returnships to help those returning to work after a career break.

Olivia Harris, head of marketing, Jobsgopublic

The world of recruitment continues to move forward at an unprecedented pace as technology continues to rewrite traditional recruitment practices. 2018 looks to be no different. 

In 2017, trends such as big data, social recruiting, employer branding, automation and artificial intelligence became a big part of the recruitment scene. In 2018, these trends will become further ingrained as recruiters try to compete in an increasingly tough market. Employers will need to look at what differentiates them and I predict that improving candidate experience will take centre stage for many.

Employer branding will continue as a major point of attraction and the line between recruitment and marketing will continue to blur. I also think there will be an increased focus on diversity in the workplace and this will be improved by recruiters using a multi-platform approach to reach a broad range of candidates. 

2018 will also focus on quality over quantity with candidate experience, communication and process key to sourcing the best talent.

Andrew Wilkinson, CEO, TMP Worldwide UK

There won’t be another election and there will be a growing confidence in UK plc for no reason other than the longer time lapses, the more we get used to what is today’s uncertainty.

In 2018 organisations will start to better understand the power of social for talent engagement, employer brand influence and improving the candidate experience.  I think that the whole Employer Brand thought process will join up more between talent acquisition and employee engagement.  The transparency coming from social media (including Glassdoor) is making the employee feedback channel a bigger priority in many organisations.

The 2017 revelations (from Harvey Weinstein to BBC pay packets), will continue to help shape the Diversity conversation but through the lense of action, not talk and policy. Organisations need to better understand how to achieve improved results through the right insights into their challenges and then build a strategy to address the underlying issues.

Richard Purvis, founder and director, Crunch Simply Digital

2018 will be the year of smart attraction. The clear need for digital amplification of offerings and employer brand became more apparent in 2017, and in 2018 it will be tackled more effectively. With the power swinging to the candidate rather than employer, brands will become more agile with their recruitment strategies. Recruiters will need to be more innovative with their attraction, embracing new solutions like VR, vertical video and influencer marketing. It will be the year we redefine the idea of a completed application with Messenger services potentially becoming the new email. Communication will be a clear winner and we will see the resurrection of storytelling. Brands will look to communicate with their candidates in a much more effective way. Omni-channel approaches will be needed, reaching the audience where they are and when they are there, rather than the siloed platform approach.


Steve Keith, marketing and communications lead - apprenticeships, EY


I predict that universities will find a new identity and sense of purpose with the growth of, and demand for, degree apprenticeships from employers across the UK. Degree apprenticeships offer the opportunity for the UK to compete internationally with a highly skilled workforce across many key public and private sector occupations. Research recently released by the Higher Education Policy Institute shows that only 32% of students feel that university provides a ‘value for money’ experience. Degree apprenticeships offer students the opportunity to experience the best of both worlds – applying theory to practice – tackling fears students already have about finding a job upon graduation. They also allow employers to select partners based on the needs of their business, giving students a much clearer idea of the skills that are needed for the future.

Julie Towers, managing director, Penna

AI, VR, GDPR, EU it’s all a load of acronyms!

2018 is upon us and whilst Elon Musk Space X venture are predicting this will be the year they put a tourist on the moon, the recruitment industry will be keeping its feet firmly on the ground and working through the implementation of GDPR and ensuring that our systems and processes cut the mustard. Perhaps not as exciting as space travel but non-compliance will be a crash landing for those that don’t get it right. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR) are not future but now, but I’m convinced we’ll see more regular use of these tools in recruitment as they provide fantastic potential for candidate immersion and digital interaction to create a higher impact, lower cost deliver of EVP.

And the EU? An acronym the UK will be saying goodbye to and we’ll be assessing the impact…. more hiring or less hiring views are polarised.

Here at Penna EU has a different meaning –  ‘Everywhere Under the sun’ as we go global as part of the Adecco Group and take advantage of the needs of organisations in the UK and now globally to find innovative talent solutions. And we’re far more preoccupied with our own Flexit – as we move from Fleet Place to new offices in Millennium Bridge House. It’s a small step for our visitors, but a big one for Penna. Here’s to a great 2018.

Sophie Milliken, managing director, Smart Resourcing Solutions

Employers will be keen to show off their strengths and demonstrate why candidates should choose them. Flexible working will become even more common and be touted as a major benefit to attract graduate hires as well as returners and those with carer responsibilities. Health and well-being of employees will see an increased focus with employers competing to offer the best benefits. Mental health will be taken more seriously and this will be reflected in the benefits on offer with initiatives looking at healthy eating, exercise, financial wellbeing support and CSR team activities along with optional nap breaks.

Universities will be looking for ways to influence their TEF rating and strive for gold. One way universities will see results in this area is with the introduction and development of careers and employability modules which are embedded into curriculum. These can be enhanced with assessment simulation activity which has the added benefit of providing students with confidence and knowledge of the assessment process which can be applied when they apply for placements and graduate roles.

Lizzie Brock, marketing director, RMP Enterprise

2018 is the year of the 'omni-channel', referring to a shift in the need to provide a consistent experience for all students, regardless of the different channels or devices used. We are now marketing to a new generation (gen z) who have been brought up in a world of technology and have come to expect a personalised experience. The forward-thinking employers will strive to provide seamless experiences through all of their channels and use email-automation to ensure they're with students at every step of the way, reminding, educating and coaching them throughout their career journeys.

Steve Playford, global director, Financial Times

The long-awaited launch of Google for Jobs in the UK and a possible serious attempt at the entering the market by Facebook could affect the generalists. Niche job boards will continue to do well as near on full employment drives the war for talent. Inclusion and equality will dominate the HR agenda leading to a super year for all of us who have a strong employer brand offering. In other news, Arsene Wenger will sign a lucrative new 25-year deal at Arsenal. And Donald Trump will finally be impeached and replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

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Gill Allen Date: Jan 22, 2018

Some valid comments here. Logically, Google for Jobs will help assist with finding candidates but with more and more of them checking Glassdoor for reviews, it is also important to ensure 'employer branding' is as good on the 'inside' as it is on the 'outside'. And that could cover more than one aspect. Have a prosperous, happy and healthy 2018 everyone.

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Ri5’s industry predictions for 2018