The Recruitment Outlook: How Job Searching Will Change in 2018

Rebekah Valero-Lee Candidate Advice


Within the recruitment industry, 2017 was the year which signaled the rise of the robots, with AI and automation technologies taking precedence. We also welcomed a serious focus on workplace diversity and the exposition of unconscious bias. This year showed that the industry is rapidly adopting new technologies and is showing positive signs of change with more investment in training and a focus on equality and inclusion.

As we come to the end of a great year we look to what recruitment in 2018 holds for both job seekers and employers. One thing’s for sure, the year will see some game-changers in the recruitment space as well as an acceleration of those known trends we have just got to grips with.

Here’s our list of five key trends to keep your eye on:

  1. AI Technology – Bye Bye Humans 

Throughout the past year, the words artificial intelligence has probably been ringing in the ears of most HR and recruitment professionals. Once seen as ‘next-gen’ technology, AI is set to grow and expand rapidly in the year ahead, with people beginning to understand how it can make their professional lives easier.

Not only has AI improved the quality of screening candidates, it has also reduced recruiter bias (unconscious bias) by focusing on candidate skills rather than demographic. This allows recruiters to focus on the more important aspects of their day-to-day work, ultimately increasing their efficiency.

But how do candidates feel about this shift? Whilst they still prefer human interaction first and foremost, it’s become widely accepted that it isn’t possible at every touchpoint. We predict that recruitment in 2018 will see a change, with candidates far more open to communicating using alternative methods, such as chat bots and social media messaging, if it means speeding up the recruitment process.

  1. Continuous Learning – Combatting The Skills Gap

Whether you want to learn new trends or up-skill, continuous learning is becoming more widely accepted. HR managers recognise that training employee’s costs less than recruiting a new starter, and for candidates this is a big attraction towards a company. When it comes to learning, there should never be an end date as for any worker, it’s important they continually develop their skills and knowledge.

Gone are the days where people wholly rely on their school or university education to get them through their profession – no market is static. With the skills gap in the UK reaching crisis point – both candidates and employers should be on the lookout to enhance their skillsets and workforce, as it is an essential part in the UK being able to deliver the pipeline of projects (Hinkley Point C and HS2) that are key to the country’s economic growth.

Adrian Adair, our Ops Director discusses skills in relation to Hinkley Point C, here.

  1. Remote Working – The Future Of Employment?

Recruitment in 2018 will see more and more companies offering remote working as one of their perks – and why not? Candidates, especially millennials, love it. It’s evident there are some great positives to working remotely – being free from distractions increases concentration and research suggests the work-life balance is significantly improved by having more flexibility.

However, with many people working remotely full-time missing team comradery, which has the opposite effect on well-being.

  1. Social Media – Get On Board, It’s Going Nowhere

With 79% of candidates using social media in their job search, there’s no doubt this continues to be trend in itself, but this time focusing on two pivotal aspects: LinkedIn and Gen Z.

LinkedIn goes wild

When social media recruiting first rose to prominence, LinkedIn was the platform of choice for recruiters and candidates alike due to being considered the ‘professional social network’. However, as new platforms rose in popularity, it’s been questioned as to whether LinkedIn is still worth the time and resources – it is.

This year, the platform officially hit 530 million members, all being due to a major shift in the use of the platform. Instead of just being a networking site, it’s now also a content platform. With around 100,000 new articles being published every week, LinkedIn is producing new, organic content at a record pace. This provides creative recruiting teams with a unique opportunity to change their LinkedIn identity, and attract candidates on the platform in new ways. Failing to take advantage of this side of LinkedIn will almost certainly cause organisations to lose top talent to their more digitally-focused competition.

Gen Z has arrived

I know it only seems like yesterday that recruiting teams we’re forced to make major adjustments because of millennials, but Gen Z has arrived to disrupt everything, again. For recruitment in 2018, understanding what Gen Z expects when searching for jobs is crucial (we explain all about them here), so that your process is optimized for when this group hits the market in full force.

Due to growing up in an almost-completely digital world, the expectations of Gen Z when it comes to all things digital exceeds even those of millennials. Therefore, it’s essential to keep up with the latest social media trends as otherwise employers risk missing out completely on this key demographic.

  1. Mobile – The Tech Evolution

If we mention social media, we have to mention mobile. It’s so ingrained in each of our lives you’d think that it doesn’t even have to be on this list. Well, 89% of job seekers say their mobile device is an important tool for job searching and yet many companies are yet to have fully mobile-optimised career sites.

Not only this, but the way in which we search for jobs is changing with Google setting their sights on domination of recruitment in 2018. Welcome Google for Jobs. This new search presents a more practical and efficient approach to the job hunt. It does this with an API which uses machine learning to understand how job titles and skills relate to one another and what job content, location, and seniority are the closest match to a jobseeker’s preferences. Then, the API can be purchased by companies to help them recruit better candidates on their job boards and websites – the takeover begins.

Consequently, in the New Year, adopting a mobile- enabled application process should be a top priority for companies in order to satisfy candidate expectations. Apparently, already 48% of job seekers believe mobile devices will be the most common way to search for jobs. We predict recruitment in 2018 to see exciting change, watch this space…