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  • IMS People Possible explore the trends and difficulties from the recruitment industry in 2019.
  • We also provide an outlook on 2020 and look at what trends may continue throughout next year.

IMS People Possible look back at the year in recruitment and explore what trends, challenges and key events emerged from 2019.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI is arguably the most significant emergence for 2019. While the human element is essential in the world of recruitment, the utilisation of AI for time-consuming manual tasks that take up valuable time has been a real game-changer for many recruitment firms, increasing efficiency in many areas.
  • According to Flexjobs, remote workers have seen a growth of 115% over the past decade, with advancements in AI a significant factor in the increase. Used for everything from candidate sourcing, candidate screening and chatbot engagement, AI will continue to be at the forefront of recruitment in 2020. Check out IMS People Possible’s exploration of AI in recruitment here.
  • Inbound Marketing: 2019 has seen inbound marketing remain a crucial aspect of a firms marketing strategies, mainly due to its importance to the conversion of potential client’s.
  • An essential point of 2019 has been the focus around publishing content in the best places, ensuring relevance and targeting the right demographics. According to research from ‘Content Marketing Institute’, 70% of consumers prefer to use content to learn about a company’s services and products. So, it’s not surprising that the most successful marketers spend at least 40% of their marketing budget on content, with 55% of businesses considering blog creation as their top inbound marketing priority.
  • There are challenges surrounding inbound marketing and content creation, mainly the sheer amount of content available to the consumer, which means creating fantastic content that entices the reader to continue engaging with your company is essential.
  • Social Media Recruitment: As another year draws to a close, social media’s popularity is still showing no signs of slowing, and its use in recruitment continues to grow. According to Agency Central, around 9 in 10 recruiters appear on at least one social platform and with 115,000 people currently working in the recruitment sector that means over 100,000 people working within recruitment appear on a social media platform. An even more astounding statistic from Aberdeen Group shows that 73% of millennials found their last role on a social media platform.
  • The ability to apply for a job in a few clicks has created some volume issues for recruiters and is making it increasingly harder to highlight those perfect candidates. Still, with screening tools improving all the time, this should become much easier over time.
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  • Virtual Reality (VR): A wonderfully strange emergence for 2019 was the use of VR in recruitment, with firms swiftly acknowledging the benefits on offer. Primary uses of the technology up to now include video interviews that place the interviewee in a virtual office environment, virtual tours of workspaces and offices and a medium for job seekers to demonstrate their skills and abilities. Automotive giant Jaguar asked candidates to beat a VR challenge that entailed building one of their I-Pace Concept vehicles, those who beat the challenge were accelerated through the recruitment process. VR’s emergence is recent, but you can expect giant leaps for it in 2020.
  • Gig Economy: The UK’s gig economy has enjoyed massive growth in recent years and has more than doubled in size since 2016, according to The Guardian. With gig economy now accounting for over 4.7 million workers in the UK and according to Forbes, more than one-third of the US workforce, the modern job market has witnessed quite a radical change.
  • Candidates are favouring freelancing work for the flexibility and freedom it provides and some people are using ‘gigs’ as a second job to boost their income. Similarly, firms are opting to utilise these short-term workers for their projects, reducing the requirement of hiring full-time staff and the cost associated with the hiring process. There are certain drawbacks and concerns around the gig economy, mainly due to the lack of employment rights and issues around pay regulations.
  • However, it seems the lack of workplace benefits isn’t outweighing the benefits as the gig economy continues to grow.

Key Challenges

  • Reactive Hiring: Attempting to source candidates only for available roles has become a considerable problem due to the small pool of talent you can aim at. Instead, it’s become vital for recruiters to maintain an active hunt for the best talent and to preserve a good relationship for when the perfect role emerges for them.
  • Technology Limitations: While AI and technology in recruitment will revolutionise the industry, it isn’t quite there just yet, and it simply can’t replace the human element. Focus on your engagement with current candidates continue to build good relationships.
  • Passive candidates: The number of passive candidates is increasing as firms focus more on employee retention. Those candidates that are not actively job-hunting but could be tempted with a better role elsewhere are coming harder to find. The need to tailor your efforts and brand has never been more important to attract those passive candidates.
  • Slow Processes: Taking an applicant through the recruitment cycle takes time, but many candidates have tended to drop out if they feel the process has taken too long. Linking back to the competition for talent, the ability to secure your candidates quickly and successfully is vital if you keep them waiting too long, it’s likely that they will accept an offer elsewhere.

From VR to AI and everything in between, 2019 has been a challenging but exciting year for the recruitment industry. 2020 should bring more emergence of new technology and a new set of challenges, the key is to stay ahead of the curve and embrace the changes that appear throughout the year.