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The one thing you can never say about the UK recruitment industry is that it stays static; the dramatic ongoing changes require those that work in recruitment to constantly adapt and exploit emerging trends to succeed. The ability to hone processes and maximise the tools available is vital to finding the best talent at the fastest rate, especially as the pool of top talent appears to be constantly shrinking.

Use of technology, candidate’s attitudes and expectations and how we target and manage candidates is constantly evolving. Top candidates are increasingly becoming more passive and harder to reach and they continue to demand more and more from the candidate experience and throughout their employment through continuous learning and support. As recruiters we need to remain ahead of the game to survive.

So, what are the top recruitment trends that recruiters need to know about in 2018?

Recruiting technology to rise at an exponential rate

In 2018 machine learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and new sourcing tools and algorithms will be utilised more and more during the hiring process and will certainly have an impact on how we recruit.

AI, machine learning and the availability of data on candidates ensures we can rely less on the traditional, more impersonal and generic approaches to attract and engage with candidates. Indeed, by leveraging data and machine learning we will be able to create a bespoke candidate experience and make smarter and unbiased decisions, all in a more efficient and timely manner.

However, the personal human touch will remain paramount in the war for talent. Whilst machines can and will offer so much, they can never replace the engagement and relationship building necessary to attract top talent.

Social media recruiting and content importance to grow

The use of social media for recruitment offers so much: attracting new clients, building relationships, sourcing passive candidates and brand building just to mention a few, all whilst being very cost effective and a great return on investment.

Its use is only set to increase as Google and Facebook challenge the market previously dominated by LinkedIn and as a new generation of candidates who have never known life without technology start to enter the job market.

Social media is also becoming all about content. Rather than just engaging with content about current vacancies and news, recruiters will increasingly see the benefits of podcasts, blogs and video marketing for recruitment.

Find Qualified, Interested and Available Candidates easily and at a reduced cost

Demand for continuous learning and professional development

To remain competitive and attract and retain top talent, organisations will have to place continuous learning and professional career development as a top priority. The benefits of providing learning opportunities are very well documented and include increased engagement and ability to deal with change. It has long been recognised that employers who offer ongoing training and support are generally considered a more attractive place to work and therefore attract a wider pool of talent. As this increasingly becomes a decision factor for employees, it will have to be a key priority for employers.

Increased focus on diversity in the workplace

Lack of diversity in industries including technology, entertainment and government have been hot topics over the last few years. More leading organisations are making diversity hiring a priority, and this will become increasingly important in 2018 and beyond.

Creating a culture that is truly inclusive will require organisations to review their hiring practices and diversity policies and utilise technology to aid diversity. AI can help reduce unconscious bias during the hiring process by anonymising the candidate and placing the focus on skills, not age, gender or race.

Expansion of the gig economy

The gig economy looks set to continue to grow which means recruiters will need to differentiate themselves via their ability to build and maintain relationships with gig workers or contractors. If the draft bill produced by The Work and Pensions Committee and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee, aimed at providing workers with basic rights of sick and holiday pay, is passed into legislation expect to hear a great deal more about it.

So, 2018 looks set to be another year full of change, however above anything else we must choose to see the changes and trends as opportunities to source, attract, retain and develop the best talent workforce possible.