As we dive head-first into 2018, it’s worth putting away some time to take stock, reflecting on the lessons of the year gone by. High employment levels across the board have resulted in several emerging trends, including flexible working, pay increases and an emphasis on curated candidate care. However, Brexit, arguably the biggest issue of 2016, is still lingering in the unknown. With a decision seemingly imminent, there are set to be significant changes in the first half of 2018.
Here are five of the lessons we’ve learned in the last 12 months:
Flexibility is the new normal and benefits are better than ever
Flexible working has become increasingly common, with candidates looking for a better work-life balance and clients recognizing the value in offering their employees greater autonomy. This gig economy allows employers to find the best talent regardless of physical location and situation, thereby widening their candidate pool. It also means that candidates are afforded more choice in their job search.
In the same vein, benefits have become a more prominent feature of employees’ overall package. A good benefits package helps to build a strong professional relationship between employee and employer, promotes best-practice habits and can help reduce turnover.
Fitness, health, and wellbeing are prevalent influencing factors, with candidates placing greater emphasis on a health-conscious working environment. Other popular offerings have included a day off on birthdays, complimentary dry cleaning and supplied breakfast and lunch.
The candidate is king
With unemployment levels at an all-time low, finding strong candidates has become harder than ever before. As employers struggle to find talent by themselves, they are turning to agencies and creative candidate-sourcing methods. What’s more, the high level of permanent placements has had an impact on quality temporary workers, meaning candidate care has become more important than ever.
Creating a seamless experience for candidates is essential for ensuring that the highest-quality talent remains loyal to your brand. The behaviors of every consultant a potential candidate meets must be consistent, along with the company branding and tone of voice. Most importantly, every engaged candidate must be followed up – a lack of response and communication is one of the most frequent complaints amongst candidates. Failing to do this can be incredibly detrimental – a recent survey by CareerArc found 60% of the surveyed candidates had had a poor candidate experience, and 72% of those shared that experience online or by word-of-mouth.
GDPR is going to shake up the industry
GDPR may not come into effect until May 2018, but it has started to dominate discussions within the industry as many realize the far-reaching effect the legislation will have.
Candidates and clients will now need to explicitly consent to receive marketing material, meaning databases need to be built up from the ground once more. All other data will also need to be cleaned up, ensuring full compliance with the new retention and storage laws.
Diversity and equality
Diversity in the workplace continues to be a hot topic in 2017, as companies recognize its positive impact on employee productivity, loyalty, and creativity. Opening a job to all candidates, regardless of race, religion, gender, age, sexual preference or physical disability increases the potential pool and ensures the best people are considered for the role. Creating an environment where employees are included and represented helps to increase engagement and lessens the chances of an employee leaving.
It is a recruiter’s responsibility to encourage diversity, considering applicants primarily on their suitability for the role and cultural fit. Likewise, encouraging equal opportunity policies in businesses is paramount and should be readily available if requested.
Applying on-the-go and social media
Considering we now bank, eat, chat, book and share on the run, what’s to stop candidates applying for jobs in the same way? Initiatives like one-click applications are making it easier than ever for candidates to apply for jobs, thereby increasing the potential pool and enticing those who might not even be looking. By reducing the hoops candidates must jump through, recruiters are able to speed up the recruitment process, satisfying clients’ needs quicker than ever.
In the same way, social media continues to rise in popularity as a recruitment tool, with ever-increasing numbers of millennials using social networks to find work. Therefore, recruiters should be looking to platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to reach potential candidates, as well as emerging apps like Instagram and Snapchat. However, before engaging with anyone, it’s important to make sure the brand is presented in the best light, with consistent content and imagery.
About the author: David Morel is the CEO/Founder of Tiger Recruitment, one of London’s leading secretarial/administrative recruitment agencies. David founded Tiger in 2001 and has written extensively in the press and wider media advising both employers and job seekers on best recruitment practice.