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What Job Seekers Need to Know about Recruitment Trends

This is the Chinese year of the horse, so for those of you looking for career success: what does it hold for the job hunter? This is a quick canter through some of the key trends.

Will there be jobs and if so how will one access them?

There will be jobs:

Yes, there will be jobs. With the economy continuing to show signs of growth, 51% of firms surveyed by the CBI are anticipating recruiting in 2014. Vacancies are now at a higher level than they have been since 1998 with sectors such as healthcare, engineering, financial services, energy and, of course, IT showing the most vacancies. Even in the public sector more than 8 in 10 organisations have recruited in the past year. Just over half (53%) said staff counts had fallen. So it is not as bleak as you have thought – it is positively encouraging!

HOW people are hired is changing:

But how people are employed is continuing to change. Working for the public sector may not mean working in the public sector. Outsourcing, supported by George Osborne’s announcements in the Autumn Statement and changes to pensions is set to grow outsourcing from the current £4bn. You may be a public servant in the future but employed by a private sector contractor or agency – that means you may need to broaden your thinking and job searching to find the work you want to do.


Salaries are generally on the up across the economy but, in the public sector, there is still restraint. However, one of the advantages of being employed in the private sector is that the spotlight is off.

Flexible contacts, agencies & 0 hours:

Another trend is the increased reliance on flexible contracts, agency workers and zero hours. Whilst working in a different way may not be your choice, it is true that you can make a good living out of having a series of small jobs rather than one big one.

The year of the tradesman?

One commentator said 2014 was The Year Of The Tradesman – a great year for men in overalls and a bad one for men in suits. “Managers” are now an endangered species with low demand so it’s time to make sure that your technical and professional skills are brushed up and on the money!

Mobile recruitment:

So there will be jobs but what will you need to do to get into them? All the pundits are predicting a growth in mobile technology in recruitment. With 51% of people in the UK already using their phone as their primary internet connection and 70% of people already job searching on their phone, recruiters need to think about their mobile strategy – and job searchers need to realise that even the public sector will follow this trend (albeit slowly!). You will need to change how you search because print is dying.

READ MORE: Mobile Recruitment: The Facts and Figures

Video CVs:

You may also need to change how you apply for jobs. I’ve talked in past editions about using infographic CVs, or other creative ways to attract a recruiter’s attention but the big thing for 2014 is going to be the video CV.

Why not try presenting yourself through a medium such as 94% of recruiters in a survey by ‘Your Say Pays’  said that CVs did not give a full picture of what a candidate has to offer and video appears to give more insights, particularly those that are interrogative. Your MeVie gives you the opportunity to sell yourself in way a piece of paper can’t. Marks & Spencer have embraced video as a screening tool and others will be following.

Even if you think your prospective employer won’t be going there, you can add the site address into your CV – you should think about having a website to showcase yourself or/and upload YouTube videos. As a minimum, you need to be ready for the video interview or Skype interview.

It is, of course, still critical to have a strong CV – a differentiated one – but the urge for creativity must be balanced with the recognition that ATS can’t handle such things and recruiters may just find charts, graphs and cartoons a little OTT.

Social media:

Social media is a key tool for recruiters and it is providing many services: it is increasingly a tool to promote vacancies, to develop an employer brand and to find candidates. However, it is also a key resource in carrying out background checks on individuals – you ignore these trends at your peril! That young lady who had entered herself into the Guinness Book of Records for having slept with the most men in her first term at Uni, may come to regret it!

So recruitment is changing. What people look for in candidates is changing. You need to make sure that if you are to be successful you understand what is happening and how to maximise your chances of career success.

By Mary Hope

Mary Hope is the founder of Mary Hope Career Success, she works with executives and managers to support them get paid more, promoted faster and feel more satisfied. She has 30 years experience of HR, training and headhunting both private and public sectors, is a published author and career coach. Follow Mary on Twitter @maryhopecareers