The New Year is barely more than a few hours old, and as we celebrate the end of one year and the start of another, few of us are really considering the year ahead. However, in preparation for what 2018 will hold, I wanted to share some trends that I believe will play an important role in recruitment this year.

As employers and managers, most of us are used to the fast pace, and ever-changing nature of business. Recruitment is no different and this year we will see some new, and not so new trends, take off.

  1. Lower spend

    This year, employers will continue to decrease the cost of recruiting talent, moving away from traditional means to technology-based and outsourced models.

    The implementation of artificial intelligence, scanning and automated customer relationship management systems will be high on the agenda for many organisations, as they choose to invest in technology that will both streamline and lower costs.

    However, organisations need to make sure that they are not going too far in this direction. Remember, the recruitment process is still about people working for people, so there needs to be some human element and care throughout the process.

  2. Soft skills

    There has been a growing acceptance that there is a need for soft, intangible skills in employees and potential hires, in addition to functional or technical skills.

    This year will see companies tackle the challenge of identifying and assessing these skills. Investigating how to leverage these skills within their teams will be a major hurdle for most organisations.

    This desire for soft skills will lead to a spike in companies investing in coaching and training programs. Solutions that will help build and grow communication, team work, problem solving, emotional intelligence and other soft skills within work teams will be in high demand.

  3. Health and wellbeing

    Employee retention has always been integral to the success of an organisation. This isn’t going to change as employers struggle to attract top talent to their organisations. Leading organisations will invest in programs that improve overall staff wellbeing and health.

    Career planning and coaching, mental health days, gym memberships, and mindfulness rooms are just a few of the things employers will turn to. Increased focus and investment in the health and wellbeing of employees will become key to sustained business success.

    The Gallup 2017 employee engagement report found that disengaged employees cost the US somewhere between $450 and $550 billion each year. Thus, investing in the health and wellbeing of employees makes great financial and business sense.

Recruitment has two sides: the hirer and the hired. So, what can employees expect in the next 12 months?

  • The new norm:

    Not surprisingly, talent with digital, social, data analytics and data-mining skills will still be in high demand. This won’t slow down anytime soon as automated and data-driven marketing continues to grow and become the norm across the industry.

    Employees with these skills will be able to negotiate great remuneration and benefits packages as the supply can’t meet the growing demands of the market.

  • Taking control:

    For decades, employees’ careers have been left to languish and depend upon the whims of businesses and managers. Few employees took control of their careers, most sitting back waiting and hoping it would happen for them. With the rising number of millennials in the workforce this is changing.

    This year will see employees take more control over their career pathways. Ambitious staff are realising that it isn’t the employers’ responsibility to build their careers, but their own.

    Education, mentoring programs and career coaching will become popular as the millennials investigate ways to drive their careers and fulfil their potential.

  • Changing focus:

    Millennials have had to come to terms with the harsh reality that they will never have the long-term career stability and wealth creation that their parents had. This year will see an increased emphasis on finding happiness, challenge and purpose in work.

    As their focus changes, these employees will seek roles and organisations that support the new values.

Last year was one of changes, and 2018 will prove to be no different. Technology will continue to disrupt recruitment; top talent will still be in high demand; and the world of business will continue to change at a rapid pace.

As owners, founders, directors and employers, we have to adapt, think quickly, and be open to innovation to remain relevant to top talent.