Top Recruitment Trends 2018

The future is never entirely predictable, but one thing is certain, organisations /employers will always want to find the best candidate for the position at the lowest acquisition price possible.

The continuing rise of the gig economy

The gig / freelancer economy continues to grow. More organisations are taking advantage of the lower costs, the ability to quickly scale and the capacity to hire people in different times zones. Brooking Research demonstrated that the gig economy is growing faster than payroll employment.

This trend is not new, but the difference in 2018 is the growing awareness of the downside of the gig economy, including increased workplace insecurity and lower worker rights.  There are also disadvantages for employers including lower reliability and difficulty coordinating projects across various remote workers.

Unions are starting to get involved in this space. While progress is still slow, in 2017 we saw the Unions New South Wales come to an agreement with Airtasker for minimum working conditions, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union launched a high profile social media campaign against Street’s (Unilever), which saw workers winning not only against reductions in income, but loss of protections against contractors and labour hire and The Australian Workers Union trialed an alternative model of organisation in the hair dressing industry for workers being treated as independent contractors, instead of being paid a wage.

In 2017 The Fair Work Ombudsman also started investigations into Uber and how they classify their workers.

Overseas we are seeing an increased focus on the gig economy, including in the UK Prime Minister Teresa May launching the Taylor Review into Employment Practices in the Modern Economy.  

The question is, whether gig workers and unions organise and engage in collective action including the use of social media to drive change, or Government moves to regulate the gig economy in 2018 – 2019.

Recruiting for diversity is becoming increasingly mainstream

In 2017 the world was rocked by scandals regarding sexual harassment, pay inequality, discrimination and sexism.  The list was huge and included Dave McClure of 500 Startups, James Damore the engineer that shared the memo Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber, Harvey Weinstein and the subsequent hashtag #MeToo, which led to 4.7m people engaged in the conversation within just 24 hours.

In 2017, we also saw support for marriage equality in Australia with the passing of the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017.  Large enterprises, including Westfarmers, HSBC, Goldman Sacks, JPMorgan, David Jones, Qantas and Amazon supported the movement.

This unprecedented awareness of gender and diversity more generally amongst the population, combined with ongoing research and evidence demonstrating that diversity improves performance and profit, means if you don’t address diversity you will get left behind. This includes attracting diverse talent and removing unconscious biases during the recruitment process and creating a safe and inclusive organisation.

Diversity and inclusion is no longer a PR exercise and when planning your recruitment, diversity should be at centre stage of your recruitment strategy, no matter what size of your organisation.

Artificial intelligence

The application of AI will increasingly improve the efficiency of recruitment. Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends, cited talent acquisition as the second most important challenge, so there is a move to incorporate smart algorithms that transforms the process. This includes automating HR processes such as matching resumes / CV’s, increasing candidate reach and enhancing the candidate experience.

Multiple players are converging on this space, including the Mya Systems, the IBM, IRIS; Hiring Solved; Workey; HireVue; HireIQ; Restless Bandit; Entelo and Textio.

Each startup is using A1 to solve a specific recruitment problem, whether identifying candidates via their social media profiles, scoring interviews, creating the perfect job advertisement to attract the right talent, through to using analytics on how likely a candidate will be successful in the job.

My guess is that AI will not become mainstream in recruitment in 2018. However, with a focus on productivity within recruitment, AI is here to stay and it will be interesting to see how the future rapidly unfolds.

Of course as with everything, there are risks with AI. While it potentially frees up a recruiters time, (just like an Applicant Tracking System), the decisions being made are only as good as the data provided and advanced algorithms created. Since I’ve yet to meet a job candidate aware that they are just ‘raw data’ and therefore tailor their resume and social media profiles accordingly and engineers and programmers are predominately white and male, there is a risk that we will amplify biases within recruitment.  

The Facebook and Google empires continue their move to take a slice of the recruitment pie

Facebook and Google are powerful and pervasive technology companies that have at their disposal, massive amounts of data.

Google for Jobs launched in the US in 2017, using API with its powerful search engine features. Although still in its early days it has the capacity to disrupt the traditional job board such as SEEK. While there is still work to do, watch out for Google for Jobs, it could be a game changer.

Meanwhile over at Facebook, we had a move by Facebook in 2017 into the recruitment sphere, with company pages in the US and Canada having the ability to post job advertisement and evaluate the applications a company receives.

What both these large players have done is open the gates to matching against a massive database they already have at their disposal of potential candidates. It will be interesting in 2018 to see how they further capitalise on this opportunity.

The recruitment grind will continue

The above was my optimistic and future based look at recruitment. In reality, the bulk of SME will continue with the same old recruitment grind. This includes over reliance on job boards, insufficient investment in good recruitment practices, including failing to bring HR into strategic decision-making process, poor candidate experience, and organisations seeing recruitment as a chore and afterthought, rather than a huge opportunity.

So what are your thoughts? I would love to hear what you think 2018 will bring within the recruitment sphere.

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