What does the future of recruitment look like?

What does the future of recruitment look like?

Employment agencies and talent supply services have been constantly in demand ever since their beginnings in World War II. Since then, the recruitment industry has blossomed. Rapid advances in technology, the introduction of more niche markets and shifts in jobseeker strategies and demands have all contributed to a flourishing recruitment landscape. But with a history already so rich and varied, what does the future look like?

Our latest report, produced in partnership with Changeboard, analyses the current state of resourcing and recruitment in the UK, along with providing insights into how the market may change in the future. Here are the key highlights:

Growth is predicted, but organisations lack confidence in recruitment

The UK recruitment market has boomed in recent years, with PricewaterhouseCoopers predicting total UK employment figures could grow by around three million to reach 37 million jobs by 2025. The Association of Staffing Professionals reports that 85% of professional recruitment leaders believe their business will successfully grow over the next year – and this confidence is echoed in the responses from our own reporting.

Our survey shows that three-quarters of professionals believe their organisations will experience significant or moderate growth over the course of the next five years, displaying a positive outlook in the face of industry challenges such as Brexit. In line with this expected growth, 56% of respondents expect the importance of the recruitment function to increase significantly in the next three years; however, just 31% of those polled feel they have the necessary skills within their existing recruitment function to respond to future challenges.

Despite the expected industry growth, the lack of confidence in responding to future challenges is compounded by ongoing competition when it comes to attracting and securing top talent. For our survey respondents, the single-biggest recruitment challenge is in finding the right skills for specific job profiles. Despite this, only a fifth of our survey pool are currently using outsourced solutions, suggesting there is an opportunity for stretched Talent Acquisition and HR teams to gain additional support from external resourcing partners. Such a solution allows organisations to benefit from expert industry assistance, potentially providing access to bigger and better talent pools while allowing them to focus on their day-to-day responsibilities.

Change is afoot, and it's important to keep up

Those involved with talent identification and acquisition will be well aware of market trends and the impact of new technologies, with these changes heralding both positive and negative effects for the industry. New automated technologies are expected to see manufacturing job numbers fall by 600,000 by 2025, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, with businesses using technology to improve efficiency and reduce headcount. Meanwhile, constant developments in digital platforms and tools such as social media and applicant tracking systems have given those working in recruitment more resources than ever to source, target and attract their ideal candidates.

Indeed, as of 2015, 92% of recruitment professionals used social media as part of their recruitment strategy, according to Jobvite's Recruiter Nation report. Despite these promising statistics, however, our research shows that while professionals are using social media as part of the recruitment process, the number of respondents who believe they use social postings and searches in an efficient way is matched by those who believe they use them inefficiently. Similarly, more people believe they are using job boards inadequately, and just 10% of respondents believe they utilise job aggregators well. This shows a need for ongoing training and development as new strategies arise.

We know that the industry will continue to face disruptors, particularly those of digitisation, changing workforce dynamics, automation and AI. And while the market will continue to develop at rapid pace, it's vital that organisations provide a robust talent acquisition function that has both a clear strategy and an ability to be agile in the face of change.

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We know that change is the only constant in our field, and we're excited to see what comes next.

For more information on how Kelly Project Resourcing can support your in-house recruitment specialists with your company’s resourcing requirements, please email projectresourcing@kellyservices.com

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