Recruiters: How 2017 is looking and where it’s heading

18th April 2017

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With 2017 nearly four months old, in this short space of time we’ve seen great change in the way recruitment agencies and hiring managers are finding talent, and how candidates are advertising their services, as well as legislation changes and their impact on recruitment. Looking back on the past few months, what will have recruiters learnt so far in 2017 and what can they expect in the months ahead?

Don’t judge a candidate by its cover

With flexible working showing no sign of slowing down and certain projects requiring broader and more stringent skill sets, coupled with the continual birth of start-ups, recruiters should expect to deal with excellent candidates but with a penchant for not settling. With these candidates more excited by projects that challenge and intrigue them, they are far less interested in long term career progression and will jump from project to project within short periods of time.

Where this might have been frowned upon in the past by recruiters, it should now be embraced. If anything, this short-term-ism shows enterprise and ambition on behalf of the candidate and long may it continue.


The country’s decision last summer to leave the European Union ignited a spike in short-term and contract hire for many employers. With the aftermath of the result leaving most industries slightly unsure of what the future held, conservative measures were taken and rather than invest in long term hire, companies opted to ride out the storm and take the more cautious route of hiring contractors and temporary workers.

This trend has since continued, and now with Article 50 triggered last month, it will grow stronger until Britain’s situation becomes clearer post Brexit negotiations.

On the move

We’ve seen candidates grow more time precious and this has been reflected in their job hunting activity. With more candidates calling the shots thanks to their in-demand skill-sets, they’re showing no patience in filling out arduous forms and cover letters. If the application process is too complicated, it’s probably not worth their hassle. Keeping these processes simple for job applications will be key to acquiring the best candidates. It’s no surprise then that recruiters posting jobs are trying to cater for these types of candidates and catch them on the go and provide them with seamless methods of job applying (mobile app for instance).

It’s a candidate’s world

Whoever heard the phrase that money isn’t the be all and end all, having relevance today? Well it’s very true when looking at the motivations of modern candidates. Candidates who are in demand because of a unique skill-set, they know this gives them the influence to command a healthy financial package. However digging a little deeper, most candidates are not necessarily interested in this. Again, as previously mentioned candidates today are inspired by exciting and challenging projects, money is merely second nature.

Hence why we are seeing so many companies use their employees as case studies to advocate the benefits of working with them.

Any recruiter that can understand this candidate mindset and tap into it will be onto a winner.

Automation over administration

One of recruiter’s growing challenges is time and money spent on administrative tasks. This can be anything from ongoing e-mail communications with clients and candidates, or trawling through the many CVs that land on their desk every day.

Expect recruiters then to continue adopting new automated platforms that will streamline some of their working processes in order to save precious time on winning new clients and developing better relationships with candidates.

Data and Tech

As job descriptions become more specific and demand certain skill sets and appropriate experience, the importance of data in recruitment will be paramount. As well as trying to find the right candidate quickly, recruiters want to better understand candidates and their changing habits and behaviours.

Added to that the growing influence of tech, in particular wearable tech, these could be important devices to capture this much needed data and give valuable recruiter insight into the mind of today’s candidate.

Public to Private

The big news recently has been of course the now implemented changes to IR35 in the public sector. With the status of public sector contract workers out of their hands and now in their employers, this has led to many contract workers placed unfairly inside IR35 (most recently all NHS contract workers).

This will of course have an impact on the livelihood of contract workers financially and we are expected to see an influx of public sector workers enter the private sector as a result.

Recruiters should prepare for this boom and ensure they keep an eye out for top talent coming from the public sector.

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