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8 Bold Predictions for the Recruitment Sector in 2016

We've come to expect the unexpected in the recruitment sector, which is partially what makes the industry interesting.

A powerful combination of people, technology, and market forces drive the recruitment sector, possibly more so than any other. As we step into 2016, here are 8 bold predictions that may go against accepted current wisdom:

 1) A new type of in-house team: an unlikely alliance between in-house and agency
The creation of job boards in the early 2000’s helped create the foundations of the modern day in-house recruitment team. Initially, the idea was pitched as a cost saving department, that would use online and offline advertising as a cheaper alternative to agency fee’s. With the advent of LinkedIn and employer branding, the ability of in-house teams to direct source grew. But recently, the “cost” argument has been under pressure, with RPO/MSP models delivering even better savings. In-house teams have therefore become “value add” functions, delivering much more than cost savings, but genuine commercial partnering to the business. In 2016 many in-house teams will ditch their cost and time to hire metrics completely, with a much more quality focused approach, with strategically important hires and role pipelining championed. Agencies, with their niche candidate knowledge, will support this “drive for quality” and help in-house teams offer a valid and attractive alternative to a cost focused outsourced model.

2) A new pricing model
The recruitment sector has priced itself on a simple percentage of base salary for far too long.  This approach has the benefit of simplicity. But it also ignores the effort involved in the recruitment process, the importance of the role, and the quality of the person ultimately hired. In 2016 a new pricing model will emerge, based upon these metrics.

3) The rise of the trained recruiter
As Jonathan Campbell at Social Talent Ltd is proving, there is a real benefit of specialist recruitment training. Most recruiters rely upon experience rather than hard skills or qualifications. But the job is becoming increasingly complex, and in 2016 we will see an increasing amount of recruiters choosing to become professionally trained. A range of “qualifications” will come onto the market in the months and years to come.

4) The year LinkedIn becomes mobile
As the new LinkedIn app shows, social media is still evolving. Mobile is becoming increasingly important, and 2016 will finally see more mobile LinkedIn users than desktop users. The importance of this is that LinkedIn is going to become increasingly casual, and less formal. This is a trend I do not support, but do accept.

5) The year of the meeting
Most people are now connected on LinkedIn to 500+ people. As time goes by, more and more of us will be connected with more and more people, via more and more differing social media platforms. It is not possible that all of these “connections” are strong relationships. And so 2016 will become “the year of the meeting”, when business is done face to face, and not online. While this has always been the case, 2016 will be the year that we fully realise the limitations of social media. It is in person that the real business in 2016 will be enacted.

6) More connections, less value
Historically, those with the most twitter followers or LinkedIn connections have been seen as “leading” in the social media war for talent. But in 2016, those connections will be seen as increasingly irrelevant, compared with the engagement your online strategy stimulates. Talking to 100,000 people is no longer useful. Having a couple of thousand talk back to you is far more valuable.    

7) Rising margins
Margins in recruitment have been squeezed for the last 5 years now. But the cost of compliance, the salary demands of experienced recruiters, and the scarcity of genuine talent to recruit, will all drive margins higher. In a world where you “get what you pay for”, many clients will elect to pay more and get more.

8) Ronaldo re-joins Manchester United
I appreciate this one is a long shot...


  • Jan 04, 2016
  • Careers , Culture
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Stephen Tarrant

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