Opinion

Four 2018 recruiting trends revolutionising how British businesses hire talent

7 min read

23 January 2018

Today’s professional world is characterised by political instability and economic uncertainty – both of which are affecting how businesses hire on a daily basis. Everyday we hear further reports of the challenges British organisations are facing when it comes to finding, hiring, and retaining the best talent.

But 2018 is due to be a year of change: we are heading into a new era of recruiting trends, enabling the profession to become more strategic. 

I know this because at LinkedIn we recently released the 2018 Global Recruiting Trends report, our annual research that delves into the lives of over 8,800 hiring managers from 39 countries to gain a better understanding of what is affecting how they hire, and how they are preparing for the year ahead.

This year, we’ve identified four key recruiting trends that’ll be shaping the way businesses hire.

(1) Diversity means improved culture and financial performance

The top of the 2018 recruiting trends, named by 82 per cent of UK hiring managers as an issue that’s crucial to their hiring process, is diversity.

And while diversity has been a priority for many years, what’s interesting to see is the shift away from it simply being a box to be checked, to businesses now seeing a diverse workforce directly correlating with better culture and business performance.

But the problem remains that 38 per cent of global hiring managers are struggling to find diverse candidates – and 27 per cent can’t retain them.

Diversity isn’t going anywhere, and businesses must start tackling it head on. But how do we get over the hurdle of finding diverse professionals? We found assessing your organisation’s culture is essential before addressing your talent pipeline; there’s no point trying to attract diverse talent if your culture doesn’t embrace diversity.

Businesses must make sure that they’re fostering an inclusive environment that respects different opinions and encourages people to be themselves at work – and that the C-Suite are championing the issue.

With an inclusive culture, it’s a lot easier to find diverse talent. It’s then up to the business to shout about their commitments to diversity at all opportunities – think diverse schools, trade shows, and community colleges.

(2) A new-age interview process outweighs traditional methods

The traditional interview process has largely been the same for many years. But excitingly, there is a shift coming: 49 per cent of UK hiring managers think that changes to interview methods are “very” or “extremely” important to the future of hiring.

We’ve heard that existing techniques are proving more and more ineffective when it comes to assessing a candidate’s soft skills, understanding their weaknesses, and eliminating interviewer bias.

If the tried and tested methods are now proving unfit for purpose, how should businesses be interviewing to find the right talent?

There are various new tools that businesses can start using to counteract the issue, promising a more realistic snapshot of a candidate. Online skills assessments measure traits like teamwork and curiosity, and give a more realistic snapshot of a candidate’s personality – while job auditions mean that candidates can try out a job, and employers can observe both their skills and weaknesses in action.


Your approach to using LinkedIn is making me sad

When it comes to using LinkedIn, I find the approach you’ve adopted for the professional network is, quite frankly, upsetting.

 


(3) Data is the new corporate superpower

Although HR and recruitment used to be known as the most people-centric functions of the business, increasingly they are becoming numbers professions too.

Some 38 per cent of UK hiring managers see data usage as the most important factor of the year ahead. And this is only set to grow: 64 per cent of hiring managers currently use data to inform their talent decisions, but within the next two years, this will rise to 79 per cent.

We found that the most common uses are to better understand attrition and skills gaps, and build out better offers. Take attrition as an example: by looking at your own business’ historical employee data, you can deep dive into factors that correlate with retention.

Or perhaps skills gaps: again looking at this data will show which skills different areas of the business are lacking – and potentially how you can upskill existing talent to plug those gaps.

(4) Artificial intelligence becomes your professional best friend

Lastly, there’s the ever-growing trend of AI, which is revolutionising every professional industry – including talent and recruiting. Some 28 per cent of UK respondents think it’s the most important theme for 2018, and we understand why: for hiring managers who receive mountains of CVs, it’s a godsend that helps them screen and source top candidates.

While bringing AI into any job junction could seem like a potential threat, in reality – it’s unlikely that the hiring manager’s role will ever be fully replaced by automation. Rather than eliminate the job, it will complement it, making professionals smarter and more efficient than ever before.

It automates the low level jobs so that you can focus on the most important parts, such as building relationships, and judging culture fit. For example, implementing a chatbot will mean that candidates can ask it questions 24/7, saving you time to focus on the more important elements of the job.

Today’s recruiting trends are causing seismic shifts in the way that businesses hire. By taking on new data solutions and artificial intelligence, opening up to diversity and rethinking your interview process, you’ll be able to find, hire, and retain the right talent.

And it’ll be the companies that hire more quickly and smartly by embracing these key trends who will win the war for talent in our uncertain professional world.

Jon Addison, head of talent solutions at LinkedIn UK


LinkedIn’s top UK companies list reveals 20 most desirable employers

LinkedIn has released its 2017 top UK companies list, which reveals the British businesses that are most desirable as employers.