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2018 predictions – 10 things you’ll get sick of hearing about in 2018

It’s that time of year again, when all the ‘what’s going to be the next big recruitment trend in 2018’ prediction articles start appearing. But let’s be honest, predicting the future is difficult and it’s often said that there are two types of predictions – lucky or wrong.
Lao Tzu the 6th Century BC Chinese poet put it best when he said:
Those who have knowledge don’t predict. Those who predict don’t have knowledge.
However, whilst trying to predict what the big recruitment trends will be in 2018 is complete guess work, we can say, with very little doubt, what you will be sick of hearing about in 2018.

2018 will see the 2nd anniversary of the Brexit vote and still nobody knows what the effects of Brexit will be; positive or negative. Yes, we know that Brexit means Brexit, however what the economic and political implications will be is still very unsure, although we hope that 2018 will bring far more clarity.
The impact of Brexit was always going to bring uncertainty to the recruitment sector and it has already. Those sectors that rely heavily on foreign workers, such as the healthcare, public and leisure and hospitality sectors are experiencing staff shortages as people are wary of moving to the UK for work, when there are no guarantees they will be able to remain.

GDPR and data protection
Brexit won’t stop the UK being constrained by the new EU Data Protection legislation due to be introduced in 2018. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation is the biggest shack up of how we will all handle data and it certainly will have a big impact on recruitment where data is at the heart of everything. 2017 was the time for reviewing and updating data handling and protection polices, and 2018 will be the year when every organisation changes how they collect, handle and store candidate data.

Big data and algorithms
When Microsoft paid $26 billion for LinkedIn in 2016 many thought that they had gone mad. Why spend all that money for a social platform, well aside from the $2.9 billion in revenue in 2015, the real attraction to Microsoft was the data that the site held.
LinkedIn knows people – where you work, where you went to school, your skills, ambitions and interests. It’s this knowledge that truly gave LinkedIn its value, as the latest algorithms can predict when someone is ripe for a new job based on time in the job and social media activity 10 million times faster than any human.

AI and machine learning
This subject certainty brings about many predictions, often predicting Artificial Intelligence (AI), new sourcing tools and algorithms will replace recruiters as recruitment will become fully automated thanks to machine learning.
There is no doubt that AI and machine learning is and will continue to have an impact on recruitment, however we are a very long way off the recruiting process being totally trusted to machines, if indeed ever. We can never forget that people like dealing with people and a machine can never replace this. AI can make recruitment easier, more efficient, reduce unconscious bias and quantify results however; it’s easy to predict that we will always need recruiters to engage with quality talent.

The gig economy
The gig economy will continue to be debated in 2018 especially if the draft bill produced by The Work and Pensions Committee and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee is passed into legislation. The aim of the bill is to tackle the assumed exploitation of gig economy workers and afford them basic rights such as sick and holiday pay.
The move towards a gig economy has certainly changed our view of employment and next year; expect to hear a great deal more about it.

Social Media for recruiting
The use of social media for recruitment has unquestionably become a part of day to day recruitment practices. This only looks set to increase as the as the likes of Google and Facebook continue to muscle in on the likes of LinkedIn for space in the recruitment sector. Their success will lead to others undoubtedly following suit in the near future.

Generation Z
We’ve had the Millennials now it’s time for Generation Z. We need to be ready as this crowd has never known life without technology and they are about to become a permanent fixture in the workplace. It definitely means all of us who work within the recruitment sector will need to fully grasp every new technological advancement in order to survive.

Gender pay gap reporting regulations
From April 2017, any business with more than 250 employees will have 12 months to calculate and publish the pay gap between male and female employees.
Whilst the impact on the industry the findings will have is unknown, it is very possible that it could have an effect on hiring numbers and salary levels, especially if any discrepancies are found.

The Apprenticeship Levy
April saw the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy which imposes a 0.5% levy on the pay bills of all businesses with payrolls in excess of £3 million. Whilst many praise the good intentions, many see it as unfair, especially those who work for recruitment agencies who supply temporary staff, as they are defined as the employer rather than the client.
The effects the new levy will have on the recruitment industry are still uncertain. There is of course an opportunity to grab a part of the Apprenticeship Levy spend, however there are concerns within the industry that clients might try to offset their expenditure leading to a reduction in spend or even replacement of permanent jobs with apprentices to take advantage of the funding.

The IR35 reforms have permanently changed public sector contracting and recruitment, and have led to further struggles in attracting staff. When coupled with the staffing issues Brexit is bringing, public sector recruiting is having a very tough time.
Too many contractors are turning their backs on working within the public sector and the reforms have led to demands for pay increases. With the government still considering continuing the reforms into the private sector, it certainly is going to be interesting times.

So there you have it, our 10 things that you will get sick of hearing about in 2018. Of course, we don’t know what is actually going to happen next year, we can only make guesses. Whatever the new year holds for the recruitment sector rest assured the team at ThinkinCircles are here to help you navigate your way through the ups and downs.

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