2017 in focus – recruitment at the forefront

December 26th, 2017 | Industry News

Brexit, budget and disruptive technology – 2017 has been a turbulent year for recruitment. Growth revision has been lowered from 2% to 1.5% with a continuing decline until 2020, leading to stagnation in the job market and fierce competition for candidates in the diminishing pool of suitably qualified mid to senior personnel in many industries, notably the legal, pharma, medical and estate agency sectors.

The budget announcement of a new partnership between CBI, government and the TUC is designed to encourage people of all ages to train and retrain in key shortage areas. Digital skills are a particular focus and this is important to SMEs who will be glad to hear that many start-ups, technical ones in particular are to be given support to grow. IR35 will have a compliance load for contractor and business-to-business transactions around labour supply. New tax and NI obligations will add to the cost of doing business and sophisticated recruitment software can help organisations reduce both the cost and the extra time required to administer changes in taxation.

The uncertainties of Brexit have been blamed for cutting growth forecasts and increasing inflation – their effect on recruitment is similarly clear. Even simple recruitment software has to be increasingly able to investigate rights to work and clarify candidate experience. A government review of employment practices will look at longer-term reform to make the employment status tests for both employment and taxation status. In the light of such uncertainty, cloud recruitment software gives recruitment agencies the best route to remaining on top of changing economic conditions and legal requirements. Similarly, HR departments are having to contend with the structural weaknesses reveals by a recent IPPR Commission on Economic Justice, which includes geographical imbalances, stagnant earnings and the departure of many candidates from the British marketplace, preferring to seek work in EU countries with more economic stability. All businesses must find ways to improve staff morale and retain key staff; staffing software can help maintain internal candidate profiles in a way that gives organisations the best chance of conserving talent pools.

While the much vaunted impact of AI on recruitment hasn’t been as significant as predicted, one area where technology has dramatically influenced the industry is that online recruitment software has given recruiters the opportunity to engage with candidates and clients in real time. Speeding up the recruitment process and handling applicant tracking out of ‘office hours’ have become the hallmark of some of this year’s most successful recruitment consultancies. SAAS recruitment software is both liberating the recruiter from his or her desk and creating a 24/7 culture that agencies and HR departments will need to engage with if they are to succeed in attracting the best candidates.