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Creating a candidate-focused workforce

By guest columnist Becky Wilson, Editor, Recruitment International.

In my role here at RI, I’m lucky enough to hear from recruiters all around the world about both the opportunities and challenges on the horizon for the industry.

We’ve recently started discussing these global topics in our magazine, and one of the most popular was our biggest trends piece, where we asked recruiters to reveal what the next ‘big thing’ would be to impact the sector. Despite responses coming from across the globe, there were some common themes that almost everyone agreed on. Below are just a few that the industry should be aware of.

Candidate attraction

Recruiters need to ensure that candidates remain at the heart of the recruitment process. With ever-growing skills, talent and labour shortages, candidates are currently in a position to choose the roles they apply for and accept. They’re looking for more than just a great salary (think work-life balance, flexibility and career development) and are more than willing to change roles if their needs aren’t being met. Ensure your recruitment process is as easy as possible to complete, is mobile-friendly, and works for the candidates, not just the clients.

On this topic, the recruitment industry is also currently struggling to attract and retain its own talent (not helped in Australia by the government’s visa restrictions). We need to continue to raise the profile of the industry, highlighting the great work we do supporting people into work every day. Plus, we’re a great industry to be part of, from the earning potential to the career and development opportunities. While developing talent for our clients, 2018 also needs to be the year we support more great talent into our industry.


If we are to believe much of the hysteria around technology and artificial intelligence (AI), robots will replace recruiters in the not too distant future. Rather than viewing AI with fear, recruiters are just starting to discover the benefits it can bring to the industry. As technology continues to develop, it will be able to take on some of the repetitive tasks previously part of the role of the recruiter. Rather than making the recruiter’s role redundant, it presents a huge opportunity. With less time spent on administration, more time can be spent focusing on candidates and clients.

Despite technology playing a bigger role than ever before, people still like to work with people, particularly when it comes to important decisions like a new career. By using technology in this way, recruiters will be able to support candidates and build on those all-important human relationships. Plus, there’s technology out there that can help with application processes, interviewing candidates and cultural fit, so you really can make it work for your business.

Diversity and inclusion

If it isn’t already, something that really needs to be on everyone’s radar is diversity and inclusion (D&I). With more diverse teams comes greater success, which is, after all, what we’re striving for. The art of this is that it isn’t a tick box exercise; instead it needs to be part of the company’s culture. Whether it’s sourcing talent for your clients, or attracting and retaining your own talent, diversity is the key to a greater variety of thoughts and ideas, which enable a business to be more successful. Plus, in times of change and with plenty of different challenges on the horizon, new ideas to make the most of these will be a must. If recruiters and clients can begin to work together on the subject of diversity, we’ll begin to see this develop in leaps and bounds over the coming years.

Aside from these topics, legislation continues to provide setbacks for the industry (here in the UK we’ve just passed the general data protection regulation (GDPR) deadline). But, away from the prospective challenges for the recruitment industry, we remain in a strong place, supporting more people into work with each passing year. Let’s continue to work together to highlight just how great our industry is at changing people’s lives for the better.

For more information head to RI’s website or for global insights and features, have a read of our digital monthly magazine.

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