6 Trends For Recruitment Professionals In 2017

It’s officially almost the end of another year.

2016 has seen some big changes for businesses and the way they operate. We’re sure that we’ll be seeing plenty more changes over the next 12 months. That’s why we’ve had a look back over recent trends and the shifts occurring in the world of recruiting to see if we can predict what 2017 has in store for human resources and recruiters.

Here are 6 recruitment trends we expect to see in 2017:

1. Increase of blended workforces, and more flexible employment conditions

One of the fastest growing trends throughout 2016 has been the growth of blended workforces. This is likely to continue through the new year onward.

2016 saw an increase of full-time and contingent employees working together. According to a study by WorkPlace Trends, 45% of companies in America are expecting to increase their hiring of freelancers by 30%.

The benefits of hiring freelancers include affordability and niche expertise, so we can expect to see even more companies relaxing their hiring requirements.

As well as blended workforces becoming more and more popular, employment conditions are expected to become more flexible.

Millennials are now the biggest generation in the workforce, and they bring with them flexibility demands and expectations. Expect companies to offer flexible working hours, or working from home options as a strategy to attract the top talent in an ever-competitive candidate market.

We are seeing more of our clients moving towards flexible employment conditions to create an environment that accommodates a wide range of recruits.Graham Oates, CEO of Norrie Johnston Recruitment

2. Employee referrals will continue to be a top source of hires

Another trend to expect over the next few years is a push for employee referrals as a source of hire.

LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends report found that employee referrals were the top source of quality hires in 2016. As costs continue to rise, employers are expected to continue to push for employee referrals as a way to control spending.

trends for recruitment professionals in 2017

LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends 2017

When you look at the benefits of hiring referrals, it’s easy to understand why they’re one of the best ways to hire. They’re cheaper, quicker, onboard faster and often stay at the company for longer. With the benefits in mind it’s understandable why they will be at the forefront of talent acquisition in 2017.

Although referrals are the top source of hires, referral programs are one of the least invested areas of recruiting. Despite the fact that it’s a successful method of sourcing, only 9% of recruiting budget is spent on employee referral programs. This doesn’t seem set to change in 2017. If recruiters had their way, more money would be invested in branding, new technology, sourcing tools, candidate experience and training.

3. Brexit will have an impact (but nobody is sure how)

In June 2016, the UK decided to leave the EU. This has sparked a nationwide debate about the impact it is likely to have on businesses. The consequences of the vote will become clear in 2017, but until then nobody can be sure what to expect.

For recruiters, the impact of Brexit is uncertain. If economic growth slows – or even worse, a recession hits – businesses are unlikely to want to employ new staff.

Even the fear of a recession could impact the world of recruiting as much as a recession itself.

That said, new trade negotiations could give the industry a boost:

Any significant shift in our trading partners would mean the creation of new managerial structures, the potential for secondments, the need for professionals with language skills, mass relocations, etc. This could easily become a major boost for the recruitment industry – and those recruitment businesses able to adapt the fastest and the most aggressively are likely to be the big winners. – TempWorks

The outlook is uncertain for jobseekers, too.

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A survey reported that the number of people in the UK securing permanent position had fallen dramatically. The July Totaljobs Employment Index reported that 28% of respondents claimed Brexit had an impact on their job search.

Despite this, there are ways to turn uncertainty into success. For example, competition for jobs could decrease. Recruiters are still looking to build strong relationships with potential candidates. And, as the economic forecast steadies itself, companies that put recruitment on hold pre-referendum will start filling vacancies again.

4. Employer branding will continue to rise

Another recruitment trend to expect in 2017 is employer branding. Employer branding shows no signs of slowing down in the next year.

As the candidate continues to hold power in the current market, recruiters are expecting to see a greater emphasis on employer branding. “Selling” your company to the top talent in the market by having a strong employer brand is one way to get ahead of the competition, and acquisition specialists know it.

Employer branding is an area that lacks significant investment, too.

In fact, only 8% of respondents recruiting budget is spent on employer branding. On the other hand, traditional tactics such as advertising and staffing agencies accounted for the majority of investment.

5. The use of social media will continue to rise

One of the best ways to promote and measure employer brand is by using social media, and it’s a key trend to look out for in 2017.

In our post “How to improve your employer brand”, we recommended letting your employees tell their stories. Employees now have the opportunity to leave their thoughts about you as an employer on sites like Glassdoor and Facebook. It isn’t something to be afraid of – future recruits prefer to see real feedback from real employees, instead of inauthentic videos from PR.

To create corporate brands that attract, talent recruitment teams will begin to overlap more with marketing. Together, both departments will play a large role in recruiting, and they will use social media as their medium.

The use of social media to improve the candidate experience will also persist. Lysha Holmes is expecting to see companies engaging the candidate experience through social channels like Instagram and Snapchat.

6. The focus on diversity will grow

Our final recruitment trend to expect in 2017 is the rise of diversity as a primary focus.

64.7% of talent acquisition pros are reporting management either supports or strongly supports workplace diversity – Entelo 2017 Annual Recruiting Trends Report

Entelo aren’t the only ones to suggest that diversity will be a big focus throughout 2017. LinkedIn also reported that, as automation becomes a key trend during the candidate screening process, human bias will be minimized. A direct result of this would be more diverse workforces, one benefit of which is better performance.

In 2016, only 31% of smaller organizations believe that their diversity initiatives are successful, compared to 46% of larger ones. For that reason, throughout 2017, we can expect to see smaller organizations catching up with large organizations in terms of diversity programs.


Which trends are you expecting to see in 2017? Let us know in the comments below!

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