3 industry predictions

“How’s the market?”, “What is the future looking like”, “Did they cut your hair purposely like that?”

I get asked these questions almost every day by people. Once the skin fade subsides (who would have known that 0 actually means pretty much flesh on back and sides of hair – Tom Shelby I am not) I often reflect on what is actually happening in the market.

However, as a recruitment business owner, it is very difficult to prophesise about the future of recruitment without seemingly having an agenda or trying to subliminally flog our services (which I will definitely do by the way).

At present, we are in a generation-defining political impasse, surpassing almost any fuckwittery ever seen before. It’s never been more important to pro-actively address the added difficulties both the societal attitude shift and political instability will provide not only the recruitment industry, but workforces across the country.

I am going to concentrate on the recruitment industry, as this is the one I am most versed in (unfortunately we can not count fantasy premier league or the office quotes in this).

The 3 main changes I feel will occur over the next few years are:

AI and online registrations effectively killing off the high street agencies. If you look down nearly any high street in the UK you are likely to see bookmakers, fast food outlets and empty shops. The first two a reflection of the society we are in: instant gratification and convenience. Unfortunately, the empty shops has led to a decrease in customer footfall. Consumers are choosing not to travel to town centres, and instead utilising online retailers for purchases. I think once the AI tech really pushes on and gets the compliance side of things bang on, candidates will be able to register interest directly with companies and use tech (like the exciting Kai AI) to enable this. This will save candidates trudges to high street agencies and the need to spend countless hours filling in paper forms and waiting days/weeks for a booking, nicely appeasing the instant gratification required.

A huge rise in flexibility and recruiters working remotely. To be honest I still find it hard to believe people are still using fixed line phones and PC’s now. Some of the recruitment technology that has emerged and evolved in the last few years has enabled genuine flexibility and to a certain extent freedom. Does this benefit the 3 main stakeholders; the business, the candidate and the employee? I certainly think it can do, if utilised in the right way. It’s something we encourage at OX Seven (shameless plugs) and the flexibility in talking to and meeting with candidates has been great for us. As long as the trust is there, the empowerment should follow. The 9-5 culture is slowly ebbing away (and rightly so in my opinion).

An increase in retained/mini RPO offerings. As businesses look to scale at sensible rates, one of the main costs which will be scrutinised will be the cost to get someone into a business. There are more and more companies (including OX Seven – shameless plug) offering ‘RPO lite’ services which enable dedicated resource and a retained level of service in return for a flat monthly fee. We have seen from first-hand experience the benefits it can offer to both recruitment partner, candidate and agency. It is a slightly more risk averse approach from the agency but enables a far greater level of service and outcome to be achieved. I also believe it will enable the death of high volume, transactional CV chucking practice.

I hope this has been an interesting read and offered some insight from an agency owner in 2019. I would be really interested to hear how strongly you disagree, or even agree.

Will Grashoff

Managing Director

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