Future-proof Your Recruitment Strategy With These Four Trends

Man looking at ipad

The robots are coming! AI and automation will take our jobs!

There’s no shortage of pessimistic warnings of what the future has in store for today’s workforce.

There’s also some great research into this subject. McKinsey Global Institute estimate 15% as the mid-point amount of current jobs which will disappear by 2030. YouGov estimates 15% in the UK whilst PWC estimate 30% globally. This could amount to between 400 million and 800 million displaced workers.

However, the key point here is that although jobs will be lost, work will still be there. Who does what, however, and how, could change significantly. Those displaced will need to re-skill and shift to the new jobs, and wages may temporarily stagnate or even go backwards. But this is how it’s always been, and we’re currently just undergoing another period of rapid change.

Economies moved from Agriculture to Manufacturing, from Service to Knowledge. When cars and trucks replaced horse-drawn cart, it ushered in a wealth of new jobs surrounding a new industry, in the same vein as PC’s, mobile devices, digital communication and e-commerce.

Alec Ross’s book The Industries of the Future (a great read) highlights several options for where the next trillion-dollar industry might come from, including robotics, cybersecurity, the commercialisation of genomics, the next step for big data, and the coming impact of digital technology on money and markets.

The key for economies and societies will be to keep learning, investing in future skills and innovating, looking forwards not backwards, and embracing change not fearing, denying or ignoring it.

In the world of work, we can see several of these changes happening already:

  • From fixed to flexible
    For many candidates, the perception of flexible working has grown from special accommodation to main attraction when assessing prospective employers. However, it’s not just employees requesting flexibility. Many organisations also want the agility that having a larger non-permanent workforce can bring. In the United States, organisations are heading towards 40-50% of their workforce being contingent, and Europe could soon follow suit.

  • The rise of the freelancer
    According to Resource Solutions' latest Recruitment Outsourcing Insights Report, 52% of resourcing leaders expect to maintain or increase their level of freelance work in 2018. The rise of the gig-economy, fuelled by industry defining app-based businesses such as Uber, has also seen some resistance to what some consider a low-regulation sub-sector of the economy. For many it’s becoming a necessity, but for many others it’s a lifestyle choice.

  • Top talent trumps tenure
    Many companies still recruit predominantly permanent employees, offering the prospect of long and fulfilling careers. However, the ‘job for life’ is long gone, and those entering today’s workplace wouldn’t want to imagine themselves staying with one company their whole career. Companies will become more used to hiring transient talent and ‘visiting stars’.

  • And then there’s the robots!
    Or more realistically machine learning and AI, essentially software programmes analysing usage data and learning how to do something quicker, better, more accurately and more intuitively. In recruitment, we’re bracing ourselves for significant disruption, as new AI-based tools appear on a weekly basis, helping us find, profile, engage and recruit across many different platforms. But will this automation lose us our jobs, or will we just find that our recruiters are freed up to undertake more high value activities and touchpoints with candidates and clients?

Shaun Daly, Strategic Client Development Manager at Resource Solutions


Find out six trends every resourcing leader should have on their radar. Download our Recruitment Outsourcing Insights Report.