The recruitment world is facing large scale changes. This week we look at some of the seismic shifts we can look forward to. And we consider why, when recruiters succeed, that is a good sign for the wider economy.
Global Recruitment to 2022
Analysts at Orbis Research have published a wide-ranging forecast of the next four years in recruitment.
While focusing on industry whales like Adecco and Manpower, the report also presents the broadest possible take on our sector. It acknowledges that recruiting is an industry characterised by change – and one that is undergoing a period of evolution.
Drawing distinctions between professional and general hiring processes (as well as temp and perm placements), the report gives valuable insight whatever your niche or area of specialisation. The full report can be purchased here, but comes with a rather premium price tag. So what are the main talking points of the report?
The key findings
Taking insight from market leaders, Orbis predicts the rate of unemployment will continue to fall.
The use of decentralising mobile platforms will characterise both our sector and the wider world of work, as the digital transformation takes shape.
In the short to mid-term, a new round of mergers and acquisitions will reshape the recruitment market.
The rate of role creation and job openings is expected to increase. So, too, is the demand for highly skilled individuals.
Perhaps as a welcome note for politicians, the forecast anticipates a rise in industrial production, too. Years of stagnant productivity have been seen as a primary cause of recent, sluggish growth.
On the other hand, a decrease in labour participation, a fall in numbers of unemployed per each vacancy, and an ageing population, are all likely to contribute to the challenges of future recruiting.
Where does this leave agile recruiters? We can expect four years characterised by a growth in opportunities – but a growth in uncertainty too. The recruitment sector is seen as a bellwether of the wider economy. Recruitment rates tend to have high correlation with gross domestic product (GDP). As GDP increases, so do recruiters’ fortunes.
Success stories may be found in those firms that anticipate the unexpected. Short term specialisation may capitalise on current trends – but knowing when to re-focus will be key. Staking your future on one lucrative client, or tying your brand to an established service provider, may prove costly when mergers reshape the landscape.
Britain: Permanent Placements take centre stage
In Britain, one recruitment trend is already evident. Permanent placements outperform demand for temporary workers already in every region of the United Kingdom.
March data from the Report on Jobs by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) found another significant increase in the number of permanent placements. While temporary placements also grew, they did so at the slowest rate in 15 months. This has led some analysts to suggest the real story is not the strength of permanent placements, but the relative weakness of the temping sector.
Tom Hadley, director of policy at the REC identified brexit as the largest influencing factor in this. “Businesses have had fewer applicants from the EU since the Brexit vote,” he said. “Employers are working hard to make themselves attractive to UK nationals, but they will still need temporary roles to be filled by EU nationals post-Brexit”.
Ireland: Digital transformation key to competition
Transatlantic communication – and its appeal as a gateway to the EU – have helped to boost Ireland’s economy in the past. Now tech giants are saying the nation will have to brace itself for a further transformation: one that will take it into the digital age.
A Europe-wide survey of young professionals, commissioned by Microsoft, has looked into the links between digital readiness and productivity. It found that those organisations that were most willing to adopt digital tech – and implement them effectively – were the most likely to score big wins in coming years.
Worryingly, 84% of Irish employees in the 25-44 age range believe that they currently work within a weak digital culture.
Microsoft defines a weak digital culture as one that:
Is there substance to the report? Many would argue that, as a leading name in digital tech, Microsoft has more than its share of “skin in the game”. However, evidence-based research shows that 93 per cent of positions with inadequate tech resources or support will report below average productivity. So there may be some value in the data.
The “Celtic Tiger” economy of the late 90s-early 2000s was a direct result of outside investment. The the tech sector was a major contributor to this. Ireland’s key attribute has always been its geographic location. As the westerly point of Europe, its territories represent the fastest and cheapest fibre optic communications to the American mainland.
Australia: Rural Development boosts jobs
We have looked previously at the difficulties facing Australia’s growth in regional areas. It is therefore good to be able to share a success story on the topic.
FKG Group has opened a state-of-the-art data centre on the Darling Downs in Queensland. Named the Pulse Data Centre, the development is set to introduce up to five thousand new tech jobs to a region more noted for its extensive agriculture and sparse population.
“The majority of the world’s largest data centres are located not in capital cities but in regional areas”, FKG Director Gary Gardner explained. He said the choice of location was to provide “not only lower costs, but also scalability and access to national communications infrastructure”.
The project illustrates how the digitial transformation of work will also be one of decentralisation. And that its impact will be felt beyond the office, and across societies as a whole.