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IT Agility AbilityTM

Recruitment trends for 2016: UK and Global

By . December 20, 2018
Another 12 months has come and gone and the recruitment industry has seen many changes, some expected and some that came out of nowhere.


Global Recruitment Trends

The quality of candidates seems to be a factor that is valuable for employers, with 39% saying candidate quality is important.  Employee retention isn’t far behind with 32% of employers making employee retention a top priority in the next 12 months. Employee referrals are considered by 26% to be an integral part of recruitment and this area will be seeing a continued growth over the next year.

Another trend that has occurred in recruitment is branding. More and more employers are seeing the effectiveness of branding and 59% are increasing investments into this area to improve their brand compared to the previous year.


Biggest challenges

As with everything, there are challenges. The challenges that employers perceive to be difficult is finding the right candidate in areas with high demand (46%). 43% believe compensation is their biggest challenge while 39% feel that competition is a challenging factor.

Trends to keep in mind

There are trends that have clearly shown how significant they are compared to others and these trends do not show any signs of being neglected. Social media/Professional networks, employer branding, focusing on passive candidates and employee referral programs are all being adopted and being taken very seriously by employers in the years to come.

Trends that will continue to remain dominant are:

  • 39% utilising social media and professional networks
  • 38% employer branding
  • 28% finding better ways to source passive candidates
  • 26% employee referral programs


Social media and professional networks

Social media and professional networks is being seen as the best route in connecting with people, giving employers the tools to target the right audience at lightening fast speeds. Social media use has grown in abundance and employers/recruiters have taken note.

Employer branding

Companies are realising the value of branding.


Even after a dip last year, employer branding is re-emerging as a top priority (38%)

Employers are also using social media and professional networks for their branding strategies, while using company websites took a sharp decline. Reasons may be that it is easier to convey a message using social media and professional networks as hash tags (#), demographic and interest targeting enables messages to be seen by potential clients and candidates. Websites will not disappear as employers still need a central hub for information. Time may be another factor. Editing the website may take time as information of what is needed will have to be discussed with a web designer while social media needs only a few words, a link and an image for a message to be put across.

The budget for branding has improved and with the increase in budget there has been an increase in hiring volume.


Passive candidates

Passive and Active candidates both have attributes that recruiters look for. Although active candidates are seen to be the more sought after of the two as they are ‘actively’ looking for their next role, passive may maybe happy with their current position but when offered, may be interested in new employment. To attract passive candidates, employers will need to offer them an incentive; passive candidates have to be persuaded. Recruiters are noticing the importance and recruitment of passive candidates have increased by 4% from last year.



Employee referral programs

Employee referrals have seen a dramatic increase from the previous year and will continuing to grow during 2016.


Retention emerges as a top priority

Employee retention is a growing trend but contradictory to the results, internal referrals appears to be low priority. Hiring internally is a big key in retaining current employees but less than a third of employers think that internal hiring is a priority.

Looking closer into the results, employers and recruiters are making interaction more of a priority. Social media is being use to interact, build relationships and to inform candidates and clients. Passive candidate are not actively looking for jobs but employers are realising that they must not abandon them.


UK Recruitment Trends

For UK trends we will be mainly focusing on the IT industry but we will touch upon other industries.



IT placements in the UK are in favour of temporary staffing. Temp staffing has seen an increase of 0.6% while permanent staffing underwent a decline of 8%.



The demand in IT follows the same path as IT placements. Demand for permanent IT professionals decreased by 0.7 while temporary IT placements see a 2% increase.

We can see a correlation between Temporary IT placements and Temporary IT demand. Due to skills shortages affecting the IT sector, companies are in need of skills that they do not currently possess. To access these skills, they turn to temporary staffing.

The drop in permanent staffing does not have to be a negative but a result attributed to companies focusing on employee retention. If less IT staff are being placed in roles it may mean that employees are in need of permanent placement.



The average salaries for those in the IT industry tend to be the highest compared to other industries in the UK.

The salaries IT employees receive have also increased by 2.2%, which can be a consequence to the increase in demand of temporary employees who are requesting higher premiums.



What can we expect in 2016?

In 2016, as the skills gap continues to grow we will see a higher demand for certain skills (Cyber Security being a big focus). This will give contract worker the opportunity to further increase their premiums, increasing the overall salary of the IT sector.

With social media being firmly cemented in company’s communications strategy, we can also expect companies/recruiters to continue to use social media for branding, job posting and building a community.


Sources from

APSco - Professional Recruitment Trends Nov 2015

LinkedIn - Global Recruiting Trends 2016

LinkedIn UK Staffing trends 2016?



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