Trends that will impact recruitment in 2016

I don’t like predictions, so I try not to get involved with them, because it’s a quick way of making yourself look like an idiot. But I was asked by a friend to make a “prediction” for this year so I hope that at the end of this year, nobody will find this list and tell me how wide of the mark I was. 🙂

Year 2016 will probably have many labels at the end, but if I can use only one label, it will be “Year of the candidate”. Candidates will be sitting in the driver’s seat; everything will revolve around them and the year will be about the candidate experience. This year candidates are going to be the centerpiece of this talent market universe and companies are going to invest lots of money in attracting them.

In this war for talent (especially in engineering, IT and other industry fields where they need qualified employees), candidates are in a position where they understand their value and can see any number of opportunities to choose from on the market. Yes, they will still be looking for a better salary, but this won’t be the only motivator for them. They are going to start looking more for companies that can also offer them work purpose. They will be looking for a job with purpose where they are doing something that helps them to master their area of their expertise; a job where they feel like they are doing something that will have an impact on the world around them.

Recruiters in 2016

Many companies are going to fight really hard for new employees in this war for talent; good recruiters will become extremely valuable to their employers in this “war”, as a result recruiters will be presented with multiple opportunities and some great personal challenges.

More companies will start to look for outsourced talent in the form of consultants, freelancers and contractors. This includes opportunities for external recruiters for specific projects operated by some companies. This will give companies the benefit of a skilled recruiter who will bring value immediately; they know their craft so companies won’t have to spend time training them. This will also lower the costs that companies spend on typical recruitment agencies fees. Sadly, many recruiters are going to fail, because they still cling to LinkedIn as their major source of candidates.

Recruitment Agencies in 2016

This year could be one of the best for agencies regardless of location. Many companies are going to look for new employees for their teams and they won’t be able to find them quickly, so they will be looking for help from agencies more than in previous years. This year could be a golden year especially for companies that specialize in niche roles. Conversely, many agencies are going to disappear or they will struggle, because they haven’t adapted to a world where millennials are taking control.

Candidate Experience

In the war for talent, the candidate experience is playing more of a major role than ever before. Companies are beginning to realise that this is an important area of recruitment, so many are going to invest more money into it; they will stop treating candidates as merchandise or as a labour force. More companies will start treating candidates as potential customers and this will help them to strengthen their employer brand.

Employer branding will play an important role during 2016, because many people are active on social media and they can share good and bad experiences with companies through just one click.


Companies are going to spend more money on job advertisements and employment branding activities, they will be also trying to find new ways of attracting passive candidates.

One of these “new ways“ that we are going to see more is in the structure of job ads and descriptions, which will look more like a story and less like a bullet point menu of requirements. Recruiters are going to add one more specialisation to their list of skills; they will turn into story tellers. They will be trying to describe each job not with bullet points, but with a real “story” that will show candidates what they will be doing in that specific position. Employees’ statements are going to from part of job descriptions or possibly even become the job description itself.

Companies and the War for Talent

The war for talent is in progress, which means that 2016 is going to be more about company branding and mobile recruitment. Recruiters always need to be where the candidates are, and they are spending more of their time on their mobiles. Candidates expect your site to be responsive and if they want to apply for a position, that it will be possible to do so through their mobile phone.

Many companies already have this facility, but they will be focusing even more this year on how to use social media, how to attract new passive candidates, how to turn followers from social sites into fans, and how to turn fans into employees. This year also offers a great opportunity for internal recruiters to try something new; I know that even if you have a great idea it’s not easy to convince your managers to try new things, but don’t throw in the towel after the first rejection. Try something new, like creating a new advert, and then collecting the responses and analysing the data to ascertain how successful it was. Data are your best ally when you are trying to convince your boss that a new idea is going to be effective.

This year will be full of new ideas, tools and projects and you will need to try them in order to remain ahead of your competitors. Many interesting projects have appeared recently with the goal of helping companies with their branding, and more will surely come during this year, but at the end of this year or perhaps next year these branding projects will slowly disappear. Sadly, they are probably going to fail in the same way that video resumes did.

Value of Embracing Diversity

More organizations have begun to understand the real value of diversity in their working environment (minority groups etc.) and they see that diversity can create a positive impact on teams and business performance. More companies will create diversity plans during the year 2016 and they will see the impact on their business and their company’s culture.

Recruitment Tools

Many recruiters will have smart analytics tools at their disposal; in-depth analysis is part of the new Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) technology where recruiters can access real-time and predictive analytics in order to support their hiring decisions during the year.

This year will be amazing for tools like Connectifier, Prophet and other new tools emerging on to the market. LinkedIn is going to present some new interesting features during this year, but with so much spamming on their site candidates are not responding, even when they are sent job details that are relevant. And that will be the reason why people are going to move away from LinkedIn, using it as a resource only when they are actively searching for a job.

Year 2016

This year will bring many interesting opportunities and big challenges for recruiters. But our field is constantly changing, so at the end of this year it will be interesting to see how many predictions will come true and how many were incorrect.

Have a great 2016!