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4 recruitment predictions for 2016

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The start of a new year means a chance for us to revisit a few of the tips we’ve passed on recently.

From recruiting faster, retaining smarter and keeping an eye on the all-important issue of diversity, these are also predictions for 2016 - and they may help you get some clarity about topics to focus on over the next 12 months...

Prediction 1: Candidates will have more options than ever

An important theme of the last 12 months is that candidates can now pick and choose the roles they want - and this means employers have to up their game.

More businesses are able to recruit thanks to the economic recovery, but it’s getting harder to find staff because of skills shortages.

Vacancies may be at record levels, but there are less candidates to go round. So if you’re looking to fill vacancies that may mean you’ve started seeing more job offer rejections.

This trend shows no sign of abating, which means in 2016 it’d be wise to:

Prediction 2: You’ll need to do more to retain staff

A candidate-driven market doesn’t just mean recruiting faster and smarter. Recent research suggests that employers have just five days to impress new starters, so it also has implications for making your business as attractive as possible.

And there are key things you can do once you have a committed member of the team, too. Smartphones and tablets have revolutionised how we work, but an ‘always-on’ culture (like employers sending emails at 9pm, for example) puts work-life balance in jeopardy.

Working longer hours gives employees no chance to switch off, and may affect their health. So if your business doesn’t allow staff proper downtime, ultimately they may be more likely to look for better conditions elsewhere.

Prediction 3: A diverse workforce will be an asset

It’s savvy to make your business Gen-Y-friendly: by 2025, this generation will make up 75% of the global workforce. But don’t lose sight of the other strands of the workforce who all add to diversity.

Childcare costs and a lack of flexibility around childcare can act as barriers to parents - mothers in particular - either getting back to work or staying there.

Flexible working makes business sense, so it’s a shrewd move to allow parents the time and space to take care of family responsibilities.

Just as parents looking for jobs are a vast untapped resource with valuable experience and skills, a reluctance to consider older workers means talent is going to waste, too.

It’s no longer compulsory to retire at 65, which means the UK has an ageing workforce. Staff with decades of skills and experience can bring benefits to your business. But sadly, many older people are being written off because they’re thought to be ‘past their prime’.

In addition, the nation’s caring responsibilities are set to grow and grow. Too few HR managers have brought in policies or communications designed for carers at work - and as a business you should take a good look at how you can support these needs.

Prediction 4: Robots are one year closer…

As we look ahead to 2016, we’re surely one year closer to robots merging into the UK workforce - and perhaps even taking over hundreds of thousands of jobs.

In 2014, experts predicted that software, robots or smart machines would take over a third of jobs by 2025. It’s slightly terrifying to think that’s now only nine years away!

If you haven’t already, have a think about how advances in technology could affect your costs and conditions.

And check back here next year for another update. Will these words be written by a robot? Here’s hoping there’ll still be work for at least one human…

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