Just because we’re a month into a new year doesn’t mean it’s too late to reflect on what we’ve learnt in 2017. As we head further into 2018, we take a look back at some of last year’s recruitment trends and what we should be looking out for in the next 12 months.

It’s crucial that as a job seeker and employer you are aware of these trends as it could make a huge difference to how you view recruitment in 2018.

Flexible working hours are taking over

Flexi-time has become increasingly popular with candidates searching for jobs that can offer a better work-life balance and employers understanding the value of flexible working patterns. By offering candidates flexible working hours, you are guaranteed to attract a wider audience and a greater chance of finding the best talent when recruiting for a new role.

As a candidate, it’s a great job perk to be able to manage your time more effectively while still working standard weekly hours. You will build a stronger relationship with your employer, especially if you take it seriously and don’t take advantage of the benefits.

Every company is different but being able to offer additional benefits such as pension schemes, gym memberships, breakfast and lunch vouchers or a day off on your birthday, you are more likely to find people who will stay loyal to your company.

Employers are turning to recruitment companies more and more

Unemployment levels have increased over the last year and companies are finding it more difficult to attract the right talent for their business. Candidate care is more important than ever before so making sure that candidates are looked after during the recruitment process right through to their employment is key in maintaining their loyalty and trust.

The way that a recruitment consultant behaves towards a candidate must be honest, consistent and professional. Candidates often find that recruitment companies who don’t maintain good relationships with a follow up or lack communication are companies they are unlikely to work with again so you don’t want to fall in that category this year. It doesn’t do well for your company’s reputation if you show a lack of interest in your candidates.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will have an impact on the industry

This may not take place until May 2018 but it’s certainly a topic that’s caused quite a few discussions with regards to the effect it will have on legislation. It will replace the current Data Protection Act (DPA) and once this does take effect, candidates will need to consent to receiving marketing information. This means that databases will need to be built up from scratch. As a company, you will need to update your privacy policies and inform people of new changes to your legal basis for processing their data so they are kept in the loop. Communication is key with this one.

Equality and diversity awareness will grow

2017 was a big year for equality and diversity in the workplace and the more employers highlight the importance of it in 2018, the more it will increase productivity and loyalty in your company. If you are recruiting for a role and the job states that you take equal opportunities extremely seriously, you are immediately opening your talent pool up to a wider audience.

As an employer, it’s your responsibility to encourage diversity in the workplace and set a good example for your employees. A candidate is more than likely going to stay at your company if you promote a healthy, equal and inclusive environment.

Applying for jobs online will continue to be popular

Every year there are fewer and fewer things you are unable to do online and although applying for jobs digitally isn’t a new thing, it’s sure to remain a popular choice for potential applicants. Being able to apply for a job at just the click of a button makes applying for roles much easier than ever before.

By taking away unnecessary, time-consuming tasks when it comes to applying for jobs and replacing them with an ‘Apply Here’ button, you are satisfying the clients’ needs much more quickly and efficiently.

Social media continues to be a go-to for candidates who are looking for roles so recruiters should consider platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn when promoting vacancies. An increasing number of social media users means you are putting your current vacancies somewhere that is going to attract the most amount of attention.