Ever wish you could predict the future? Us too. Having a superhuman ability to look at what’s coming up in the world would certainly provide an advantage over – well, everything…

So, with a new year upon us, we figured we’d give you the next best thing: our predictions on how recruiting will change in 2018. From automation to algorithms, and social media to security laws, here’s a quick run-down of what you can expect to change in the world of recruitment over the next 12 months.

AI & Automation

We’re already seeing tools that allow candidate screening and candidate selection process to be automated by using complex algorithms. They’re still in the early stages and aren’t quite reliable yet, but that’s going to start changing very soon. Search engines such as Google are the undisputed champions of learning about an individual’s profile, interests and circumstances, so it makes sense that advertisers – and now recruiters – are beginning to use this technology to their advantage.

Expect to see more of artificial intelligence and automation in 2018. But as we talked about recently, don’t worry about losing your job to a robot… you’ll just need to harness its power to do your job faster and better, becoming what Karen Azulai calls an ‘augmented sourcer’.


2018 is the year that new data privacy laws kick into action – and they’re relevant to all EU citizens globally, regardless of what persons or organizations are using their data or where they are based. Your recruitment software will need several core features (shamelss plug: ours does) so that you can be sure you’re acting in full compliance with the new law.

If you have any questions or concerns about the new General Data Protection Regulation laws, download this free whitepaper from our sister company Talentsoft.

Sourcing (and Software) Goes Mainstream

As unemployment continues to decline and companies face increasing talent shortages we can expect sourcing to become a common, fundamental part of most recruiting processes. As part of this companies will be looking for lots of different software to support this. They’ll need tools like Hello Talent to help keep candidates organized and manage them throughout the process, but they’ll also need tools for candidate search, marketing automation, and more.

Shameless plug #2: Looking for a new sourcing tool? Give Hello Talent a try! It’s free!


And while you’re upgrading your software? Make sure you consider your security credentials. 2017 saw major cyber security hacks across the UK and beyond, and experts think that the risk is only going to heighten in 2018 and the years to come. Be proactive about tightening your security now, particularly as it will feed into the GDPR requirements you’re going to comply with this year too.

Social media

Recruiters using social media is hardly groundbreaking, but we predict that this method is going to grow in prevalence in 2018. Whether it’s Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or a personal blog, you can learn a lot about a candidate from their digital footprint. But as we said in our eBook on sourcing, remember there’s a fine line between embarrassing yourself because you’re uninformed and embarrassing yourself because you’re acting like a stalker. Be on the right side of that line while using social media in 2018.


We predict that ‘flexibility’ is going to continue to be a bit of a buzzword in 2018, with millennials expecting organizations to facilitate a genuine work-life balance in particular. But, we suspect the focus in 2018 is going to shift onto a work-life ‘blend’ rather than balance, with employees expecting to be able to work remotely (and across multiple devices) whatever the time of day, or day of the week.


What’s more pressing than flexible working arrangements? Diversity. The workforce is set to change in 2018 (and will continue to do so) with migrant populations, an aging population and greater ethnic diversity demanding that recruiters know how to find and hire from this ‘new’ talent pool. Furthermore, both businesses and consumers are viewing support for diversity as a standard part of corporate-social-responsibility. Deloitte’s UK team, for instance, is filtering out the names of schools that applicants attended in order to ensure that economically disadvantaged applicants who couldn’t afford elite schools still receive proper consideration. As more companies like Deloitte prioritize diversity recruiters will need to find ways to properly incorporate it into their processes.

Shared values

We’ve noticed that the importance of ‘shared values’ between candidates and organizations has been gaining traction for a while, and we think it’s going to become more pronounced in 2018. Just perhaps not in the way you’re expecting. While it is standard practice for organizations to only hire people who share it’s their values, a new trend is emerging where candidates have equal expectations. Candidates will research their companies thoroughly before accepting any offers, finding out about a brand’s corporate social responsibility record, supplier relationships or press coverage. This means that recruiters will need to start working much more closely with an organization’s PR and marketing departments to ensure a brand’s public image aligns with its core values.


In 2018, we think that candidates are going to become ever-more focused on an organization’s digital footprint, which means businesses will need to have an excellent website and social media presence with strong, coherent branding, and a carefully considered tone of voice. First impressions count, and candidates are making judgments as regularly as organizations are.


We know gamification as a method of recruitment won’t be taken up by huge numbers of companies anytime soon (it’s generally too expensive), but those with the budget and creativity are likely to give it a go in 2018 and beyond. So how does it work? Well, a game format creates an enjoyable experience for candidates while the ‘under the hood’ technology tracks skill and performance, providing recruiters with key information about potential hires.

Marriott Hotels played around with this method (requiring candidates to run their own virtual hotel, purchasing inventory on a budget and serving customers), and Treehouse has done a similar thing too, rewarding the highest performing coders with achievement badges and potential ‘high salary’ scores. The result is that recruiters have a clear view of the candidates with the best skills, and candidates have a positive recruitment experience too. What’s not to love? (In fact, try this gamification idea for sourcers).

Key takeaways

Of course, these predictions are exactly that – predictions. Doubtless, there’ll be some unexpected surprises and/or some changes that never come to fruition. But we’re excited to see what the year brings, and how we can help you every step of the way. For now, here are a few takeaways to bear in mind:

  • If AI and automation are going to pick up speed in 2018, embrace it: change is good if you’re prepared to ride the wave.
  • GDPR is going to impact you, so read up on it before May 25th to put measures in place to ensure compliance.
  • Security is just as important as ever: upgrade your software and refine your processes to guard against cyber attacks.
  • Diversity will take center stage, so make sure you incorporate it into your strategy

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