What will 2018 bring in terms of talent challenges and solutions


18 Jan 2018

What will 2018 bring in terms of talent challenges and solutions

As 2018 is just a couple of weeks old, we’re looking ahead to what some of the big trends will be in the year ahead, and what it is likely to mean for talent attraction.

1. Facebook is changing how brands can reach its members in the newsfeed

Every year Mark Zuckerberg announces his New Year resolution. Previously it has been quite personal goals such as learning Mandarin or visiting every US State. This year his goal is to ‘fix Facebook’. It’s quite a big ambition, last year was a tough one for Facebook - in particular facing up to the threat of fake news, and some pretty serious worries about providing a platform for Russian attempts to fix the US elections. An update from Facebook has given us a preview of what to expect. That is a change to the way the newsfeed works, to prioritise content that originates from friends and family ahead of content from advertisers, brands and publishers. In some regards this is unsurprising, by further restricting the supply of its services to companies, Facebook will be able to exert even more commercial influence. What we believe this means for organisations that use Facebook as a channel for employer branding is that a ‘less but better’ strategy will be paramount. Each individual content needs to work harder, and therefore needs to be better targeted, and brilliantly executed.

2. Voice assistants grow in popularity

The Amazon Echo devices dominated Christmas sales in 2017, taking the number one spot on (unsurprisingly) Amazon’s online store. The battle is on for supremacy in the voice assistant market, and speculation is rife about how it will change the way people interact with technology. Gartner reckon that 30% of online searches will be screenless by 2020. It opens up a whole world of possibilities for recruitment. “OK Google, what jobs are there in my area?”. What we can expect is a year of experimentation by employers looking for ways to serve candidates who may be quickly adopting this new technology.

3. Google’s job products will enter new markets

Last year Google belatedly launched a couple of its own products aimed at the job market. The Google job search engine (only in the US so far), and a Google ATS (Google Hire). Most people are asking the question ‘what took you so long?’. It felt like an obvious thing to do about 10 years ago. As we anticipate the job search engine rolling out in Europe and elsewhere in 2018, we’ll be watching closely to see what it means for the job board market. Ultimately job seekers stand to benefit, not only through the convenience of a single platform for accessing jobs, but also the Google magic that will use machine learning and AI to deliver a better experience.

4. Individuals will get back some control of how their data is used for marketing.

The programmatic industry wrestled with issues with brand safety and funding of fake news and terrorism in 2017. The industry is developing rapidly, and in particular Google and Facebook have been forced to rethink some of their assumptions about what level of control is necessary on their platforms. This year we know that the new GDPR legislation is going to have some impact on the way that programmatic ads are traded. Ultimately it’s a good thing, because it is intended to give consumers and candidates better control over their data and will help to curb some of the rogue practices that occur on the fringes of the advertising industry.

5. Employers will increasingly have to look to ‘passive’ candidates to fill vacancies

As unemployment hits record lows in the UK, more and more vacancies will have to be filled by candidates who aren’t actively searching for a new job or are looking for different types of role. Previously this was only considered an issue for highly specialised or high salary roles, but now even so-called volume roles are proving hard to fill in certain parts of the country. As previously mentioned Google’s job search engine might gradually change the behaviour of jobseekers by taking away barriers in their search. But Brexit is only going to make the shortage of talent more acute so data-led attraction methods such as programmatic advertising and social media coupled with a well articulated employer brand are going to be more important than ever to employers in the UK.


Tristan Moakes 
Global Head of Solutions