If there is one lesson to be taken away from 2018 in the world of recruitment, it’s that candidates are gaining more and more power in their job search. From issues such as the skills gap, to changing workforce needs, it’s a candidate driven market. As we continue to adapt to the changing standards in recruitment, a lot of the key trends from 2018 will be brought into 2019 with us as we make them an even bigger priority.

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With key strategies such as candidate experience still at the forefront of all successful recruitment processes, the way we achieve this is ever-changing. Here are some of the key trends that will become vital to our recruitment success in 2019:

      1. Recruitment technology

From initial candidate sourcing to final hiring decisions, new technologies are always emerging to address the common hurdles found in recruitment. Recruitment and technology share a long history, and they will continue to adapt to one another into 2019. Combining this with the increasingly competitive world of talent acquisition, organisations can no longer afford to have outdated strategies for discovering, engaging, and nurturing top talent. Modern recruiting software can help companies speed up and optimise their process, so no time is spent blindly searching for talent.

As we spend more and more time managing different technologies to improve our recruitment efforts, it’s also likely that there will be an increasing focus on integration of different platforms, so that recruiters using multiple software’s can streamline their process further.

      2. Can a robot do my job?

Automation has sparked fear into some professions, with some actually googling “can artificial intelligence replace recruitment?”. The simple answer here is no. The integration of the human element to recruiting alongside successful automation should be a main focus for recruiters in 2019.

Instead of questioning how we can automate the entire process, we should be automating only the manual, time-consuming tasks (like scheduling or early-stage screening) – things that don’t add as much value compared to other steps in the process. Finding the correct balance means that we can focus on being more productive in higher value-adding tasks, such as providing a positive interview experience.

      3. Eliminating Bias

In the world of recruitment technology and machine learning, it can be easy to lose sight of bias. While there are now tools that we can put into place to help reduce bias, it may be foolish to believe that they will completely eliminate bias. We still need to monitor the results of any automation we use to ensure they aren’t showing bias – a great example here being Amazon. Amazon recently scrapped one of the AI-driven recruitment tools because it was showing bias against women. Even after tweaking their algorithms and trying to fix the bias, they lost faith in its ability to be neutral and decided to scrap the programme all together.

Technology is key to ensuring that we can eliminate bias at work and in recruitment, as long as we get it right. When it’s wrong, it can have a knock-on effect on important factors such as diversity and inclusion.

      4. Recruitment Marketing

Recruitment marketing has been one of the main approaches used by many organisations for finding qualified candidates in 2018. In 2019, it’s likely we’ll be relying more heavily on it. A recent study showed that 61% of recruiters feel that finding qualified applicants is the biggest challenge they face, so we’re relying on recruitment marketing to find them and compete for top talent.

Recruitment marketing is a strategy which is based on implementing marketing tactics in recruitment to attract candidates to a role. It’s a discipline that was introduced as a result of the current situation in the labour market – the fact that it’s becoming more and more candidate driven. Following the latest trends in the market will allow companies to adopt new recruiting best practice, therefore allowing them to ‘sell’ their organisation to potential candidates and become more likely to attain top talent.

Examples of recruitment marketing strategies which can be used include; search engine optimisation, pay-per-click campaigns, social media marketing, content marketing, employer branding, and many more.

      5. Shifting Workforce Trends

2018 showed one of the largest shifts in ‘breaking the 9-5’ than previously seen. From remote working, to flexible hours, to the gig economy,these changes will only continue to advance as power begins to shift to millennial leaders. Of course, it will be a while until the current younger generations have full management reins – but by 2025, millennial’s and their predecessors (gen Z) will make up 75% of the labour market.

The Deloitte 2018 Millennial Survey identified an array of attitudes that are held by these two generations and one of the key findings is that diversity and flexibility are key to loyalty, with many respondents stating that the gig economy was an attractive alternative to a normal 9-5 job. If you can start putting strategies into place now that meet the expectations of younger workers, you can give your organisation an advantage over many competitors by becoming a more appealing place to work for candidates. Understanding their needs will allow you to attract top talent.

     6. Data-Driven Recruitment and HR Analytics

Tracking and measuring the recruitment process allows recruiters to track the successful, and the not so successful, aspects of their recruitment efforts. Data has of course been an important factor throughout 2018, but as we look into 2019, we’ll be focusing more heavily on recruitment data as the war for talent increases. We need to be focusing on aspects such as how many candidates were offered a position based on what channel they applied through, or candidate engagement data such as conversion rates or drop-off rates, which can help us to take the guess work out of recruitment.

Understanding the data being returned can help to allocate budget to the most effective methods, increase productivity and efficiency, unearth hiring issues, and assist in bench-marking and forecasting hiring. Data will play a key role in how we continue to streamline the recruitment process.

      7. Culture Fit

Cultural fit in the workplace has long been a highly discussed topic, with most recruiters agreeing with its importance in the hiring process. But are organisations really satisfied that they’re able to measure cultural fit? Only 11% of employers are satisfied with their ability to measure this in their recruitment process,leaving nearly 9 out of 10 employers struggling to put a strategy into place to assess culture accurately.

As another way of addressing the skills gap, it’s likely that organisations will start shifting more focus on putting a better strategy in place for assessing true cultural fit. Even where there are highly skilled candidates available, maintaining culture in the workplace is essential to building an effective and dynamic team. With values-based recruitment software from Shine, you can ensure you find the perfect candidate that fits into your team dynamic.


It’s very clear that technology always has, and will continue to advance how we attract, source, screen, and even on-board candidates. Given the competition for talent in the midst of a skills gap, though, recruiters need to begin accepting that their ‘perfect candidate’ may be too elusive. Instead,consider candidates who have the ability to learn and grow, such as those who have a history of developing new skills and being up-to-date in their field.