With business booming, what does 2019 look to have in store for the recruitment sector?

Considering how the UK continues to face uncertainty about its future, the jobs market is faring particularly well. Unemployment rates are down, vacancies are up and remote working is opening up a myriad of opportunities for employees.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, new data from Companies House has revealed that a record number of recruitment agencies were set up in the UK in 2018. This was a whopping 46% increase compared to 2017 and takes the industry’s valuation up to a healthy £35.7 billion.

With business booming, what does 2019 look to have in store for the recruitment sector?

Mobile will become a priority

The recruitment industry has been one of the slowest to adopt to mobile but with Google announcing that they’re moving to mobile-first indexing, this is something that’s going to have to change.

The combination of more candidates carrying out their job search on a mobile device and the fact that search engines are going to start using the mobile version of websites for indexing and ranking, means that recruitment strategies are going to have to align with changing online behaviours.

We’ll become more social

Aside from an increasing need to be mobile-friendly, the future is signalling the end of the paper CV. With organisations placing a greater influence on soft skills, companies are becoming more interested in social media profiles and video submissions.

For job seekers, this means developing their very own personal brand through their social media channels, digital portfolios and if appropriate, even their own website. For companies who want to attract the cream of the crop when it comes to talent, they need to portray an appealing environment through their social media pages.

With 79% of candidates saying they review social profiles during their job search, your website, social media and online reviews should provide an accurate picture of your company culture.

Flexible working

The gig economy has impacted the recruitment industry in a big way. With more workers moving to freelance or contract positions, our expectations about the workplace are changing.

A decade ago, we all wanted permanent, full-time roles because security was a priority. While we do of course all need job security, employees are beginning to place greater importance on flexibility and a good work-life balance.

  • 65% of us say we would pursue contract work if given the opportunity
  • The ability to work remotely would impact our decision about whether or not to accept a job among 68% of us
  • Between 2012 and 2016, flexi-time rose by 12.5%%
  • According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of UK workers who have moved to remote working has increased by nearly a quarter of a million over the last decade
  • It’s expected that half the UK workforce will be working remotely by 2020

There’s a strong possibility that a big factor in the shift in our priorities comes down to the fact that with both parents in full-time work now the norm, workers need flexibility so they can juggle their busy lives.

Speaking about the positive outlook the UK’s recruitment industry is facing, managing director of ClearlyPR, Paul MacKenzie-Cummins commented:

“The dramatic rise in new agencies being started over the last year is testament to the overwhelmingly positive mood within the recruitment industry. Ambitious recruiters are not only seeing an increase in demand for the services of recruitment agencies, they’re taking advantage of favourable market conditions and the opportunity this presents for aspiring recruitment entrepreneurs.”