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Recruitment trends to watch in 2016

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The way in which people work has changed dramatically over recent years and predicting the next trend is one way to stay ahead of the curve.

What are these trends?


Technology will continue to have a significant impact on the workplace in 2016 and beyond. Understanding the way these trends have the potential to change the way businesses operate will be key to ensuring their success for the year ahead. Here I have highlighted five of the key career trends for 2016.

1. A focus on making big data useful

Big data has been on the business agenda for some years now but it is only recently that it has become a more tangible business tool. Using big data as a tool to predict customer behaviour can help an organisation not only better able to serve the customer but to also drive profit through better business decisions. I speak from experience here, having just recently hired data scientists into my own company to unlock the secrets hidden in our own data. I expect their insights to drive better informed business decisions, and therefore profit, going forward.

2. A renewed focus on the customer experience

Putting the customer first has been said to be the most effective way of creating a successful business and we can expect to see an increased focus on this in 2016. Utilising data to gain an understanding of customers and their needs will be a challenge to businesses in 2016. Understanding what they want, how they would best like to interact, what their optimum journey would be and putting it into practice are the “must have” talents for 2016.


3. Even more value on security

Along with new technology comes new cyber threats. As we come to rely on technology more and more in our work and personal lives the very real cyber-crime becomes more real. Businesses will continue to look to increase their security to prevent any such attack. Ten years ago, we couldn’t have imagined recruiting for a cyber-security engineer, but now there is more opportunity out there than available talent, and this trend is set to continue and accelerate throughout 2016.


4. Mobile first?

As a society we are always ‘connected’ by our mobile devices and how and what we use them for is continuing to evolve. I see mobile technology as one of the most disruptive (or helpful) influences on our society over the next ten years - its growth is unstoppable and so is the disruption caused to businesses and their business models.
Many businesses are yet to adapt to how their customers are trying to access their services and 2016 could be a major challenge for some businesses as the shift from desktop to mobile continues. It’s relentless evolution, but there’s no time to pause for breath if you want to stay relevant to your market.

5. The battle for STEM skills continues

The global shortage of STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) has been well publicised in recent years but the issue is only continuing to worsening as the skills businesses require change. We continue to see a global shortage of STEM skills and I predict that the growing influence of data and technology will only increase the appetite for these skills across all sectors and departments in 2016.


Alistair  Cox

By Alistair Cox

Alistair is the CEO of Hays plc

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