Top recruitment trends for 2018

As we approach the turn of the year, it’s important to consider recruitment strategy in line with changes to the business and socioeconomic landscape. Tom Lovell, Global Managing Director of Reed Specialist Recruitment, shares his top hiring trends for 2018 and highlights what recruiters and candidates should be on the look-out for. 

We are living through a period of unprecedented change: political polarisation, rapid technological advancement and huge social challenges.

With change comes opportunity. Every organisation needs talented people to ensure that they are well placed to respond.

​REED has the largest network of recruitment specialists in the UK and market-leading insight from, which gives us the best seats in the house to identify trends in the market. From this viewpoint, here are my three key reflections on the market:

1. Skills driving salaries

Average salaries have flatlined over recent years. This will change, driven by increasing inflation and employment rates at a 40-year high. We see the biggest rise occurring in qualified and technical markets, especially within the burgeoning digital economy where supply and demand ratios are most acute. 

I also expect to see real increases at the other end of the pay range as the impact of Brexit and a weakened pound reduces the supply of labour in hospitality, care and retail sectors. 

If you’re struggling to attract talent, you will need to be ready to increase what you offer to secure the best candidates.

With change comes opportunity, and every organisation needs talented people to ensure that they are well placed to respond. 

2. New jobs reflect new thinking

With increasing specialisation across the markets in which we operate, I am regularly surprised by new job titles and intrigued to hear about the different approaches our specialist consultants use to secure the best people.

There are new tools and channels to market coming online almost daily, so it is important to understand what actually works. You should never underestimate the market intelligence and relationship skills that a great recruiter can bring.

Job titles also reflect the changing times. The growth in ‘business partner’ titles across core functions such as finance and HR demonstrates the benefits of strong commercial skills to support collaborative working, whilst roles such as ‘scrum lead’ and ‘python developer’ are not job titles I ever imagined we would recruit when I set out in the industry more than 20 years ago.

In order to reap the rewards of technological advancement, you will need Human Intelligence, with the right mindset, to take your business forward. 

3.  Technology needs talent

I am often asked how I think Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will change the world of work.

The ever-increasing capabilities of machines is fundamental to how we consider the future, and undoubtedly changing the way we all go about our daily lives. In order to reap the rewards that this technological advancement can bring, one thing is for sure: you will need Human Intelligence, with the right mindset, to take your business forwards.

As the UK's #1 recruitment business, we have ambitious plans for 2018 and beyond.  Fundamental to these plans is our continued commitment to providing our clients with the best people in the market. 

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