The Recruitment Industry in 2017

Brexit, Growth, Social Media, Competition, Legislation. 2017 is going to be a busy year for recruitment, one of the fastest growing industries in the UK. So, what can we expect from this year? Have a read and let us know your thoughts. We’ll add them to the blog!

With 2017 now in full-swing, here are some of our thoughts about what this new year means for the recruitment industry. Think we’ve missed something? Tweet us @RecruiterCover or email us and we’ll add your comments to the blog!


Brexit means Brexit. It’s a phrase we’ve all heard, but what does it mean for the recruitment industry? Despite indications that confidence in the UK’s labour market is weak, research shows that companies are not planning to make significant changes to their pace ? hiring in 2017. Candidates are generally optimistic too, with one Jobsite survey showing that 62% of men and 57% of women believe Brexit could have a positive effect on their career prospects.

So, what does this mean for recruiters? Some say the vote to leave the European Union has stunted confidence in UK businesses. However, leaders in the recruitment industry have indicated that “Brexit should be seen as an opportunity to try a new approach to business” – Ed Vernon OBE, Chairman at Macildowie. Recruiters should work with their candidates and clients to dispel the myths surrounding Brexit.

Social Media

As we have discussed in our recent blog on Recruiting with Social Media, candidates (millennials in particular) are using social networks more and more in their day-to-day lives. Evidence also shows that they are also evermore willing to engage with social media when seeking work. Recruiters must be willing and able to reach candidates through platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

That said, the fragmentation of social media is leading to a rise in special-interest platforms and social media channels that are more suited to certain candidates. For example, GitHub and Stack Overflow are the best networks to find IT and software talent. Recruiters need to get a strong grasp on the speciality networks and monitor them for emerging trends.


Technology is on the up! With forward-leaps expected in Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and VR/AR, many recruiters might be scratching their heads and wondering how many jobs will be taken over by the robots! But don’t forget that the progress being made in these fields is fuelled by people. The demand for developers and programmers – as well as those supporting the tech such as marketers, advertisers and salespeople – will increase with every new idea and new release. There certainly are opportunities in the technology recruitment marketplace in 2017.

Competition and Opportunity

The recruitment industry has grown 56% over the last five years and 2016 saw 13% more new recruitment agencies open their doors compared to 2015. The REC valued the recruitment industry at £35bn in December and  it’s no surprise when new recruitment agencies are cropping up at such a high rate.

This increase in agencies means more competition and more of a need to differentiate yourselves from your competitors. As we discussed in our blog on Growing Your Recruitment Business, you can turn to strategies such as specialising in niches or being at the forefront of digital recruitment to differentiate yourselves and source the best talent for your clients.

Oh, and Pay!

Don’t forget that the national minimum wage is increasing to £7.50 in April 2017. Inflation is expected to rise in 2017 too – a result of Brexit – and as such, expect wages to increase in line with this.