In 2018 recruitment is thriving as an industry but it’s also changing rapidly. For agencies that want to see 2019, change might also mean survival.

Smart technology and how agencies are smart with technology will play a crucial role this year.

As will landmark events like the GDPR, the closing stages of Brexit negotiations and the partnerships that agencies invest in.

Recruitment is an industry that is considered an early adopter of innovative technology. However, how that technology is then used is not always fully harnessed. In 2018, agencies will revisit their processes, address wastage and use technology to streamline their business.

With more new agencies entering the market than any previous year, agencies can not afford to ignore smarter ways to stay competitive.

But, what might this look like?

Intelligent data

Recruiters gather a wealth of information on candidates across their engagements, but are they turning that information into insights and those insights into placements?

How that data is collected, processed, accessed and actioned will perhaps be the biggest game-changer for recruitment this year.

By using the technology available agencies can remove the manual limitations of data entry, ensure its quality and transform information into intelligent insights that drives their bottom line.

For agencies to mobilise their data in 2018 it needs to be easily translated, accessible and deliverable in real-time.

Identifying your agency

As the industry becomes increasingly crowded, agencies will need to find a way to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

I expect to see a real commitment to developing both company and personal brand. This means a more active presence on social media and a real injection of storytelling and personality into the recruitment process.

For clients and candidates, it ultimately comes back to service and results. Which is why the technology that you’re partnering with and the processes you’re improving will be the badges that identify you in the market.

Social technology

It might have once been an afterthought but agencies now need a dedicated strategy to social media.

Your online footprint is your stamp of credibility in the market and an incredibly viable source of candidate sourcing.

How agencies can convert their social noise into candidates, clients or recruiters will be where the battle is fought.

New partnerships

Agencies can’t afford to be islands in 2018.

With the number of professional service providers to the industry, there’s no monetary sense in trying to specialise in everything in-house.

For agencies intent on scaling this year, partnering with the right technology and service providers will streamline their processes and allow them to allocate their time to where it’s most useful.

The arrival of the GDPR on May 25th will also serve as an opportunity for agencies to review their data strategies, CRM and general IT infrastructure.

It promises to be a year of change in the industry and for those that stand still they risk being left behind.