What does 2017 have in store?

  • March 16, 2018

2016 was certainly a year of change in many aspects from politics and the economy to the departures of many core contributors to modern culture. From a HR perspective the ever changing environment presents constant challenges around hiring and staff retention. So what can we expect from 2017?

In our annual market insights surveys McGregor Boyall asked our clients and candidates for their views on the employment market, and what changes and challenges they anticipate for the year ahead. The UK’s decision to leave the EU in June followed by changes in the global political environment meant 2016 was an unsettled and nervous year in general for the market. However, in a snapshot survey taken by McGregor Boyall immediately after the vote, 65% of organisations stated the decision had had no impact on their immediate hiring plans.

Seven months on and 70% said that they had seen little or no impact of Brexit thus far, although they are anticipating challenges around a shortage of quality candidates in 2017. Having said that, candidates remain fairly resilient with 73% stating that Brexit has no bearing on their decision on whether or not to change roles.

With technological advancements at the top of the agenda for many organisations it is of no surprise that 78% of those surveyed stated technology skills are those most needed for businesses to meet their objectives over the next 12 months. Managerial and Leadership are the next highest anticipated skills requirements as organisations seek to restructure and set themselves up for future success, with the right leadership teams.

For candidates looking to move on from their current role, utilising a recruitment agency is still the most popular channel for sourcing that next career move, with LinkedIn following closely behind. Interestingly approaching an organisation directly or via their career website is ranked down in fourth place by candidate.

Work life balance is the most important factor when considering a move for the majority of candidates, and 55% of the companies surveyed felt that they offered good or excellent work life balance but a number still have work to do with the remaining 45% feeling their work-life balance is poor or average. Compensation is still featured but only sits as the third highest with 56% of candidates stating it was the most important factor for them to consider when thinking about a career change.

Flexible working and work-life balance is valued most highly by employees yet is ranked down in fourth place by employers, highlighting there is still a disparity between what companies see as key motivators for attracting top talent and what candidates say are the factors most likely to influence them when choosing a new role.

Career progression options are seen as less important to candidates yet conversely organisations consider career progression and new challenges (61% and 63% respectively) to be the most important thing in order to be able to retain top talent.

For HR Teams it looks like the challenges of 2016 are set to continue and businesses will need to work even harder to retain their top talent in a market that sees candidates changing roles on an increasingly regular basis. And with Article 50 yet to be triggered the real impact of Brexit is yet to be seen. Watch this space!